When does Eagle Lake stop being a small town?
This decision will affect the developmental direction Eagle Lake heads for and that will have an effect on our rural neighborhood and homes that have been here far longer than we have been. It will also greatly alter a primarily agricultural area, a growing trend as bigger is often (incorrectly) thought to be better. Infrastructure costs, increased demand on resources, and “surprise” expenses* for speculative development is why the impacts of a proposed project such as this should be fully vetted.
This would be a BIG addition to the small town of Eagle Lake, one that should have received more publicity to increase the involvement -whether for or against- from the residents. An attempt to annex all of LeRay Township (which stretches to Madison Lake) gives the impression of a larger growth than some small town loving residents may be unaware of. In July 2019, LeRay Township submitted a response to 2 sets of draft orderly annexation agreements that they had received from the city of Eagle Lake. One draft covers the entire township and the other focused on the 3 parcels needed (and ultimately annexed) for the Motorsports project.
* Approval was given for the planning and zoning services of South Central Service Cooperative in regards to the motorsports project – this was not to exceed $6,500. (August 3, 2020 city council meeting)
*While the developer will pay for the costs of bringing water and sewer to his project, should the city want to oversize the lines for "future development" that will be a cost to the city (September 30, 2020 city council work session for the draft of the developer's agreement)
*Plans have stated adding a left turn lane (from CR27 to the cemetery and project entrance) but with no current road width to add this turn lane, some construction is going to need to happen. While I have asked this question, I have not been told who would pay for this.
From the Findings of Fact:
In response to the claim that this is contributing to urban sprawl; the City of Eagle Lake has annexed this property into City limits zoned industrial, recognizing this location is within the growth area for the City. Its proximity to the highway makes this land attractive for many commercial/industrial uses such as distribution centers, truck stops, manufacturing facilities, and many other similar type facilities.
In 2018, Eagle Lake's Comprehensive Plan https://www.blueearthcountymn.gov/1369/Land-Use-Plan-Update
(Appendix D), their main goal was to maintain their existing neighborhoods and small-town feel. There is mention of a discussion with creating an Industrial Park "to the north", but that the land would remain agricultural for the foreseeable future. They'd like to see the northwest portion used for commercial development, as well as CSAH 17 (between Eagle Lake and Mankato).
When does Eagle Lake stop being a small town? What goes with that when the label doesn't fit anymore?