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Fifth Affordable Housing Complex in the Works for Eagan

The Dakota County Community Development Agency wants to construct a 50-unit facility near Lemay Lake in Eagan.

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.

What do you think of the Dakota County CDA's plans? Do you want to see more affordable housing in Eagan? Leave us a comment below.

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.

M.M. April 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM
I own a home on Lemay Lake and I moved here because of the peace and quiet and room to breathe. Now, with low-income housing going up and the Lockheed land being made into a shopping mall it looks like my dream retirement home is no longer a reality.
YaaShure April 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM
I love getting confirmations like this on why we left Eagan in Feb and the state! Best of luck.
Deb M April 25, 2013 at 08:25 PM
I do believe Eagan needs more affordable housing but I also believe CDA needs to take a look at their application process and costs for people who do apply. Had I been told upfront what their companion animal dog restrictions were I would have never wasted money on my background check/application fee. I also feel they need to get in line with the rest of the multifamily housing industry regarding deposits. Few of those applying for affordable housing can come up with a full month of rent as a deposit. The industry recognizes this and deposits are currently running around $200-$350. Another sticking point is that while few people would expect an actual date they might get housing even a rough estimate would help. With the industry charging at least $100 more for a month to month lease people applying for the housing have no way to estimate if they can manage that extra burden should it run into a year or more. I believe the CDA is doing a great job in our community but even the great must learn, and adapt.
winoceros April 26, 2013 at 03:57 PM
In the old days, before the government thought it would be a good idea to build utopian ghetto projects, poor families were able to rent the secondary housing, homes that were older, less sale-able...it was the proverbial "other side of the tracks." That was one way that the housing stock got utilized. Rather than let private parties work out rental rates and sell second- and third-tier housing at the rates poorer families an afford, everything has to be brand new and remodeled, with all the perfect modern codes, and poor people can never afford old houses any more. If people vote to help poor afford the homes they're living in through a temporary subsidy for a couple years, or they are disabled and need a supplement, fine. But to make a whole development, as if the government are such great landlords and maintenance people, and such great auditors of their own work....almost never necessary. Please ask your congresscritters to just stop this do-gooder, feel good nonsense. 2,000 people on a waiting list? It's not practical for them, and it stops them from seeking out the housing they can afford, and owners don't see a market for a lower sale/rent price. Not helpful, and drives down everyone else's home values.

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