The Dakota County Community Development Agency can't get enough of Eagan.
Last summer, the agency broke ground on a 47-unit affordable housing complex along Northwood Parkway in Eagan. Then, in December, it unveiled plans for a similar, 27-unit facility along Hwy. 13, which received Eagan City Council approval in March.
On Tuesday, agency officials were once again before the Eagan Advisory Planning Commission—this time with plans for a 50-unit townhome complex at 1319 Jurdy Road—just southeast of Moonshine Park and adjacent to Lemay Lake. The commission unanimously recommended approval of a preliminary site plan and rezoning request. The project will likely hit the Eagan City Council on May 7 for a vote.
If approved, the facility would be the fifth-such affordable housing complex developed by the CDA in Eagan. In addition to the two facilities currently under development, the agency already has two other townhome complexes, the 34-unit Erin Place complex and the 42-unit Oak Ridge site.
Construction on the agency's latest townhome development could start next summer, with a tentative completion date in 2015, according to documents submitted to the city.
The complex would consist primarily of two- and three-bedroom units with attached, single-car garages. A basketball court, gazebo and tot lot would also be included in the amenities, according to plans submitted by the city.
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All of the facilities, proposed, under development and currently operating in Eagan are part of the agency's Family Townhome Program. The program is designed for moderate-income families with children 18 years old or younger that can provide good landlord and credit references and pass a criminal history check. Under the program guidelines, applicants must also meet minimum and maximum income requirements.
The CDA already has 19 townhome complexes scattered throughout the county. The agency often works with a private partner, U.S. Bancorp, which has provided 60 percent of the financing for construction and is the majority owner of 18 of those properties, according to CDA documents.
Demand for more affordable housing in Eagan is very strong, according to Dakota County Community Development Agency Deputy Executive Director Kari Gill. Of the 2,000 households on the townhome program wait list, roughly 1,000 are currently seeking housing in Eagan.
"We think it’s a very nice site for housing and this will help us further our misson of providing workforce housing opportunities in the city and in the county," Gill said at the Tuesday meeting. "The site is appealing because of its proximity to the park and also the access to major roads, jobs and commercial and retail options in the area."
But at least one area resident attending the meeting questioned the need for government housing programs.
"Why should we allow government to compete with private developers, private building owners," said Tom Levoir, who also expressed concerns over increased traffic in the neighborhood as the result of the proposal.
"All the people living up and down Jurdy Road have to be concerned about backing out of their driveways and having cars flying by," he added.