Positions on Twin Lakes key in Roseville race
Sarah McCann, Star Tribune 
October 25, 2005

The Twin Lakes debate isn't over. Especially not for the six candidates running for three Roseville City Council seats.

The first phase of the controversial redevelopment project was approved in a 3-2 vote last January, but decisions remain on financial details, possible eminent domain and two remaining phases of the 270-acre project.

On Nov. 8, residents will pick who makes the remaining choices.

The redevelopment in northwestern Roseville is a combination of homes, stores and offices. Supporters say the development will clean up environmental contamination, provide needed housing and increase city tax revenue. Others argue that it will damage the environment for Langton Lake Park, pack already congested streets and hurt existing business. 

Some people also oppose the plans for tax-increment financing, wherein taxes generated by the project would be used to pay off the bonds sold to finance it. Up to $40 million in new property taxes could be used to reimburse the developers for the cost of preparing the site.

Candidates agree that Twin Lakes could effect the election and that the next council will continue to deal with it.

Joy Anderson

"I think it's really important, the issues that have stemmed from Twin Lakes," said Anderson, who is president of a group that opposes the project. "[The election] is an opportunity to review the needs of the city and the future of the city and some of these issues such as eminent domain and using taxpayer money to subsidize private developers."

Anderson lives near Har Mar Mall and said she's seen the way retail affects traffic. "When is enough enough?" she asked.

Amy Ihlan

"Twin Lakes symbolizes a lot about different visions and values among candidates. It pretty neatly encapsulates the challenges as Roseville changes," Ihlan said. She voted against the project as a council member.

"I would prefer sensible, progressive redevelopment emphasizing neighborhoods, parks and green space as important values," she said. Ihlan said future projects should involve more community-based planning where residents come up with ideas and ultimately choose what they like best.

Tom Kough

"I think it's going to have a drastic affect on the election," Kough said. He's a current council member who opposed the Twin Lakes decision.

"A lot of people tell me they feel Roseville has sufficient retail," he said. "People say they moved here because of open spaces and large parks and where there's that much traffic it takes up a lot of that greenery. I want to keep the city comfortable to the people who have lived here."

Gale Pederson

"I've had lots of questions while out campaigning on whether I supported Twin Lakes," Pederson said. She served on the Twin Lakes stakeholders panel and supported the project.

"We're a thriving first-ring suburb with beautiful neighborhoods, a wonderful school district and businesses," she said. Property taxes are needed to maintain those qualities and pay for parks and emergency services, she said. "The only way to increase that is to renew resources within the community and take old property that has outlived its current use and revitalize it into something else."

Tammy Pust

"The Twin Lakes project is one of the controversial issues in this election," she said. "Unlike other candidates, I don't see Twin Lakes as all good or all bad." Pust likes that the contamination will be cleaned up but is concerned about traffic impact.

Pust said Roseville will continue to deal with many issues discussed in Twin Lakes. "What is the appropriate balance that Roseville should strive for to achieve with regard to housing options, retail vs. housing, transportation options and safe, supervised recreational opportunities for the youth of our community? What is the right mix of commercial or industrial and residential tax burden that will sufficiently and not excessively provide resources necessary to support Roseville's future?"

Dan Roe

"Twin Lakes is just an example of how we need to make sure we're focusing on what we want our community to be 10, 15, 25 years down the road," said Roe, who supports the decision.

He said he would "make sure the developers live up to their end of the bargain and make sure the city lives up to its end." 

He said if elected he would put a lot of emphasis on advisory committees' input for big projects and make sure there are regular reviews in place to make sure everything is progressing as intended.

ABOUT TWIN LAKES

What: Phase 1 of the Twin Lakes development is 80 acres: 30 of housing, 30 of retail, 10 of offices and 10 for new roads and ponds. Phase 1, 2 and 3 combined would bring the ultimate project to 270 acres.

Where: In northwestern Roseville -- County Road C to the south, C2 to the north, Cleveland Avenue to the west and Fairview Avenue to the east.

Timeline: The project was approved in a 3-2 vote last January despite petitions and a lawsuit objecting to the decision. This summer a judge sided with the city and a developer on most issues in the legal dispute, but that decision has been appealed. Details on the financing and the two remaining phases haven't been determined yet.

Sarah McCann 612-673-7512

Copyright 2005 Star Tribune. All rights reserved