Isanti residents filled Isanti City Hall on June 1 to request another road outlot be installed within their residential development that will soon be significantly expanded.

During the Isanti City Council meeting June 1, Community Development Director Sheila Sellman explained that developer Anthony Hanson has submitted the preliminary and final plat approvals for Fairway Greens South. Fairway Greens South development is located along Eighth Avenue Northeast and Wendover Street Northeast, just to the west of Evergreen Apartments and on the north side of County Road 5.

Sellman explained the site is part of Fairway Greens Planned United Development. She said the developer would like to build 45 single-family lots within the development, with lot sizes ranging from 8,698 square feet to 30,021 square feet. She said the lot sizes are consistent with the planned unit development and meets city code requirements. She said the preliminary plat was approved in 2014, and since there haven’t been any changes made to the preliminary plat, the council can approve the preliminary and final plats at the same time.

Sellman explained a public hearing was held during the Planning Commission meeting on May 18, and the vote was split, 3-3, for approval of the preliminary and final plats, voicing concerns about the need for an additional outlet.

Following discussion, the council approved a motion to approve the preliminary and final plats and have staff draw up an agreement between the developer and city that states the first right of refusal on lots 10, 11 and 12 will go the city in case Isanti County determines a second outlot road can be installed along County Road 5.

The development currently has 24 lots, and after the new lots are built, the development will have 69 lots. The residents at the council meeting all spoke about the need to have a second outlot road built due to the additional traffic that will come with the new lots.

“We’ve reached out to the county to see if we can bring in an entryway on County Road 5 and that failed,” Mayor Jeff Johnson said. “So we have pretty much exhausted everything we could to meet halfway.”

Sellman echoed the comments made by Johnson.

“We did reach out to the county engineer, and he said that this plat has restricted access along County Road 5, so we will not be able to use that as an access along that road,” Sellman said.

Johnson reiterated the city has exhausted all its options in its efforts for a second access road.

“We did reach out to the county for a second access to that. We reached out to the county engineer and it’s just not feasible,” Johnson said. “I kind of feel like we tried and we exhausted every avenue. I really, really wish we could meet 50/50 with you and the residents. I know you understand their pain. Hopefully they understand your pain. I would really like to meet halfway on this, but unfortunately I have to say we’ve exhausted everything, we’ve tried and I just don’t know how this is possible.”

Hanson assured the residents that if there are any problems throughout the development of the lots, they can contact him.

“I just wanted to say that throughout the process, everything we do in there, we will be respectful,” Hanson said. “If there’s ever a problem, I’m usually on site a lot. If there is a car whizzing by that’s of a concern or something like that, I can address that. I’m very hands-on there to make sure that problems get dealt with, if there is any problems, maybe there is no problems. A lot of times with me being hands-on and on site, a lot of times there is not a problem.”

Malinda Gahm, who lives at 1000 Wendover St. NE, spoke about concerns with the traffic and the safety of the children living in the development.

“So now you’re going to have 60 to 70 houses with children walking down the street to a bus stop and to the school across the street,” Malinda Gahm said. “There’s no traffic flow there when the school is in session or when kids are getting on the bus. I’m worried that my child is going to go down to the bus stop and get hit or that they’re going to be out playing and get hit. You just have all these people that you’re trying to shove in this little area. And I get that now there is no option for an outlet but you can’t put that many people on a street. It just doesn’t make sense to do it that way. You’re taking this little neighborhood and completely changing it. And I understand that development needs to happen, that’s fine. But why do you have to put 46 more houses back there? Why? I just don’t understand that.”

Zach Gahm, who lives at 1000 Wendover St. NE, asked the council to postpone a decision so the residents have time to go to Isanti County to ask for an outlet road.

“We might have residents back here for the next 30, 40, 50-plus years and never having an outlet,” Zach Gahm said. “And that means you have three issues. You have a busing issue where you have to walk all those kids from the back, they have to walk all the way up to Eighth Avenue because you’re never going to bring a bus back there. You have a fire issue for the fact that even the fire chief wrote a letter of concern to the area back when this was platted. And then you have a traffic issue.”

Zach and Malinda Gahm did attend the Isanti County Board meeting on June 2 and did speak during the public comment section of the meeting to voice their concerns about the need for an additional outlet in their residential development.

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