red pine

Photo by Andy Rogers

Land north of gun club sat vacant for years

Could a long vacant, much discussed area in southern Eagan finally be developed?

Various owners of 9.7 acres along the southeast corner of County Road 3 and Red Pine Lane in Eagan have marketed the site for decades.

The lot, just north of the West End Gun Club and east of a railroad, has been guided as retail commercial since 2002.

There were plans for a grocery store and retail development in 2006, but it fell through.

Before that it was zoned for industrial use.

Michael Clements from Clements Consulting representing the owner said the most viable option for the site is residential, something the City Council hasn’t unanimously supported.

Any new residential development would need a zoning change.

The Eagan Planning Commission reviewed a new plan during its meeting Tuesday for a 53-unit townhome development.

It’s the third request in four years.

In 2016 there was request to change the zoning from commercial to low density residential, but it was denied.

Plans for a 71-unit townhome development came across the City Council desk in April 2019, but the application was dropped.

The concern is noise.

The Shooting Range Protection Act of 2005 requires noise mitigation on any property within 750 feet of a gun club.

A noise study conducted last year showed the site would need a “substantial noise mitigation” that would include noise barriers up to 26-feet high.

The new plan show a large berm and sound wall between the proposed development and the gun club, Clements said.

The new plan has the backyards no longer backing up to the gun club.

The Planing Commission approved the change unanimously, but it’s up to the Eagan City Council whether to approve the land use designation application.

After the request in 2019, the City Council required a noise study for the property.

During a meeting in March after the City Council reviewed the noise study, Mayor Mike Maguire recognized retail commercial was no longer a viable use, but said he’s open to residential as long as there was noise mitigation.

Council Member Gary Hansen agreed that residential could happen there.

Council Member Cyndee Fields said she used to live in the area and she had a dream of retail and commercial businesses in the area.

“It wasn’t feasible,” Fields said. “I get it. My concern is the noise. It will always been the noise.”

The gun club is never going to leave, she said.

Fields said she wouldn’t be supportive of any residential unless there was wall during that March meeting.

Council Member Paul Bakken said he would be flexible for just about any other land use options, but not residential. He said it wasn’t just because of the noise.

Council Member Meg Tilley was not at the meeting.

Any zoning amendment would go to the Metropolitan Council for review.

During the public hearing Tuesday, residents had some concerns about traffic, indicating that vehicles often back up at the intersection with Highway 3 and Red Pine Lane.

But they were supportive of changing the land use designation to residential.

Assistant city engineer Aaron Nelson noted that commercial would generate a higher amount of traffic when compared to residential and the city and county are reviewing the area.

The site is also next to a railroad track and Highway 3, which Planning Commission Chair Jane Vanderpoel said should be addressed when and if the full plan comes back for approval.

Load comments