Instead, the Met Council's Community Development Committee ruled in favor of a land use designation change that would allow developer Hunter Emerson to convert the golf course into a low-density residential development.
The committee's vote on Monday was just a preliminary recommendation. The proposed land use change will likely go before the full Met Council once more on Oct. 10 for approval, according to Met Council Sector Representative Patrick Boylan.
If the Met Council gives the go-ahead at that point, the land use change will return to the Eagan City Council for final approval.
The Met Council committee recommendation is just the latest development in the months-long battle over Parkview—Eagan's last 18-hole golf course.
Developer Hunter Emerson–represented by Kurt Manley—wants to purchase the 80-acre golf course property and build as many as 175 new homes on the site, which lies adjacent to Lebanon Hills Regional Park.
Before the development can begin, however, the land use designation for the site has to be changed from "private recreational" to "low density residential" under the city's Comprehensive Guide Plan. Any guide plan change in Eagan must be reviewed and approved by the Met Council before it is implemented.
Hunter Emerson's development plans kicked off a wave of community opposition from nearby residents, who banded together under the Save Parkview banner. The group claims the development would negatively impact the adjacent Lebanon Hills Regional Park, reduce quality of life in Eagan by removing a recreational outlet and and lead to undesirable traffic and congestion in the area.
"Those of us in the area know that it serves … as a buffer zone between the highly sensitive natural areas of the regional park and the much more developed areas to the north," Save Parkview member Mark Skweres said at the Monday meeting.
But the two Met Council Community Development Committee members who commented on the recommendation Monday didn't find those arguments convincing.
"It's not an eco-sensitive place, it's a golf course," said committee member Wendy Wulff, who represents District 16. "I'm sensitive to the adjacent landowners' concerns, but this really does fall down to a local decision and a property owner decision where, if the city doesn't want to buy it, they can't force it to stay as open space."
Because Hunter Emerson's plans don't encroach upon Met Council policies for the area, the Met Council has no legal standards with which it can oppose the redevelopment of the golf course, according to fellow committee member Steven Chávez, an Eagan resident.
"It is pretty difficult for us to be in a position to say no to the process," Chávez said. "It's not something we are just glossing over, blowing off or dismissing, but there are legal standards to what we can and can't do."