Editorial: Company was right to redesign condo plan
Avidigm Capital Group took a positive step in deciding to go back to the drawing board on its Spicer condominium proposal.
The Lake Elmo-based company declined Wednesday to appeal the Spicer Planning and Zoning Commission's rejection of a height variance for the proposed 13-story condominium.
The company wants to develop a condominium where a grain elevator is located, just west of state Highway 23 on Second Avenue. The current elevator is 134 feet in height.
Avidigm originally sought a height variance to build up to 190 feet. Its original proposal for a 186-foot, 14-story condo with 137 units was announced in mid-September. Approval of the variance request was recommended on Sept. 29.
The Spicer City Council delayed action on the proposal on Oct. 12. A week later, Avidigm lowered the height of its proposed condo unit to 13 stories.
Last month, the Zoning Commission decided to review the variance request. The request was rejected Nov. 16.
The proposed condo has generated considerable interest throughout Spicer and west central Minnesota. Certainly, a condo more than 100 feet tall located near downtown Spicer and Green Lake would have some impact, positive or negative, depending on one's perspective.
To some there are positives about the proposal. Having 100 or more new residences near downtown Spicer would have a positive impact on the business community. It would also draw new families to the community and the New London-Spicer School District.
Others see negatives in the proposal. A 13- or 14-story building on the location is considered too high. In addition, some residents' homes near the location would be dwarfed by a 160-foot building.
Avidigm has been listening. The company has twice agreed to change its proposal to address zoning and community concerns. The company is now waiting on a second redesign that would be lower than 134 feet.
If the redesign makes sense for the company, they will reapply for any necessary permits. Then Spicer will again face a decision on the proposal and how it might impact the community and its future.