Developer cancels plans for St. Croix Falls development

Green Halo owner cites community opposition in decision to abandon proposal.




2 minute read

An angler trolls past the shoreline where the proposed development would have been located. (Greg Seitz/St. Croix 360)

The builder proposing to construct 12 new houses on the St. Croix River in the city of St. Croix Falls has withdrawn the request. Stillwater-based Green Halo owner John Sharkey told the Star Tribune that the decision was in response to community opposition:

“I want to be part of something that the community wants, and it’s obvious that the community doesn’t want this,” said Sharkey, who sat through a St. Croix Falls Plan Commission meeting last month in which numerous people spoke out against the project.

“I really heard the community,” he said Wednesday. “I grew up on the St. Croix River so I totally respect it.” The project was scrubbed from the company’s website on Wednesday.

Opposition causes developer to abandon St. Croix River development, Star Tribune

The St. Croix Falls city council was intending to vote on re-zoning required for the proposal this coming Monday, June 13.

The plan would have placed a dozen new houses, advertised as “cabins” and “second homes,” on about 600 feet of St. Croix River shoreline. It would have been located just upstream of National Park Service headquarters and the Xcel Energy hydroelectric dam. With the proposed re-zoning, the development could have put the houses no more than 10 feet apart, and just 50 to 75 feet set back from the river.

Yesterday, St. Croix Falls resident Rhonda Kingery told St. Croix 360 she had already collected more than 200 signatures on a petition opposing the project. An online petition against the development, only launched this week, had 498 signatures as of this writing.


St. Croix 360 offers commenting to support productive discussion. We don’t allow name-calling, personal attacks, or misinformation. This discussion may be heavily moderated and we reserve the right to block nonconstructive comments. Please: Be kind, give others the benefit of the doubt, read the article closely, check your assumptions, and stay curious. Thank you!

“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world.” – Bill Bullard

12 responses to “Developer cancels plans for St. Croix Falls development”

  1. Allison Mcginnis Avatar
    Allison Mcginnis

    Great news! For now….

  2. Jon Erik Kingstad Avatar
    Jon Erik Kingstad

    That’s really good news. I’m so grateful to those who showed up at the St. Croix Falls hearing and those who started and joined in signing the petitions opposing this poorly conceived project. But also, it just may have occurred to the developer that this development also needed a conditional use permit from Polk County and that it needed to comply with the Polk County Shoreland Protection Ordinance. At the very least. that Ordinance would have prevented construction of any residences or other structures within 75 feet of the river.

  3. Rhonda Kingery Avatar
    Rhonda Kingery

    Isn’t it “funny” that the Developer LISTENED to the people…NOT the ELECTED Officials?

    1. Donald Frantz Avatar
      Donald Frantz

      My exact though too!

    2. Eddie! Emerson Avatar
      Eddie! Emerson

      Thanks for your efforts, Rhonda!
      Go Hamilton Street!

    3. Carol LeBreck Avatar
      Carol LeBreck

      I’m so pleased that “the peoples’ voices” were HEARD and RESPECTED!!

  4. Diane Avatar


  5. Yvonne Avatar

    That was a little too easy. He will be back with a different plan.

    1. Susan Avatar

      I agree. Keep your ears and eyes open, this is probably not over.

  6. Mike Kemp Avatar
    Mike Kemp

    The visionaries that created the scenic Rivers act ! Score one from the grave !

  7. Dianne S Polasik Avatar
    Dianne S Polasik

    I see Deb Ryan of Wild River Conservancy suggested working together with city of St. Croix Falls and National Park Service to plan a vision for the land going forward and fund raising support if needed. I think that’s a great idea to plan for preserving our wild and scenic river and maybe connecting existing trails. That’s something I would financially support.


You may republish this article online or in print under our Creative Commons license. You may not edit or shorten the text, you must attribute the article to St. Croix 360 and you must include the author’s name in your republication.

If you have any questions, please email

Developer cancels plans for St. Croix Falls development