Mayor Elise Ryan continues to be concerned with the number of trees being removed in the final plat of Phase 1 of The Park residential development by Lennar.
The Park residential development was previously owned by the late musician Prince Rogers Nelson.
While Ryan voted with the majority 4-1 at the Aug. 12 City Council meeting, approving the subdivision that includes the dedication of Outlot A to the city as parkland, she pressed the developer to look harder at tree conservation going forward.
Ryan and Councilor Julia Coleman each mentioned receiving emails from residents up to the time of the council meeting about the number of trees being removed or clear-cut.
Ryan and Councilors Dan Campion, Jerry McDonald, and Bethany Tjornhom voted yes for approval. Coleman voted no, as she said she was undecided about the amended motion to remove the existing fencing on the property.
Prince had installed a fence on the property when he lived there. Over the years, tree limbs have fallen on parts of the fence. If the fence remained, it would be the city’s responsibility and expense to repair and maintain the fencing.
Tjornhom noted that the council hadn’t addressed it with the staff report, but McDonald reminded council that if the fence remained, it would be on city property and the city’s responsibility to repair and maintain.
“If Lennar wants to take the fence down, and we can save some money, let them take the fence down,” McDonald said.
In March, the Chanhassen City Council approved rezoning 191 acres of property along Galpin Boulevard. It allowed Lennar to develop 169 homes on the property and it preserved 100 acres of public parkland adjacent to the existing 100-acre Lake Ann Park, through park dedication valued at $980,000 and a density transfer of 22 housing lots from the park area to the westerly development.
Of the park expansion, 55 acres are wooded upland property and 45 acres are wetlands. It includes 6,400 feet of wooded shorelines on both Lake Ann and Lake Lucy, according to Park and Recreation Director Todd Hoffman.
On July 5, the City Council approved the phasing plan and grading of property in Phase 1. Kate Aanenson, community development director, pointed out to council that each subsequent phase will come before the council for approval.
Before calling for the vote, Ryan reviewed specific points in the development contract concerning tree removal and replacement, with Lennar representative Joe Jablonski.
“I am very concerned with the trees and would like you to increase your effort for trees,” Ryan said. “This is a priority when we do an infill development. I would ask you do more than just the minimum in tree preservation.”