Otsego approves housing development

• Mattamy Homes projects 50 homes a year on 156-acre plat

by Debbie Griffin

Contributing Writer

The Otsego City Council approved at its July 14 meeting a new Mattamy Homes housing development named Boulder Creek at a site south of 78th Street, north of 70th Street (Highway 37) and west of Quaday Avenue.

The site, proposed for development by a different company in the past, consists of 156 acres. A project engineering report says two existing, single-family homes will be demolished – one in the central part of the site and another with outbuildings in the southeastern corner.

Mattamy representative Rick Packer said the plans include building a total of 360 homes within six to eight years, starting with 90 or so at the northern end.

“We’re projecting 50 units per year,” he explained.

The development includes single-family homes of three main styles on lots that are 55, 65 or 75 feet wide with a minimum 140-foot depth and 7.5-foot setback on either side. Packer said they would be priced in the range of $280,000-$350,000 and showed many different design options that Canada-based Mattamy offers.

City Planner Dan Licht said 25 people attended a public hearing the Planning Commission held July 7. Most asked about the plan for extending 76th Street or wanted to support preservation of trees within the LeFebvre Creek greenway between the existing Pheasant Ridge neighborhood and the future Boulder Creek development.

Officials viewed drawings of the planned road and discussed revisions Mattamy had made in order to comply with city standards on curb and street design. Project-related documents describe the road as a 30 mph residential street designed “to minimize potential through traffic.”

The council packet notes that any dead trees will be removed but confirms that the development deal requires Mattamy to maintain at least 15 acres of green space, which will include the creek-greenway area and possible future enhancements such as a trail.

The Otsego City Council took other action at the July 14 meeting:

•Listened as Administrative Services and Finance Director Dan Jordet explained how recent adjustments had caused many cities to lose market value. “We didn’t lose cash, we lost paper value,” he said. The city will pay down its debt by $6.7 million in 2014 and should consider investing more of its on-hand cash and strategically coordinating investment-maturity dates, he said.

•Heard KDV auditors report positive results of a detailed analysis of the city’s financial position and accounting practices. The auditors said that Otsego meets its self-imposed goal of having on hand at least 45 percent of its $4.2 million general operating fund for the following year.

•Agreed to a new policy of not accommodating requests for special utility-billing situations and recognizing only the property owners of record as responsible for the bill in order to avoid the confusion and collection activity encountered in the past. The city decided to compile all departments’ policies to serve as a reference for everyone and save time in the future.

•Approved paying Otsego’s safety consultant, the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association, $8,700 to conduct an inventory assessing arc-flash risk, as required by state and federal rules.

•Confirmed meetings at 5:30 p.m. July 21 about the budget, 6 p.m. July 22 about fire services and 3:30 p.m. July 23 about economic-development strategic planning.