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Developer proposes 355 homes in Cottage Grove

One of the four housing options in a proposed 355-unit development is a four-unit townhome. (Submitted photo)

A proposed residential development in northern Cottage Grove would add 355 homes to the city over the next several years.

Lennar Homes presented to the planning commission last week a sprawling proposal of single- and multi-family homes across 165 acres at the border with Woodbury. The city council will vote on the development March 15.

Currently farmland, the area between 60th and 65th streets and Ideal and Inwood avenues could start being developed this summer. Tim Fohr, marketing manager with Lennar, said they anticipate grading the land in June or July. Building would start in September and continue into the winter.

Paul Tabone with Lennar Homes said the development will have four housing options: single family homes on 70- to 80-foot lots, villa homes on 55-foot lots, quad townhomes and "next gen" homes.

The development proposal by Lennar Homes would add 355 homes phased over several years. (Submitted photo)The next gen homes are designed for multi-generational cohabitation. Instead of paying for a senior living unit, Tabone said, parents or grandparents can live "under a common roof," in their own attached unit.

The quads are meant for "empty nesters," Tabone said, and are slab on grade, association-maintained units.

Tabone estimated quad townhome units to start in the mid-$200,000 range, the low-$300,000 range for villas and mid-$300,000 to $400,000 range for the larger lot homes.

The development will be built in phases, likely starting this summer in the southwest corner of the lot, building villa homes, quad homes and possibly some single-family homes on smaller lots, Tabone said.

About 65 units of villas and the quad townhomes will be built this year in the southwest corner of the lot, Fohr said.

Over the next few building seasons, Fohr said Lennar will continue building north on the lot.

The farmstead

Lennar's development lot has a farmstead positioned in the center of the plat.

Lennar plans to build around it until the two current homeowners decide to leave.

"The farmer owns the land... and they'll continue to farm as long as they want," Cottage Grove senior planner John McCool said.

Fohr said the owners can continue to live and farm on the land until it is developable, which will be at least two or three years. Depending on when sewer lines can be run through the middle of the lot, the east side can't be developed. If it takes more than two or three years to implement that utility, the farmstead could remain longer, and the east side of the lot will remain undeveloped.

McCool said there will also be a section of undeveloped area between the development and the farmstead.

"Our concern is farming and urban development of single-family homes probably aren't the most compatible," he said. "There's going to be days when you're going to hear dryer bins, grain elevators, tractors. We also experience that there's also an issue of trespass. So there's a little bit of a conflict ... We don't want urban lots next to or adjoining that farmstead."

About 230 lots will be built on the west side: 87 villas on the 55-foot lots, 53 single-family homes on 70- to 80-foot lots and 88 quad units.

The number of units in the development increased from an original proposal of 302 units presented to the city council in 2014, due to the quad units.

Lennar also owns about 19 acres in Woodbury and is proposing 13 proposed lots on that land directly north of Cottage Grove.