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Planning Commission Regular
Meeting Date: 07/20/2017  
Subject:    PC 17-23, Zone Change Office to High Density Residential, 3551 Coon Rapids Blvd, Tom Wasmoen
From: Scott Harlicker, Planner

The applicant is requesting a zone change to change zoning of property located at 3551 Coon Rapids Boulevard from Office to High Density Residential. The property is also in the River Rapids Overlay District; this designation will not be changed. The applicant has also submitted a corresponding request for a land use amendment to change the land use  designation from Office to High Density Residential.
Conduct a public hearing
Recommendation by Planning Commission
Introduction by City Council on: August 2
The applicant submitted this application on: June 27 

To comply with the requirements of Minnesota Statute §15.99, the City must approve or deny the application by:August 26
The property is located at 3551 Coon Rapids Boulevard.
  Existing Use Comprehensive Plan Zoning
Single family residence Office Office/River Rapids Overlay
North Single family residence Low Density Residential Low Density Residential 2
South Coon Rapids Boulevard N/A N/A
East Vacant High Density Residential High Density Residential/River Rapids Overlay
West Single family residence Office Office/River Rapids Overlay

The applicant is proposing to change the zoning of property located at 3551 Coon Rapids Boulevard from Office to High Density Residential. The site is .37 acres and is currently vacant. This site is included in a redevelopment project to construct a 128 unit apartment building. At the time the project was initially proposed, this property was not under contract and was not included in the initial land use amendment and zone change approved in 2016. Since that time, the applicant has acquired the subject property and included it in the current development proposal. However, they did not apply for the necessary land use and zone change until this time.


Lot size

The size of the parcel limits the economic feasibility for office redevelopment of the site.  The depth of the site also creates design issues for commercial redevelopment, such as the parking and setback requirements, which favor lots with greater depth. The lot's dimensions better suite combining it with the adjacent parcels to the east and include it as part of a future high density residential development.

Compatibility with Adjacent Residential Land Uses

A single family home abuts the site to the north. High Density Residential development provides a better buffer to Coon Rapids Boulevard and is more compatible than office land uses.

Compatibility with Coon Rapids Boulevard Framework Plan

Framework Plan identifies infill housing as a "Development Principle". While the PORTs were identified as appropriate for the highest densities, moderate to high density residential development is appropriate for the areas between the PORTs. Furthermore, because of the corridor's transit access, the Framework Plan includes a policy that calls for moderate to high density housing in the areas between the PORTs.

Alignment with Comprehensive Land Use Plan

The Housing chapter of the City's Comprehensive Land Use Plan identifies a variety of housing goals for the City, including allowing for a variety of housing types and designs to allow people a housing choice. The proposed amendment would provide additional acreage for high density housing and therefore additional opportunities for apartments.  Notable objectives in the Plan include addressing blight and blighting influences, the proposed amendment would create an opportunity to redevelop the vacant site.  

The Land Use Chapter also identifies a goal to improve the the appearance and function of Coon Rapids Boulevard ensuring that it redevelops with a variety of housing types.The proposed amendment supports that goal by eliminating underutilized land and obsolete land uses, and increases the opportunity to increase the number of housing units.

The Planning Commission should also give consideration to the evaluation criteria found in Section 11- 304 when making their recommendation on rezoning requests.
Section 11-304.10 Criteria Comments
Effect of public health, safety, order, convenience, and general welfare in the area. OK - The proposed zoning will not adversely impact area.
Effect on present and potential surrounding land uses. OK – The proposed zoning will not adversely impact the surrounding land uses.
Conformance with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

OK – Assuming the proposed land use amendment is approved, the proposed zone change will be consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The proposed land use designation is General Commercial
Conformance with any applicable development district. OK – Improvements and uses of the site will have to be in conformance with the River Rapids Overlay District.


In Planning Case 17-23, the Planning Commission move to recommend approval of the proposed zone change to High Density Residential based on the following:
  1. The proposed rezoning to High Density Residential is consistent with the land use designation of High Density Residential
  2. The proposed rezoning is compatible with the adjacent land uses and zoning.
  3. The times and conditions have change so that a reasonable use of the property can not be made under the current zoning.
  4. The proposed zone change would not have an adverse impact on the area.
  5. The proposed rezoning is consistent with the Coon Rapids Boulevard Framework Plan and the River Rapids Overlay District.

Location Map
Zoning Map
High Density Residential Uses
Applicant's Narrative

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