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Second East Ravine development approved

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Cottage Grove,Minnesota 55016
SWC Bulletin
Second East Ravine development approved
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

Plans for the second proposed housing development in the East Ravine area got some scrutiny from the Cottage Grove Planning Commission.


Planning Commission members said they worried that plans for McHattie Farms would set the precedent of keeping twinhomes grouped together, separate from single-family homes.

"I have a concern that every development that comes in will try and put four different types of homes in clusters, opposed to spacing them out like we had in our plan," said Commission member David Thiede, who voted against approval of the plan.

The commission approved a preliminary concept plan for the McHattie Farms development -- located east of Jamaica Avenue and north of the Rose of SharonLutheran Church -- 3-2 at its meeting March 26.

The plan calls for four different styles of homes -- 157 single-family homes on lots that are either 76, 85 or 100 feet, and 44 twinhomes located in the southern part of the development.

"Be sensitive to the fact that this is the first development of this size in the East Ravine and you're going to be under more scrutiny," Commission member Chris Reese told representatives for Homes by Chase, the developers on the project. Reese also voted against approval of the plan.

Thiede said he did not like the plan showing the twinhomes being in a separate section of the development.

"From a neighborhood standpoint, they're going to be separate, because you're grouping them separate," he said.

Bill Pritchard, vice president of land development for Homes by Chase, disagreed.

"It's creating identity or pods in the neighborhood," he said. "This is all one community."

Reese said he saw the developer's reasoning for marketing the twinhomes separately, but disagreed with locating them separately within the development. He said he'd like to see the twinhomes be integrated more into the community.

Planning Commission members were also concerned about the grouping of the different sized lots in the development.

The plan shows 76-foot lots on the edge of the development, along Jamaica, and abutting some of the 100-foot lots.

City staff also did not like the smaller lots being back-to-back with large lots and asked that the developer redesign that part of the plan.

Commission member Ken Brittain said that integrating the different lot sizes, as well as the twinhomes, within the development would be a better approach.

"I would see a better value to intermixing some of these 76-foot wide lots in with some different size lots," he said. "It would be nice to have some diversity of lots. If you needed a 76-foot-wide lot, that you would have a 90-foot wide lot next to it."

Pritchard said the architecture of the homes would be what would bring diversity to the development.

"Mixing lot sizes and types of houses maybe isn't as important as making the type or style of homes different," he said.

Other concerns of the Planning Commission were the lack of green space in the plan, especially compared to a previous plan for the development that was discussed a year ago.

Though the development has planned for open areas and green space along Jamaica Avenue and Ravine Parkway, the commission members were not sure that was enough for the neighborhood's size.

"There's no place where the people in the twinhomes and the people in the other community can meet," Reese said.

The preliminary concept plan is scheduled to be reviewed by the City Council at its meeting April 18.

Homes by Chase will have to present another preliminary plat and final plat, as well as rezoning requests, to both the Planning Commission and City Council in the future.

To view the full meeting video, visit