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Hamlet Heights housing development raises eyebrows of longtime residents

The new housing development, Hamlet Heights, will sit between Pine Hill Elementary and Hamlet Park, adding to the south end of Hamlet Avenue. Courtesy of the city of Cottage Grove 1 / 2
The proposed Hamlet Heights housing development will extend the Hamlet Avenue cul-de-sac, which has been that way for over 60 years. Courtesy of the city of Cottage Grove 2 / 2

COTTAGE GROVE — Long-time Hamlet Avenue residents are upset over plans to build 24 more single-family homes on the end of their street.

The neighborhood, settled between Pine Hill Elementary and Hamlet Park, will extend a cul-de-sac that's gone undeveloped for over 60 years.

John Anderson, with Farmington-based Eternity Homes, said at the planning commission meeting Feb. 26 the company will built custom homes priced between $350,000 and $450,000.

Bill Murphy, who has lived for 50 years near the upcoming development, voiced his opposition at the meeting.

Murphy remembers decades ago when another builder tried to start a development there. Construction was ditched after some homes were damaged when the company tried to drill through the bedrock.

Patrick Nickle bought one of those damaged homes, and said at the meeting that he's had to put thousands of dollars into the garage to keep it in repair.

The bedrock across the plat is still an existing issue, and one that worries residents living at the south end of Hamlet Avenue.

City Engineer Jennifer Levitt said the builders will have to bring a detailed plan to the city before any bedrock blasting begins, so that issues like this can be sidelined this time around.

Many residents have also been asking 'why now?' about the development plans. Planner John Burbank said that the 10 acres of land were recently sold and slated for construction after sitting empty for decades.

The proposal will be before the city council March 21. If it is passed by the council members, Anderson said construction will start this year, and hope to have a house going up by summer.