EAGAN, MN-An environmental study for the controversial proposal to build homes on the former Diamond T Ranch is undergoing citizen review until Dec. 9. Toll Brothers Inc. proposes to develop the 38 acre former Diamond T property with 36 single-family and 73 attached town homes in clusters of four to eight units.

The city council recently agreed to honor a citizen petition for an environmental assessment worksheet, a series of questions that in part aims to scope out what kind of contaminants are found on the site and how they will be removed. The process also allows a host of other government agencies to comment on the assessment.

Many of those questions already have been answered by reports prepared by luxury homebuilders Toll Brothers, but the worksheet may offer more information, according to city officials. The recent council action capped months of intense scrutiny of the ranch, which illegally stockpiled large amounts of manure over the years and accepted demolition debris from the old Metropolitan Stadium when it was razed in 1985. Former use of the site resulted in placement of demolition debris and accumulation of animal waste, both of which must be removed and remediated prior to construction of the homes, according to the city.

The builders hired environmental specialists who have noted the presence of oil barrels, asbestos tiles, petroleum-contaminated soil and packed manure deposits on the-acre site. Toll had been hoping to start work on the site in the fall, but faces delay due to the environmental review.

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