The Waseca City Council voted to send out requests for proposals to develop the city-owned Gaiter Lake property on the southeast side of town.
The area is just over 62-acres of usable land, which has access to U.S. Highway 14. The city acquired the land near Gaiter Lake as part of a settlement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources over setback requirements in a shoreland district. The land was previously owned by a developer and leased out for farmland.
Gaiter Lake is zoned as Planned Unit Development, PUD, which is meant to provide for the development of twin homes, condos, apartments and open space to accommodate the housing needs of the city.
City Manager Lee Mattson said there is a need for more owner occupied housing, senior housing, rental housing and multifamily housing in the city.
“I think across the spectrum we need more housing,” Mattson said. “You want people to live in your community to start as renters and work their way to be home owners.”
There are single family home lots available in the Pondview subdivision of Waseca, but there is still a need for multi-family housing and senior housing that the Gaiter Lake location may fill the needs of.
One thing Councilor Mark Christiansen mentioned during the Oct. 6 meeting is the addition of a multiple acre dog park on the Gaiter Lake land. In the request for proposal the dog park is listed as a 1-acre site, but Assistant to the City Manager Mike Anderson said the size is flexible and can be worked out with the developer later on.
The Gaiter Lake development is located within the Shoreland Overlay District, according to the Waseca City Council packet. Because of this, the DNR requires that no more than 35% of the development shall be impervious surface. Impervious surfaces are roads, buildings, parking lots, and other surfaces that water cannot easily penetrate according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
City Council plans to choose a developer by mid November.