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Continued: Met Council data show strong growth ahead for Hennepin and Carver counties

  • Article by: MARY JANE SMETANKA and TOM MEERSMAN , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Last update: March 2, 2014 - 7:09 AM

“We are diversifying housing,” Wischnack said. The development could attract seniors as well as young families who don’t want huge lawns to maintain, she said.

In contrast to the older, more developed suburbs, several outer-ring suburbs with open land, including Minnetrista, Medina, Corcoran, Waconia and Victoria, are expected to double their populations or more.

Waconia city administrator Susan Arntz said she expects the city to outpace the council’s projections, based on feedback from property owners interested in selling their land, developers and potential home buyers.

“Some of the work and conversations we’re having now won’t happen in the next 30 days, but in the next two to five years,” she said. “There’s a lot of activity here, but we try and do it in a planned and measured way and not grow faster than we can handle.”

Carver County as a whole is expected to jump from about 90,000 to 150,000 residents, an increase of about 67 percent.

County administrator Dave Hemze said one of the main ­drivers of growth is Hwy. 212, which cuts through the county to provide speedier access east and west. The county also has a large amount of available land, he said.

Local population forecasts are important, he said, because they’re tied to potential federal, state and regional funding for roads, sewers and parks.

Twin cities of Carver

The county’s two largest cities, Chaska and Chanhassen, have nearly the same number of residents, and each is expected to grow by about 50 percent, to 35,000 in 2040.

Chaska city administrator Matt Podhradsky said that’s no surprise, since the city has long known that full build-out on the city’s remaining open land would bring the population to that level.

“The big question is what kind of velocity of development are we going to see,” he said.

Cities need to build roads and other infrastructure to align with development, he said, but they can’t get too far ahead of the curve on expensive projects. Podhradsky said he’s content that Chaska is moving toward its historic average of about 250 building permits for new homes each year.

“We don’t want to see unsustainable growth come,” he said. • 612-673-7380 • 612-673-7388

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