PROBLEM SUMMARY AND RESOLUTION

PROBLEM

SUMMARY

The City and Planning Commission will be asked to rule on a development  application that seeks to change the Comprehensive Plan, change the property's zoning designation, and build 319 homes and townhouses.

PROBLEM

SUMMARY

The City Council and Planning Commission will be asked to rule on a development  application that seeks to change the Comprehensive Plan, change the property's zoning designation, and change the property from an outdoor recreation area to a residential development of 319 homes and townhouses.

It is a decision in which the Council Members must weigh the interests of a long time Plymouth family, whose property and business have contributed much to the quality of life in our city, relative to the interests of hundreds of other homeowners and the long term welfare of the city.

FOR THE SELLER

The property encompasses 130 buildable acres and a 30 acre wetland.   The property would likely realize its maximum market value to the seller if it is zoned for residential use.

However, the City is under no obligation to change the zoning and Comprehensive Plan guidance designations.   If it were, those designations would be meaningless.  The value of all property is affected by land use and zoning designations, and in Minnesota, cities are the arbiters of those designations.

 

The present Comprehensive Plan designation does not restrict the land use to a golf course. 

"This guiding designation allows a variety of uses including public parks and open space, private recreation facilities and public buildings." 

Past actions by the City have contributed to this problem. While the consequences may have been unintended, they are negative consequences to many homeowners none the less.

  • The City allowed the placement of homes on the east side of Hollydale to close off future vehicle access to the course, thereby putting excessive burden on Comstock and Holly Lane should residential development be allowed.

  • The City allowed a development on the north side of Hollydale with building setbacks as short as 12 feet from the course.  Only a short fire lane implies possible future automobile access to the golf course. 

  • Adjacent properties were permitted to be marketed as golf course views, garnering a higher price for the developer and higher property values for taxing authorities, yet no disclosure was required that future development of the course would be allowed.

  • Hollydale owners informed the City of their intention to sell the property almost 14 years ago. The City denied the family's request to change the land use guidance, and reiterated that guidance in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan that was approved only 6 months ago.  It is difficult to imagine what has changed in the city that warrants an immediate change to 30 year comprehensive plan guidance.

The City Council must balance

  • Land development, and the noise, dirt, heavy equipment  and disruption that comes with it will take years to complete.  Residential development was started on the Elm Creek golf course in 2014.  In October of 2019 Gonyea was showing only 23 of 103 lots sold.  319 homes on 130 acres will probably take 7 tp 10 years.

  • Homeowners in the townhouses on the north end of the course will suffer a a permanent loss of property values and quality of life. Changing Comstock from a two block long private road to a thoroughfare to Schmidt Lake Road for 600+ new residents will bring noise, disruption, and a permanent loss of property values none of us would want forced upon us.

  • Homeowners on the east side of Hollydale will suffer similarly,

It is inevitable that an up or down vote on this decision will produce`Whichever way the Council decides will cause