Thanks for sharing the below article and getting the word out Lake Elmo. It's truly your effort that made the difference for your beautiful city (and to keep it that way).
9-25 update: Here's more evidence. This is coming from a March 2015 meeting about survey data and station area planning. It was not available to the public (according to the face sheet). I had to file a data practice act request to view this info and go into the County Government Center to take these pictures of the meeting data. (see other photos from the meeting at end of this article)
8-30 update: The extent of the plans are worse than the .5 mile deep initial report here... digging deeper I've found the Gateway Corridor hired a world renowned consulting firm from New York that specializes in unraveling whatever resistance Lake Elmo may foster in this late stage. They're HR&A Advisors, Inc.
In a July 2014 letter they make it clear their task was to focused on assessing how to get the MOST development: "To determine transit’s ability to catalyze new development"
|This is not the Lake Elmo I know.|
Lake Elmo, a beautiful rural city of 8,000 residents, the majority who are strong supporters of retaining their small city charm with slow growth. Evidenced by quick replacement of city councilors, administrators, and planners who merely claim to be on the citizen's side regarding growth to get in office and decide to follow their own agenda once seated. In 2014 two such City Councilors were replaced by "slow growth" supporters Julie Fliflet and Jill Lundgren. While Councilor Anne Smith, who's championed the cause to keep Lake Elmo growth in check, is serving her third consecutive term.
Through it all Lake Elmo appears to be under constant pressure to embrace fast growth and development. Everyone from the Met Council to private developers view their city land as prime real estate to host development. The Met Council learned the hard way not to push Lake Elmo after they went to court against each other over growth about ten years ago. After a lengthy court battle the Met Council backed off and eased the mandate for the city to triple it's population by 2030 according to the Pioneer Press article: Lake Elmo's population won't have to triple by 2030, Met Council says . Developers are also hearing slow down with a one year moratorium on growth from Lake Elmo this year.
Citizens of Lake Elmo are equally as passionate to control growth. The latest example is the citizen run "No Lake Elmo Airport Expansion" with a facebook page that has gained nearly 500 "likes" in less than a month https://www.facebook.com/ProtectLakeElmo. They oppose the additional runway that would host just a 4% increase in air traffic by 2035 according to this Pioneer Press Article: More Lake Elmo expansion opposition: This time, the airport.
However, what Lake Elmo residents and city councilors apparently do not realize is the greatest threat of forced development is coming hand in hand with the construction of the Gateway/ Gold Line mass transit corridor through the city. Last year the route was chosen by corridor planners to head east through Washington County on the Lake Elmo side of I-94. The apparently ill informed city council voted unanimously yes for this plan. This was after Afton, another city who's residents also fear fast development, gave the planners a no vote for the corridor to pass on their side of I-94. According to a Woodbury Bulletin article: Bus Rapid Transit to stay north, skip Woodbury's developed core
It's time to wake up Lake Elmo.
1.) Here’s why it’s “forced” development: The Gateway Corridor is applying for the Federal "New Starts" grant (p.8 of 2015-2018 Gateway Corridor Strategic Communications Plan).
Here's how they judge:
The final two criteria will attempt to be influenced by the corridor planner's
Lake Elmo, you have Corridor planners assuming they're re-zoning your city for a massive business park (fancy word for strip mall), density housing, and commercial development. In fact obtaining the federal matching funds depends on ramming this development down your throats.
When a Citizen Advisory Council member asked Lisa Weik, the County Commissioner who heads the GWC Commission, how they plan to get cities to accept these plans she stated the development planning around the corridor would be handed over to the Met Council in 2016. As we know, the Met Council is the most influential power house in urban planning, development, and placing mandates to achieve such goals in the State.
East Metro Strong presented to the County Board on how the Corridor is going to be a boom to your area. They are:
Because: "Development comes to LRT, BRT, walkable places"
and "More than half of Minnesotans want to live in walkable, mixed‐use neighborhoods"
"A council divided on other issues is united in wanting that, she said," (referring to the Gateway Corridor)
In all my e-mails the most reassuring comment was from Smith on 8-6-15:
"I am not for it Matt. I understand they need municipal consent and I will not give it." In October I asked them for any reassurance they can give you and only Smith responded to defend her promise that she’s working to retain Lake Elmo charm. She pointed to on September 15th she voted against giving the special interest group East Metro Strong $20,000 to “research” how the corridor could help Lake Elmo. Simply voting no is not enough to prevent the Met Council and the State from steamrolling you in 2016 when they plan to take over planning and construction.
|(it's all the corridors in the Country competing with MN for federal dollars)|
Also Contact your State Senator Karin Hously who supports the construction of the Gateway Corridor despite your conservative views on growth. She authored the senate bill to fund the Gold Line in the 2015 Legislative session.
Read more here:
Washington County Watchdog editor
Washington County Refuses to Disclose Latest Red Rock Corridor Cost Analysis
Lake Elmo, it looks like you're being lied to... it looks like we're all being lied too:
More photos from the spring meeting:
8-24 update: The planners have released plans to re-route some of the corridor out of LE. It's discussed in this star tribune article from Sunday 8/23 stating they're making the change for the "growth shy Lake Elmo."
|See original picture below|