A public hearing on a proposed development near Crestwood Park prompted questions about affordability from Council member Kathy Nelson at last week’s City Council meeting.
Steve Schwieters of Wooddale Builders presented details of the Stable Path development to the council on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The development is located at 9650 Stable Path, just north of Crestwood Park, and would create 17 single-family homes on 5.9 acres. Despite Nelson’s questions, the council unanimously voted to send the project forward.
Schwieters estimated the homes, which would range in size from 8,000-13,000 square feet, would sell for $585,000-$650,000, which prompted Nelson to ask about the price point. She pointed out that an average home in Eden Prairie costs around $450,000, and these homes — which would be targeted to “empty nesters,” Schwieters said — are smaller than usual. He replied that the houses are priced according to other similar projects that Wooddale has built in Bloomington and the surrounding area.
Nelson also pressed the developer about environmental accommodations, asking if the houses would be outfitted with solar panels or low-flow faucets. Schwieters hedged a bit and said building codes require a base level of energy conservation, like LED lights. If individual buyers want to install solar panels, he added, they will be able to.
Mayor Ron Case and Council member Brad Aho spoke up in support of the project. Case thanked the surrounding neighborhood for allowing a slight increase in density for the benefit of more housing. He recently spoke on a Feb. 6 panel hosted by the Eden Prairie Affordable Housing Coalition and drew attention to the anticipated dearth of housing stock in the coming years. Aho concurred, saying the homes are a “needed product.”
At a workshop prior to the meeting, the City Council invited members of the Affordable Housing Coalition to hear presentations about upcoming affordable housing projects. David Saltzman, a member of the coalition, was impressed by the affordable initiatives, he said, but was disappointed to hear the planned prices for the Wooddale development at the subsequent meeting.
“It was just so clear, the gap between the housing need in Eden Prairie and the proposal for housing Eden Prairie,” he said. “This is particularly important because Eden Prairie has very little undeveloped land left.”