Controversy brews over proposed development on land once owned by Prince

A public comment session Tuesday night may be one of the last opportunities for residents in Chanhassen to speak out about a proposed housing development slated for land that Prince once owned. 

The final decision of what to do with the Galpin Development Project in Chanhassen could be made in the next week.

Prince’s estate put the land on the market after the music icon died of an accidental overdose in April of 2016. Since then, one of the Twin Cities' leading housing developers entered into an agreement to purchase the property if they could build nearly 200 homes. The proposal has been met with major pushback.

“This is the wrong thing for Chanhassen because this is going to create a massive housing development that doesn’t fit with anything in the area,” said Josh Kimber, a resident impacted by the plans.

Kimber and his neighbor, Cherree Theisen, say they love the area for the natural landscapes and quiet atmosphere.

“It’s not going to be a small town feel,” said Theisen. “We’re going to have hundreds of cars coming down Galpin. We can’t even get out of Galpin as it is now without waiting quite a while.”

A company spokeswoman for Lennar was unable to provide any additional details to potential changes for their plans ahead of Tuesday's meeting but provided the following statement:

“We’ve worked diligently to incorporate input from public leaders, city staff, and neighbors to ensure that the proposed plan facilitates the city’s long term vision to expand Lake Ann Park, by preserving 100 acres of open space to be dedicated for public use. We look forward to continuing the review of the plan in more detail at tomorrow’s public meeting.”

The mayor of Chanhassen says she has tried to listen to everyone's concerns while also working with Lennar to create opportunity for city growth, but now a decision must be made on the project. 

“This is a really great place to live and work and people and for developers to have an opportunity to develop in Chanhassen,” said Mayor Elise Ryan. “We hold them to high standards and that is something I take very seriously.”

At last month's meeting the Planning Commission came to a tie vote on the project. The mayor says no vote will be taken up on Tuesday, but the full council will do so on March 11.