Council rezones for 17-unit housing in Grandview

The Edina City Council gave approval for rezoning and a resolution for a preliminary plat to a new 17-unit housing development located on the west side of Highway 100 behind a sound wall.
Great Oaks Development and TE Miller Development requested the redevelopment of three parcels located on the 5100 block of West 49th Street near Grandview.
If given final approval, the applicants would tear down the existing two apartments and single-family home.
In 2013, the council approved rezoning of the property to planned-unit development and approved a site plan that would have built out a 16-unit attached housing development.
The applicant property owner at that time needed to sell 12 units before one was built. None of the units sold, so development never began.
Since sketch plan review, the west building was eliminated and replaced with detached units, which has decreased the unit density. The largest and eastern-most building was also shifted further from the closest single-family home.
Because there is only a net additional seven units, a traffic study found no negative impacts to the current roadway system.
The developers are also planning well over the required tree limit in the city’s ordinance.
There was time for public testimony, but no one voiced their concerns or approval over the project.
Years ago, the council was not aware how far the sound wall on Highway 100 would extend, and originally the desire was to have a pedestrian connection through the south side of the property.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation would allow the city to punch holes into the sound wall to create pedestrian paths and connections to sidewalks, but as several council members noted, it creates a security concern.
“I’m very concerned with security issues,” Councilmember Kevin Staunton said, noting that people could dip in and out of the holes in the wall and would be people’s backyards.
“I’m still horrified by this wall, by the way,” Councilmember Mike Fischer added. “This is just … nothing we ever imagined. But it is here now, and … we are still chasing an old idea that is effectively dead. I don’t think you take a sound wall and poke holes in it. I think we need to rethink that pedestrian experience. It might be further of a trip, but I think we should be using the sidewalks we have.”
One option includes somehow incorporating the future bridge project on Vernon Avenue to be an opportunity to provide a more comfortable sidewalk experience.
Overall, especially considering the topography and other challenges, the council was pleased with the results.
“We have seen a lot of iterations … I think this is the best one it could be,” Fischer said.
The council voted unanimously in favor of the resolutions, setting up final approval for a future council meeting.