Lake Elmo council approves concept for city's biggest development yet

The Lake Elmo city council approved a concept plan for a proposed mixed-use development on 157 acres of land located south of 10th Street and and east of Inwood Avenue. (Submitted graphic)

The Lake Elmo City Council approved a concept plan for a planned unit development (PUD) for what may be the largest development in the city of 8,000's history.

The council had a loaded agenda at its Tuesday, Sept. 16, meeting, where -- over the course of five hours -- council members also voted to approve preliminary plats for two other developments, and final plats for another two.

City administrator Dean Zuleger said those plats were approved without incident, passing unanimously.

The approval of a concept plan for a future development to be named Inwood, however, took a few hours of discussion.

The proposed development is for a mixed-use project by Hans Hagen Homes and Inwood 10, LLC on nearly 160 acres of land located south of 10th Street and east of Inwood Avenue near Oak Marsh Golf Course.

The developer’s proposal for the project includes 281 single-family residential lots, 144 town houses, 150 multi-family units, 120 senior housing units and approximately 68,814 square feet of commercial space.

The council heard testimony from nearby homeowners who objected to the project due to its size, density and proximity to the Stonegate community. Residents from Stonegate presented a petition with 95 signatures asking the project be stopped.

In the end, the council voted 4-1 in favor of approving the concept plan for Inwood, but requested that the planning commission and developers scale back the density from 695 to 537 housing units, as well as review sidewalk placement, and consider larger lot sizes and more green space. Council member Anne Smith cast the dissenting vote.

"I thought it was really appropriate we took our time on this development, because it will be the biggest development, in my opinion, in Lake Elmo," Zuleger said in a later interview.

The council approved preliminary plats for the proposed Boulder Ponds and Village Preserve residential developments, as well as final plats for the Hunter's Crossing and Savona developments at the Sept. 16 meeting.

Plans for Boulder Ponds include a 98-unit single-family residential subdivision -- to be located immediately east of the Eagle Point Business Park -- on 58 acres of land. Plans also include a future 64-unit multi-family residential building and commercial uses.

The proposed Village Preserve development would be a 104-unit single-family residential subdivision on 64 acres of land just west of Manning Avenue and north of 30th Street North.

According to staff reports, the Metropolitan Council must first approve a comprehensive plan amendment before the city can approve a final plat for the Village Preserve development.

The council approved a final plat request from the Ryland Group for the first phase of a planned 55-unit residential development on 23 acres of land east of Lake Elmo Avenue and about one-quarter-mile north of Interstate 94. The development will be named Hunter's Crossing.

The final plat calls for 22 single-family lots located in the northern portion of the property in phase one. There are 55 total units planned for the entire subdivision, which will be platted at a later date.

The council also approved a final plat for the second phase of a planned subdivision to be called Savona, which will be located on a little over 112 acres of land west of Keats Avenue and within the city's I-94 planning area. The final plat includes 22 town homes and 47 single-family homes. There are a total of 310 housing units planned for Savona, of which the final plat approved by the council only covers a portion. The remainder will eventually need to be platted.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at or 651-748-7822.


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