Circle Down Neighbors Upset With Size, Plans For New Apartment
On Nov. 5, the Golden Valley Planning Commission recommended approval of preliminary plans for a new apartment building that would be constructed at the intersection of Interstate 394 and Highway 100.
Residents who live on Circle Down in Golden Valley attended Monday's Planning Commission meeting in force to listen to presentations and discussions about a proposed new apartment building and senior living facility.
In total, eleven residents spoke at a public hearing and ten expressed opposition to the project.
According to commission documents, Global One Golden Valley, LLC wants to develop a 308 unit apartment building and a 118 unit senior living facility. Both buildings would be six stories tall and traffic would enter and exit through Circle Down. If the plans are approved, the first phase of construction would begin in the spring.
Mark Globus, from Global One, said that his team has been working with the city for five years to develop an appropriate site plan that considers the neighbors in the area.
But residents aren't so sure.
Jeff Vaala has lived in his home on Circle Down for 17 years and said that the city's consideration of this project is baffling.
"It doesn't make sense to access this development through a cul-da-sac of 24 homes," Vaala said in the public hearing. "I'm concerned about the funneling of traffic."
Neighbor John Sonsalla agreed. "The entrance into this project is right next door to me, 20 feet from my house," Sonsalla said. "I’m a light sleeper already. [There is] going to be a lot of noise and it's something that needs to be considered." Sonsalla also mentioned that winter weather will cause extra commotion, with snowplows shoveling snow in early morning hours.
Planning Commissioners listened to the issues and shared some of the same concerns, though they recognize that Globus has been working on these plans for years.
Commissioner John Kluchka asked Globus if he would consider changing the entrance to his apartment building so that cars don't drive parallel to neighbors' backyards. Globus said that he and his team of architects plan to build a solid wall lined with trees on either side to block the noise.
After hours of deliberation, including lengthy discussions about traffic flow with City Engineer Jeff Oliver, the commission unanimously recommended approval of the plans.