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GREY CLOUD TOWNSHIP, MN-Plans for a major new housing development are on hold pending the ruling of a judge over whether 300 acres of land on the banks of the Mississippi River in southern Washington County can be annexed by the City of St. Paul Park.

D.R. Horton’s preliminary Rivers Edge design calls for up to 1,900 housing units and 40,000 sf of commercial space, some of it in the western side that is still in the township. But first, the developer needs the land to be annexed.

The issue of this Mississippi River land came before a judge this week as officials from Grey Cloud Island Township, where the land presently resides, argued why landowner, St. Paul Park and the developer of the proposed Rivers Edge development, should not prevail in the annexation attempt. The hearing was expected to last a week or so.

Representatives of landowner Gordon Nesvig and his supporters argue that the land should go to St. Paul Park because it would allow for municipal services that the township cannot provide.

Grey Cloud Township representatives say the land is in a critically zoned area that does not allow high-density development, and that the area is unlikely to become urban any time soon. In the meantime, D.R. Horton is working on a more detailed subdivision design plan and the city still needs to update its comprehensive plan to allow for the development.

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