The Ramsey City Council voted to move forward with developing the Preserve at Northfork May 12.
The council approved the proposal 6-1, with Council Member Chris Riley dissenting over concerns about the balance of villa-style homes to large single-family lots.
The action included rezoning the area from a planned unit development to R-1 residential and R-2 residential districts. The motion also approved the preliminary plat for the development.
Six single-family lots were removed from a previous version of the project to accommodate a stormwater pond along Alpine Drive.
Riley raised concerns over that change. He and other council members said previously they would prefer to see more larger lots than smaller lots. He pointed out that despite concerns raised earlier over the mix of lot size, the developer had removed more of the larger lots — increasing the purported imbalance.
The decision on the stormwater pond’s location was largely dictated by the engineering needs for controlling the flow of stormwater, according to Deputy City Administrator Tim Gladhill.
“There is no way I can control the way engineering lays out,” Zach Brown with BK Development said. “If it would have been the other way around, it probably would have actually worked out better for us to lose some of the villa lots.”
Other reasons for the planned location of the stormwater pond were the cost of moving dirt and the deisre to reduce density near existing properties, Brown said.
Residents in the Northfork neighborhood had submitted concerns over the size of the lots in the project, according to Gladhill.
A handful of other changes in the project included setting the width of the roads and a trail connecting adjacent neighborhoods.
Since previous discussions on the project, the roads were set at 30 feet wide as a compromise between concerns over parking and emergency service access, according to Gladhill. Anything narrower than 32 feet is only allowed to have single-side parking, he said.
The project is located on Alpine Drive, south of Lake Itasca. It is divided between villas and single-family homes with the larger lots generally on the eastern half.
All units are single-family dwellings. The most noticeable difference is the size of lots between the 80-foot-wide single-family lots and the smaller, 50-foot-wide villa-style lots. The villas are essentially single-level, detached townhomes with an association to maintain the external facilities.
There’s a total of 29 single-family lots and 61 villa-style lots for a total of 90 lots in the preliminary plat.
The development also includes a trail connecting it to the Riverstone Development to the east.