WHEREAS, Lakewalk Townhomes, LLC, has submitted to the city council a request for a special use permit for up to 46 townhouse units or group dwellings on property described as Lots 11-16, Block 2; Lots 9-15, Block 3, and Lots 1-6, Block E, Endion Division of Duluth; Blocks 1 & 2, Langellier’s Rearrangement of Block D, Endion Division of Duluth, and located between Interstate Highway 35 and the Lake Superior Shoreline and between 23rd and 25th avenues East; and said permit application was duly referred to the city planning commission for a study, report and public hearing and the city planning commission has subsequently reported its approval to the city council; and

     WHEREAS, the approval was made because of the city planning commission's findings that appropriate safeguards will exist to protect the comprehensive plan and to conserve and to protect property values in the neighborhood if conditions are observed (Reference File No. 03055).

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that a special use permit is hereby granted to Lakewalk Townhomes, LLC, to allow for the construction of a townhouse or group dwellings development at 23rd Avenue East and Water Street, on the condition that development be limited to and constructed as identified on Public Document No. ________ and the terms and conditions of the development agreement as identified as Public Document No. ________.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution grants a special use permit to Lakewalk Townhomes, LLC, to construct 46 condominium and townhouse style dwelling units in nine structures on 8.1 acres (353,170 square feet.) (The plan previously approved by the planning commission in September 2003 provided 36 units in 11 structures on 11 acres.) These structures contain 2, 3, 4 or 21 units. The individual units will range in size from 1,000 square feet to 3,700 square feet of floor area with basement parking or attached garages. The project completion is anticipated within a 10-year period. This is so-called “high end” housing. Units will be pre-sold and the target is to build three to five units per year. The plan includes vacating all underlying street, alley and utility easements not necessary for the development or future public purposes (See companion vacation resolution and Ref. File No. 03054). The development will provide private roads and utilities constructed to all city standards.

On February 2, 2004, the city council unanimously adopted Resolution 03-0789, “EXPRESSING SUPPORT OF LAKEWALK TOWNHOMES PROJECT SUBJECT TO CERTAIN CONDITIONS.”

     “RESOLVED, that the city council of the city of Duluth hereby expresses its conceptual support for the Lakewalk Townhomes project subject to the following actions and permits being analyzed in depth, discussed and acted upon by the city council after public hearings:

     (a)  Passage of a resolution approving the resolution of the Duluth economic development authority which approves the project development agreement;

     (b) Approval of a special use permit for the project;

     (c) Approval of a resolution vacating necessary public rights-of-way in the area of the development, such vacations to be in effect only after dedication by the project's developers of an easement for the extension of the Lakewalk along Lake Superior from the westerly to the easterly-most extents of the project area.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the above actions and permits shall provide for public ownership of all property, except property currently publicly owned, lying easterly of the following described lines:

     (a)  The line between Lots 6 and 7, Block E, ENDION DIVISION, and as said line is extended northwesterly to the centerline of platted Water Street;

     (b)  The centerline of platted Water Street, ENDION DIVISION;

     (c)  The line between Lots 10 and 11, Block 2, ENDION DIVISION, and as said line is extended to the southeast to the centerline of platted Water Street and to the northwest to the southeasterly right-of-way line of Interstate Highway 35.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that said land shall be maintained as public open space upon which no development except the Lakewalk extension and improvement to access to Lakewalk and Endion Ledges can be constructed.”

The planning commission recommended approval of this resolution at its March 9, 2004, meeting.

The planning commission, following meetings held May 28 and June 10, September 9, 2003, finds that the ordinance governing the application is Chapter 50, Sec. 50-38 et. seq.; that compliance with that ordinance requires findings as stated in Sec. 50-32; that the following facts, features, or events show compliance:

     (a)  The submitted plans comply with Section 50-38 of the Code.

     (b)  The Site Plan has been amended to comply with Resolution 03-0789 (locating all structures West of the Centerline of 25th Avenue E).

     (c)  This resolution is consistent with the unadopted “Endion Waterfront Plan and Development Strategy” dated February 1995.

     (d)  This resolution is consistent with Resolution 03-0789.

     (e)  Will the proposed special use result in a random pattern of development with little contiguity to existing or programmed development? No. The proposal is consistent with unadopted but published plans for the neighborhood.

     (f)  Will the requested use cause anticipated negative fiscal or environmental impacts upon the community? No. The project with improve the environment over current conditions and enhance the fiscal impact on the community.

     (g)  Will conditions and safeguards protect the comprehensive plan and conserve and protect property and property values in the neighborhood? Yes, the granting of lakewalk easements and conveyance of private lands as open space /park increase the public lands presently accessible to the public. The public will gain access to over 700 feet of lakeshore which has been in private control. This project will have a significant impact on taxable value of the property.

     (g)  What appropriate conditions and safeguards, including performance bonds and a specified period of time for the permit, are necessary?

           A development agreement with the City will provide appropriate safeguards.

There is a companion street vacation resolution to be considered with this special use permit.

For the tax impact of this project, see the “tax impact worksheet.”

Date Filed: May 7, 2003/February 19, 2004

Action Deadline: Waived by applicant