Estelle would’ve been much better 1 block east of where it was proposed. While I don’t insist on needing a perfect gradient of height & density (missing middle, etc.), 20+ stories pretty much next door to single family homes was a bit extreme.sdho wrote:Also there is simply something wrong in a system that allows developments like Shake Shack basically as of right but requires comprehensive plan amendments (that they fail to get) for something like Estelle.
Also, some parts of Estelle struck me as very suburban for the Southdale area. The base/platform was very low (why not 4-6 stories?), it seemed to emphasize car access over pedestrian/bicycle/transit (surface parking with access to the building oriented towards it internally), and renderings seemed to pretend that people would enjoy walking on sidewalks adjacent to France.
It was good density with a beautiful building, but it wasn’t perfect.
As far as Comp Plan amendments go, I think Edina’s leaders should be firmer with neighborhoods and say that height preferences are OK in the Comp Plan (small area plans, e.g.), but height limitations are not. That will get zoning in its rightful place—the zoning map/ordinance—and out of a *planning* document, where it doesn’t belong.