New 53-unit apartment project in Alexandria gets zoning go-ahead

The development would be located on the west side of North Nokomis/County Road 44 near the intersection with Green Lane, west of 12 existing townhomes.

Meadow Homes.jpg
This map shows the proposed location of Golf View Apartments, which Meadow Homes plans to build west of County Road 42. Voyager Elementary School is in the lower left corner and the Alexandria Golf Course is in the upper portion of the map. (Map courtesy of SRF)

A project to build a 53-unit multiple family apartment building received zoning approval at Monday night’s Alexandria City Council meeting.

Back in April, the council tabled a conditional use permit for the project – Meadow Homes, LLC – until a final plat could be approved at the same time. Although the plat is still awaiting approval, the council followed the planning commission's recommendation to proceed before the review period expired, which would have required more public hearings and resubmitting the plat.

One of the conditions in the approval is that the final plat must still be approved. by the county surveyor.

The development would be located on the west side of North Nokomis/County Road 44 near the intersection with Green Lane, west of 12 existing townhomes and south of the Alexandria Golf Club.

The total size of the site is 288,367 square feet. The project calls for two driveways, along with underground parking, surface parking, underground stormwater retention and other accessory uses in a medium-density residential zone.


Initially, the developers proposed a 71-unit apartment complex but through feedback, density concerns, and a traffic study, they reduced it to 53 units. The developers plan to offer housing for various income levels and worked with the school district in developing the property.

The project is expected to start in late summer or early fall.

The developers have not applied for tax increment financing at this point.

The city’s planning commission and the council cited seven “findings of fact” for approving the permit:

  • The request is consistent with the city’s Comprehensive Plan, medium density residential.

  • The request meets land area and setback requirements. The area is required to have 180,500 square feet and it provides 288,367 square feet.

  • The request will not depreciate the surrounding area.

  • The request is consistent with the character of the surrounding area, with a mix of low and medium density residential, commercial, and institutional.

  • Existing or proposed utilities adequate to accommodate the request, 14-inch water and 12-inch sanitary sewer, both in North Nokomis Street.

  • Existing or proposed streets are adequate to handle the request with existing North Nokomis.

  • The request will not place any undue financial burden on the city.

The council’s approval came with nine conditions – a building permit is required; signage must meet code; two paved, off-street stalls are required per unit; connection fees for utilities and sewer apply; north access will be relocated as a shared driveway; any exterior lighting will be hooded and directed away from public streets; a final drainage plan must be reviewed by the city engineer; a landscaping plan for the expanded parking area must be submitted; and a revision of the final plat/replat must be approved.
Meadow Homes was first platted in the 1990s as a townhome development, according to City Planner Mike Weber.

In other zoning related action, the council:

  • Approved a request from the Douglas County Housing Redevelopment Authority to split an unplatted 14-acre parcel along the north side of Northside Drive. This would allow the HRA to sell the westerly 3.49-acre portion of the property. The parcel, which fronts Nokomis Street, could potentially be developed as a local small equipment dealership, according to the HRA.

  • Tabled Sally Janssen’s request for a conditional use permit to open “Scooters Coffee Drive-In” on the northwest corner of Carlos Avenue off North Nokomis Street. Janssen requested tabling the permit so she could provide more detail to the council, Weber said. It would be a drive-through service only. The only parking would be for employees.

Editor's note: This story has been changed to include the correct size of the Meadow Homes site (288,367 square feet). There was a typo in the planning commission minutes.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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