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Farmington development gets OK despite concerns

A new housing development is coming to Farmington, but not without a few reservations among Farmington City Council members.

The development is new, but the location is not. Located west of Cambodia Avenue and south of 210th Street in the eastern section of Farmington, the site was originally platted as the Sunrise Ponds project in 2006. The original developer lost the property due to financial issues a number of years ago, but developer Tim Giles of Tru Value Homes has acquired the property, and is proposing a new, 59-unit single family housing development called New Sunrise Addition.

The original plans called for smaller lots than Giles is planning, and the development would have been governed by a housing association. Giles has made modifications to include larger lots and homes, as well as slightly wider streets, which eliminated the need for an association to care for the streets.

However, the development does not include sidewalks through the residential area. A public park is included in the plans, and a trail and sidewalk connection will border the housing area on all four sides. Council member Doug Bonar did not like the lack of sidewalks in a neighborhood that is expected to draw families with younger children.

“While I appreciate there are pedestrian opportunities around this particular subdivision, I find myself somewhat disappointed there are none within,” Bonar said.

Though the roads are not as narrow as had been planned in 2006, special parking arrangements will still be needed in the neighborhood, according to city planning manager Tony Wippler. On-street parking will be limited to one side of the street, which is another area of concern for council members.

Mayor Todd Larson also asked whether fire trucks would be able to access the neighborhood and turn around if necessary. City engineer Kevin Schorzman said he had reviewed the plans with Farmington fire marshal John Powers, and that Powers had indicated there would be enough room for firefighters.

Council members approved the proposed development on a 3-2 vote, with Bonar and council member Jason Bartholomay casting the dissenting votes.

Farmington’s growth

Approval of the New Sunrise Addition signals the beginning of another new housing development in Farmington. It’s a development of 59 homes, but nine of the homes were constructed before the previous developer lost the land.

Farmington is seeing a gradual increase in the number of single family homes. In this week’s council agenda packet, Farmington building official Ken Lewis reported that 21 single family homes were built in the first quarter (January through March) of 2014.

That is on schedule with 2013, when 20 new single family homes were built in the first quarter. A total of 123 single family homes were built last year, according to Lewis.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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