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MENDOTA HEIGHTS, MN-A developer’s plans to build 157 town homes on a 25 acres of historic Native American site was thwarted this week when the Mendota Heights City Council voted to order additional study of the plans.

The decision is expected to be formalized at a special Nov. 24 meeting.

The City Council ordered an environmental impact statement, an in-depth study that could last up to a year. After that review, the plans would be subject to approval or denial by the council.

Developer Ronald Clark has not yet announced whether he will stick the project out.

A recent city-hired consultant’s report determined that the project could cause harm to the historical and cultural significance of the site. One question is whether any Indians were buried on Pilot Knob, a finding that could preclude any possibility of development.

Also, noise pollution from the nearby Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and the project’s effect on wildlife and water run-off were also raised as issues.

In January, the City Council ordered a less intensive environmental assessment worksheet. That study was completed in September. More than 150 citizens, groups and government agencies responded to that study — most in opposition to the project.

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