Herald JournalHerald Journal, Aug. 25, 2003

Lake Ridge development moves forward, construction likely in spring

By Lynda Jensen

The development tagged for northeast of Howard Lake moved forward Tuesday at the Howard Lake council meeting.

Construction for the first phase of Lake Ridge development may begin next spring, with 39 single family lots planned for the first phase by Woodland Development.

The council approved the first of six phases, but not before lively discussion about last-minute changes made by the developer for road access along Imhoff Avenue.

Woodland bumped the improvement of Ingram Avenue, which is a road leading off Imhoff Avenue, to phase two.

The access for phase one will be directly off of Imhoff, said Administrator Kelly Bahn.

The construction timetable is being delayed and Woodland has expressed a desire to move the procedure along, Bahn said.

Several council members, including Mayor Gerry Smith, talked about when Ingram would be upgraded.

Eventually, when enough phases are done, there will be a second access to Wright County Road 7.

Smith and Council Member Terry Ostgulen thought it would be unsafe to have only one access for so many homes, even in its first phase.

Bahn pointed out that Dutch Lake Woods and other developments have only one access in Howard Lake.

Bahn told the council it could require the developer to upgrade the road any time during the phases, as each phase is approved.

It would be cost prohibitive for the developer to do it sooner than later, she said.

Ostgulen noted that people won't use undeveloped roads as often, and the council must address traffic concerns expressed by people living along Imhoff Avenue.

"That road needs to be done," Ostgulen said.

Smith repeated a concern on behalf of Verdell Stenberg, who lives east of the planned development, but outside city limits.

"He's concerned that the traffic and lights will shine in his room, and wants the road moved 100 feet over," Smith said of Stenberg.

This seemed unlikely to be done, and Bahn noted that it was not suggested during the preliminary plat.

In the end, it was decided to go ahead with the first phase for expediency, but appeared likely that the council would add requirements for other phases.

Ostgulen voted against the measure for approving the final plat for phase one, with Smith, Don Danford, and Shelly Reddemann voting in favor. Tom Kutz was absent.

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