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Amended Plans for Lexington Club Approved by Planning and Development Committee

Altered plan removes 12 row houses from site, which reduces number of proposed units to 130.

Developers of the proposed Lexington Club neighborhood reduced the number of units in the planned project in revised plans presented to city leaders, but numerous residents opposed to the project were not swayed.

Those residents were further dismayed when the Planning and Development Committee voted 7-2 to approve the proposed design changes to . Aldermen Jo Krieger and Maureen Lewis cast the dissenting votes.

The proposed changes include the removal of 12 proposed row homes from the northeast corner of the property, reducing the number of units to 130. Additionally the developers proposed some improvements to the streets around the project area and repair sidewalks that border the project. The changes were in reaction to questions and concerns raised by committee members and members of the public at a February meeting, said Henry Stillwell, attorney for Lexington Homes, the project developers.

To help allay anticipated concerns over traffic conditions brought on by the construction and potential new residents, Stilwell said the developers also planned to give the city an additional $200,000 for any traffic developments necessary to the project when the development reaches 50 percent occupancy, which is about 60 units.

Numerous neighbors spoke out against the project, stressing concerns over increased traffic from construction and eventual residents. Neighbors also urged city officials to have the developers clean up the property, which is strewn with debris from the demolition of the building that housed Applied Composites.

Planning Committee Chairman Clifford Carrigan said he was concerned about the debris and hopes the developers will soon clean the property.

Neighbors also urged city officials to seek the $200,000 up front rather than wait for 50 percent occupancy.

“What if the project goes belly up?” one resident asked.

While residents were pleased to see the removal of the row houses, they also urged the Plan Committee to reject the revised plans until the number of town homes was reduced. The development currently has a ration of 3-1 of town homes to single family homes. Lexington Homes is proposing construction of 28 single-family detached units in the northeast part and another 102 attached units

Before developers begin construction they still have to determine if the project meets guidelines for funding by Tax Increment Financing due to the proposed changes. City Finance Director Chris Minick said staff is in the process of evaluating how the reduction of housing units would impact the revenue stream from the development and how that would affect any TIF involvement.

Prior to approving the amended plans, committee members said residents will still have plenty of time to voice concerns before the project reaches final approval, which could be by summer’s end.

That reassurance did not salve the disappointment of resident David Amundson, who has about the development multiple times.

With the city council comprised of the same members who make up the Planning and Development Committee, Amundson said he believes final approval for the project is all but done.

“We’ve sold our soul. They’ve placed profit over principle,” he said.

Henry James May 15, 2012 at 02:16 PM
If the residents aren't happy with this than don't give up. I myself attended the meeting last night and it is not completely over. You have time to still work on the Council but you must all join together and work hard. What I have been seeing with the residents of that neighborhood lately is no one really likes the proposal but way too many of them sit back and let a few stronger residents lead the charge. That can't continue. Everyone needs to get active. Show you are not against the idea of developement but you are opposed to this plan. The problem comes down to there are not enough people speaking out. Get up off your couches turn off the TV and start contacting all the aldermen.
Steve Swanson May 16, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Henry, I was there as well. The people from the surrounding neighborhoods need to not only contact all of the Aldermen, they need to send a copy of any email or letter they send to Russ Colby to get it in the official record. That was one area where the residents were deficient, there was simply not the volume of emails/letters in the public record to sway the members at this time. Sending something to a couple of the Aldermen does not do the job, in spite of what one thinks. It must be sent to all ten of the Aldermen, the Mayor, and Russ Colby, otherwise, it is simply a waste of time.
Betty M May 16, 2012 at 06:12 PM
It's ashame that the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods will have to endure another summer of demolition dust and fiberglass debris blowing in the air and causing breathing problems because the Alderman lacked the wherewithal to insist that the developer remove that debris, almost four years since the buildings were demolished. Shame on you Aldermen.

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