LINO LAKES — The largest residential development in the city’s history is now embarking on its 4th Addition and is not quite halfway done.
Watermark is a 372-acre residential community located in the northwest quadrant of I-35E and County Road 14/Main Street. Once complete, the development will have a total of 864 units: 692 single-family homes and 172 townhome units.
The development has been in the works for several years. The original developer, Mattamy Homes, received approvals back in 2016 but decided to pull out of the Minnesota housing market in 2017 and sold off its existing land holdings. Lennar then stepped in and took over the development.
More than 400 homes have already been constructed. The City Council approved several action items for the next phase April 12, including the planned unit development (PUD) final plan/final plat; development agreement and PUD agreement; city park operations and maintenance agreement; and a stormwater reuse agreement.
The 4th Addition will include 91 single-family lots. City Planner Katie Larsen explained that a main feature of this phase will be the development of Watermark Way, the main entrance/gateway into the community, as well as the 5.39-acre public park. The clubhouse, which will be owned and maintained by the homeowner’s association, will constructed as part of the 5th Addition.
Watermark Way will feature a decorative faux bridge, stone piers, monument signs and landscaped medians. There will be a 5-foot-wide concrete sidewalk on the south side and a 10-foot-wide bituminous trail on the north side.
Per the stormwater reuse agreement, the Watermark Neighborhood Association and the Watermark Townhome Association will own and maintain the water reuse system that will irrigate the townhome area, berm along I-35E and landscaping along the boulevard on 21st Avenue. The city will be responsible for the reuse system for the park.
“I think this project is going great,” Council Member Dale Stoesz said. “It’s great to see how quickly people are moving in.”
Council Member Christopher Lyden added, “I’m excited to see that the park is a central piece of this phase. It often seems like the park isn’t in a development or it is a very minimized piece of property.”
Council Member Tony Cavegn wanted to know whether parking would be included in the development of the park. Larsen explained that a parking lot is not planned, but that street parking would be allowed as it is in other public city parks.
Under the city park operations agreement, the city will own and maintain the park and be responsible for its development. The city will also be responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of a public dock or pier that extends into a 22-acre lake on site.
Mayor Rob Rafferty wanted to know more about what that park will include. Public Services Director Rick DeGardner explained that planning for the park has been in the works since the beginning. “It was always a matter of when we get the land and when we get the money, and with the 4th Addition, now we have both,” he said.
DeGardner added that the Park Board developed a concept plan for the park back in 2015-16, which will need to be updated. The board will likely dive into the topic in June, develop a few concept plans and invite Watermark residents to review and provide comments on those plans. Eventually, a master plan for the park will need to be approved by the council. Construction of the park will likely begin in spring 2022.
After the 4th Addition of the development is complete, 348 lots will remain to be developed.
Lead Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.