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Watershed district wants more studies on project

The South Washington Watershed District has chimed in on a 300,000 square foot commercial development and its potential impacts on Wilmes Lake.

Minneapolis-based JMW Group has proposed to develop the Commerce Hill project on 37 acres of farmland near Woodbury Drive and Tamarack Road.

The development is planned to feature a Super Target and adjacent strip retail, along with two buildings designated as "places to work," according to a city planning report.

Woodbury planning department officials recently completed an environment assessment worksheet on the site and took comments from residents on the proposed development.

According to the EAW, the development will contain a stormwater pond that will contain and control any runoff.

But South Washington Watershed District (SWWD) officials have asked the city to run some additional models of the site in combination with their own model to evaluate the impact on Lake Wilmes.

Woodbury environmental planner Steve Kernik said the model will help the city further determine what impact the Commerce Hill project may have on the nearby lake.

The SWWD asked the city to update its information on the Environmental Assessment Worksheet after it noticed the city and developer made several changes to the original site plan that was submitted.

Kernik said the city will test the updated models and submit them to the SWWD. If it's determined that the development has any impact on the lake levels, the city will write an environmental impact statement and assess those impacts.