Shakopee Planning Commission has unanimously approved a preliminary plat for a 15,000-square-foot Veterans Affairs clinic past Highway 169, just west of Jackson Elementary School. On the same plat, a developer will eventually ask for approval to build a 16,000-square-foot medical building and a 120-unit market rate apartment building.

The first phase of the development is the VA clinic, which is the only portion of the project that received preliminary approval Dec. 5.

Shakopee Planning and Development Director Michael Kerski said a traffic study performed by the city recommended four roundabouts to be constructed in the area to accommodate for the existing traffic issues near the elementary school, along with the additional traffic the development will likely bring.

The roundabouts would be placed on Marystown Road and 17th Avenue, one for each highway ramp and another on Vierling Drive.

The VA clinic is on a tight timeline. Its existing clinic, which is located at Shakopee Town Square, needs to close by the end of the year, Kerski said. This means they could start construction as early as this spring.

The VA developer, who was not present at the meeting, and the site developer Scott O’Brien with Trident Development, will be expected to pay for a portion of the construction of the roundabouts, Kerski said.

O’Brien told the commission his plan is to build the medical building and apartment building shortly after the construction of the VA clinic is complete. He said if all goes as planned, those two buildings would be finished by June 2021.

A parent whose children attend Jackson Elementary expressed concerns about the traffic surrounding the school.

“It’s not a great setup,” she said. “I drop my kids off every day, so I’m in this every day.”

Kerski said results from the traffic study show that the development wouldn’t create an additional burden on the area so long as the roundabouts are in place. He also said for a 120-unit apartment market-rate building, there tends to only be about six children feeding into the schools.

The planning commission also approved the second phase of the Triple Crown apartment complex at Canterbury Park, which will add 305 units south of the existing luxury apartment building.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.

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