Oakdale City Council says no to a twinhome development

The Oakdale City Council was one vote shy of reaching the four-fifths supermajority needed to change the city’s comprehensive plan to allow for the construction of a new twinhome development. Council members Paul Reinke and Lori Pulkrabek cast the dissenting votes.

Oakdale-based D & T Development proposed building 20 twinhomes on a 6.3-acre parcel it owns at 6180 Stillwater Blvd. N., located east of the Stillwater Boulevard and Century Avenue intersection.

D & T Development president Tom Weiner told the council members the home prices would start at $280,000 to $290,000 without any additions, such as decks, porches and other upgrades. Weiner said that D & T has built 113 similar units in Oakdale, North St. Paul and Woodbury.

“I think everybody knows that there is a need for this type of housing in most cities in the area,” he said.

Weiner said there is currently a waiting list of people wanting to buy a home if one goes on the market at the company’s Cardinal Pines development in Oakdale.

Weiner said there are many people who want to stay in the community but can’t find low-maintenance housing with nice amenities such as the proposed twinhomes. He said many emptynesters want to downsize and seek a lifestyle free of worries about mowing and shoveling.

Council members Reinke and Pulkrabek both said they thought they would be “great quality homes,” but questioned if they were needed in Oakdale and if they were appropriate for the neighborhood, which consists of owner-occupied, single-family homes.

“I’m not looking at this as affordable,” Reinke said. “I’m looking at this as a very nice twinhome development very similar to what you’ve done at Cardinal Pines. What’s the benefit to the community?”

Weiner responded that the development would benefit the community by meeting a housing demand, as well as by enhancing the value of neighboring homes.

Council member Kent Dotas said, “I think this is a really good development for the city of Oakdale, so I will support it.”

Mayor Carmen Sarrack agreed, explaining that he felt the development would increase the value of surrounding homes.

Pulkrabek reiterated her earlier comments about the proposed twinhomes being of very high quality, but said she was not in favor of rezoning one parcel to allow for higher density housing in an area of single-family homes.

“I don’t know that there’s a big enough benefit to the neighborhood and the community to justify that change.”

In order for twinhomes to be built on the land, the zoning map would have to be amended to R-3, low-density residential. For now, the land use designation of the property will remain R-1, very low residential.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7822.


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