HJ/EDApril 17, 2006

Dutch Lake Woods: a place to call home

By Jenni Sebora

A sense of community and a feeling of privacy, a Northwoods feel, location, size, and low traffic levels are just some of the positive aspects residents living in the Dutch Lake Woods housing development in Howard Lake rave about.

Located on the southeast part of Howard Lake and nestled next to two lakes, Dutch Lake Woods housing development got its start in 1997 by Joe Lemmerman of Harold Swanson Development, Inc., the original developer. It was then sold to Eagle Crest Inc., with John Gleason as the developer.

With the new developers on board, Jim and Tom Peterson of Lakes Area Realty were hired to market the development.

Although there are only six lots remaining for sale out of a total of 52 lots, Jim Peterson noted that there were and are lots of positive things to market about the development, including lot size, price, and the development’s layout.

The average lot size varies, but most are a quarter- to a half-acre, with the smallest lots about 12,000 square feet and the largest about 46,000 square feet, Kelly Hinnenkamp, the Howard Lake city administrator and Dutch Lake Woods homeowner, said.

“The lots are bigger than normal,” Hinnenkamp said, noting that the 24 lots that are abutting the lakes are larger because of the wetland.

“There are very few lots that are in each other’s backyard. The development has a nice layout,” Peterson noted.

And the layout and size of the development are primary reasons why homeowners Damian and Tina Krumwiede chose Dutch Lake Woods as their place to call home.

The Krumwiedes, who moved from Le Sueur, were looking for a smaller community to raise their children in and were pleased with Howard Lake and the Dutch Lake Woods development.

“Our Realtor found it, and we saw it and really liked it. It can only get so big,” Tina said.

Peterson also said that many homeowners find that Dutch Lake Woods “is more of a community than just a development.”

Peterson also added that many of the homeowners have become friends.

Tina Krumwiede, who is also a day care provider, noted that there are lots of families with children in this “community.”

“It is nice to have children down the road to play with,” Krumwiede said.

And “down the road” in Dutch Lake Woods is a pretty safe place for children to ride their bikes as well, because of the low level of traffic.

“The development doesn’t have through streets,” Peterson said, which equates to less traffic and a quieter, more private development.

April Debner and her husband and two children moved into the development about three years ago. Debner was impressed with the mature trees, privacy, and safety.

“It is a nice, safe place for children to ride their bikes,” Debner said of the development.

Besides the mature trees and the lakes, the development also offers other amenities, which include trails and a natural park that was donated to and built by the city.

Hinnenkamp and her husband, who built and moved into their home in 2003, also enjoy the lakes and privacy of Dutch Lake Woods. But that’s not all that attracted Hinnenkamp to the development.

When Hinnenkamp and her husband were initially looking at building a home, they looked around Wright County, and in her position as administrator for the City of Howard Lake, she was knowledgeable about the Dutch Lake Woods development and what it had to offer.

“It came down to price and quality of a lot,” Hinnenkamp said, noting that the lake lots went for approximately $40,000 to $50,000 and the internal lots for about $25,000 to $30,0000.

The development is not all that attracted homeowners to the area. Both Debners and Krumwiedes were looking to move to smaller communities that offer a small-town atmosphere, yet have amenities and a good school district, and both families feel they have found that in Howard Lake.

“I like the small-town atmosphere and getting to know people easily,” Krumwiede said of Howard Lake.

Debner agreed. “It’s a nice community. Everyone knows their neighbors.”

And both families are equally as pleased with the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted schools.

“I am glad that the building bond passed and that it (the school district) is growing with the community,” Krumwiede said.

“We have been extremely happy with the school – in fact, very impressed with the individual attention given to the students. It’s very apparent that the teachers have the best interests of the students in mind,” Debner added.

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