LETTER: Current church site development proposal not in New Brighton’s interest

To the Editor:

 

New Brighton has released plans for a new housing development at the site of the former Korean church. The developers plan to build 358 low-income apartments in two buildings and 53 town homes. This is an immense development for a city this size. 

The development will create traffic congestion, burden other infrastructure and fundamentally change the character of the neighborhood. The proposed development will require over $15 million of tax increment financing. While I’m excited for new construction at this site, the current proposal is not in the city’s best interests.

The proposal could be greatly improved by cutting the number of low-income units in half, focusing the ones that remain on senior citizens and replacing them with townhomes. Such a modified plan would still accomplish the goals the city has set for the project. 

It would increase the city’s tax base and diversity of our housing stock (senior housing and townhomes are underrepresented). Even a reduced number of units at the Korean church site would still be a huge increase in density, and be consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan. 

These goals would also be accomplished at a much lower cost. A reduced density level with more townhomes would more naturally flow into the single-family home neighborhoods to the west, involve a more manageable influx of cars and people and drastically reduce costs.

I encourage all concerned residents to contact the city at Ben.Gozola@newbrightonmn.gov and attend the public hearing on May 21.

 

Ben Jones

New Brighton

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