Parking & density issues top Council concerns, redevelopment approval seems imminent
Lakewest Development owner Curt Fretham has been seeking to redevelop the former TCF headquarters lot for the past several years.
Each time the developer has been in front of the Wayzata Planning Commission & City Council, his proposals have been denied for various reasons.
Image courtesy Lakewest Development
Opposition in 2021 to the removal of the exist- ing building was fierce with over 2,000 persons signing a petition supporting denial of any re- development in order to preserve the building.
Fretham’s latest plan was before the Wayzata City Council in late June and was again denied unanimously. The plan included 6 requests from the City including a rezoning to commercial use from the existing CUP.
The rationale behind the denial this time was related primarily to a plan to share parking stalls among condo owners and retail and of- fice or daytime users.
However, the comments from the Council and community members seems to be shifting to- wards approval of a redevelopment of the site.
Becky Pierson, the President of the Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce, indicated in public remarks that in reviewing the informa- tion in the application with the Chamber Board that, “…this is a large section of the west end that has been vacant for approximately 8 years 200 Lake Plan Denied, Again and probably 10 years by the time we get some approvals. We have had several developers that have tried to develop this very difficult lot, failed, and given up and it feels like this pro- posal has evolved to something that is accept- able…” Pierson continued, “I’m looking at this not at a detail level but from a very large corri- dor perspective, and the [Chamber] Board felt that… …[the City] should bring this applica- tion to approval and completion however you can do that.”
Council member Jeff Parkhill weighed in on the application, “I think you guys have nailed it on the look and feel, the design… …I think the scale of the property drives the parking needs, if it were smaller there would be less demand, so it’s kind of a self imposed problem for you guys.”
Council member Cathy Iverson stated, “Thank you for your resilience, because you have been after this for a while. I see you are not a quitter, and each time I think the appli- cation has gotten better. Thank you for that… …but I think the density is driving the parking issue.”
Council member Alex Plecash remarked, “Lots of pros to talk about tonight, but let me start with this: rezoning this makes sense to me. It absolutely should be rezoned in my opinion. Redevelopment is also very necessary for everyone involved. The big [issue] for me among all the parking issues is that residents Curt Fretham addresses the Wayzata City Council. Parking & density issues top Council concerns, redevelopment approval seems imminent would not have dedicated parking. If I was go- ing to buy a place that costs whatever it costs to live there, I would want to know that I had dedicated parking. There may be creative ways to fix that.”
Fretham responded, “I appreciate all the hard work and deliberation of the staff and the council and the outside third parties. The comp plan says to used a CUP for parking wherever possible, so we did that.”
Fretham will likely be back in front of the City with another application in the coming months.
Stay tuned to Wayzata.com for more informa- tion on this and other City business.