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New housing development proposed for Cottage Grove

The Cottage Grove housing market continues to show promise as the Planning Commission gave the green light for a high-end housing development to be located in the Upper Ravine area of the East Ravine neighborhood.

Ryland Homes unveiled a detailed concept plan last week for 133 lots for detached single-family homes on 69.3 acres directly north of The Waters at Michaels Point subdivision, west of Jamaica Avenue and south of Military Road. The project, named after the Wolterstorff family who currently owns the land, will include two types of uses: low-density residential and parks.

"It's exciting to note that this will be our fourth residential subdivision coming to Cottage Grove this year," City Planner John Burbank told the commission last week.

The subdivision will be divided by a main arterial road. It will serve as the access road for the majority of the subdivision. On the north side of the proposed main access road will be 106 72-foot-wide lots and on the southern portion of the neighborhood will be 27 85-foot-wide lots.

Burbank said utilities are already available from surrounding subdivisions.

"Currently, the sewer system is east of Jamaica at the ravine location and water will be brought up from Michaels and Preserves subdivisions," he said.

The proposed subdivision is located on active farmland which has a wetland that the South Washington County Watershed District classified as protected. In order to comply with standards, Ryland Homes is proposing a 100-foot buffer system around the pond that would have access to existing trailways. The concept included plans to create a multi-use green space and an eight-stall parking lot near the pond to be enjoyed by neighbors and Cottage Grove residents.

"We're moving full steam ahead," said Ryland Homes representative Michael Ramme. "Our intent would be to get something in the ground later this summer, close on the property at the end of the summer, and have roads and some lots ready to sell through the winter. The land development would continue into the spring and we would be here for a couple years selling the homes. It's an aggressive timeline."

Commission member Wayne Johnson raised concern about road conditions on Jamaica Avenue near the Military Road intersection and asked that it be addressed prior to construction. Burbank said the reconstruction of Jamaica Avenue was slated for completion in the 2012 capital improvement plans but was pushed back. The Cottage Grove City Council recently authorized a feasibility study be completed to look at the cost of the road construction.

"There will be additional information coming regarding the road repairs," Burbank added. "Staff is proposing the work be done in 2014 to coincide with or precede the development."

The concept plans detail four bedroom, two bathroom homes with three and four car garages. Ramme said the specifications do offer four car garages on tandem, meaning the depth will be increased while the width stays the same. Ramme added that he expects homes in the proposed subdivision to range from $370,000 to as high as $450,000 per unit, with the average price sitting near $425,000.