The Brooklyn Park City Council approved a plat and conditional-use permit April 24 for a residential housing development at the northeast corner of 93rd Avenue North and Regent Avenue North.
Each of the three resolutions required to approve the project were approved in narrow 4-3 votes, as some council members expressed concern with parking, privately-owned roads and unit density.
Mayor Jeff Lunde and Councilmembers Terry Parks, Susan Pha and Rich Gates cast votes to approve the project, while Councilmembers Bob Mata, Mark Mata and Lisa Jacobson cast dissenting votes.
The development, which will be constructed cooperatively by developers CalAtlantic Homes and True Gravity Ventures, will be called Amesbury Place. These two developers first worked together to revamp the Wickford Village development, which is now nearly full.
Two housing products will be available in Amesbury Place: attached row townhomes, a CalAtlantic product, and detached single-family Flex and Grow homes, a True Gravity product. Once completed, the site would have a master homeowners association agreement for all properties and separate agreements for the attached townhomes and detached homes.
A total of 98 residential units are planned for the site, with a density of 7.69 units per acre. The city’s zoning allows for up to 9 units per acre on this site.
Cost for row townhomes would start at approximately $250,000 and average options often cost another $45,000. Flex and Grow homes are anticipated to start at approximately $290,000, and have averaged at approximately $350,000 in Wickford Village.
Lunde said he was comfortable with the density of the proposed development.
“I would like to see the density in here go down,” said Mark Mata. The city already has ample higher density housing, and fewer units would allow for wider streets and more room for parking, Mark Mata said. This development should be closer in density to the nearby Stonehenge development, which is approximately 4.5 units per acre, he said.
“We’ve been dealing too much with private roads of late,” Bob Mata said. He said he would not support the use of a private road in the development, as folks living in townhome developments who pay both association fees and the city’s franchise fees feel they are being doubly taxed.
Lunde countered, saying people make a choice to live in developments with association fees, and that private drives allow for more flexibility in site design.
“I think it’s an option that helps mitigate the fact that we have a lot of requirements about [building a house],” Lunde said. “You won’t get density with a public road there,” he said.
Planning Director Cindy Sherman said the site plan met the city’s code requirements for parking spaces. Detached housing units have rear-accessed garages, and all driveways for attached units are designed to accommodate two parking spaces. The main private street in the development allows for on-street parking, and three guest parking bays were included in the site plan.
City code requires 2.5 parking spaces per housing unit in new developments, Sherman said. In this development, there are 4 parking spaces per unit, Sherman said.
The site will have two access points on 93rd Avenue.
While city documents stated that parking is allowed on 93rd Avenue, Sherman said that this would not be feasible until a later date, when street stripes could be re-drawn, sidewalks could be installed and speed limits could be considered. That is, the city does not mandate that parking be available for residents of this development on 93rd Avenue.
Speed limits are set by the state, Sherman said.
Jacobson said that, while she supported the housing products in the plan, she was concerned about parking on the site. Without lowering the density of the units and increasing parking availability, Jacobson said she would not support the development. Jacobson said she opposed parking on 93rd Avenue in its current state.
“I don’t know that I can say yes to this project if we are not going to put ‘no parking’ signs on both sides of that road,” she said.
Gates said he would vote to approve the development, but thought more parking should be available for residents, and parking should not be available on both sides of 93rd Avenue.
The development’s use of private streets was not an issue for Gates.
“I bought a townhouse knowing what I had to pay for, what my HOA paid for,” he said. “To me, a private street is no different – you buy it, you know what you’re getting.”
Many residents have contacted Pha with concerns about private roads, she said. It is important to make sure potential homebuyers understand that in these developments, they will pay both association fees and the city’s franchise fee, Pha said.
Parks said he supported the project but shared other council members concerns about parking on 93rd Avenue.
Contact Kevin Miller at [email protected]