Welcome to the Carriage Hills Coalition Website!
There’s evidence to show that cities and counties can actually generate money by protecting green space. A 2006 study in Washington County by the Trust for Public Land found that lots located near open space saw a boost in property value of $15,000 per home. (MPR Photo/Brandt Williams)
In the last five years, residents of several Minnesota cities or counties have voted to spend more than $50 million to preserve open space and park land. It may be that more people are concerned about conserving the natural environment. But there’s also evidence to show that municipalities are considering the possible financial benefits of open space.
What is the History?
August 2, 2004 the Eagan City Council UNANIMIOUSLY agreed to DENY a proposed change in the city’s Comprehensive Guide Plan allowing Carriage Hills Golf Course to be developed.
November 2005 Rahn Family Limited Partnership and Wensmann Realty, Inc. took the decision of the City to District Court.
April 28, 2005 District Court Judge Patrice Sutherland ruled in favor of the Rahn Family Limited Partnership and Wensmann Realty, Inc. stating that the City of Eagan must either amend the zoning to allow for the housing development or begin eminent domain proceedings to take the 40-year old public golf course within 30 days.
May 3, 2005 The Eagan City Council met in a closed door (closed to the public) hearing to decide the fate of this precious parcel of land. Information from that meeting is not available to the general public.
November 29, 2005 The City Council unanimously agreed to settle
the dispute with Wensmann Realty allowing the developer to build the exact same number of units (480) on the property along with a small 9 hole golf course on 30 acres (15 less open acres than the original plan) which includes unusable drainage ponds.
December 27, 2005 Eagan Planning Commission heard the issue again. This time because of fear of loosing control over the planning of the development, the Commission voted 4-3 in favor of changing the Comprehensive Guide Plan and the area’s designation from Park to Special Area allowing development of the golf course.
January 17, 2006 Eagan City Council voted unanimously to deny the settlement plan that would have allowed Carriage Hills to be developed. Sending the case back to The State Of Minnesota Court of Appeals.
May 23, 2006 Chief Judge Toussaint announces The State Of Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled IN FAVOR of the City of Eagan reversing Judge Sutherland’s decision!
Mendota Golf, LLP, Respondent, vs.
City of Mendota Heights, Appellant. Court of Appeals.
A city’s comprehensive plan designation conflicts with a zoning ordinance designation when the comprehensive plan prohibits a property use that is specifically permitted under the zoning ordinance.
Under the Metropolitan Land Planning Act, Minn. Stat. § 473.858, subd. 1 (2004), a city does not have a clear duty to amend a comprehensive plan designation that conflicts with a zoning ordinance designation when there are alternative ways to reconcile the conflict.
Plaintiff’s mandamus action is not appropriate to challenge a city’s exercise of legislative discretion in denying a proposed amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan.
A city has a rational basis to deny a proposed amendment to its comprehensive plan with respect to property currently used as a golf course when the city has a legitimate interest in reaffirming a historical comprehensive plan designation and in protecting open and recreational space.
Because the amendment of a city’s comprehensive plan is a discretionary act and the city had a rational basis to deny a proposed amendment to the comprehensive plan, the district court erred in issuing a peremptory writ of mandamus directing the city to approve an application for a comprehensive plan amendment.
The Carriage Hills Coalition’s goal is to stop any changes in the City’s Comprehensive Guide Plan, and the rezoning of the property in order to keep the precious green space available for the public to enjoy for generations to come.
The Carriage Hills Coalition is a non-profit, grassroots community organization that has joined together to preserve open space. Our current focus has been saving the Carriage Hills Golf Course AGAIN. The coalition has no affiliation with the golf course’s management or ownership. We are only trying to save one of the last beautiful open areas in Eagan from becoming lost forever due to residential development.