Jan. 22, 2007

Developer: work on Trophy Lake Estates IV could start this spring

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

Developer Grant Hustad told a group of residents and elected officials that site preparation for the Trophy Lake Estates project north of New Germany could start as early as this spring.

Hustad’s presentation during the Jan. 10 planning commission meeting was part promotion for the development, and part question-and answer period.

More than two dozen interested residents turned out to hear the update about the project.

Hustad said that the New Germany project will be the fourth such project he has completed in Minnesota since July 2000.

The other developments are in Glenwood, Pine Island, and Center City.

The developments are all constructed around man-made lakes that are used for water sports.

Resident concerns

Many of those in attendance asked questions about how the project will affect the surrounding community.

One concern was whether the project would draw substantial amounts of water.

Hustad said the projects are designed to be “self-generating” and are located in sites where water naturally collects.

He explained that the water in the lakes can vary from a foot above to a foot below the normal level, which means that they can absorb extra water during wet periods, and survive dry periods.

Hustad said power boat activities would be halted if the lake level dropped below a safe level to prevent erosion of the banks.

Lead engineer for the project, Brad Lindamann of Barr Engineering, said that he used 20 years of rainfall data in a computer model for the design of the lakes.

One resident asked if the project would deplete the water table.

“The amount of water we use is very small compared to a municipality, or a farmer running water through irrigators,” Lindamann replied.

Hustad said that one of the ways the projects contribute to the local community is by providing regional storm water retention.

“We would be happy to take the runoff from neighboring properties,” Hustad commented.

All of the runoff from within the development is routed to the lake, he added.

Hustad said that any runoff would run along Carver County Road 33 to the wetland north of the project.

Another resident questioned whether the project would place additional burdens on the community by increasing calls on first responders and other emergency personnel.

Hustad said since the first development opened in 2000, there has been only one ambulance run to a Trophy Lakes project, and that was the only accident.

“Jet Skis are not allowed, and we only run one power boat at a time,” he added.

All roads within the development will be private, and will be maintained by the homeowners association, Hustad said.

In response to a question about how 62nd Street, which is a township road that forms the southern border of the development, will be handled, Hustad said the road would be upgraded, with the development paying its share of the cost for the improvements.

He added that he would work with the city to determine how much of the road would need to be upgraded.

Another question concerned the minimum size of a house that could be built in the project.

Hustad said the project will have an architectural review committee, and criteria for acceptance focusses more on quality of construction than on square footage.

He said the minimum investment in a Trophy Lake property would include about $200,000 for the lot, and a minimum house cost of about $250,000, although some homes in Trophy Lake projects can cost up to $1 million.

The association fee in the other developments is $100 per month, Hustad said.

Another resident questioned what would happen if the lots within the project do not sell.

“There will be no cost to the outside community if lots don’t sell. The majority of the powerboat lots are already committed,” Hustad replied.

More about the project

The proposed New Germany project includes three lakes and a total of 59 lots.

The original plan included two lakes and more off-water lots, but it was revised in response to market conditions.

Hustad explained that the Trophy Lake projects provide low-density housing.

He said that 450 homes on a parcel this size would be the other extreme, in terms of housing density.

“This type of community is unique. The lower density attracts a more upscale resident,” Hustad commented.

He added that the projects have been well received in the communities where they have been built.

The Trophy Lake projects are gated communities. In addition to waterskiing, activities include tennis, sand volleyball, and basketball.

The lakes are stocked with fish, and residents have access to shore fishing in the summer, and ice fishing in the winter.

The development will be connected to city sewer and water, but will pay 100 percent of its share of bringing these services to the development.

When will it start?

Hustad said the property is in agriculture preserve until February 2009, but site work could begin in spring 2007.

Other factors that could influence the project include the fact that the property is currently part of Hollywood Township, and would have to be annexed by the City of New Germany.

The city’s treatment facility is already at capacity, and no new housing permits can be issued until a new treatment plant is complete.

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