Realtors say homes are selling more quickly. The city’s existing lot inventory is shrinking. Building permits are up dramatically.
Those were a few of the factors that led Woodbury City Council members to informally agree that the city should allow new development near in the Phase 2 area near East Ridge High School. (See map.)
The city January opted to defer opening up that area for new housing, but Councilwoman Julie Ohs on Wednesday said the timing looks good.
“It kind of all fell together and it’s time to move forward,” she said.
The move—which will have to be formally adopted at a later date—sparked a buzz in the hallway from those in the development community who attended Wednesday's council workshop. Several have spoken at previous meetings, saying there is strong interest in the area.
The city also got letters of support from Michaeel DeVoe, division president of Ryland Homes, and a joint-statement from Jim Ostenson and Dick Putnam of Woodbury Tandem LP.
Specifically, the city is set to open up sub-Phase 2A (the Fields of Woodbury) for development, meaning staff will take applications for platting and development later this fall.
As for the council discussion Wednesday, much of it centered on the roads in the area.
The city wants to extend Pioneer Drive, which will serve as the main artery for the new development, to Dale Road, said Klayton Eckles, city engineer. But there are some hurdles to clear—securing easements, establishing the right-of-way and crafting a ponding strategy.
Councilman Paul Rebholz urged property owners in the area to work with the city so it can extend Pioneer Drive as planned.
He also said city staff must take time to consider the eventual layout of Dale Road, and he asked city staff for an updated traffic count on that street. Rebholz also referenced a “donut hole” in the Stonemill Farms development.
“We don’t want donut hole part two,” he said. “It’s an important aspect in the whole process.”
The city has been looking at Phase 2 for several years, Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said, and she was inclined to move forward with the first step toward new housing there.
City Administrator Clint Gridley also said it’s been a long-term goal of the city, and the council’s support Wednesday was a “significant step.”