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Two Harbors Council approves Hidden Springs replat to attract developers

The Two Harbors City Council passed a resolution to re-plat 6 acres of the Hidden Springs development, seen here along Hidden Springs Lane. The change will allow single family homes to be built, instead of townhomes. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)

The Two Harbors City Council passed a resolution on July 23 to amend the zoning map and approve the replatting of the Hidden Springs First Addition.

The resolution allows for 6 acres of the Hidden Springs development to be replatted from a planned unit development (PUD) to a residential area, R-3 designation, for single-family homes.

Hidden Springs is a residential development zone north of Skunk Creek and south of Battaglia Boulevard. The development was originally owned by the city, but was sold to the Contractor Property Developers Co. in the early 2000s. The company entered into a PUD agreement to construct 18 single-family homes and 28 townhome units and build a new road, Hidden Springs Lane.

After building the road and selling a number of lots, the developer went bankrupt and ownership of the undeveloped land shifted to the Lake Bank. The bank's request to change the plat from townhomes to single-family lots is "expected to help them find buyers for the property, which has been sitting vacant for many years," according to the planning commission's memorandum.

The former plat only allowed for the land to be developed with townhouses. The change will allow the owner of the land, Lake Bank, to sell the individual residential lots to be used for single-family homes, but still allows for the initial townhome or similar development to be built, depending on the buyer.

"As it was described, developers could only develop through the confines in the PUD. So the cleanest way was to just remove the plat and make them revert back," city planner Justin Otsea said.

This is the second time the unwinding of the Hidden Springs PUD was brought before the council. Last year, the same issue was raised and the planning commission and council approved the change.

However, utility improvements, which need to be completed before submitting a final plat, weren't completed in the one-year deadline. The utility improvements are estimated to cost $42,500.

A public hearing was held ahead of the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting July 10 to discuss the plat changes and hear from Lake Bank. The commission fully supported the amendment.

The resolution was passed unanimously; councilors Frank McQuade and Robin Glaser were absent.

The resolution allows for the final plat to be approved without having to go back to the council, provided all conditions in the agreement are met.

Teri Cadeau

Teri Cadeau is a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. 

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