Linden Hills Small Area Plan
The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) and the Community Development and Economic Development (CPED) Department of the City of Minneapolis are collaborating on the development of a small area plan for a portion of Linden Hills. A consulting team led by Short Elliot Hendrickson (SEH), Inc. will lead a broadly inclusive community engagement process to develop the small area plan, which creates a shared long-range vision for portions of Linden Hills.
Below you will find the project area boundary, project overview which outlines how the community is involved, additional information, and contact information. This page will be updated throughout the planning process. Please continue to check back for updates and new information.
On December 13, 2013 the Minneapolis City Council Adopted the Linden Hills Small Area Plan. The City Council directed four revisions to the draft plan in its adoption. These are listed below. The final plan, reflecting these directed changes is linked below.
Concurrence in the recommendation of the Planning Commission that the findings prepared by the Department of Community Planning & Economic Development staff be adopted, and that said Plan be adopted as a small area plan and as an articulation of and amendment to the policies found in the City's comprehensive plan, subject to the following changes:
1. Remove “(measured from the curb level)” from recommendations in the top two bullet points of Building Height & Length on page 46 of the LHSAP.
2. Remove references to maximum height in feet from the LHSAP.
3. In the modulation section, suggest staff use a range of feet or describe it in words that reference existing context, but remove exact feet from the definition. Better explain the term and concept of modulation.
Your Committee further recommends that staff be directed to encourage overall building heights and floor-to-floor heights that reflect the adjacent architectural context and encourage buildings that are shorter than the current Zoning Code maximums for 3 and 4 story buildings (42 feet and 56 feet respectively) in the Linden Hills Small Area Plan. Adopted.”
Final Draft of Small Area Plan is available Dated November 19, 2013
Summary of Public Comments from the 45-day Comment Period
Public comments were generally focused on specific discrepancies in the future land use guidance, concerns about the recommendations for the former streetcar right of way and general praise on the content and to all who contributed to the plan. Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED) Department of the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis City Planning Commission (CPC) provided comments regarding concerns about the overall building height maximum of three stories and the lack of clarity for what is needed be done to allow a fourth story in the 44th & France neighborhood commercial node.
The LHSAP steering committee reviewed these comments and suggested changes and is working to direct revisions be made to the final plan. Changes include both content and readability improvements. The significant content changes include:
Expand the boundary of the 43rd & Upton Neighborhood Commercial Node to include the property at 2720 West 44th Street. (Section 3.1 of the draft plan)
Expand the boundary of the 44th & France Neighborhood Commercial Node to include the property at 4519 France Avenue. (Section 3.1 of the draft plan)
Revise the recommendation and accompanying narrative for the former street car right of way between Xerxes and Upton Avenues. The recommendation for additional analysis to explore additional vehicular access remains, however additional recommendations about more commonly held visions for the right of way will be added. These include: Encouraging the formalization of pedestrian and bicycle uses in the right of way and encouraging greening and improvements that increase the real and perceived safety of the users of the right of way. (Section 3.3 of the draft plan)
Building & Site Design Section: Several refinements are proposed to respond to the comments received in the 45-day comment period and follow the input received by the community during the planning process. A complete list of these revisions can be found in Section 3.2 of the draft plan.
Next Steps in Review and Adoption Process
The LHiNC Board will hold a special meeting on the adoption of the Steering Committee’s recommendation on the plan. In this meeting the LHiNC Board and the Steering Committee will discuss the revisions to the plan. The public is welcome to attend. The meeting will be held on Monday November 25th at 8:00 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, 4201 Sheridan Ave S., Minneapolis,
The final draft of the LHSAP will be available by Wednesday, November 20th. It will published on this webpage.
The City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on December 2, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. in room 317 of City Hall on the LHSAP. The public is welcome to attend and provide comments. The CPC will make a formal recommendation on the LHSAP to the City Council. CPED will prepare a staff report with an official CPED recommendation on the plan for the City Planning Commission. The staff report and official CPED recommendation will be published on November 26th. It can be found in the City Planning Commission Agendas. The staff report will include all the public comments received on the plan and the actions of the LHiNC Board. Comments provided during the 45-day comment period are part of the public record for the LHSAP planning process and will automatically be included in the materials provided to the City Planning Commission and City Council. Any additional comments are welcomed and should be provided in writing to Brian Schaffer by December 2nd at 12:00 p.m. or can be provided in person at the December 2nd City Planning Commission public hearing.
The Zoning & Planning Committee of the City Council will take up the CPC recommendation and all the materials and comments from the December 2nd CPC meeting at their public meeting on December 9th and will forward a recommendation for action by the full City Council on December 13th.
45-day Public Comment Version of Small Area Plan - Dated September 5, 2013
Review the results from the in-person and online open house
Review additional materials from the planning process
Project Area Boundary
The project boundary is defined as the commercial areas described below in the “Area of Direct Study.” The small area plan will also consider important connections to amenities outside of the study area as well as impacts on properties within one-block from the Area of Direct Study.
Area of Direct Study
The Area of Direct Study contains properties within the neighborhood commercial nodes recognized in the City’s Comprehensive Plan at 43rd and Upton and 44th and France. It also includes the parcels immediately adjacent to the 44th Street West community corridor between Upton Avenue South and France Avenue South and the France Avenue community corridor from Glendale to 47th Street West.
Area of Influence
The Area of Influence contains properties within one-block of the Area of Direct Study. This is the adjacent area where properties are most directly affected by activity and development in the Area of Direct Study. Changes in land use, density, and design are not anticipated in these areas.
The planning process will include five phases with several forums for community participation.
Phase I: Visioning
First the community will develop a vision for development in the business nodes at 43rd and Upton and 44th and France, as well as along the 44th Street corridor between Upton Avenue and France Avenue and along France Avenue from 44th to 47th Streets West.
Summary of Activities
A survey was conducted to gain feedback on the area from stakeholders. It was available for over three weeks and there were over 425 responses.
On February 28, 2013 a community workshop was held to discuss the preliminary results of the survey and issues and opportunities in the project area. Participants in the meeting then began to craft vision statements for the future of Linden Hills.
- Meeting handout (pdf)
- Summary of the meeting’s outcomes (pdf)
- The project team prepared a series of infographic displays which are located below. Click on the image to see the entire graphic.
In addition to the community workshop there were three steering committee meetings as follows:
- Steering Committee Meeting #1
- Steering Committee Meeting #2
- Steering Committee Meeting #3 - this meeting included a discussion with a development advisory panel set up for this project. The panel consists of two developers and market analysis expert. The summary of this discussion is included.
The project team prepared a market overview that summarizes real estate and business market trends influencing Linden Hills.
Phase II: Exploring Alternatives
In this phase the community will work through iterations of alternative recommendations for specific elements of the plan which include the following: Land use, Building and site design, Heritage preservation, Public realm and connectivity & Transportation and parking.
In preparation for this phase of the project topical briefs were prepared. These briefs identify how City policy converges with the community input from the February survey and community workshop, and an examination of existing conditions. The briefs are linked below:
How do I get Involved?
An interactive planning workshop was held in late April to explore the following topics:
- How new development can respect and maintain the existing character of Linden Hills with respect to location, height, length, and massing
- Ensuring transitions between new development and smaller-scale adjacent properties
- Parking for new businesses and new development
- How infrastructure improvements can ensure a vibrant future for Linden Hills
On June 5th an open house will be hosted at Pershing Park, 3523 48th St W, Minneapolis from 5-7:30pm. The open house is the opportunity for the community to provide feedback on design and policy concepts that originated in the April workshops. An online version of the open house will be available from June 6th to June 20th. It will accessible from this webpage.
Phase III: Drafting the Plan
The results the community input and analysis in the visioning and alternatives phases of the project will be combined into a draft Small Area Plan document for review and comment by the community. The draft plan will include detailed implementation steps for achieving the policies and goals of the plan.
How do I get Involved?
In August a draft of the plan will be released for review and comment by the public. This review period will last 45 days. At the beginning of the public review period a Community meeting will be held to review and discuss the plan. A link to the draft plan will be posted on this web page when it is released.
Phase IV: Adoption of the Plan
Following the public comment period the plan will be revised appropriately and taken forward for adoption by the LHiNC and the City of Minneapolis.
How do I get Involved?
- The LHiNC Board will hold a meeting on their adoption of the small area plan
- In November the City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the adoption of the small area plan. They will forward their recommendations to the Zoning & Planning Committee of the City Council and then to the full City Council for adoption.
Phase V: Implementation
Following official adoption of the small area plan by the City and LHiNC. It will be time to begin the implementation of the plan. Plans are implemented through private, non-profit and public actions. A rezoning study led by CPED may be an early implementation step to achieving the goals of the plan.
The LHiNC Board appointed the Linden Hills Small Area Plan (SAP) Steering Committee at its Board Meeting on July 17. The role of the Steering Committee is to advise on the planning process, help engage the public, advise on plan content, balance various values and make recommendations to the City and LHiNC. Summaries of the Steering Committee meetings are below.
- Steering Committee Meeting #1
- Steering Committee Meeting #2
- Steering Committee Meeting #3
- Steering Committee Meeting #4
- Steering Committee Meeting #5
- Steering Committee Meeting #6
A small area plan is a plan that is developed for a clearly delineated area and gives more detailed recommendations than would be provided in the comprehensive plan. A small area plan does not function to replace the policies of the comprehensive plan but rather serves to refine the policies. It builds on the goals, policies and implementation steps in the comprehensive plan to provide a finer level of detail.
A small area plan is a document that outlines a long-range vision of typically 15 to 20 years for land use and development in that area. The plan examines the current conditions of the area, develops a future vision of what residents and business representatives want the neighborhood or area to become and then formulates specific goals, objectives, and policies or projects to implement that vision.
The Minneapolis Plan on Sustainable Growth
Questions and Comments
Contact Brian Schaffer, AICP, Principal City Planner, Minneapolis Department of Community Planning & Economic Development at (612) 673-2670.
Last updated Sep 8, 2016