BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Tuesday evening, the Delano City Council paved the way for up to 99 single-family homes by approving the annexation of 68 acres off of Wright County Road 16, and considered purchase offers for property in the West Metro Business Park from two businesses.
The property in question, known as the Gerard Farm, is located south of the city at 9254 County Rd. 16 SE, east of the Fox Meadow development. City utilities that were extended to Fox Meadow would be able to accommodate the new development, but the cost of establishing utilities within the development would be born by the developer.
Annexation is contingent on the purchase of the property by Langdon View, LLC, which submitted the application for annexation.
Of the 68 acres, 31.9 acres are buildable, with the remaining balance lying within the flood plain, property that could accommodate a passive use such as a trail or, potentially, a canoe launch.
Langon View’s concept plan illustrates 99 single-family lots.
“It’s very important that you note, as a concept plan, there’s no development rights with this until it goes through proper zoning and the final plat is approved,” City Planner Alan Brixius said. “ . . . We raise a number of issues related to the concept plan regarding lot configurations, and have made recommendations.”
One recommendation centers around a park proposed for the southeast corner of the development. Brixius said that park would have to be located in a buildable area and not subject to flooding. The Park and Recreation Commission will review that aspect of the project and make a recommendation.
The property will need to be rezoned in order to qualify for the development.
Another step the developer will need to complete is submitting a detailed preliminary plat with supporting documents regarding drainage, utilities, and storm water management. The final plat would need to be processed with the development agreement.
One concern about the development is the plan for one entrance. Wright County will have full review over the access, and will determine what improvements may need to be done to County Road 16.
Following no comments during a public hearing, the council approved the annexation unanimously.
Two businesses have approached the city with purchase offers for lots in the West Metro Business Park.
Randy’s Environmental Services (doing business as Randy’s Rentals) has proposed purchasing 11.2 usable acres of outlot E and portions of outlot C.
Insolution Manufacturing, a Loretto-based company that produces Polar Barrier insulation and Top Seed hydroseed products, has proposed purchasing five acres of outlot D.
The council discussed these offers in closed session, and then directed City Administrator Phil Kern to negotiate with the two companies and authorized him to sign a purchase agreement with each if parties agree to the terms set by the council, which would become public at that point.
The council discussed options regarding Highland Ridge Sixth Addition, being developed by Lennar, which would include the construction of nine single-family homes and the sale of the remaining acres at the intersection of County Road 30 and McKinley Parkway to Crow River Church for the future construction of a church.
Requirements of the development include road improvements and extension of sewer and water to adjacent properties, as is required for all new developments within the city.
“Lennar has indicated throughout the process that it doesn’t believe the extension of utilities and all these improvements are something it can feasibly do with the sale of the majority of the property to the church,” Kern said.
These improvements are estimated to cost $360,000 in addition to the cost of utilities within the development of the nine lots.
“Crow River Church is looking to purchase the property, pay off the property, and build a church in two to five years,” Kern said. “Carrying these additional costs were not things the church was considering.”
One option the city has is to finance and construct the improvements, and then specially assess those improvements against the property, an option that has garnered a positive response from both parties.
For the construction of a trunk water line, the city is considering issuing credits of $125,000, which would go toward future infrastructure fees for the new houses.
Extending utilities would allow for the future development of 140 acres to the south and west of the property.
The council did not oppose either option, so both will be considered when finalizing a development agreement.
In other business, the council tabled approval of software to be used at the splash pad. The city received two bids, with the lower bid costing $2,400. Councilwoman Holly Schrupp expressed concern that it would take 800 visits to the splash pad to pay for the technology. City staff will look into other options and explore the possibility of sharing the software with the Delano Senior Center.