CROSSLAKE - Development along lakeshore in Crosslake will include planned unit developments.
The Crosslake City Council agreed to amend the city ordinance and was faced with a choice between allowing or prohibiting lakeshore planned unit developments. Council members Terry Curtis and Dick Phillips both suggested they would rather have heard more public reaction before making a decision.
Planned unit developments can be controversial. Crow Wing County and area cities imposed moratoriums before deciding how to handle the developments. In a planned unit development, buildings can be clustered, saving larger areas of open space or natural environment. But there can be concerns, particularly on lakeshore, that clustering means greater density and thus more use of the lake.
Monday, the Crosslake council looked at planning and zoning recommendations. The first option would allow planned unit developments on lakeshore but with fewer units than the city previously allowed. The second option was to prohibit lakeshore property planned unit developments with the exception of the downtown commercial zoning district and those outside the first development tier.
Council member Dean Eggena was in favor of banning PUDs on the water. But a motion to that effect failed.
Two residents in the audience said Eggena's position put them in the unfamiliar territory of agreeing with him. Steve Roe pointed to the Sundance Ridge PUD across the street from city hall and said the development was so tight there was little room for parking.
Ken Anderson, Crosslake community development director, Thursday agreed Sundance Ridge has its critics. The development was zoned waterfront commercial. Crosslake allows residential uses in that zoning if the units are leased or rented at least five times a year. Sundance Ridge, which has a pool/recreation building, has 18 residential units and was approved two years ago. Anderson said even with more stringent PUD density bonuses, which allow developers to construct more units in exchange for the cluster design that retains open space, Sundance Ridge could have built 19 units on the property.
In the end, the council decided to allow the lakeshore planned unit developments but limit the number of units allowed to follow Crow Wing County's rules, which were developed after a lengthy public process. The council added a provision that not more than 3 percent of lakeshore shall have a PUD, meaning if existing ones already met that percentage of property a new one could not be approved.
Crosslake requires 50 percent of the lot has to be open space and if units are increased beyond the base amount allowed in the first development tier, the lake setback is increased by 50 percent. Curtis said if the city finds the revised PUD ordinance doesn't fit the city's goals, the issue can be revisited.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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