A Bloomington veterinary clinic’s plan to build in and relocate to southeastern Eden Prairie has been approved by the city’s planning commission and is headed for city council review.
Bush Lake Pet Hospital would anchor a new, two-tenant building along Hennepin Town Road near Pioneer Trail, north of the existing Kinderberry Hill Child Development Center.
Why it matters: This would boost commercial development in what’s known as the Bluff Country neighborhood of southeastern Eden Prairie, where retail has been slow to arrive because of traffic issues and neighborhood concerns. For example, a plan for a Holiday service station with auto repair next door was rejected by the city as an inappropriate use in 2021, and the matter ended up in litigation.
For the latest project, Highland Ventures is proposing a 5,074-square-foot commercial building on a triangle-shaped 1.19 acres along Hennepin Town Road, backing up to Highway 169. About 4,000 square feet of the building would be occupied by the pet hospital and 1,000 square feet by an additional commercial or office tenant. No kennels are included in the pet hospital proposal.
The site has office zoning that dates to 2007, when an office building was proposed but never built.
Neighborhood traffic flow has beleaguered other commercial proposals for the wider area. While it doesn’t appear to put this development project at risk, neighbors are currently working with city staff on ideas to make Hennepin Town Road, and especially its intersection with Belmont Lane, safer.
Belmont Lane would be directly across Hennepin Town Road from the proposed pet hospital. Nearby residents say Hennepin Town Road’s 45 mph speed limit, coupled with a road curve and landscaping to the north, make it scary and sometimes dangerous to make a left-hand turn from Belmont.
City Engineer Rod Rue said at the May 22 planning commission meeting that the removal of landscaping away from the development site may be an option. “That would go a long way toward improving the situation,” he said. A speed study for Hennepin Town Road may also be possible, he added.
The odd shape of the pet hospital site requires waivers from city code on lot size and lot depth. The waivers were recommended by city staff and endorsed by the planning commission.
Dr. Douglas Gates told commissioners that Bush Lake Pet Hospital is approaching its 35th anniversary as a business. Pending city council approval, the developers are anticipating a construction start as early as July, with completion by Jan. 1, 2024.
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