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New Woodbury Development Will Feature ‘Tree Trenches’

A tree trench is a new method of planting that helps trees grow and filter water better.

Woodbury officials hope the trees at a new development slated near the grow tall and strong—and treat water more efficiently.

The Woodbury City Council on Wednesday took a look at the latest master plan for , a large mixed-use development planned for the area south of Bailey Road between Radio Drive and .

Part of the plans outlined by Woodbury Associate Planner Eric Searles include “tree trenches,” a new system that will be used for the first time in Woodbury at the 160-acre site. Tree trenches are fairly new to urban planning in general, he said.

Soil borings at the site have shown that it’s a somewhat sandy area, Community Development Director Dwight Picha said.

“We believe (the tree trenches) will have a very good chance of working,” he said.

A soil mixture will be brought to the site for the tree trenches, said Searles, who wasn’t sure how many will go in at Bielenberg Gardens.

“It’s in it’s infancy, but to date they’ve had a lot of success,” he said.

Bielenberg Gardens

Plans for the development call for retail space—for a grocer, bank, pharmacy and restaurant—and other commercial areas along with residential and senior housing.

The area would connect with the city’s existing trail system and the city has received an $860,000 grant to create an underpass from the site across Radio Drive to the Bielenberg Sports Center. One stipulation of the grant is that the project must be completed by late 2014, which staff said shouldn’t be a problem.

Some areas of the site will have to be rezoned under the current plans.

Residents are generally excited about the plans, Searles told the council, but there have been some concerns about how the development will impact transporation in the area.

Washington County is planning to upgrade Radio Drive from Bailey Road to a quarter to a half mile south of Hargis Parkway. That work is expected to begin in 2013, Public Works Director David Jessup said, but the construction shouldn’t impair the city’s ability to create the Radio Drive underpass.

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