Union Park has recently created a new community plan. You can review the full plan here.
The plan combines and revises the neighborhood plans of Merriam Park, Snelling-Hamline, and Lexington-Hamline, providing a ten-year vision that identifies priority policies and strategies for growth, investment, and development in our neighborhoods. The planning process allowed for full community participation to discuss and set priorities for the area.
Why a create plan? What will it be used for?
The plan will influence local decision-making by the city’s planning department and other public agencies. It will provide a vision for development and investment in our neighborhoods and influence rezoning. Government entities and private foundations also consider the plan when providing grants.
How does the process work?
We first submitted a work plan to the city’s department of Planning and Economic Development that outlined our primary goals, timeline, staff and financial resources, and anticipated outcomes for the plan. We were assigned a city planner to help guide us through the process and insure that our plan complements the city’s comprehensive plan. We established a Steering Committee and identified sub-committees of community volunteers to work on each section of the plan. Our staff reviewed and edited each section and insured that the language conformed with the community's input. Our board reviewed and approved the plan, and we then submitted it to the city.
How has the community been involved?
Broad-based representative community participation is a crucial part of the planning process. We started by crafting a survey to gather opinions on issues important to members of our community. Each section was drafted based on the survey data we collected. During the spring and summer of 2015, we brought elements of the plan to the community through a large number of community events and public meetings to get feedback on the draft plan and community priorities. We presented the plan at our annual meeting in October 2015.
How does the plan get implemented?
After receiving input from city staff, the plan went through a review process by the city’s Planning Commission. The Commission recommended the plan, to the City Council adopted it on November 16, 2016. The Met Council will also approve the plan, after which it becomes an official part of the city’s Comprehensive Plan. Union Park will use the plan to guide its work and inform the recommendations that it makes to the City.