By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN The remaining lots in Delano’s Clover Springs addition may be developed in the near future.
The Clover Springs neighborhood was first platted in 2000. At that time, the entire 80 acres was preliminary platted and then each development area received final plat approval in a phased process.
The third and fourth additions primarily the areas west of Third Street West were platted in 2005 and 2006. Each of these two phases were granted 29 lots and the developer was made responsible for construction of all public improvements, according to a memo to the Delano City Council from City Administrator Phil Kern.
A park in Clover Springs has been the topic of discussion over the past few years, and was discussed again at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
One of the public improvements planned for the fourth addition was the development of a park. The developer paid park dedication funds in some of the first phases of the project, and in the fourth phase, the developer was obligated to dedicate land for a park. This dedication reduced the number of planned lots in the fourth addition from 32 to 29, according to Kern.
This provided a challenge to the city and the developer, being the park was slated to be in the fourth addition, which likely wouldn’t proceed until market conditions dictated the need for the remaining streets and grading work.
The original developer, Ecklund Swedlund, no longer owns the project, and the new developer is an entity with the name Sparky Real Estate Investments, according to Kern. Sparky has hired Jeff Martineau to broker the sale and complete the development project.
Sparky owns 29 lots that remain in the first three phases, along with the 29 lots in the fourth phase.
Martineau has told city staff the developer is hoping to work with the city to gain flexibility to complete the project, Kern said.
City staff has told Martineau it is one of the city’s top priorities to get the park installed. Beyond that, Kern said the city wants to ensure the development continues to be maintained and developed in accordance with city standards.
Martineau and Sparky Real Estate Investments have spoken with city staff about some amendments to the development agreements and getting a plan in place to move forward. The plan includes:
• Sparky will provide the city up front, this summer, with $75,000 of park dedication funds to allow construction of a park on the city-owned water tower site, according to Kern.
Staff has confirmed that there is sufficient room to the west of the water tower to allow for construction of a playground.
• Sparky is able to recapture the three lots in the fourth phase originally dictated for park dedication. This gives Sparky three more lots (32 from 29) to sell eventually.
• Sparky constructs an access road to the water tower site that can serve as access to the park and water tower infrastructure (a Delano Municipal Utilities request).
The road would be gravel now and paved in the fourth phase.
• Sparky will complete $10,000 of landscaping improvements on the Wright County Road 30 side of the development, west of Third Street West, in coordination with the original development agreement.
Several Clover Springs residents were on hand at the meeting, with many of them excited for the park to be created in the addition. Safety concerns for children and also access issues from Wright County Road 30 were also discussed with the council.
The council, though not taking official action on the issue, seemed favorable to the plans. City staff will direct Martineau and Sparky to file for approval of a new fourth addition final plat that would grant the three additional lots.
The city attorney will also draft an amendment to the development agreements and process the plat and the agreements simultaneously. It is likely the issue will be brought back to the city council Tuesday, June 15.