A Hennepin County District Court judge has ruled that a civil lawsuit seeking to block the development of homes near the historic Fredrick-Miller Spring can proceed to trial.
The lawsuit against the City of Eden Prairie, filed by the Eden Prairie-based nonprofit called Spring Valley Friends, claims the proposed housing development called Noble Hill on land overlooking the spring and Riley Creek poses a threat to public waters and wildlife habitat.
Judge Edward Wahl on July 13 ordered the trial to proceed. An Aug. 22 hearing in Fourth District Court has been scheduled.
The 50-home development proposed by Pulte Homes of Minnesota won zoning and plat approval from the Eden Prairie City Council last year, with officials contending that evidence proved that neither the spring, creek, or nearby natural area would be damaged by the residential project.
The lawsuit was filed by opponents in June 2021. Six months later, in January 2022, Pulte Homes canceled its purchase agreement with the landowner.
However, the city approvals stay with the land regardless of its developer, so Spring Valley Friends is asking the court to void the city approvals and prevent development rights from being transferred to another builder.
Spring Valley Friends has a separate civil lawsuit against the Riley Purgatory Creek Watershed District, which issued a permit for the development project last August. That matter has not been scheduled for trial; its next hearing is Oct. 3.
In both actions, Spring Valley Friends – which was formed by the project’s opponents – claims that the development of the sloping property will create erosion and groundwater damage, impair nearby Riley Creek, put the Fredrick-Miller Spring at risk, eliminate valuable wildlife habitat, and damage Native American burial grounds on the bluffs overlooking the Minnesota River Valley.