Maple Grove Approves Long-Discussed Housing Project, Adds Roundabout to Plan
The Maple Grove City Council has approved a long-discussed housing project that the council tabled at two prior meetings. The Territorial Greens proposal calls for 73 attached townhomes, a 208-unit apartment building and 13 detached villas. It’s planned in the northwest part of the city, just south of Elm Creek Park Reserve.
“The key concern with this proposal has been traffic issues,” said Peter Vickerman, Maple Grove city planner, noting that the main crux of discussion has been the intersection of Territorial Road and Fernbrook Lane.
Several residents have written to the city raising those concerns.
“As a resident of Maple Grove for over 23 years, I have never seen so many apartments,” wrote Mark Roar, a Maple Grove resident. “I see more with Town Green and I think the traffic issues are dangerous and too many people right next to 81 and 610.”
“The projects planned are too big of development for the area in its current state. The roadway infrastructure for the area cannot bear the traffic that will come with developments of that size,” wrote Gaye Dean, another Maple Grove resident.
Hennepin County Gives Verbal Agreement to Mini-Roundabout
At the July 20 Maple Grove City Council meeting, council members learned about a verbal agreement for a roundabout between Hennepin County and the city that would allay some of those traffic concerns. The roundabout would be built at the intersection of Territorial Road and Fernbrook Lane.
“We’ve been having conservations with Hennepin County regarding the roundabout option almost daily now for the last couple weeks,” said Ken Ashfeld, city engineer.
The county would need to see a design plan from the city for the roundabout to go forward, said Ashfeld.
The city previously gained county approval for a traffic light, but a mini roundabout option, which would be about the same expense as the traffic light, gained favor because it could get built as construction on the homes occurs. With the traffic light, the city would have to wait until the development is mostly complete due to the county’s traffic load criteria.
Ashfeld says the city would need to work on design challenges with the roundabout option to minimize the potential impact on the adjacent intersection of County Road 81 and Fernbrook Lane. He hopes to have the design completed in the next four to eight weeks. The housing plan also includes creating an acceleration lane on Territorial Road to go west on County Road 81.
“I know this will add some development that not every resident is for,” said Maple Grove City Council member Kristy Barnett. “I think this is a win for our city if we can get Hennepin County to add this roundabout. It will provide some great traffic control that’s beneficial for Maple Grove in the long run.”