To the Editor:
With all due respect to the planners of “East Excelsior” I was shocked to see the latest proposal by email link this week. Several of the proposed buildings are four stories tall. Isn’t there an ordinance prohibiting four-story development in Excelsior?
Development is inevitable but take a drive though Wayzata to see what we don’t want. The precedent of allowing buildings greater than three stories is a bad one. Once this is allowed other commercial owners and developers will claim the right to build four stories to maximize their profits.
The row houses on the trail are being built to three stories in compliance with the current ordinance. The hotel proposal was not allowed a variance to build a structure of more than three stories at the corner of Lake Street and Water Street.
If four stories are allowed for subsequent buildings the city could be at risk of being sued for blocking prior recent plans and development. The tax paying city residents should not be made to shoulder the potential legal bills made probable by a foolish council decision.
Although some council members might be motivated to allow this precedence, let Wayzata be your guide. It feels like driving through a canyon and it will for the foreseeable future. We simply can not allow the canyonization (yes, I made that word up) of unique and historic Excelsior. Once it happens there is no going back. Quaint will be lost forever.
Here’s a good idea though, as plans proceed, consider granting some variances in exchange for public restrooms and more parking.
Susan H. Bowers