Parcel along freeway closer to rezoning

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 10, 2006

Sarah Light, staff writer

The Albert Lea Planning Commission voted 7-2 Thursday to recommend rezoning a portion of the Chadwick Marketplace Addition from a planned development district to an interstate development district.

The IDD rezoning of the land, which is located east of Blake Avenue and south of East Main Street near Home Depot, is designed with the vision of creating a high quality development along Interstates 35 and 90 to help market Albert Lea as a quality community from the freeway, said City Planner Bob Graham.

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Changing to an IDD would allow for many land uses, including retailing, hotels, clinics, offices, manufacturing, warehousing and multiple family housing.

This helps the city become more development friendly and more easily accessible to larger scale developments along the freeway areas, he said.

It would also encourage the development of job opportunities for the community, and adjacent properties have also shown interest in the IDD designs, he said.

The rezoning would not include the Home Depot property because it is under separate ownership and is regulated by a conditional use permit.

It does include the large wetland south of East Main Street that is now owned by the city.

In other news, the Planning Commission:

– Voted 9-0 to approve the preliminary and final plat for Parkview Hills Subdivision.

The subdivision consists of 20 individual &8220;for-sale&8221; twin homes and one common lot in the middle of the plat along Ulstad Street.

On Sept. 25, the Albert Lea City Council approved the request of a conditional use permit for the townhomes after the Planning Commission approved the same request for the permit on Sept. 14.

Approval for this phase of the project will go before the City Council Nov. 27.

– Voted 7-2 to approve a request for a conditional-use permit for Green Lea Golf Course.

The permit for the golf course, 101 East Richway Drive at the intersection with Lakewood Boulevard, would allow for the construction of a 40-by-96-foot storage building on the site.

This building would replace an older storage building that is about the same size.

This request will also go before the City Council Nov. 27.

– Heard from Wedgewood Cove developers Hugh O&8217;Byrne and Clayton Petersen about some concerns they had with their development.

O&8217; Byrne, of Hugh O&8217; Byrne Century 21 Realty Inc., and Clayton Petersen, a local agronomist, proposed their plan to build the golfing community during the first part of July. The community would feature an 18-hole golf course, which will cover about 7,000 yards, and more than 100 homes on the north side of Pickerel Lake.

During the meeting, O&8217;Byrne and Petersen asked for guidance from the commissioners about the ongoing concern with the second access point coming out of the north part of the development.

After the last City Council meeting, council members voted that the project would need the second access point before it could pass.

Commissioners pointed out that the project is in the hands of the City Council and encouraged them, amidst their frustrations, to go to the council for guidance instead.

– Voted to set up a workshop for Dec. 14 to discuss the new comprehensive plan.