Minnetrista, MN

Breanne Rothstein, AICP
Senior City Planner

November 2011

APA Minnesota Spotlight on Minnesota
Minnetrista is a small, suburban/rural community on the western shores of Lake Minnetonka. It is characterized primarily by rolling agricultural topography, scenic lakes, remnant maple-basswood forests, and regional parks and trails. While the community is growing, Minnetrista has kept its suburban development slow and steady, allowing for solid planning and strict enforcement of community ideals. Primarily developed as large estates on the shorelines of Lake Minnetonka and its surrounding countryside, Minnetrista’s future offers a variety of housing types, sizes, and styles with the recent approval of Woodland Cove, a mixed-use, mixed-housing community.

What is the greatest part of your job?

The best part of my job is the diversity in work tasks. Given Minnetrista’s relatively small size, the planning department gets the opportunity to work on standard “planning” projects like development review, zoning, and ordinance writing, but also special projects relating to park planning, construction, and maintenance; stormwater management projects; regional trail planning; planning law; and environmental preservation. Learning and gaining experience in multiple facets of planning and related fields is the best part of working in a small community.

What is a unique fact or characteristic about Minnetrista?APA Minnesota Spotlight on Minnesota

Minnetrista has a history as a summer destination for city-dwellers in the late 1800s. Using the trolley system that extended to Excelsior and aboard ferries, urbanites would travel to Minnetrista’s islands and shores for a summer gateway from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Halstead Brothers lived at the “Hermitage” in Minnetrista, which served as a tourist destination, hosting any who would venture out. They are buried on their property, which is now the site of a memorial to them (and a development called Hermitage Shores).

Any new projects on the horizon?

In September, the City approved a preliminary plat for a new neighborhood called Woodland Cove. On nearly 500 acres abutting the shores of Lake Minnetonka, this development will house nearly 3,000 people at full-built, including a small commercial area. It is Minnetrista’s first major development that includes a variety of housing types and styles, consisting of one acre estates on the lake, single-family homes on small, medium, and large suburban lots, townhomes, twinhomes, and some multi-family housing. It is sure to offer something for everyone, which is part of the reason the developers feel the project will be successful in an uncertain market in the future.

Hastings, MN

John Hinzman, AICP
Community Development Director

August 2011

APA Minnesota Spotlight on MinnesotaHow long have you been working for the community?

I have worked for the City of Hastings for almost ten years.

What is the greatest part of your job?

Hastings is a stand-alone city with a historic downtown and plenty of room to grow. The mix betweenredevelopment of the older neighborhoods and new growth on the edges makes the job unique.

What is a unique fact or characteristic about Hastings?

The City of Hastings is one of the oldest cities in the State. Some of the old plat maps still used todayrefer to its location in the Minnesota Territory.

Any new projects on the horizon?

a. TH 61 Mississippi River Bridge – The Hastings bridge is MnDot’s busiest two lane bridgein the state. A new four lane bridge is under construction directly west of the existingbridge and should be complete by 2013.

b. Hudson Manufacturing Redevelopment – As part of the Hastings Bridge project,Hudson Manufacturing has been acquired by the City of Hastings. The 3.8 acre sitefronts the Mississippi River and is adjacent to the TH 61 bridge. The site contains a150,000 s.f. manufacturing building dating back to 1909. The City is evaluating potentialredevelopment plans which may include a rehabilitation of the manufacturing buildinginto shops or housing.

Hutchinson, MN

Dan Jochum, AICP
Planning Director

April 2011

APA Minnesota Spotlight on MinnesotaHow long have you been with the City of Hutchinson?

I have been with the City of Hutchinson for approximately 11 months. Prior to working forHutchinson I worked as a Planning Consultant for Short Elliott Hendrickson for 9 years. Istarted my planning career as an intern with the City of Hutchinson in 2001.

What is the greatest part of your job?

The greatest part of my job is working with the various community groups in Hutchinson. Ihave been working with the Public Arts Commission to develop a large scale piece of publicart in Hutchinson. I am also leading a public process to update the Comprehensive Plan. Thisprocess has allowed me to learn more about the community, as well as to understand the historyof Hutchinson.

What is a unique fact or characteristic about Hutchinson?

  • The Hutchinson Family Singers (John, Asa, and Judson Hutchinson) are credited withfounding the town in November 1855. This also included 15 acres of land set aside forparks, which makes Hutchinson’s (platted) park system the second oldest in the UnitedStates.
  • The town was besieged during the Sioux Uprising in 1862. Chief Little Crow was shot bya farmer a few miles north and west of Hutchinson a year later.
  • Hutchinson has the largest 3M Manufacturing Plant in the world.
  • Hutchinson is home to Ridgewater College, which is a Community and TechnicalCollege with over 5,500 students in Hutchinson and Willmar.
  • WNBA star Lindsay Whalen is from Hutchinson.
  • Famous wildlife artist Les Kouba is also from Hutchinson.

Any interesting projects happening in 2011?

The Harmony River Living Center 120- bed senior care project started construction in fall2010 and will continue through summer 2011. Currently phase one of several phases is beingconstructed. Phase one will cost $23.4 million and is supported by a total of $18.3 millionin loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency’s CommunityFacilities Program.

In addition to the Harmony River project, City staff will be spending a significant amount of time updating the Hutchinson Comprehensive Plan. The last plan was finished in 2002 and a lot has changed since then with the recession, new home construction slow down, and significant layoffs at Hutchinson Technology, Inc. The updated Plan is anticipated to be completed in spring 2012.

Zumbrota, MN

Daniel J. King
Community Development Director

March 2011

APA Minnesota Spotlight on MinnesotaHow long have you been with the City of Zumbrota?

2011 will be my fifth year with the City of Zumbrota. Prior to this Iwas with the City of Kasson and the City of Cottage Grove before that.

What is the greatest part of your job?

It's exciting working with citizens to shape our physical and socialenvironment. I particularly enjoy assisting with preservation andpromotion efforts in the historic downtown and initiatingcommercial/industrial expansion in the City.

Zumbrota is blessed with an active arts community which is currentlyworking to save the State Theatre, an historic downtown attraction fromthe vaudeville days. The building will be renovated and preserved tohost numerous events in addition to movies; including live theatre &musicals, dance recitals, orchestras, choirs and concerts, etc.

The local Economic Development Authority recently acquired and developeda 20-acre industrial park. The industrial park is located along Highway52, a major thoroughfare between Rochester and Minneapolis/St. Paul thatruns through town. We worked to purchase, annex, plat and extendinfrastructure to the bare farmland in a matter of months. Two parcelswere immediately sold for an 80,000 square foot manufacturing facilityand 20,000 square foot warehouse/distribution facility, both newstart-up businesses employing about 60 people. We've nearly recoupedour initial investment and have about seven acres remaining fordevelopment.

These two projects highlight economic and cultural activity in both thecentral business district and highway commercial areas.

What is a unique fact or characteristic about Zumbrota?

Zumbrota is home to Minnesota's only remaining authentic covered bridgewhich spans the Zumbro River and is listed on the National Registry ofHistoric Places. The Covered Bridge is a destination for many visitorsand is a real source of pride for residents. An ad hoc group was formedwhich serves to "Protect, Preserve and Promote" this valuable resource.Through fund raising and grants, the bridge has recently been paintedand digitally scanned to produce as-built drawings in case there is evera need to repair or replace (the bridge was originally built in 1869).The group has also developed print and video marketing materialspromoting the Bridge.

Minneapolis, MN

Barbara Sporlein
Planning Director, City of Minneapolis,

February 2011

APA Minnesota Spotlight on MinnesotaHow long have you been with the City of Minneapolis?

I joined the City of Minneapolis as its Director of Planning in the Department of Community Planningand Economic Development in January 2004.

What is the greatest part of your job?

The diversity of the work and people. On any given day, I could be reviewing an historic designationstudy and staff recommendation, dealing with the implications of the supreme court ruling onvariances, trying to find solutions to very different parking issues in the Uptown and Stadium Villageareas, preparing for budget cuts, and trying to finance public realm improvements near transit stationareas – and everything in between. I work with very creative and hard working people – elected andappointed city officials and other city staff, developers, attorneys, property owners, neighborhood andbusiness groups, media, students and citizen planners. One of the most gratifying aspects of my job isto work alongside the planning staff in Minneapolis. They are without a doubt the most professional,dedicated, and skilled people I have ever worked with. I learn something new every day from them.The city is blessed to have such talent on its team.

What is the most challenging?

The slow economic recovery and changing demographics present many challenges. Planners and allpublic officials are expected to solve increasingly complex problems with decreasing resources, morepublic scrutiny, and less collective tolerance and patience. I am inspired by the high caliber peoplewho choose public service under these conditions. A big part of my job is to ensure we have the properskills, tools, partnerships and motivation needed to be effective in these times.

What’s Ahead in 2011?

Here’s a partial list. We look forward to the long awaited construction of the Longfellow Stationmixed use development at the 38th Street Hiawatha LRT station area. This year will be the beginningof the multi-phased, multi-faceted improvements in the West Bank Cedar Riverside Station Area APA Minnesota Spotlight on Minnesota– some 25 different infrastructure and other projects including bridge and sidewalk improvements,bike lanes, cross walks, $113 million renovation of Riverside Plaza – all designed to maximize theexisting and pending transit investments and improve the overall quality of life in the station area.The West Bank Cedar Riverside Station Area will be the most transformative station area in thecity. We will continue to work on the build out the regional transit system, including Hiawatha LRT(place making, redevelopment opportunities) Central Corridor LRT (final engineering, station areaplanning, redevelopment opportunities), Southwest Transitway LRT (DEIS, preliminary engineering,Hennepin County Community Works Partnership, development investment framework), BottineauBlvd Corridor (alternative analysis), and the Interchange near Target Field (platform extension, publicplaza, multi-modal station). We are an official partner for the three-year HUD Regional SustainabilityPlanning Grant focused on building regional and local capacity to address jobs, housing, health, andsustainability along major transit corridors. The possibility of a new Vikings Stadium will bring newopportunities for Downtown East. We look forward to the School District Headquarters completingconstruction adding new vitality to West Broadway. We will be updating the design guidelines for the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. And we will be analyzing the new Census data and what it means for our city and our work. Again, a rich diversity of work and people involved.

What is the biggest role of the planning department within the City of Minneapolis?

Our mission is to grow a sustainable city. We work diligently to preserve and enhance our city and its neighborhoods, as well as grow the city’s population, housing units, jobs and tax base. Our role in planning is to help develop sound policies and plans that are both visionary and attainable. A second key role is to facilitate the implementation of those policies and plans through various means – development review, zoning administration, capital improvement planning, transportation planning, legislative work, strategic development consultation, technical assistance, public art program administration, heritage preservation and having a seat at the tables when decisions are being made. We think what sets Minneapolis apart in terms of quality of life is that we don’t just make great plans, we implement them.

Sartell, MN

Anita Rasmussen
Planning and Community Development Director

February 2011

APA Minnesota Spotlight on MinnesotaHow long have you been with the City of Sartell?

I started out as a consulting planner with the City of Sartell under Dahlgren Shardlow and Uban in 2000. The city created a position for a full-time Planning and Community Development Director position in 2003 and I gladly accepted the position. It was the longest job interview of my life!

What is the greatest part of your job?

I love answering land use questions, helping developers figure out solutions to tough problems and working with residents. The greatest pleasure is seeing your "thumbprint" on the community you work for!

What is a unique fact or characteristic about Sartell?

In the past 25 years, the population of this community has increased by over 200%. What was once a bedroom room "suburb" adjacent to St. Cloud, we are evolving into a small sustainable community. We are the second-largest city in central Minnesota, behind St. Cloud.

Per capita - I'm pretty sure we have the most roundabouts constructed and/or proposed!

APA Minnesota Spotlight on MinnesotaIn terms of history, Sartell began as a small river town relying on lumber and a paper company for its existence. The present site of the City of Sartell was first known as "The Third Rapids", this name was given by the French fur traders because it was the third "rapids" they would encounter as they traveled north up the Mississippi River from St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis.

Any interesting development or redevelopment projects in 2011?

We continue to foster the growth of two very significant commercial and medical projects which opened in 2010. The development synergy that has emerged because of $60 million dollars of private investment has been fun to witness. We are also working with MN DOT on the plans and construction of a new interchange to help alleviate traffic congestion which has developed as a result of our medical and commercial projects!


Willmar, MN
January 2011

APA Minnesota Spotlight on MinnesotaAPA Minnesota Spotlight on Minnesota
Willmar Minnesota
Bruce Peterson

January 1, 2011 marked the 25th anniversary of my hiring with the City of Willmar. I was the first professional planner hired by the City. A lot of my job satisfaction comes from seeing the results of good planning. We have done all our comprehensive planning in-house, and it is gratifying when things develop according to the plan. The past 25 years have seen tremendous growth for Willmar as a rural Minnesota regional center. The City has permitted over 3/4 of a billion dollars in new construction over that time frame, including nearly 2000 residential units.

Something unique to Willmar is the MinnWest Technology Campus, one of the country's largest, most active, private technology campuses. Although just a few years old, this former state-owned regional treatment center has been redeveloped into a thriving bio-tech, bio-science, r&d, and production facility. The Campus is currently home to 20 companies with combined employment of over 270 persons. Later in 2011, a joint effort between the Campus management, the University of Minnesota, MNSCU, and the City of Willmar will result in the Mid-Central Research and Outreach Center being opened on the campus. This new venture will help bring new technologies to the marketplace by making academic assistance available to emerging entrepreneurs and commercializing intellectual property.

Looking ahead in 2011, major projects in Willmar will include the redevelopment of the 600-acre former airport into the next phases of our industrial park, which is currently at capacity. The continued growth of the Technology Campus is another development priority, and there are several new technology businesses considering the site for their headquarters. Other current projects include the redevelopment of a former lumber yard complex into an office/commercial center and the drafting of a City-wide pedestrian/biking/trail plan. Additional hangar and aviation business development at the new airport is also anticipated.

St. Louis Park, MN
January 2011

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St. Louis Park
Adam Fulton, AICP, Planner

How long have you been with the city of St. Louis Park?

I've worked for St. Louis Park for almost six years. It's hard to believe because the time here has passed quickly. St. Louis Park is an incredibly dynamic community. So when a surprise shows up at the counter or on the phone, it isn't unexpected. Citizens of St. Louis Park are passionate about their city, and that translates into high-quality results not only for planning activities but also for city operations across the board.

What is the greatest part of your job?

Planning in St. Louis Park means something different every day. I can spend the morning working on issues related to a major regional project like the Southwest light rail transit line, and transition to zoning ordinance questions about a neighborhood fence in the afternoon. I work with a great team, and am lucky to be continually learning from their expertise and ideas about how to manage and plan for change (or try!) within the community.

What is a unique fact or characteristic about St. Louis Park?

St. Louis Park may come across as just another rapidly changing the first-ring suburb, but in fact, the city has deep roots and strongly values its history of diversity and tolerance. St. Louis Park was incorporated in 1886 and was a streetcar suburb before development really took off after WWII. The city, named after the Minneapolis and St. Louis railroad line, welcomed diversity as a large number of Jewish families moved here in the 1940s and 50s; today, the city has just adopted a domestic partnership registry and continues to see an influx of minority populations, including Somali and Russian immigrants.

Any interesting development or redevelopment projects in 2011

Like cities across the nation, redevelopment in St. Louis Park has been impacted by the Great Recession. Despite the economic situation, the city has built on a strong sense of community, close proximity to downtown Minneapolis and the Chain of Lakes, and a high-quality school system. In 2011, look for continued development at the West End, where a 120-unit apartment building has been approved. Additional activity centers include the City’s Park Commons and Elmwood areas, where new apartment proposals and construction on a mixed-use senior housing building are expected. The city will also begin work on rebuilding its two fire stations in 2011, culminating a six-year process that started in 2005 when structural issues were identified on the existing fire stations.