A Prior Lake church and Habitat for Humanity would build two dozen townhomes on the city’s south side under two plans before city officials.

Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church and Habitat for Humanity each propose building a dozen townhomes. The Planning Commission tabled each proposal at its meeting Monday for more information and discussion about traffic and related concerns.

City Planner Jeff Matzke said the church development could return to the commission as early as the next meeting on Sept. 23.

The Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, represented by AMCON Construction, submitted a plan for a 12,000-square-foot child care center and a later project for townhome units on 5 acres of church property. The site, on the east side of Five Hawks Avenue and just off of Highway 13, has been home to the church since 1968.

Church President Roger Toomey said the church was in talks with a local builder to develop the north side of the lot into $400,000 “upscale” homes for young families or seniors. Toomey said the church hadn’t finalized all the details of that development because they were waiting on the outcome of their request for a zoning change.

The church’s proposal would require an amendment of the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan to change the property’s zoning from low- to high-density residential. The city can’t amend the plan until it’s been fully reviewed and adopted by the Metropolitan Council.

Residents voiced concern over how the development would impact traffic and street safety for the rest of the homes on Five Hawks. Several residents said the added traffic of families to the day care center would overload the existing intersection.

There were similar concerns over traffic and access design with Habitat for Humanity’s Towering Woods plans.

That project proposes a 12-unit high-density subdivision north of 170th Street and east of Toronto Avenue. The development would host three buildings with four units a piece and include five driveways — one to eight of the units and four individual driveways for the others.

City staff and the commission questioned the number of driveways, though a representative for the project said the design was necessary because of grading issues and set back standards on the property.


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