The Minnesota Design Team charges a small fee to assemble teams of approximately 20 volunteer professionals who use design and planning approaches to help small Minnesota communities develop a shared vision of a healthy future and create great public spaces. The MDT focuses on designs and processes for making communities more complete, compact and connected.
While not restricted to mixed-use districts, the Equitable Development Scorecard (Harrison Neighborhood Association & others: 2015) allows development plans/projects and policies to be developed and evaluated along 5 dimensions (community engagement, and land use, economic development, housing, and transportation practices) to ensure that everyone regardless of race, economic status, ability or the neighborhood in which they live has access to essential ingredients for environmental, economic, social, and cultural well-being including: living wage jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, viable housing choices, public transportation, good schools, strong social networks, safe and walkable streets, services parks, and access to healthy food.
Inclusive Healthy Places (2019: Gehl Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) is an evaluation and implementation framework to help planners/policymakers create public spaces that promote individual and community health and well-being.
Community benefits agreements (Alliance for Metropolitan Stability: 2008) are a tool to ensure meaningful and enforceable outcomes, especially for low-income people and communities of color, during redevelopment planning.
Conduct a process that involves community members / stakeholder input. Report main street revitalization and preservation actions under best practice 5.2; report comp plan civic engagement under 6.1
Bring in a facilitator to work with the city, community members and other stakeholders; use the Equitable Development Scorecard as an evaluation tool.
Participate in a Minnesota Design Team charrette; plan to increase the percent of residents who work within 10 miles of their homes.
Who's doing it
Arden Hills - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
The City of Arden Hills went through a large-scale community planning process to develop a Master Plan for the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site beginning in 2013. Several open houses were held, as well as monthly opportunities for residents to speak at a Public Hearing at City Council meetings. Staff, consultants and residents all worked together to develop the Master Plan for the area. The TCAAP Master Plan includes several mixed use zoning districts and the site has been designed to be very pedestrian friendly development.
The Minnesota Design Team visited Bemidji on September 14-16 of 2012. In addition to touring the Bemidji area, they held two events to connect with the Bemidji community. On Friday evening, community members gathered with the Minnesota Design Team to help develop our shared vision of Bemidji’s future and brainstorm ideas and practices that could be implemented in Bemidji. The MDT used this feedback from community members to prepare their presentation for Saturday evening. They first presented a slideshow at the Chief Theater, before moving to a nearby location where community members could see each slide/poster prepared and converse directly with Minnesota Design Team members on their thoughts about Bemidji’s future.
Input from the Minnesota Design Team visit is currently being utilized in the creation of the Greater Bemidji Area's Comprehensive Plan.
Following the Housing and Redevelopment Authority's purchase of the Columbia Arena site, the City of Fridley enlisted the services of the Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Corridor Development Initiative to assist with stakeholder input. LISC led a series of community workshops to identify development guidelines for the site as well as the adjacent Fridley public works building and park/soccer fields. These guidelines were the foundation of the Columbia Arena Redevelopment Master Plan and the design for the new civic campus.
Downtown Moorhead Master Plan
In Progress: 4 phase, 12 month plan, approved by the Moorhead EDA on 4/1/2019
The purpose of the expected outcomes of the plan are:
· Broad public engagement to gain community support
· Identifying priorities and strategic opportunities to encourage appropriate development, improve underutilized space, and activate civic assets to their highest and best uses
· Identifying best practices for continued efforts to make Downtown Moorhead a more livable, walkable and thriving urban center
· Driving investment opportunities to Downtown Moorhead and maximizing on the return of public and private investments
· Integrating and synchronizing the aesthetics and amenities of both public and private investments in Downtown Moorhead
City participated and collaborated with the Minnesota Design Team in 2018. After successful completion of the MN Design Team visit in 2018, the City has continued towards implementing the ideas and strategies generated throughout the MN Design Team visit bringing residents, businesses and community together to be part of the change and development of City of North Branch
Pine City adopted an ordinance allowing for mixed-use zoning (shown in purple in attached map) after debate about revitalizing an area adjacent to downtown along 3rd Avenue SE. In 2009, the City participated in a Minnesota Design Team charrette and identified for mixed-use zoning possibilities and areas of in-fill development.
2009 - Minnesota Design Team visit
2007 - Zoned property MXU (Mixed Use)
2014 - Condemned property in MXU District for future development.
In 2005 the MN Design Team Made 2 Visits to Willmar. One was to review the city as a whole and the other was to discuss opportunities to revitalize downtown.
From those meeting the Willmar Design Center was formed.
A Comprehensive Downtown Plan. Becker farmers market was formed. Willmar walks plans were developed.
The City and New American Academy as partners hosted 4-2 hour planning, design and feasibility workshops to engage community members, business owners and other stakeholders on the future Town Center light rail station area. The workshop was facilitated by Twin Cities LISC and made possible by a Corridors of Opportunity grant from the Metropolitan Council.
In 2008 a consultant was used to facilitate community planning meetings for the I-394 mixed use district for the comprehensive plan. Resident and business surveys were sent out and a visual preference survey was conducted. An open house was held to gather input on the re-zoning process as well as a “resident roundtable” to address specific concerns brought up in the surveys. A presentation on the progress of the project was given to the West Metro Chamber of Commerce and made available to other organizations and neighborhood associations.
The 2040 comprehensive plan will use some form of community planning process for additional mixed use planning. The City continues to expand outreach efforts in order to connect more residents to these processes.
The historic Concord Boulevard Neighborhood in Inver Grove Heights has experienced significant public investments in recent years. The City of Inver Grove Heights now hopes to use these improvements and amenities to encourage new residential and commercial development to improve the existing residential neighborhood, strengthen and increase commercial activities, increase property values, and provide additional employment opportunities. To initiate this private investment, the City has completed the Concord Boulevard Neighborhood Plan. Many groups such as elected and appointed officials, business owners and managers, neighborhood and community at large, city staff, Dakota CDA, Progress Plus, and South St. Paul were consulted in developing this plan during two stakeholder meetings. During these meetings, stakeholders presented their future vision of the corridor and provided input on a preferred plan.
The Sibley Parkway redevelopment project took a former blighted concrete plant site and has since transformed it to an active riverfront development area. At the inception of the project, neighborhood input was solicited for the visioning of the process to help guide the plans to ensure compatibility with the neighborhood. Additionally, per City Council approvals, all proposals in the redevelopment area are required to go through the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process to ensure public notice and encourage resident participation and review of all proposals.
In 2012 a 60-unit apartment building was the first development in the redevelopment area, and resident input encouraged the developer to lower the height by one story to ensure viewshed of the river and adjacent areas was maintained. In 2013 a series of townhomes were constructed to the south. City staff is working to encourage investment of mixed-use commercial elements in proposals for the area.
(1) The City of New Brighton has organized and participated in various community planning and design processes that have yielded desires for mixed use ordinances and developments, most notable the New Brighton Exchange redevelopment area. These studies are known as the Old Highway 8 Corridor Study and a Vision for the Heart of New Brighton. New Brighton’s Planning Commission reviews all community planning items and provides recommendations to the City Council.
The city adopted its "City Center Vision" in June of 2011, which promotes mixed-use development. As stated in the vision, "the higher density housing options in City Center will include new housing types for the community, such as higher-end condominiums and rental units, and mixed-use residential/commercial buildings. Housing, commercial and office uses and multi-modal transportation options will support each other and be part of the new identity of City Center." The City Council and Planning Commission led the development of the vision, supported by staff, consultants, and contributors from the public and private sector. The City Center Vision was presented to local businesses and residents at several meetings. Additionally, the city secured a Livable Communities grant in 2001-2002, which examined redevelopment opportunities in the Bass Lake Rd & Winnetka Ave area. The focus was on redevelopment of underutilized or marginal properties within the city. The task force included approximately 60 members of the community including citizens, business owners, city commission members, and school district representatives.
The City has recently completed two community planning processes: for the Gold Line BRT Helmo Station, and the former 3M Foundation Property. The Helmo Station process evaluated development potential for a 1/2 mile radius around the planned Bus Rapid Transit station within Oakdale. The study area currently is both vacant and occupied commercial land, the approved change in zoning to a PUD includeds high and medium density residential, professional office, flex office, retail and park and open space. A consultant was used to facilitate the station area planning process and community open houses, online community engagement, and direct meetings with affected property owners.
Similarly, a consultant was used to facilitate the public planning process for the former 3M Foundation Property, property that was previously zoned for a business park. A small area study was completed and it was determined a new residential neighborhood was the best use for the land. Though a series of public open houses with the adjacent neighborhood a preferred conceptual master plan has been developed and approved by the City Council.
During the development of the 2008 Comprehensive Plan, 52 people attended a meeting on 2/15/07 and completed survey forms designed to learn about the meeting participants and their views on several community development issues. Over a two month period, four community meetings were held to seek public input on ideas and concepts that were assembled based on initial community input. The concepts were intended to allow a testing of some of the “big ideas” being considered as part of the plan. As matter of policy, the City organizes stakeholder groups for all area plans and master plans.
The City hired private consultants for the development of the Comp Plan and for master plans like the Bicycle Master Plan. These consultants also helped facilitate the stakeholder-involvement processes.
Silver Bay has created a 100 acre eco-park that incorporates many economic development clusters such as energy facilities, sustainable food facilities, education, office space, retail, and tourism. Their goal for the eco-park is to network businesses to work with each other and the Silver Bay Community in order to create and diversify living wage employment by improving re- source productivity, eliminating pollution and expanding markets through renewable, sustainable energy development.
The City adopted The Robert St Renaissance Plan in 2001. The process to develop this plan included community members as part of the stakeholder group. It also included numerous meetings to gather public input. The whole process was facilitated by multiple consultants.
In 2010, the City began an extensive study to develop alternatives for a proposed mixed-use development area. The resulting document, the Urban Village Master Plan, was completed in February 2012. The process for developing the Master Plan allowed for a multitude of opportunity for public input; through open houses for the community, stakeholder meetings, Planning Commission meetings, and City Council meetings. The process was aided by the consultant HKGI, which has a strong background of planning for mixed-use development.
Implimented in 2004, developed design standards for program- Austin Main Street Program.
Working now in Vision 2020 to make Main Street a destinatnion place (have businesses and residential rental space on second floor).
Coon Rapids is currently working on a mixed use area near Foley Blvd with plans for a park and ride location, Northern Lights Express rail, bus service and road improvements. The plans also include commercial and residential redevelopment in collaboration with property owners. Connectivity improvements are also recommended for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. The City is working with Anoka County, MnDOt and Metro Transit. The planning project is funded by a $40,000 grant from the Metropolitan Council. The goal of the grant program is to catalyze development around transit stations. This process is managed by the City's Community Development Specialist.
A website was created to share up to date information with the community and allow for feedback from residents.
The Cedar Grove Redevelopment was approved on basis of the Cedar/13 Study, which involved a facilitated analysis of the project area and future development scenarios. This analysis included community and stakeholder input. The Opportunity City Program Study Report will also provide design professional input relative to the City's three mixed use special areas.
The City's Comprehensive Plan guides the Old Village Center for mixed-use zoning (VMX) to encourage a variety of uses that will provide opportunities for commerce, retail, entertainment, community spaces and housing, all working in synergy to drive activity, energy, and people to downtown Lake Elmo. In 2013, the VMX zoning district was created with the intent to facilitate development that is consistent with a compact, walkable environment that builds upon the historical land use patterns of the Village. It has also been designed to allow a wide range of uses and activities and encourages the mixing of different use types. The ordinance includes standards for specific development types with provisions that address the unique character of the Village.
In general, the standards allow a much higher degree of flexibility for building and activity in the Village than was previously permitted.
Number of parcels rezoned to VMX: 3 since 2013
Number of new uses allowed in Village District as a result of new zoning.
Number of mixed use housing units erected.
In 2004, the City prepared the Development Framework for Downtown Rosemount. This process included a series of public meetings and design charrettes to create and maintain Downtown Rosemount in a manner consistent with the community vision.
The Development Framework for Downtown Rosemount has served as the guiding document for several redevelopment projects in downtown including Waterford Commons, a mixed use residential and commercial building, the Steeple Center and the Dakota County Public Library.
The City of St. Anthony has completed the following main street programs:
1. In 2000, the City adopted a standard for the design and construction of road and streets that incorporated sidewalks and pedestrain level lighting to encourage walkability.
2. The City developed guidelines steering the construction and redevelopment of the Apache Plaza Mall area that incorporated a main street pedestrian friendly environment.
The City of Stillwater and the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee participated in a community planning process, which presented the future land use for a mixed use highway district along Hwy 36. The planning process included public input as well as input from various interest groups.
The City established a Special Service District in downtown White Bear Lake in 1992. A portion of the Special Service District funds are allocated to a program for property owners within the district, called Downtown White Bear Lake. Downtown White Bear Lake is a non-profit organization formed to serve the promotion and development needs of this special service district, aimed at revitalizing the community’s commercial core. Membership is voluntary and its members are committed to promotional efforts and special event coordination. The organization also strives to improve the quality and diversity of business by encouraging a wide variety of economic, cultural and recreational opportunities. Downtown White Bear Lake seeks to generate excitement and activity while building a strong business image through a combined effort from businesses, services and community residents now and in the future.
The City promotes Downtown White Bear Lake by providing a link on the official city website, and also participates in a 50/50 cost share to fund a promotional banner program in the downtown area.
A link to Downtown White Bear Lake can be found on the city's official website, under the Community Links section.
A link to the official City ordinance that established the Special Service district can be found on the City's official website, in the Municipal Code, within Article V.
A facilitator is someone who helps a group of people understand their common objectives and assists them to plan how to achieve these objectives. I would assume this to be apparent during waste water discussions. Multiple Waste water treatment facility meetings were held with many experts on the situation. Also there were members from Stance present. Tiffany Edholm sat in on a meeting and observed Stantec's presence. The two men were very knowledgable and stayed fairly unbiased. Meeting members discussed different options to remedy said problem
The idea of a facilitator is great for meetings that are high stake, with people who have passionate opinions. A third party can keep a level head and see pro's and con's to every side.