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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Revised Settlement Proposal

At our next council meeting, May 12, we will again be taking up the matter of a possible settlement with CoPar over the Carver Crossing project. After a long meeting on May 5th, the council tabled the matter in order to allow CoPar to adjust their proposal, in light of the concerns raised in council discussions (the primary concern at the end of the night being money).

The packet for Monday's meeting includes a revised settlement proposal. In case you don't want to download the whole thing from the city website (it's one 28.7 MB file for the whole council meeting packet), I extracted the new material from the Item K3 agenda report -- a report from our Acting City Manager and our attorney in the case, and a possible resolution that the council could pass if we agree to the settlement.

There are two major changes from a week ago. The first is that the city's required financial outlay is eliminated. In the 165-unit settlement proposal of last week, the city would have "bought down" the density by agreeing to pay one third of the cost of public improvements. Now the whole cost is borne by the developer.

There's a change to the number of units. The baseline number of units is now 174 -- not the 165 of last week, but also not the original 191.

Several key points remain the same -- namely, the inclusion of a guard rail system along Henry Lane to address safety concerns; giving the city the option to explore a referendum or other means of funding to purchase land south of Fish Creek for conservation; and the developer agreeing to hold off on any major construction south of Fish Creek until 2009, to allow time for that process.

Speaking of other means of funding, the park fees generated by the project were part of the financial package for the "buy-down" in last week's iteration of the settlement proposal. That is no longer the case; those fees will now be available to help fund the conservation purchase, if the city wishes.

Finally, the agenda report includes a note of warning: "CoPar indicated that their willingness for sale of property in the southern area is contingent upon reaching a litigation settlement at this time. Should the plan be denied, they indicated that they will build the entire 191 unit plan without sales to the City for further open space considerations. "


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