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Updated May 13, 2015

Letter to the editor: Melisa Ferris

Letter To the Editor:

I am opposed to the conversion of the old Kasson school into 24 apartment units, but not because of the proposed income level of the target residents: I oppose the density of the proposed project. The issue that most of the neighbors have with this proposal is its density.

Regardless of the income level of the residents, the requested Conditional Use Permit calls for 25 housing units on one block in a single-family neighborhood. The average number of houses on a block in this neighborhood is around 7. The average number of people on a block in the neighborhood is about 25. This proposal would add anywhere from 50 (by KARE's estimates) to 90 people (by the developer's own admission, if the units were occupied at the max of 2 people per bedroom) onto one block in the neighborhood, thus greatly increasing the number of people in the area, the traffic in the area, and the demands on the already outdated infrastructure (roads, water, sewer) in the area. Further, the developer claims it would cut too far into its financial bottom line to dedicate just one of the units to housing an on-site manager, or to even hire a local manager for this project. Thus, there will be no one on site to handle problems or determine whether there are people living in the units who are not on the lease. Thus, the units could have more occupants than the management company intends.

If City Council approves this project, it will be a very big land use change for the old Northwest Quadrant of Kasson. This town does need nice rental property--according to people who used to live in local apartments, but are now homeowners in my neighborhood, many of Kasson's apartments are not nice at all. However, it is not fair to anyone to cram this many people into such a small space--it is not fair to the people who live in the area, who face big changes that they could not have anticipated when they purchased their homes, and it is not fair to the prospective residents of the project. There is no room for recreational space for the children who will live there, because all of the extra space in back that was once used for a playground when it was a school will have to be used for parking. There is no extra off-street parking for the people who will visit the residents of the project, and thus, contrary to the assertions of the developer, there actually will be a need for on-street parking for the project.

A better use of the building--and one more consistent with its history and the surrounding area--would be a Senior Center/Community Rec Center/City Offices. This proposal has been well received....READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE BY PURCHASING THE DCI TODAY!

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