Cul de sacs in Nature View Estates will feature 12 large home lots.

    Developer Bob Herkenhoff told the City Planning Commission Tuesday evening that the expansion of his Nature View Estates residential subdivision to the east of the City’s Barrette Street Estates residential subdivision is happening because of a deal he’s reached with Jeff Fagerstrom of the Northwest Minnesota House Cooperative, which has built and continues to build homes in the community.

    As part of the agreement, the co-op will build a twin-home for Herkenhoff for him to sell, and he will subsequently transfer approximately 16 acres of Nature View Estates land to the co-op. That land, if all the hurdles can be cleared, will be comprised of two cul-de-sacs extending from Spruce Lane and Fir Lane to the east of Barrette Street Estates. Each cul-de-sac will be home to six large home lots. Fagerstrom said Monday that he’ll be opening to listening to any ideas lot buyers have as far as the homes they’d like to build, but he suspects that given the large sizes of the lots people are going to want to build larger homes, much like they have to date in the first phase of Herkenhoff’s Nature View Estates to the east and southeast of the next phase. The land is zoned for one or two family homes, meaning that if someone wants to construct a twin-home it will fit the zoning requirements.

    “When we’re trying to sell higher-end homes, we need to protect the investments being put into the lots, so we’re not looking to put low-dollar next to high-dollar,” Fagerstrom explained. “…We’re not shutting the door on anything; if it looks good and fits the investment in the neighborhood, we’re open to discussion.”

    Fagerstrom said Tuesday that he’s already received a handful of calls from potentially interested lot buyers. “There’s interest out there,” he said. He added that he will ask the City to include the construction of the Fir Lane and Spruce Lane extensions and the cul-de-sacs as part of the City’s 2019 street improvement project package.

    Although any work involving street and curb and gutter construction is not cheap, City Administrator Shannon Stassen echoed Herkenhoff’s beliefs that the main reason the next phase of Nature View Estates appears to be doable in such rapid fashion is because of the decision when Barrette Street Estates was launched to install the utility infrastructure to the rear of the row of new homes along Barrette Streets.

    A handful of homeowners in the northeast corner attended Tuesday’s commission meeting, mostly to make sure their property values won’t tank or go through the roof as a result of the homes constructed in the cul-de-sacs, and also to make sure that water drainage issues that have plagued the area in recent months will be addressed as part of the subdivision’s expansion. Herkenhoff said he was confident that storm sewer extensions as part of the project will take care of the drainage issue.

    The first phase of Nature View Estates surrounds a fish-filled pond that Herkenhoff created out of the original borrow pit used to construct Highland School. He’s in the process of digging a second pond adjacent to the second phase, and said he’s leaving a 20-foot trail easement adjacent to the cul-de-sacs that will lead to the second pond and a 30-acre natural green-space area. He said he could envision partnering with the City in the future to make the area a natural park.