Report highlights positive changes in WoodburyA new Woodbury Annual Community Development report was released last week and will be presented to the City Council at next week’s meeting.
By: Riham Feshir, Woodbury Bulletin
A new Woodbury Annual Community Development report was released last week and will be presented to the City Council at next week’s meeting.
The report highlights a significant drop in property values from 2006 to 2011, but a leveling off trend since 2009.
The average home in Woodbury now costs $253,300, a drop from $304,000 in 2006, according to the report that was posted on the city’s website.
But property values only decreased about $5,000 from 2010 to 2011, the report states.
Among the different sections included in the report was a summary of how the housing market in Woodbury has been doing.
The report states city officials have worked hard to provide affordable housing for seniors through the private and public sectors.
Additionally, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, which arrived in 2003, began building the Garden Gate development in 2011, adding 19 townhome units.
Total foreclosures in 2011 were down 31 percent from 2010, according to the report.
The report goes on to say that foreclosures of homesteaded residential properties saw an 11 percent decrease from 210 in 2010 to 187 in 2011.
“Woodbury also saw a marked decline in the number of foreclosures of vacant lots dropping from 52 to one,” according to the report.
The report praises Woodbury’s job market, stating that the city had the fifth-largest job growth in the metro from 2000 to 2010, gaining 3,344 jobs in the last 10 years, an increase of 21 percent.
The city’s Economic Development Department cites its strategic plan, as well as educated individuals in Woodbury, for the current low unemployment figure.
Woodbury’s unemployment rate, recorded at 4.3 percent at the end of 2011, was its lowest since 2007, according to the report.
The annual report compares that figure to the 5.5 percent metro unemployment rate and the national rate of 8.5 percent as of December.
In 2011, the city accepted a total of 21 applications for building plans, conditional-use permits, interim conditional-use permits, amended site plans and preliminary and final plats for commercial and residential properties.
Development plans continued in the southern portion of the city with Urban Village/Bielenberg Gardens seeking public input in 2011.
The report highlights the city’s plan to make the area a neighborhood for shopping, low and high density housing and a mix of retail, service and office buildings, as well as gathering spaces.
The report also states the planning process for the Urban Village was aided with a $100,000 grant from the Metropolitan Council Livable Communities.
The Urban Village Master Plan is expected to be completed this year.
Inspections, new construction
The report highlights the number of building inspections done in 2011.
The city did 17,337 inspections and issued 4,097 building permits with a total construction value of $136,888,750, including a reconstructed McDonald’s location on Weir Drive.
The city’s planning and economic development department will present the report to the council at the March meeting.