Crews from Enebak Construction Company were doing the grading for stormwater retention ponds and an apartment building last week. Location? The big empty lot across Jefferson Road between Heritage Drive and Honey Locust Drive, adjacent to Hidden Valley Apartments. Jasnoch Construction is the builder, according to a surveyor I talked to.
Since Jasnoch seems to have the key to making development work, it might be interesting for the city to interview him to get his thoughts on the new business park. Might be a good radio show as well.
Not only are apartments coming, but particulate matter is polluting the air around here like crazy. Where I come from this kind of thing is not allowed, and measures must be taken to prevent 20 or more acres of topsoil from being exposed to air currents and tossed all around in these autumnal winds.
Not only at this site, but I noticed a lot of hills of different types of soil and sand and such being piled up all around this area off Hwy 3 to the west on the way to Dundas as well.
The kids are breathing this air to and from school, and at play. This is not good.
Bright, have you talked to the city or the MPCA to have the air tested?
No, Anne, neither Jasnoch or the city has ever responded to any of my calls in the past (not including police or fire in this).
The air test would require that someone actually sit out there and wait for the wind to blow. I do have a white bowl of water (that I use to water butterflies)that is filling up with particles quite a bit faster in one day than in the weeks prior to the uncovering of the lot. There has been quite a bit of wind these last few days as autumn sets in with temperature changes.
I also saw humungus clouds of dust last week as I was sitting in the parking lot across the street while waiting for my dh that are telling me the story.
Jasnoch….(I do not think this is spelled right) thought for sure there was a z in the name. Anyway, they were
a wonderful landlord and provided me with a wonderful place to call home. I am happy they are expanding. They were always there to help residents and work with people on their needs. At year end they also provided a statement telling you how much of your money was allocated to taxes. So, in previous threads, the question as to if renters contribute to the tax base, yes… they do.
As far as the debris and wind, I am sure they would do whatever they could to reduce the dust, within reason. I am sure all the particles in the butterfly water bowl, are not just from one project. Expanding rentals is a good sign.
Off-topic here, but I just had to point out this quote from the Enebak site:
Short of grading for a nuclear waste site, those seem like the least attractive things to associate with your company. Let me just emphasize that last one: “carving a new golf course out of the woodlands is truly an art.”
Now back the building itself — I wonder if Jasnoch has jumped on the green-building train?
Since apartment living is inherently more efficient than living in a single family home, it seems like a good opportunity to win over those eager to have low-impact lifestyles.
I don’t know how green the buildings themselves will be; it would be interesting to have one of the Jasnochs comment on this. This development could be called the first one developed under the still not quite adopted Comp Plan (Public hearing at the Planning Commission Tuesday – almost there!). The Jasnochs should get a round of applause for agreeing to work with the new plan even though it isn’t yet the law of the city.
Under the new form-based, mixed use principles of the new plan, parking is distributed in smaller lots, apartment entrances face the street rather than parking, and the entire site is envisioned as mixed use with commercial as well as residential development. I’d like to see this succeed. The Planning Commission struggled mightily trying to arrive at a definition of “mixed use” under the old comp plan back in 2002 or 2003 and failed. The new Comp Plan and supporting regulations are much clearer about how to do this.
As Sean points out, apartment living is more efficient. Thinking slightly larger but still compactly, by providing housing and a small commercial center around the Heritage/Jefferson Road intersection, Northfield could create another walkable area for the folks in the surrounding apartments and the single family homes up behind Target.
How about better Transit between that side of town and downtown? (by better, I mean on a schedule)
What I am thinking about transit is this.
The system we have now is decent, but it could be better. It always seems to me that the primary focus of our transit system has been to the college students, but I do know that many folks ride it as their primary way to get to and from work.
I would like to see the transit system have more distinct routes, and a type of schedule, in addition to its “Dial a ride” type service.
If there would be some way to have a primary line that went from the area around Dairy Queen down 3 to Division Street, to Bridge Square, out Water Street to Woodley, then out Jefferson Road by the clinic, and out to Target / Cub… it would be great.
You then run another bus (that meets with the other one at Bridge Square at the new park. This bus runs east west between the hospital, the two colleges, and perhaps Econo foods. A third bus does “Dial a Ride” service, with transfers at Bridge Square.
It would be nice to be able to stand on a corner, and catch a bus going one direction or the other every 30 minutes or so…
I would use the bus more, if I would be able to call, and not hear….”Well, we can pick you up in 90 minutes or so.” That is a negative, as I can walk from my house to Target in that amount of time.
I am not expecting Door to Door service with this transit system. I am willing to give up that dial a ride service for a more routine schedule for everyone.
With all of the residential going in out there, it would make sense to have a route that would go from that area, back through downtown, and up to the colleges and hospital.
Not everyone has a car…
John, have you called City Hall to make your pitch? I’m not sure who’s handling Transit now – it used to be Deb Little – but it would be good for staff to hear specifics from residents about expanding or revising the transit service. The number is 507-645-7250 or email email@example.com.
The question is what kind of increase in ridership would be needed to add more routes and buses. Are there enough paying riders to make it work? Of course, this is a bit of a chicken and egg thing, but there are ways to measure demand. It would be interesting to see what kind of projections the city has now.
Referring back to my comment #4, the Heritage Drive site now has a berm that should help to lower the amount of particulate matter coming from the bare acres due to high winds. My hope is that there will be time to grow some plant material on undisturbed surfaces and eliminate this problem soon, as strong winds and updrafts can send fairly big size clouds of dust and matter swirling around and overautos and my newly painted house, for instance. There are good reasons we all keep lawns, and this is one of them
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