By SUSAN VAN CLEAF
Donna Hendley has cleared the final hurdle in getting approval from the city of Independence for a five-lot single-family residential development at 4150 Lake Sarah Drive South.
The Independence City Council, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, approved the development agreement between Hendley and the city. At the meeting, the council also conducted other business. Here are meeting highlights.
Hendley plans to subdivide her 62.5-acre property into five lots. Four of the lots would range in size from approximately five to eight acres. She is proposing to maintain a larger, approximately 32-acre parcel, with the existing home and barns, in order to continue to use the barn for horses. The existing barn has approximately 30 stalls. The property has a conditional use permit for a commercial riding stable.
Access to three of the lots would be from Lake Sarah Drive South. The other two lots would have access from County Road 11.
The development agreement requires all lots in the development to be connected to municipal sanitary sewers. Hendley is required to construct a public sewer extension to serve the three lots on Lake Sarah Drive South and to reimburse the city for the cost of upgrading the lift station on Lake Sarah Drive South.
The city council approved the final plat for the Hendley development in September, along with a rezoning from Agriculture to Rural Residential.
Christie Larson described services provided by the Western Communities Action Network and asked Independence to consider financial support for non-profit WeCan. Larson is WeCan’s executive director.
Larson said people living in poverty in the suburbs now outnumber those experiencing poverty in the Twin Cities urban core, 385,000 to 259,000. Based in Mound, WeCan serves people experiencing poverty in Mound, Minnetrista, Rockford, Spring Park, St. Bonifacius, Tonka Bay, Orono, Minnetonka Beach, Maple Plain, Loretto, Independence and Greenfield.
WeCan provides emergency assistance, Meals on Wheels, an employment program, family support programs, the Mobile Market Food Shelf and resources and referrals. In 2015 WeCan served 1,322 individuals with 5,867 services. Larson said that WeCan collaborates with other community service organizations, such as Love INC and Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners, to make sure they do not duplicate efforts.
DELINQUENT SEWER BILLS
City Administrator Mark Kaltsas said that 14 property owners in Independence are delinquent in paying their bills for sanitary sewer service. The City Council directed the Hennepin County auditor to place the delinquent charges, with 5 percent interest, on property tax bills for taxes payable in 2017. The council exempted those property owners who paid their bills at the last minute.
DECEMBER CITY COUNCIL MEETING
The City Council decided to cancel its regular City Council meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 27.
Independence resident Gary Ballhaygen requested city assistance with a dispute he is having with a neighbor.
He said the neighbor has added fill to his property and raised its elevation. During the grading process, the neighbor has plugged a culvert that was receiving storm water. Runoff now is flowing onto Ballhaygen’s property.
City Attorney Bob Vose said the city is limited in what it can do on private property. However, Independence has an interest in where storm water runoff goes. The runoff might affect other properties in addition to the Ballhaygen property, thus raising watershed issues. He suggested that Independence look into the situation.