After nearly four hours of testimony and debate, the Bloomington City Council approved a controversial subdivision that will create a new road through a quiet neighborhood on the Minnesota River bluffs.

The council voted 5-2 Monday night to approve the plat for Dwan Bluff, a 13-home subdivision on the former estate of the late Dr. Paul Dwan, who donated land for the city golf course that bears his name. Council Members Dwayne Lowman and Cynthia Bemis Abrams voted against it.

Area residents fought vigorously against the proposal, largely because it would create a new road connecting two dead-end stubs on Overlook Drive. Opponents said that increased traffic on the connecting road would destroy the quiet, secluded character of the neighborhood.

Before the meeting, council members received a strongly worded opinion from City Attorney Sandra Johnson, advising them that they had virtually no choice but to approve the subdivision, since it complied with city zoning laws. The city's planning and engineering staff also advised approval.

"It's something that's totally appropriate for what we are in Bloomington. I know you disagree," Mayor Gene Winstead told the crowd of opponents at the meeting. "But we've worked to overcomplicate this thing from both sides. And I don't know why. I don't know why it had to be that way."

John Reinan