Duluth Planning Commission Approves Controversial Townhouses

Commissioners Require Several Alterations to Initial Plan

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The Duluth City Planning Commission voted five to three Tuesday in favor of approving Green Capital LLC’s request for a special use permit for a vacant lot at the corner of Lyons and Mississippi.  

The developer wants to place an eight unit townhome complex at the site.

The original plan called for 24 bedrooms with parking for several resident vehicles as well as visitor parking spots.

The planning commission has asked that the developer create at least one parking spot for every bedroom plus two visitor parking spots.

In addition to zoning and density concerns regarding the project, neighbors are worried about increased traffic volume.

The development area is adjacent to several homes and a steep incline where neighbors say city snow removal equipment has gotten stuck on several occasions.

Scott Halenbeck lives across the street from the proposed development and has had trouble with the steep incline in winter conditions.

Halenbeck said his vehicle has slid over the curb in the winter.

The area that is currently vegetation, but will soon be an eight foot drop when a retaining wall is put in for the townhouse development.

University of Minnesota Duluth Professor Emeritus Ajit Das has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years.

Das said he opposes the development because the current infrastructure cannot handle the increased population density and traffic.

Residents are also opposed to the development because they do not feel that it fits with the character of their neighborhood.

Multiple residents stated they are not worried about potential construction noise or construction traffic in their neighborhood, but if the land is to be developed they would rather see it developed as two to three individual homes.

The current plan calls for seven to eight townhome units with 21 to 24 total bedrooms. 

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