Conditions having been met, the Eden Prairie City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to Kinsley Townhomes, a controversial plan by Pulte Homes to build 42 townhomes on 6.13 acres southeast of the corner of County Road 1 (Pioneer Trail) and Dell Road.
The vote was 3-1, with Council Member Mark Freiberg voting against the project as he had on Sept. 19, when the public hearing was held and neighbors voiced concerns about the project.
Neighbors in September had said 42 units seemed like too many. They also asked that the project not include the extension of dead-end Valley Road west to Dell Road. And, they suggested more landscaping to screen existing single-family homes to the east and townhomes to the south.
The project will stay at 42 units, but neighbors prevailed on the road extension and landscaping.
Pulte Homes will build the Dell Road entrance to the new neighborhood at city-street specifications, but the road will serve Kinsley Townhomes only – not the existing neighborhood to the east. However, road right-of-way will be preserved in case a future city council wants the connection made. A public sidewalk will be built along that right-of-way.
In addition, Pulte Homes has agreed to upgrade fencing that will screen the Kinsley Townhomes from neighbors immediately south of the project and also save more existing trees and add new ones on the south and east sides of the development. The landscaping additions include 26 new arborvitae and three white pines along the south property line. Additionally, there are 15 new coniferous trees planted along the east property line.
The public hearing on the project had been closed after discussion on Sept. 19.
Most council members endorsed the plan changes.
“I do feel that, based on what we directed, and the concerns that we had, that this really addressed them,” said Mayor Ron Case. “We’re saving a whole lot of trees that I wanted to have saved, even some extras. This developer came with a fence; we simply said upgrade it. They agreed. So, I do feel the concerns we have, and had, are addressed in this revision.”
Council Member Mark Freiberg voted “no” on the project, as he had on Sept. 19, when he said the city was allowing Pulte Homes to build units too close to neighbors.
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