Public Hearing: Right of Way Vacation - Oak Lane & Garden Lane

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An application was received on April 22, 2020 from Richard and Lisa Bale and Steve and Kelly Housh, requesting that the right-of-way easements related to street rights be vacated, sidewalk, trail, drainage and utility easements shall remain.

An application was received on April 22, 2020 from Richard and Lisa Bale and Steve and Kelly Housh, requesting that the right-of-way easements related to street rights be vacated, sidewalk, trail, drainage and utility easements shall remain.

Comments

All comments are reviewed by the governing body to gain insight into community perspective and values. This information in addition to other factors like legal requirements, infrastructure needs, long-term strategy, cost, etc help inform the decision. The feedback collected is not considered a "vote". 

Everyone has the right to share their opinions and comments on the related project. While individuals may have varying opinions, respect each person's experience and insight.

Comments are considered part of the public record. When making a comment:

  1. provide your full name
  2. let us know your relation to the project (i.e. physical address, neighborhood, visit the area often, etc)
  3. respect the views of other participants even if they don't agree with you
CLOSED: This comment period has concluded. This item will be considered at the City Council meeting on June 16, 2020.

We live at 5409 grove st and support the petition to vacate the right of way between oak lane and garden lane. This wooded and wetland area along with the double cul-de-sacs drew us to the neighborhood since it provides nature and safety for our family and the other families in the neighborhood to enjoy.

Abbyheids 6 months ago

We live at 5425 Grove Street and support the petition to vacate the right of way between Oak Lane and Garden Lane. Preserving these wetlands and woodlands provides value to the neighborhood and supports Edina's long-term goal of being an environmentally friendly city.Lynn Lettow

LL 6 months ago

We have lived at 5504 Benton Ave for 30 years. We fully support the petition to vacate the right of way between Oak Lane and Garden Lane. This is line with the cities efforts to maintain green space and wetland. We are very fortunate to have this beautiful environment , it adds immense value to the community and all families whose property is adjacent to it. We do not need more housing density in an established neighborhood. The environmental benefits of this land outweigh any further development. John and Denise Nix

John Nix 6 months ago

My husband and I live at 5504 Grove Street and are writing in support of the petition to vacate the right of way between Oak Lane and Garden Lane. Our neighbors have done a superb job in researching the wetlands and other impacts of the proposed development. Vacating the right of way and keeping the land the way it is is consistent with Edina’s stated policies on being more of a green community.

Jane1 6 months ago

I reside at 5451 Grove St, and am writing in support of the petition to vacate the right of way between Oak Lane and Garden Lane. As summarized in the phone testimony by Steve Housh on the night of June 2, this would complete a collaborative effort, supported by significant financial contributions from many in the neighborhood, to preserve the natural area and wetland between Grove St. and Benton Ave., and support the City’s long-term goals to protect natural wetland areas, take steps to limit the impact of global warming, aid in the management of storm water runoff, and limit additional residential density in the city to areas aligned with the long-term plan.The only barrier to an immediate approval of this vacation request is the concern about the impact of this change on Melvin (Joel) Songstad’s investment in the properties at 5420, 5424 and 5500 Benton Ave. In the 45 years he has had an interest in the neighborhood, Mr. Songstad has periodically explored his option to subdivide these properties. However, his own testimony regarding the requested vacation states that he did not believe the right of way would be fully developed after the change in wetland law in 1989, and he is aware that variances on width, depth and total area would be required for this subdivision. On the other hand, these properties have existing access to Benton Ave., and could be redeveloped into valuable homes without variances, as has been demonstrated by the 2015 construction at 5512 and 5516 Benton. Both of these new homes have existing Zillow valuations well in excess of $1 million. This suggests Mr. Songstad has significant opportunity to realize a return on his investment in the current, older homes built in 1977, 1947 and 1916, without subdivision and without increasing density outside of the scope of the City’s long-term plan.I strongly support the petition and urge the City Council to vote to grant the requested vacation.

Caroline Carlin 6 months ago

We live at 5805 Garden Ave and strongly support the vacation of this right-of-way. This wooded and wetland area is not only in the fabric of this neighborhood, but the Garden Ave cul-de-sac provides the quiet and safe neighborhood that many young families have been drawn to, and why they have purchased their home in this neighborhood. The lot sizes for the lots off of Benton do not support development, and in addition, will destroy the natural landscape and drive down property values for those homeowners on Garden and Grove due to increased traffic and housing congestion. This land could have been developed at any point over the decades but it hasn't. The land and neighborhood has matured and it is time to make sure we keep it part of the appeal of our neighborhood for the benefit of all current and future residents.I also believe I signed the petition to vacate the right-of-way but I did not see our house highlighted on the proposal when this was being presented during the city council meeting on 6/2.Matt H.

Mphansen 6 months ago

Prior to the wetlands change in 1989 I did option in 1986 or 87 the back 1/2 of the lot at 5500 Benton, 5516 Benton and the lot Curt Austin owned at Outlot A and met with others on Benton Av. The wetland need to be protected as clean water is not optional so that change in 1989 was a good one! I never wanted or believed a road would go through after 1989. Melvin Songstad 5424 Benton Av

Joel 6 months ago

Susan and Tom Kafka at 5506 Benton Ave support the Vacation of the Public Right of Way

Kafka 6 months ago

We live at 5524 Benton Avenue and the back of our lot is adjacent to the right-of-way. We strongly support the vacation of the right-of-way because it will support the strength of our neighborhood as well as protect wetland, trees, and wild life. Further, maintaining the wetland offers one way to better manage run-off. Dennis and Shelly Zuzek

Dennis Z 6 months ago

We live at 5424 Benton Av and we do not support the Vacation of the Public Right-Of-Way on the east side. We do support the vacation of the Public Right of Way on the west. M y wife and I own 5420 and 5424 Benton: the 2 lots below that are going to get the 25’ strip of land that you took in early 1970’s for a road planned to allow for lots to be created from 299’ deep lots because it was a good use of the land. Then Curt Austin starting in the mid 1970’s and early 1980’s subdivided land and Oak Lane came into being with the city taking 50’ for for a road going south from Oak Lane and a 25 Ft easement for a Public Road taking a 90 degree turn and heading east to meet up with Garden Ave. Then in the mid 1980's land was subdivided and Garden Ave came into being with a road easement of 25’ taken in that land subdivision from Warden Acres Peterson Replat Block 001 Lots 3 and S 14 Ft Of Lot 2. Then in 1988 Dahle subdivided a lot on Grove St that was 299’ deep also and a 25’ strip of right away for a road was taken from both new lots - the easterly one is Warden Acres Dahle Replat Block 001 Lot 2 And Ely 75 Ft Of Outlot A .We also own 5500 Benton The east 75 Ft of Lot 39 Warden Acres that adjoins 5424 Benton Av. This grouping of 3 properties in a row on Benton Ave along with the Planned Road Public Right-Of Way Easement allows me the opportunity to develop the back of my 3 lots into 2 buildable lots. You are talking about doing away with a Public Right-Of-Way Easement. I remember this land in 1975 prior to 6 houses being built. The land was attractive and home to wildlife galore and more trees. And the wetland was maybe cleaner because there were fewer lawns getting treated chemically? Prior to 1976 very few houses on Grove Street and no Garden Ave and no Oak Lane. Was it better? Just different. So putting in 2 more houses on the back of my 3 properties will make things different but not worse. So 6 out of the 12 petitioning for this vacating were not here and they now are petitioning to keep land from being developed. The irony of that speaks to wanting what they want. If you approve this Vacation then you are going against the greater good for the community. Vacant land created into buildable lots is rare in Edina. The city council knew that when they proposed lots being created on the back of extra deep yards. The wetlands laws changed in about 1989 and I concur with the change. Clean water is not optional. I would ask that the Council not vacate the Public Right-Of-Way Easement for Warden Acres Dahle Replat Block 001 Lot 2 And Ely 75 Ft Of Outlot A - meaning for 5451 Grove St [this is the Public Right-Of-Way Easement that abuts the back of my property at 5500 Benton}. And not vacate the Public Right-Of-Way Easement for Block 001 Lots 3 and S 14Ft Of Lot 2 - meaning the 25 Ft Public Right-Of-Way Easement on the south side of 5804 Garden Av. And if you agree to not vacate your public right-of way for these 2 parcels then, of course, I agree to not ask you to vacate the public right-of-way for my two parcels. You are giving up a Public Right-Off Way Easement for a planned road and I am being monetarily damaged by your actions.Respectfully,Marga and Joel Songstad

Joel 6 months ago

We live at 5804 Oak Lane and also own the adjacent lot that abuts the right-of-way. We strongly support the motion to vacate the right-of-way, as well as the related process of the City taking ownership of the outlot and preserving it as part of the natural wetland and woodland between the two cul-de-sacs (Oak Land and Garden Avenue). Thank you.Janet Conn and Michael Debelak

JanetC 6 months ago