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EAGAN, MN-The planning commission has allowed rezoning of more than 35 acres thatMary Jo Copeland would use to build a 200-bed children’s home. The 4-3 vote came afterneighbors opposed the $30-million project due to environmental concerns and worries over the “children’s home” approach.

Similar proposals have already been denied in Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Victoria and Chaska.

The rezoning was necessary to accommodate mixed-use and multiple building on a single lot. Developers plan to build 22 two-story residential units to house up to 10 children and two to three adults each. There also would be a 95,000-sf school and community center,several playgrounds, sports fields and a pedestrian walkway.

Copeland, founder of the Sharing and Caring Hands charity in Minneapolis, signed a purchase agreement in March to build a home in northwest Eagan. The issue is up for a vote next week by the Eagan city council.

Copeland says she hopes to raise $60 million in private donations–$30 million to build the center and $30 million to operate it.

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