At a Golden Valley City Council meeting this week, Mark Globus of Global One Golden Valley, LLC tried to address Circle Down neighbors' concerns about two proposed developments near their homes.
Global One wants to build an apartment building and a senior living facility in the northwest corner of Interstate 394 and Highway 100 near Circle Down. At their Dec. 18 council meeting, Golden Valley City Councilmembers approved preliminary plans, despite a number of residents' opinions against the proposal.
According to Globus, the apartment building would boast 318 units and be complete with underground parking, a basketball court, bike shop, bike storage, coffee lounge and fitness center.
“We’ve read every letter and every email,” Globus said, referring to neighborhood worries about increased traffic and noise. “We take it seriously.”
In order to address concerns about flow of traffic, Globus outlined changes including two parking garage entry points, a new entrance road that would eliminate bright headlights shining on homes in the area and increased green space.
But traffic consultant Mike Kotila said that the traffic on Circle Down probably can’t be mitigated. Kotila said that 2,300 cars a day would use Circle Down to access the site.
“It’s a large magnitude of cars, but it’s not unheard of on other streets in Golden Valley,” Kotila told councilmembers. “Regent Avenue north of Golden Valley Road carries over 2,000 cars and does operate safely. But that doesn’t address neighbor’s concerns of livability.”
Livability is a direct concern of one Circle Down neighbor Bernadine Fox.
"Our bedrooms go right up against that parking lot. Our quality of life is going to change dramatically," Fox said. "We will not be able to sell our home. I feel bad for the young people, but I would like the city council to use their power for our benefit. You have power, do you have heart?"
Neighbor Gina Cesaretti worries about the future of her 4 and 6-year-old children, and how they will learn to ride their bikes on Circle Down with the addition of 2,300 cars a day.
"This will be a violent change to our neighborhood," Cesaretti said. "Traffic is a big issue."
Mayor Shep Harris said that he understands the traffic concerns, but wants to see housing come to the area, rather than commercial developments.
"My fear is that if we put commercial development here, we’d be competing with West End, and I don't know that we’d be successful," Harris said. "I applaud Mr. Globus and I appreciate the fact that he’s tried to accomodate the residents."
The project will still need to go before the Planning Commission and City Council for final approval before construction begins in 2014.