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Council Refuses to Reconsider Recent Pillsbury Commons Actions

The developer’s attorney asserted the council violated some of its own rules.

Council Refuses to Reconsider Recent Pillsbury Commons Actions

The final pleas of the hopeful Pillsbury Commons developer, Ron Clark Construction & Design, fell on deaf Richfield City Council ears Tuesday night.

The council struck down the developer’s request for reconsideration of the . The developer holds an option to purchase the former city garage site, which the city is obligated to sell. However, without the additional pieces of land to aid in meeting housing density requirements, the proposal was effectively killed that night. Following suit, the Richfield Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) also , among other things.

In a formal letter requesting the council’s reconsideration, the developer’s attorney, Jim Susag, alleged the city did not follow proper procedure in regards to land use applications and the city violated a preliminary agreement between the HRA by denying the sale—along with four other claims.

However, City Attorney discounted each of the assertions, citing some of the claims were not legal issues, but rather opinion of fact. (A screenshot of the claims and the attorney’s responses can be seen in the photo box above.)

“Nothing has changed for us to reconsider it,” e said. “I certainly think we did the right thing [two weeks ago].”

added: "I originally supported this proposal, but I can count to three. ... And I know there will not be three votes [to reconsider the decision]."

In addition, four other agenda items were dedicated to the Pillsbury Commons project including a public hearing regarding the tax increment financing plan and rezoning the area from industrial to multi-family residential. Three of the four were denied, with the lone item approved being the second reading for the sale of the land held by the option agreement.

It’s Not Over Yet …

While the project as it’s been proposed is dead, Clark can close on the land held by the option agreement June 30. He may extend it until the end of October 2012, however, would need to provide another $5,000 payment to the city.

During the June 18 HRA meeting, Susag said Clark was in the process of considering a smaller development project for the optioned parcel. Clark told Patch he was surveying all his options.

Richfield Patch will update readers as more information becomes available on Clark’s plans for the optioned land.

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