Council gives senior housing project a green lightAn in-depth study known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not needed for a proposed housing development, Knute Nelson Senior Living/Burgen Sunrise Living.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
An in-depth study known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not needed for a proposed housing development, Knute Nelson Senior Living/Burgen Sunrise Living.
That’s what the Alexandria City Council determined at its meeting Monday.
The 98.7-acre site is located on agricultural land near Pioneer Road and 50th Avenue, adjacent from the site for a proposed new high school.
Plans call for a 205,000 square-foot facility that would include a 133-unit senior living campus – a mix of independent and assisted living senior apartments, complete with a wellness center and community spaces shared by Knute Nelson residents.
During a 30-day public comment period to gather any environmental concerns about the project, only one comment was received, according to Weber. It came from the Department of Natural Resources and recommended that the natural drainage features of the property be maintained and the existing wetland should be expanded.
Copies of the project’s Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) are available at City Hall.
A couple other agenda items – a proposed new Douglas Area Trails Association link and bids for the Plaza Liquor remodeling – were already reported in Wednesday’s Echo Press. In other action, the council:
•Held a public hearing as part of a process to obtain a $12,497 federal grant to help the Alexandria Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program.
The Alexandria Police Department was notified that it was awarded the funds through the federal economic stimulus package and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The money will help keep a police officer liaison in local schools and help buy supplies.
No one from the public spoke at the public hearing, which will clear the way for the department to receive the grant.
•Approved a conditional use application from Kerry Donley to allow open and outdoor sales displays at 315 Nokomis Street.
Donley plans to display marine products, a dock, a boat lift and “floatable” items such as inner tubes. The items would be put away during the winter months.
•Denied an after-the-fact application from Mark Fisher who converted a single-family home at 608 Edgewater Drive into a group quarters housing up to five unrelated people.
The planning commission recommended the city to deny the permit because the project is not consistent with the single-family character of the neighborhood and there’s not enough room for the required on-site parking.
Several residents in the Van Dyke Road and Edgewater Drive area contacted city and planning commission members to object to the permit. They said that numerous vehicles parked on the street were not consistent with the nature of the neighborhood.
•Agreed to table a subdivision application from Bill Leuthner for “J.A. Meadows.”
Leuthner at one time wanted to plat 46.66 acres of vacant land located south of 34th Avenue and east of South Broadway but he requested the planning commission to table the application.
•Approved several technical and clarification changes to the city’s sign ordinance.
City Planner Mike Weber said the changes are needed to clarify issues that are muddy or to remove conflicting statements in the ordinance.
One example: The master signage plan was made more clear and concise. Before allowing any tenants to move into a building, the city will now know how many signs will be erected and the size of the signs.
Another example: Large-scale balloon signs, which are not allowed, are now more clearly identified in the ordinance.
Council member Cindy Bigger asked if people could still put up signs for garage sales. Weber said they could.
The complete sign ordinance, Section 10.24, with the revisions includes 23 pages and is available for review at City Hall.
•Approved a final plat for the Burgen Sunrise Third Addition.
This is the next phase in Ben Zacher’s development, which received preliminary plat approval from the city/township joint planning board in September 2005.
•Hired Widseth Smith Nolting and Associates to provide the engineering work for an improvement project at the Alexandria Airport.
The project includes extending a sanitary sewer line 500 feet to the existing main in Aga Drive and repaving the parking lot at the arrival/departure building.
The engineering work was estimated to cost $24,900.
Ninety-five percent of the cost of the project will be covered through federal funds, according to City Administrator Jim Taddei.
•Passed a resolution to ban parking on Dakota Street from Highway 29 to 36th Avenue at all times.
Parking is not allowed there now anyway, noted City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven. The action was taken as part of a requirement to receive federal funds for a reconstruction project.
Dakota Street is being widened this summer and there won’t be enough room for parking on both sides of the street.
•Heard from City Attorney John Lervick that the city obtained an easement for the last piece of property needed for the Dakota Street project.
At one time the city was considering using the power of eminent domain to get the property but an agreement was reached.
•Approved the following licenses: excavating – Eagle Construction Company Inc. (new); peddler’s – The Country Stop to sell farm fresh produce near Dairy Queen South and TireMaxx from May 22 to September 7, and Duke Coin LLC at the Holiday Inn from May 11-31; massage – Kelly Anderson, doing business as RejuveNation at 822 Quincy Street; sign hangar – Froggy’s Signs, Inc. (new); heating – JGT Plumbing and Heating (new); charitable gambling – Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce to sell raffles for an August 12 event at the Runestone Museum, and Knights of Columbus to sell raffles for a May 2 event at the Holiday Inn; sale of fireworks – Chris Ford, doing business as TNT Fireworks for inside sales at Wal-Mart from May 11 to July 7, and Timothy Bachtle, doing business as Vapor of Smoke Fireworks LLC for outdoor sales at 1806 Broadway from June 22 to July 5.