Credit River Rural Alliance
Alliance Urges City Council To Adopt Tree Preservation Law
As a first step towards preserving North Credit River rural quality of life, the Alliance just sent the letter at the following link to the City Council: https://app.box.com/s/a8wqwzx5j13kzn6w1pm3berq4offta8n.
In the letter we called upon the Credit River City Council to enact a Tree Preservation law modeled after that adopted by Wayzata, MN. The Wayzata law has proven effective in accommodating a reasonable amount of growth while preserving the trees and forests that make their community such a great place to live.
What Is The Alliance & It’s Goals
The Future Land Use map below, which is from the Credit River 2040 Comprehensive Plan, shows that the northern portion of Credit River is designated as Urban Expansion Reserve (UER). In the UER, development at suburban densities of three housing units or more/acre is required throughout this beautiful rural area. With this intense development could come loss of the farms, forests and clean waters that make Credit River such a great place to live. Without careful planning and better laws than we currently have, this inappropriate growth could also bring traffic congestion, school overcrowding and the other issues many of us sought to escape by moving to Credit River.
The Credit River Rural Alliance was organized by many of your neighbors who are deeply troubled by the prospect of such intense development. We hope you will join with us in signing our petition calling upon the Credit River City Council to:
- Designate much of northern Credit River for Rural Residential (4 unit/10 acres or 2.5 acre lot size) and other low-intensity development, and
- Adopt the tree preservation and other laws enacted throughout Minnesota which are essential to getting the benefits of growth without so many growing pains.
Thus far many Credit River residents have signed the Alliance petition in support of the City Council adopting laws, like Tree Preservation, essential to gaining the benefits of a reasonable growth while preserving the rural quality of life that makes our City such a great place to live. The following aerial shows the location of the many residents who have signed the petition. Their reasons for signing can be viewed by clicking: https://app.box.com/s/3jk6ke2exv5c93wdtlf4hz6sifxr3fef.
Our City Council may face tremendous pressure from the development community as they move forward with these responsible growth management measures. Fortunately, of the nearly 4,000 City voters, 40% live in the North Credit River area depicted below. With you and a majority of our North Credit River neighbors, we can provide our City Council with the public support essential to enacting these crucial safeguards.
The North Credit River growth area covers about 4,000 acres (six square-miles). There are about 800 existing North Credit River homes. Of the 4,000 acres, about 1,600 could be developed. At the minimum UER density of three units/acre, 4,800 housing units could be developed across North Credit River. In other words, the number of housing units in North Credit River could increase by seven-fold!
With those 4,800 additional housing units could come a traffic volume increase of nearly 50,000 trips/day with 2,000 more students added to our schools, and a massive increase in the quantity of stormwater pollutants washed from rooftops, lawns and streets into the Credit River.
It is entirely possible that a portion of this growth could be accommodated without causing excessive traffic congestion, school overcrowding, river pollution, or other impacts to the unique quality of life currently enjoyed by North Credit River residents. The problem is that the City’s zoning, subdivision, and other laws lack the provisions required to ensure that growth preserves and enhances quality of life.
To illustrate these responsible growth management measures, we’ll use a recently proposed project known as Summergate. As shown in the Concept Plan below, Summergate would consist of 188 housing units on 1/5th-acre lots, just 65-feet wide. Summergate, was considered, but not approved, by the Credit River Planning Commission at their September 15th meeting. Summergate is still very early in the review process.
The aerial below shows the 86-acre Summergate site as it presently exists and the density of existing homes in existing neighborhoods adjoining the site.
The aerial above shows an average of one existing home for every 9.6 acres. Summergate would have one house per half acre, which is 19 times more dense than presently exists. This is the type and intensity of development that could occur throughout North Credit River as envisioned in the current Future Land Use map.
Note that the Summergate site is mostly forest today. This forest is uniquely important and sensitive according to data from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Presently, the City lacks the detailed and effective tree preservation laws adopted by many other Minnesota jurisdictions. The Alliance believes development such as Summergate should be put on hold until a good tree preservation law is in place along with the other safeguards regarding traffic safety-congestion, school capacity, and others essential to getting growth benefits without so many growth pains.
So, if you have not done so already, please sign our petition.
For further information contact Alliance co-chairs Brooke Solberg, Neil Michels, Jamie Johnston or Tina Mischka at: firstname.lastname@example.org.