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An artist rendering shows what a new Jardin Spanish Immersion Academy, planned for a site on Glazier Avenue in Apple Valley, would look like.

Planning Commission recommends approval of plans

A Spanish immersion day care serving the west metro and Minneapolis-St. Paul areas is looking to expand into Apple Valley.

The Apple Valley Planning Commission recommended the approval of proposed plans on June 19 related to constructing a two-story, 12,200-square-foot building. The new facility would house the Jardin Spanish Immersion Academy.

The project applicants, Frauenshuh Commercial Real Estate and Kilber Investments LLC, are seeking to split an existing 1.86-acre parcel into two new lots.

The site at 14605 Glazier Avenue currently has a vacant office building on it. If the preliminary plat is approved, the building would remain on one 41,437-square-foot lot and the new day care facility would be built on the second, 36,800-square-foot lot, according to Kathy Bodmer, Apple Valley city planner.

The applicants are also seeking approval of a conditional use permit for the day care facility and a site plan review and building authorization for construction of the day care building, Bodmer said.

Jardin Spanish Immersion Academy serves children from 6 weeks old through preschool and offers a multicultural Spanish immersion curriculum. There are five Jardin locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Eden Prairie.

“Jardin is committed to equipping young children with Spanish language and critical thinking skills, a global mindset, and teaching children to embrace healthy habits and a sense of caring for the environment,” Jardin’s website states.

The property for the proposed day care center was initially developed in 1990 with a parking lot on the north half of the site to allow for more development. Glazier Townhomes is south of the site while Valley South, a single family subdivision, is east, a June 19 city report said.

Bodmer said there were several concerns raised during the public hearing in May about how the day care and another development proposed 250 feet east of Cedar Avenue along the north side of 145th Street would affect neighborhood traffic.

A traffic study conducted by SRF indicates the daily traffic that’s expected to be generated by both developments is about 2,000 trips, of which about 50 percent are already assumed to be traveling along the public road system as pass-by trips, the report said.

“These pass-by trips were assumed to be traveling along Cedar Avenue and 145th Street,” the report states.

Bodmer said she also had a chance to observe traffic flow at the Eden Prairie site during peak hours. The traffic flowed well through the site and there was no backup on any neighborhood streets, she added.

Bodmer said residents at the public hearing asked what the benefits are to residential properties and how the day care would affect property values.

“When the city evaluates land use requests we are bound by state law, the city code, zoning and subdivision ordinances. That’s really what the city is bound to,” she said. “The question is, Why do the development here? The property owner is ready to do it. The property was initially developed with the idea there would be additional development in the future.”

The project would include 28 parking spaces. There would be a one-access drive to serve the day care facility, and the building’s front entrance would be on the north side. Two outdoor play areas are planned for the west side of the building between the center and Cedar Avenue and will be secured with a prefinished metal “picket” fence, the city said.

The project proposes removal of 404 caliper inches of trees from the site. Many of the trees are species such as boxelders, elms and ash. The city would require 404 inches of replacement trees, the city said.

The project will now go before the Apple Valley City Council.

Patty Dexter can be reached at patty.dexter@ecm-inc.com.

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