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Letter to the Editor: Project would destroy Lake Andrew's beauty

Editor's note: The following letter addresses a proposed housing development on Lake Andrew.

Zavadil Development is proposing to construct 52 townhomes, 10 lake lots for separate sale, and related road and utility improvements on 55 acres along the northwestern shore of Lake Andrew within the city of Alexandria. The project was approved by the Alexandria City Council in March 2017 and an environmental review process has been taking place. The comment period for the most recent Supplemental Environmental Assessment Worksheet expired on Sept. 5.

To the editor:

The persons signing a petition to be submitted to the city of Alexandria have been following the proposed residential development being planned by Zavadil Development and wish to voice their strong opposition to this environmentally unfriendly project.

Contrary to what is stated in the Supplemental Environmental Assessment Worksheet, the proposed project will have a profound and lasting adverse impact on 1,700 feet of shoreline along Lake Andrew. Our concern is supported by scientific literature, which has shown that housing developments do have a detrimental effect on shoreline habitat, water quality and ultimately, the biological health of the lake.

For this reason, states such as Wisconsin, have initiated efforts to quantify the ecological benefits of restoring shorelines previously altered by housing developments. Similar work has been performed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA's national lakes initiative, completed in 2007, determined that the most widespread stressors to the health of a lake is the loss of shoreline habitat due to residential development.

Simply put: There is no justification for the city of Alexandria and the developer to destroy the natural beauty of Lake Andrew with its diverse flora and fauna, including bulrush habitat and the majestic bald eagle, for the sake of 10 residential lots and 52 townhomes. There is plenty of undeveloped land surrounding the city to safely accommodate this project or any future residential and commercial growth that may be needed.

Steven Garbarino

Board member of the Lake Andrew Association

Alexandria, MN

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