BAXTER -- It is a traditional neighborhood where everyone knows your name.
This neighborhood is a planned unit development and it could be found in your back yard. There are about 10 existing planned unit developments in Baxter.
A planned unit development is commonly a housing development where there are more homes clustered close together and the neighbors share a common green space, said Baxter City Planner Greg Wagner.
Wagner said those living in a planned unit development sign a homeowner association agreement of guidelines and rules they must abide by. Homeowners pay a monthly association fee and in return they receive services, such as lawn service and snowplowing.
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"PUDs can be catered for those 55 years old or older or regular people who are not ready to maintain their yard," said Wagner.
Wagner said a few common traits with a planned unit development are the homes are usually townhomes and are a specified square footage; the lots are smaller than residential lots; homeowners have less control over their yard and the exterior of their home; clustering occurs more often; and homeowners share a common green space, which can include a park or a gazebo.
Baxter's PUDs include "The View" off Highway 210 and Crow Wing County Road 48 near Rush Lake. This PUD has 24 lots on 10 acres.
Wagner said the Baxter City Council's goal of a planned unit development is to cluster homes together to lessen the impact on the land.
Wagner said one of the main differences between a planned unit development and a residential development is that a planned unit development requires a conditional use permit, which allows the city to place more regulations, such as more screening around the development. With more regulations, the developer goes through a longer process to get council approval for a planned unit development, said Wagner.
"However they would get more for their investment because there are more homes," said Wagner. "And if the PUD has townhomes the development could be more dense."
The Baxter City Council recently revised its planned unit development ordinance to be more specific and it added more regulations. One of the major changes for a planned unit development includes more mixed use of zoning, whereas a property owner could add single-family homes, townhomes or the property could be used partially for commercial. The revised ordinance is also more restrictive on green space and it will be evaluated more closely on how the planned unit development fits in with its surroundings, said Wagner.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5851.
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