The city of Mankato will not turn over land in a ravine on the city’s west side to allow a developer to build two four-plex apartments, the City Council decided Monday on a 5-0 vote.
Neighbors along James Avenue have opposed the project, which would run up a ravine above Saratoga Street.
City staff and the Planning Commission recommended denial, in part because the city may have a future use for the land for utilities, a trail or a road.
City Manager Pat Hentges said public land, a road right-of-way in this case, can only be abandoned for private use as long as there is a public benefit. The Planning Commission, and the council, agreed there is no public benefit in this case. Councilman Mark Frost recused himself because of his longtime friendship with the applicant, and Council President Chris Frederick abstained.
Councilman Jack Considine, also a member of the Planning Commission, said the commission found “red flags everywhere” with the proposed development, including its impact on rain drainage.