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Cedar's Bluff remains in limbo

The Cedar's Bluff Homestead development agreement remains at a standstill after the Afton City Council extended the contract for another 60 days, at its March 17 meeting.

Meanwhile, the developer looks for ways to revise the agreement to better appease the council.

The Cedar's Bluff Homestead, Afton's first housing development, was approved in 2006.

The developer, Len Pratt, returned to the council on Jan. 20 to request a two-year extension to complete phase 1 because the project had encountered several setbacks, including litigation, and Pratt would not be able to complete phase 1 by Feb. 5.

The council was wary of extending the project for two years, so it extended it for 60 days to discuss the development further before revisiting the two-year extension request at a later date.

During this extension, Pratt took into consideration concerns the council had raised.

These included a communal septic system, the issue of density in Afton, the proposed three-fourths acre lots and the preservation of open space through a land trust. Pratt looked into how to address them and revise the agreement.

Pratt returned to the council on Feb. 17 to request an additional 60-day extension before bringing his initial request back, since he is still in the process of reviewing and revising the agreement to address the council's concerns.

Council member Peg Nolz felt that this extension was incorrect because as she understood it, the 60-day extension denied his two-year request. In order to get a longer extension, Pratt would have to come back with another request.

"I think the clock stopped on his request," she said.

Nolz's fellow council members and the city attorney Mitch Converse understood her concerns but they interpreted the action differently.

Pratt will meet with the council at a workshop about his proposed revised agreement once he has completed it before again seeking approval of his two-year extension request.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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