July 30, 2007

Developer puts Trophy Lake Estates project in NG on hold

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

Grading for three new lakes north of New Germany may not start this season, as was previously predicted.

Developer Grant Hustad announced Wednesday that the Trophy Lake Estates project is officially on hold.

At issue are Metropolitan Council approval of the city’s comprehensive plan, and Hustad’s request for assurance that the city will be able to provide sanitary sewer service when he begins building houses in 2009.

City Planner Ann Perry said during the July 3 council meeting that the city is unable to approve any final plats for the project until the new comprehensive plan is approved, and this will not happen for six months.

A public hearing regarding the updated comprehensive plan is set for Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m.

After the public hearing, the City of New Germany and both Hollywood and Camden townships will have to approve the comprehensive plan before it can be forwarded to the Met Council.

The Met Council will then have six months to review the plan, according to Perry.

The second issue is the availability of sanitary sewer service.

The city’s current wastewater treatment system is near capacity, and only a small number of new hookups are available.

Hustad’s plan was to begin grading the site to create three man-made lakes this year.

The property is in agricultural preserve until February 2009, but Hustad had hoped to begin work on the site earlier so that construction of homes could begin in the spring of 2009.

The city has been negotiating with Met Council regarding the possibility of the city building a new wastewater treatment plant, and Met Council taking over the plant when it is complete, but no agreements have yet been reached.

The city recently signed a good faith agreement stating that it would provide sewer service to the development as soon as possible, but the city was unable to provide any guarantee as to when this will happen.

The city also made it clear that any pre-grading of the site would be strictly at the developer’s risk, and the city would assume no liability if the project was delayed.

Hustad noted that he is confident that the issues will be resolved, and said he is excited about becoming part of the community.

Hustad said he appreciates the city’s statement of good faith, but said he was forced to put the grading on hold until he is assured of the sewer hookups and Met Council approval of the comprehensive plan.

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