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Letter: Can’t trust a PUD

by Nate Reinhart
Prior Lake


I purchased a home in the Jeffers Pond development in 2012. The narrative from the builders, the city and the Jeffers Pond Foundation since 2005 always been that the corner of county roads 21 and 42 will be a high-end commercial/retail area.

I and everyone else in the area were enticed with ideas of open-air cafes and a place to do shopping. This changed drastically on June 15 as the city planning commission approved a new planned-unit development (PUD) for the Jeffers Pond area. If the City Council goes with the proposal, the area that was to be “The Village” will have a SuperAmerica gas station, some form of high-density living quarters (most likely apartments) and a much-reduced retail area.
The Planning Commission and the Jeffers Pond Foundation both stressed that the PUD is only a template; we can speak out against specific development as it happens. In the same meeting we watched a neighborhood argue against an approved PUD on Eagle Creek, and it did little.
The only impression I’m left with is what the current PUD says, goes, and a developer is free to change the PUD, with no notice to nearby residents (we only received documentation on the gas station, not on the PUD amendment), and no concern of promises made when we decided to buy a home.
I ask that the council going forward keep in mind what was proposed in that area when all of us on Station Place and Enclave purchased our homes, and they carefully review the traffic concerns expressed by the city planning commission.
In the future, home buyers, I ask that you remember this the next time a developer tells you how great the plans are for the area. Plans change.