THE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT

Building 319 new homes among 400 existing residences brings challenges unknown to other "infill" developments.

Bringing 319 unneeded homes to Plymouth adds consequences beyond the golf course.

LOSS OF GREENSPACE

Hollydale is the last large parcel of green space in the city.  Its 130 acres of grass, trees, rolling hills, and abundant wildlife personify the description of the rolling and wooded terrain that city planners purport to protect.

Yet open space acreage is in severe decline. Parks, Open Space, Agricultural, and Vacant Land acreage declined by almost 29% between the 2006 and 2016. Residential land use increased by 10%.  Building seems to take place everywhere, and many of the city's "parks" seem to be man made play fields with manufactured equipment and chain link fences. Even the Greenway Trailhead is planned to include parking lots and corporate venues.

Development of Hollydale would reduce Park and Open Space acreage by another 130 acres, or by 5%.

The City's 2040 Comprehensive Plan cites a Land Use policy to "Apply development standards that protect the environment and advance community values, while allowing sound use of private property."  The community values here are definitely to protect this environment.  As more green space gets replaced by asphalt and Hardie Board, this proposal - residential development of the last remaining large parcel of green space - is no longer a sound use.  It's sadly shortsighted.

SCHOOL OVERCROWDING

In 2010 there were about 700 fifth graders in Wayzata Schools. Today, nine years later, there are over 900. Wayzata Schools taxpayers have built two new elementary schools and added on to two others.  We've expanded Central Middle School to its maximum capacity, and spent $60 million to expand the high school to meet the needs of 4,000 students. 

Yet still, there's not enough space. Kids are being taught in the atriums. Boundary lines have again been redrawn, disrupting families and childhood friendships.  Class sizes are large, and resources are spread thin. 

In August, Wayzata's superintendent informed the parents that enrollment is expected to increase by another 1000 students, and more than 750 new homes are planned to be built over the next three years.

Enough is enough.  Classrooms are crowded enough. Taxes are high enough.  We do not need another 319 homes.

 

WATER DAMAGE

Rainfall is absorbed into soils. With land development, the natural landscape is replaced by surfaces impervious to water. Thus, more stormwater runoff occurs - runoff that must be collected by drainage systems that combine curbs, storm sewers, and ditches to carry stormwater runoff directly to Plymouth Creek, and into Medicine Lake.

Through the years of development of Schmidt Lake Road and the neighborhoods north and east of the golf course, drainage was an issue for owners of the golf course. City documents show efforts to keep impervious surface drainage away from the golf course to prevent flooding.

Yet these efforts did not prevent problems at the newly built homes. After 25 years, residents are still plagued by wet basements, collapsed swimming pools, and sump pump discharge - even in the dead of winter.

The proposed development has more than twice the homes of the adjacent developments to the north and east of the golf course. Failure to control runoff in existing neighborhoods suggests that the denser planned development, with 319 new homes on smaller lots, will only exacerbate the problems for these homeowners. Unable to naturally seep into the ground, water will run into the wetland to the south and the nascent Plymouth Creek.  With inadequate drainage or flow, water levels will rise, and wetland vegetation and wildlife habitat may be destroyed.

Sump pump drainage at Autumn Hills. November 6, 2019

 

TRAFFIC & SAFETY

Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 1.03_edited.jp

320 Homes

Hollydale has only two access points available to it; a future Comstock Lane out to Schmidt Lake Road to the north, and Holly Lane on the west, out to Old Rockford Road to the South. Both are problematic.

The Comstock/Schmidt Lake Rd access poses concerns of size and safety.  The entrance was designed to accommodate private road access to fewer than 40 homes.  Less than 500 feet east of the bridge over the tracks at Schmidt Lake Road, cars coming fast over the hill from the high school need to slow down quickly so as not to hit those coming from or going into Comstock.  For 319 more homes, this will be a safety problem.  

 

The second access point is two entrances from Holly Lane. Presently, fewer than 100 homes use that neighborhood street.  A 40 unit development is under construction. 

 

The traffic study assumes 9.45 trips per day per home. So we can expect some portion of 3,190 more trips per day on a neighborhood street that presently carries fewer than 1000. All these cars will be routed south to Old Rockford Rd - a two lane collector on which there are two elementary schools and an intersection to the primary street to the high school.

So we create an unsafe driving situation and destroy property values in order to squeeze a huge development into a space in which it really doesn't fit. Why?  This benefits the developer.  No one else.