After a three hour public hearing last Tuesday evening, the Albertville Planning Commission voted 4-1 to deny a comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning request for the Heuring Meadows Commons parcel of land, located just off CSAH 19 between 53rd and 57th Streets and just south of Casey’s General Store.
Some of the many issues residents brought up at the public hearing included traffic concerns, school crowding, limited available commercial land and crime.
What’s in the Proposal?
Developers had proposed an amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan that would change the parcel of land from a commercial designation to a Planned Unit Development that would allow for high-density residential. They are seeking to develop the 11.5-acre property to include a 159-unit market rate apartment complex, 26 units of attached townhomes and a 10,427 square foot childcare center called The Goddard School.
City staff said that while the city of Albertville has 302 apartment units, all current options are at least 29 years old and do not include some of the amenities this proposal provides, such as on-site property management, 24-hour maintenance, a private playground, community room, fitness room and heated underground parking. Each unit would include its own washer/dryer, dishwasher, microwave, individual heating and air conditioning, and the units would be a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom apartments.
The Goddard School would be located on the far southeast corner of the property, with the apartment complex in the center and the quad townhomes on the north side, adjacent to the existing senior living townhomes. Developers estimate apartment rental rates at approximately $1,000-$1,700 per month, and townhome rentals at approximately $1,200-$1,800 per month.
Additional Stoplight on Highway 19
A traffic study concluded that this new development would require the addition of a stoplight at the intersection of CSAH 19 and 53rd St. 53rd Street would also be widened to accommodate a full right turn lane onto Highway 19. According to the traffic study, the new development would generate approximately 1,555 daily trips.
“During the p.m. peak hour, eastbound queues on 53rd Street NE are expected to extend through the intersection of Kyler Avenue over 75 percent of the peak hour,” the study states. “These queues prevent vehicles from entering/exiting the proposed development. As a result of the unacceptable operations under current traffic controls, it is recommended that a traffic signal be installed to allow for safe and acceptable overall intersection operations.”
The Albertville City Council will take up the proposal at its next meeting, which takes place at 7 p.m. on Jan. 6. City Administrator Adam Nafstad said the planning commission’s denial is a recommendation to city council but not a final say. City councilmembers will have the final authority to approve or deny the rezoning request. Nafstad said the public comment portion of the process has now ended, but that all comments received will be included with the report to city council. The council will decide whether to accept any additional public comment at the meeting.