Hudson mayor comments on Council's decision on dog track rezoningArea News
-- Hudson Mayor Alan Burchill on Friday issued a statement on the City Council’s decision not to rezone St. Croix Meadows dog track so a secondary school could be built there.
Hudson Mayor Alan Burchill on Friday issued a statement on the City Council’s decision not to rezone St. Croix Meadows dog track so a secondary school could be built there.
Burchill wasn’t at the Sept. 17 meeting in which decision was made because of a family emergency.
In the statement, the mayor notes that Plan Commission voted 6-0 against the rezoning of 130 acres of commercial property to public use, and the City Council concurred 5-1.
“Both bodies were convinced that other options exist for alleviating space issues within our school district, but that this parcel of commercial land is irreplaceable,” Burchill said.
He also called attention to Community Development Director Dennis Darnold’s analysis that the site has the potential to generate $500,000 to $1 million a year in property revenue if it is developed for industrial or commercial use. The city would get about 25 percent of that revenue, and the school district, 50 percent.
“While it is only potential revenue at this time, it was deemed important to protect the potential for future infrastructure and operational needs, as well as potential tax relief for city residents,” Burchill said in the statement.
He opened the statement by saying that it is “always challenging to balance all the needs of a city within the context of a long-range comprehensive plan.”
A great deal of effort went into updating the city’s comprehensive plan in 2009, he said, and that “without a commitment to the major components of that plan, it ceases to be a plan at all.”
Burchill concluded the statement by saying, “We remain optimistic that the Hudson School District will continue to address the space needs of our students and we look forward to our continued partnership with the school district.”
Earlier in the week, District Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten said it would be up to the board of education to decide how to proceed with addressing overcrowding at the middle school and high school.
“We’re going to find the next solution,” she said.