September 17, 2019

N. Egan apartments appear appropriate - Daily Leader Extra : Editorials

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N. Egan apartments appear appropriate

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 3:41 pm | Updated: 4:14 pm, Thu Sep 12, 2019.

The Madison City Commission acknowledged a site plan, an artist illustration and a letter from the state historic preservation office concerning new apartments on N. Egan Ave. Monday night.

A Brookings-based developer has purchased two older homes on the west side of Egan Ave. across from the Dakota State University campus. The location is adjacent to a designated historic district, and neighbors were concerned about tearing down two older homes and constructing modern apartment buildings that would clash with the neighborhood. In addition, we thought a large parking lot on Egan Ave. would detract from the single-family home feel in that area.

We shared their concerns.

The properties aren't in the historic district itself, nor do the structures "contribute" to the historic nature of the neighborhood, quoting a term used by the state historical society.

The site plan and drawings presented Monday night, however, indicate that the developers have taken into account the concerns expressed by neighbors. The structures appear to blend nicely with the neighborhood. The parking is at the back of the lot, mostly hidden from those who drive by on Egan Ave. The structures meet all building codes for that area.

We're glad that one neighbor asked if the city planned to monitor construction to make sure the developer built what was presented. It reminded us of a case in Sioux Falls in which a builder presented a set of plans to the city's historical preservation committee, then built something different.

The development, as presented, can improve a neighborhood and provided needed housing. We think it is appropriate.

-- Jon M. Hunter