Developers want to create upscale "estates"
A concept design for a new housing development planned for the extreme southeast corner of Cottage Grove was recently presented to the Planning Commission. No official action was taken regarding the development, but commission members had plenty ...
A concept design for a new housing development planned for the extreme southeast corner of Cottage Grove was recently presented to the Planning Commission. No official action was taken regarding the development, but commission members had plenty to say about the proposal.
Representatives of the development included John Matthews, a Lino Lakes resident, and Brian Smith, a Wyoming resident. They attended the May 23 Planning Commission meeting to present their ideas.
"We asked that they draw up a sketch level concept plan to get some informal feedback about whether the design is going in the right direction," said Community Development Director Howard Blin. "This will give the developer some feedback."
The property for the new development lies just north of the Lehigh Road and Manning Avenue intersection and spans about 100 acres. As the concept plan stands now, the development would include 39 "upscale" rural residential lots, according to Matthews.
"We see this as an upscale development starting at $600,000 and up," Matthews said. "There will be development monuments at the entrances and we will be adding trees to the development, planting six per lot ourselves and six more per lot from each of the owners."
Currently, Matthews and Smith have been building other developments in the northern suburbs for the past 10 years. This would be their first development in a southern suburb.
"The lots will range from one and a half to two acres in size each," Blin said. "Each property would have their own private septic systems, but there would be a community water system from a well that would be owned and operated by the homeowners association."
Blin also added that having community wells instead of individual ones on land that cannot connect to city water mains has become a trend and the county promotes the idea.
Thirty-five of the homes would be located on a horseshoe-shaped road that connects both ends to Lehigh Road. According to the sketch, there would also be a dead-end street off Lehigh -- the middle of the horseshoe -- with four lots.
"I think we need to be concerned about developing estate type areas in our rural areas," said Commissioner Rod Hale. "I am a strong supporter of that, but the concept plan seems kind of like you took a piece of downtown Cottage Grove and transferred it into the fields. I would like to see more originality here."
Commissioner Bob Severson agreed with Hale and commented on the square footage of the homes and if there was a minimum.
"We are looking around 2,800 square feet plus," Matthews said.
To sum up the commission's opinions of the new development, Hale told Matthews that he was on the right track; going for rural estates is something the city wants to see. He added that in order to have septic systems, the lots cannot be smaller than one and a half acres.
"In terms of community, it is a great idea," Hale said. "I just think you need to be a little more creative in the way which you build a pad for this area. Really create a rural estate kind of environment."