On a 4-3 vote, the members of the Plymouth City Council voted at the Nov. 10 meeting against reguiding the former Hollydale golf course site to allow for low-density housing. The decision comes after a year-long process that included residents requesting the property remain greenspace and the City Council voting against the city purchasing the land to keep it as a golf course.

The Plymouth Planning Commission also voted 4-3 at its meeting Oct. 21 to recommend denial of the reguiding for a proposed development of 230 single-family lots at the 160-acre site, located east of Holly Lane, north of Old Rockford Road and south of Schmidt Lake Road.

Councilmember Jim Willis made the motion denying the developers’ request to reguide the land from P-1 (public/semi-public/institutional) to LA-1 (low-density residential, the first approval needed to advance the development.

Willis said it was not a decision he came to lightly, however, he found that the proposed use was in conflict with sound planning, not only for the neighbors but for the entire community. He would’ve preferred to see a proposal for a mixed use of public and private space.

Joining Willis in the denial were Councilmembers Jim Davis, Jim Prom and Alise McGregor. Voting for the action were Mayor Jeff Wosje and Councilmembers Ned Carroll and Nick Roehl.

A reguiding or comprehensive plan amendment requires affirmative votes from five of the seven members of the City Council.

Wosje said low-density residential was a reasonable use of the property compared to some of the other designated uses that include a correctional facility, nursing care and hospital facilities.

A school or church are the other designated uses that would be closer to the reasonable use of the land, he said, though the council would be “hard-pressed” to deny any of the former.

Carroll said he agreed that this was a reasonable plan considering the surrounding area and that the City Council is constrained by the law.

Prom said the minimal use of the housing was good, but not when it came to reconfiguring a roadway to accommodate the traffic created by the housing.

“I don’t think it’s reasonable to add houses then add trips while narrowing a road from four lanes to three lanes,” Prom said, of the developer’s proposal to change the intersection at Schmidt Lake Road and Comstock Lane.

“That’s not reasonable and it’s not proper planning,” Prom said, adding he would like the area to be developed into something that would have less impact on the community.

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Kristen Miller is the community editor for the Sun Sailor, covering the communities of Plymouth, Hopkins and Minnetonka. Email story ideas to kristen.miller@apgecm.com

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