South Maplewood – Century Avenue Redevelopment Properties
Creation of the South Maplewood - Century Avenue Redevelopment Properties Study
The South Maplewood - Century Avenue Redevelopment Properties Study was a collaborative planning effort between the City of Maplewood and Ramsey County. At the heart of the study was a robust stakeholder engagement process that focused on both local and County-wide needs and desires for the redevelopment of the subject properties. The desired outcome of the community-wide engagement was a strategy for evaluating future development proposals for two large County-owned sites located along South Century Avenue.
Takeaways from the Community Engagement Process
- While Ramsey County owns both properties, the City of Maplewood controls the zoning.
- Maplewood residents prioritized the goals and opportunities for the site as:
- Appreciation for and protection of natural resources and open spaces
- Support for golf
- Opportunity for improved community spaces and public recreation amenities
- Consistency with the adjacent low-density residential neighborhoods in Maplewood
- Opportunity for more community food resources
- Any development proposals would have to be vetted by the city council and community members would have a chance to weigh in at a public hearing.
- The community does not believe the property is appropriate for high-density housing due to the current land use pattern, lack of transit access, and the presence of important natural resources and habitats.
- The city believes it’s in the best interest of the community to continue working with the county to find a suitable use for the property.
- Based on the community feedback, a possible development scenario for the Ponds could include the following elements as considered in scenario B-2 of the community engagement report:
- Low-density housing on the northwest side of the golf course (roughly located on holes 1-3)
- Adding community gardens and walking trails
- Retaining the existing clubhouse and driving range.
- Preserving wetlands on the south end of the property and improving stormwater management
- Potential for other green energy infrastructure
Development Scenario – B-2: Urban Reserve
This scenario maintains the driving range and clubhouse building while incorporating small-lot single-family housing and a large community garden. This orientation also allows for more potential affordability with a variety of unit types and homeownership options. The urban reserve plan also includes a large community garden, enhanced open spaces with public trails, improved stormwater management for the site (green infrastructure improvements), and improved pedestrian connections to future public transit along South Century Avenue.
The “Urban Reserve” scenario will lose the golf course but add some clear value to society. We envision having a driving range for golfers and then including housing in the form of single-family homes and some subsidized, low-income units, creating recreation value through trails, park space, picnic and playgrounds, offering some transportation infrastructure with a bus stop, parking and bike-lanes and generate cultural services with community garden opportunities, public art space, an edible landscape of fruit trees and a community gathering space. The low-intensity development will not include economic drivers. The topography and soil prevent much of the parcel from being developed so it will still provide environmental benefits similar to the golf course except that we envision the potential for renewable energy (solar) to be developed. The developed land will also reduce the summer urban cooling services provided to the neighboring homes.
Where have we been? Where are we now?
Fall 2019 As part of its budget process, Ramsey County proposed to realign its golf course portfolio and permanently close the Ponds at Battle Creek in Maplewood.
November 2019 Ramsey County held a public hearing on the 2021 budget.
December 2019 The Ramsey County Board adopted its 2020-2021 budget which includes the closure of the Ponds at Battle Creek following the 2020 golf season.
August 2020 The city and county signed a cooperative agreement to conduct a community engagement process to be facilitated by Perkins & Will.
November 2020 to March 2021 The city and county held community meetings, stakeholder discussions and online surveys to review potential development scenarios for the south Maplewood properties.
February 2021 Perkins & Will provided a project update to the Maplewood City Council.
March 2021 The Ramsey County Board voted to continue operation of the golf course in 2021 and sets September 12th as the final day the course will be open.
May 2021 Perkins & Will provided a project update to the Ramsey County Board.
August 2021 Ramsey County issued a Request for Developer Interest for the south Maplewood properties.
September 2021 Ramsey County permanently closed the Ponds at Battle Creek golf course.
October 2021 Ramsey County received three proposals from developers for the Ponds at Battle Creek property. The county did not receive any proposals for the Correctional Facility property.
February 2022 Ramsey County Board of Commissioners rejected all proposals submitted for the Request for Developer Interest.
February 2022 Ramsey County offered to sell both south Maplewood properties to the city and outlined several purchase options.
March 2022 The Maplewood City Council met in a closed session to discuss the purchase options and requested that Ramsey County reopen the Ponds golf course for the 2022 season while continuing to discuss future ownership. Ramsey County declined to reopen the golf course.
April 2022 The Maplewood City Council determined that the city has not budgeted for the purchase of the golf course and does not have the expertise or staff to run a golf course. Therefore, the city would not be making a purchase offer for the properties. The City Council decided to revisit the development scenarios developed during the public engagement process.
Property A is a County-owned, 77-acre undeveloped site in the eastern portion of Maplewood’s Battle Creek neighborhood with access from South Century Avenue. To the south is the Ramsey County Correctional Facility; to the North and West is Battle Creek Regional Park. To the east is residential property in the City of Woodbury.
Property B is the County-owned 88-acre Ponds at Battle Creek golf course, 601 South Century Avenue. To the north, across Lower Afton Road, is the Ramsey County Correctional Facility.