Housing proposed on former dry cleaner’s site

At its April 26 meeting, the Falcon Heights Planning Commission heard a proposal to demolish a former dry cleaner’s building at 1407 Larpenteur Ave. and build 12 units of townhomes there.

The site, currently unoccupied, is on the corner at Albert Street. While the proposed townhouse site is surrounded by houses, it is close to commercial sites at Hamline Avenue and lies in a B-1 Neighborhood Convenience zone. Its owner listed in tax documents is Sarin Homes LLC of Roseville.

The current vacant building has housed a laundry and dry cleaning business since 1969. Before that, it was a Shell gas station for a few years, according to city staff.

City Development Coordinator Paul Moretto told Planning Commission members that a prospective buyer of the property is proposing to build two buildings of six units each, aligned parallel to Albert Street. The commission was asked to review the preliminary proposal and send comments to the buyer.

After the meeting, Moretto told the Bugle, “We provided feedback to the potential applicant that the use was generally a good transition.” The commission recommended changes including more green-space, visual buffers for neighbors and more parking spots.

Because the B-1 zone does not allow for residences, the developer would need to apply for rezoning. The plan does not comply with the long-range plan that Falcon Heights submitted to the Metropolitan Council, so an amendment to that would be needed, as well.

If the buyer decides to proceed with its building plans, the Planning Commission will hold at least one public hearing on zoning. 

  • Anne Holzman

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