Hawk Ridge estates zoning change proposed

Hawk Ridge Estates zoning change proposal

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A topic weighing heavy on the minds of some Duluth residents is what will result from the Bald Eagle rezoning project being proposed near Hawk Ridge.

Commmunity members have been urging Duluth city council members to deny a rezoning request for months now.

The request is from New Haven, a developer wanting to expand housing off Bald Eagle circle at the base of Hawk Ridge.

Members of a home association, Hawk Ridge Estates say they want more oversight of the project.

The council considered an amendment at Monday night’s city council meeting to rezone the area in question from residential traditional to residential planned, saying the council would still retain significant oversight.

“We can both specify the allowed uses, and there’s some differences between what the staff recommended and what the planning commission ultimately passed,” said Councilor Arik Forsman said. “But we can also go beyond that and specify things that are not allowed uses. And that’s implied by not having it on the list of allowed uses, but I think it could add some additional comfort. For instance, we could say specifically, you can’t have an RV park, you can’t have a gas station.”

Despite councilor Forsman’s assurances of council oversight, a number of residents reminded the council that the proposed development is directly below and visible from Skyline Parkway, is adjacent to the steep embankments of Hawk Ridge and immediately adjacent to the banks of Amity creek, a designated trout stream.

Ken Loeffler-Kemp, a Bald Eagle Trail resident spoke at Monday night’s meeting saying, “Because of its visibility and sensitive location, it’s important that this development be done right with city council oversight, community input, and transparency. And that is why I oppose rezoning this property from R1 to RP.”

A vote on the rezoning is expected at one of the next two council meetings, either May 28th or June 10th.