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Fields of Woodbury plans face drainage challenges

A new 151 acre development in Woodbury is undergoing an environmental study and receiving public input.

Fields of Woodbury has not been approved by Woodbury City Council, but so far the proposed plans say between 250 and 375 housing units will be added.

The project is located generally north of Dale Road and west of Pioneer Drive (formerly Mile Drive). It is the largest of the Phase 2 areas currently in the works, according to city staff. It is not yet clear when the developer will start grading, said Sharon Doucette, the city's environmental resource coordinator.

It is typical for the city to conduct an environmental assessment worksheet for developments exceeding a certain number of units. The city will submit the study to the state after the public comment period is up by the end of the month.

Doucette said there were no surprises in the environmental analysis, but the land has been agricultural for many years so the developer may face a few challenges.

"We knew going in that handling the storm water was going to be an issue," she said. "Surface water plan that's going to guide how that's all going to happen."

Doucette said a lot of drainage goes through the property from the west and the developer will need to be able to handle the existing runoff from the field through the development so it still gets to Bailey Lake.

"Which is challenging for the site design," she added, noting the flow of storm water will be different.

The last time the city conducted a large environmental assessment worksheet was for the new SuperTarget project. The city also did a study for the northeast area of Woodbury that was finished about four years ago and will stay valid with five-year updates until development happens in that area.

The first approved Phase 2 development currently under construction is Bailey Lake. It was followed by Ashton Ridge when the council opened up Phase 2 for development late last year.

Doucette said there are still areas in the Comprehensive Plan zoned urban reserve, or open fields, and will stay this way for the duration of the current 2030 plan.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.