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A Comprehensive Plan is a vision of what a city wants to be. It is also a framework for shaping future growth and change, protecting what a community values, enhancing what the community wants to improve, and creating what the community feels is lacking. It also helps clarify the relationships between the community, its neighboring municipalities and the region.
A Comprehensive Plan contains information about current conditions, trends, and goals and policies for land use, community design, housing, transportation, parks, recreation, and natural resources, water resources, heritage preservation, and community services and facilities.
In Minnesota, authority for land-use planning and regulation is vested primarily in local governments (townships, cities and counties). The Metropolitan Land Planning Act, a State law first passed in 1976 and amended several times since, requires local governments in the seven-county Twin Cities area to develop local comprehensive plans. The plans must contain a number of elements, among them:
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Community Profile
Chapter 3: Land Use
Chapter 4: Housing Chapter
Chapter 5: Transportation
Chapter 6: Parks
Chapter 7: Water
Chapter 8: Environment
Chapter 9: Community Services
Chapter 10: Economic Competitiveness & Economic Development
Chapter 11: Human Rights
Chapter 12: Health
Chapter 13: Heritage Preservation
Chapter 14: Arts & Culture
Chapter 15: Implementation
The Comprehensive Plan also includes a number of small area plans, including:
Minnesota State law requires that Comprehensive Plans must be reviewed and updated at least once every 10 years.
The City of Edina currently has a Comprehensive Plan that is used to guide City decisions. As Edina moves toward the future, the needs of the City and its residents will change. The changes need to be reflected and addressed in the Comprehensive Plan to better serve the community -- its currents residents and those who will come here in the future.
By Edina City Code, the Edina Planning Commission is responsible for preparing, reviewing and making recommendations on the Comprehensive Plan, including its required updates.
A Planning Commission Task Force, comprised of residents who are currently on the Planning Commission, oversaw the preparation of the proposed Comprehensive Plan. The Task Force, with assistance from City staff, conducted a series of public meetings, listening sessions, focus groups and interviews to provide timely information on work progress, and to obtain input and feedback.
Several consultant firms assisted with the technical review of the draft.
The Comprehensive Plan is used to respond to development, changes in the community (such as increased traffic), and other factors that may have an impact on a community. It can also be used to guide and shape future development, working in conjunction with residents, business owners and land owners. The Comprehensive Plan sets forth a vision and goals, along with a chapter for implementing those goals.
The Planning Commission uses the Comprehensive Plan as the basis for its deliberations and decisions regarding review of development applications, and for its recommendations to the City Council. The City Council, other appointed Commissions, and City departments use the Comprehensive Plan to develop programs and the Capital Improvement Plan. Property owners and developers use it to consider potential future uses and development of property.
The most recent Comprehensive Update is an update of the 2008 plan update, and did not require a complete re-writing of the plan.
The process established by the Edina City Council included more than 180 meetings, including regular work sessions by the Planning Commission’s Comprehensive Plan Task Force, large-group public meetings, smaller community meetings in specific areas of the city (such as in the areas surrounding the elementary schools), listening sessions (small meetings held in response to invitations by community organizations or neighborhood groups), intergenerational dialogue with residents and other stakeholders, as well as ample opportunity for comment on the City’s website and through other means.
The Metropolitan Council reviews and approves all Comprehensive Plans prepared by municipalities in the seven-county metro area, including Edina’s. The Metropolitan Council works in partnership with communities to use these Comprehensive Plans and its regional system plans to guide public and private development in the region.
The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning agency serving the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area. It provides essential services to the region. The Metropolitan Council works with local communities to:
The 17-member Metropolitan Council has 16 members who each represent a geographic district and one chair who serves at-large. They are all appointed by the governor. The State Senate confirms Council member appointments.
The Comprehensive Plan does not establish a population goal.
The Metropolitan Council completes population forecasts for the seven-county metro area as part of its regional planning mandate in State Statute. Forecasts are meant to be realistic assumptions that can be used to guide investments in infrastructure and public services. They are not goals, aspirations or targets.
The regional forecast looks at the region’s business conditions and competitive advantages that determine economic and employment levels which, in turn, drive population growth by attracting people to the Twin Cities. Additional land use modeling looks at how populations, demographics, regional policies and available land affect real estate supply and demand.
From the Metropolitan Council’s perspective, a central function of comprehensive planning is to be able to anticipate growth and plan responsibly for it. Their direct purview relates to regional systems for parks, transportation and water resources, as well as additional regional requirements pertaining to affordable housing. In support of this, the Metropolitan Council provides specific guidance to communities about information needed to inform development and system planning and implementation.
The Metropolitan Council periodically adjusts forecasts based on new data, to ensure they are as accurate as possible. This has occurred recently with Edina and several other cities.
Forecasting growth and land use change are complex endeavors, particularly at a sub-regional level, due to the number of variables that contribute to change. As a result, it is necessary for the Metropolitan Council to at times adjust the forecasts based on new data they receive.
In addition to other data tracking, the region’s annual population and household estimate program provides insights as to whether near-term forecasts are accurate. For instance, in mid-2018, the Metropolitan Council completed its 2017 estimates. These showed that some communities were growing faster than anticipated with new units, so that the 2020 forecast numbers may be too low given current trends.
The Metropolitan Council informed staff that their projection for Edina was too low as the City had already hit the 2020 projection. The Metropolitan Council gave the City a 2040 population projection of 63,600 to include in the 2018 Comprehensive Plan Update. This was based on recent development in Edina and the recent Comprehensive Plan Amendments for those developments. The increase would be about 19 percent from Edina’s current population. Again, this projection is not a mandate, goal, aspiration or target.
All chapters of the Comprehensive Plan have been rewritten. The writing style for each chapter is that of the group that worked on it.
Chapters the City elected to include in 2008 (but not required by the Metropolitan Council) included Community Facilities & Services, Environment & Energy and Heritage Preservation. Those chapters have been rewritten as well.
New chapters have been added, including Economic Competitiveness & Economic Development, per encouragement from the Metropolitan Council; and Community Health, Arts & Culture and Human Rights, based on City of Edina priorities. Most, if not all, of the chapters had a specific Commission assigned to review and rewrite the 2008 chapter or create a City-elective chapter that was identified as a priority during the Vision Edina process that preceded work on the 2018 Comprehensive Plan.
The 2008 Edina Comprehensive Plan identified several areas in Edina as “Potential Areas of Change.” During the 2018 Edina Comprehensive Plan process, small area plans were completed by resident-led work groups for those potential areas of change. All Small Area Plans have been approved by the City Council, and are included in the Comprehensive Plan.
There are also a number of new plans and initiatives that have been added and incorporated into the 2018 Comprehensive Plan since 2008, including the Pedestrian Bike Plan, Living Streets Plan and Water Resource Management Plan.
Consultants that worked on the 2018 Comprehensive Plan were:
Based on comments from the City Council’s advisory Commissions, the consultants took primary responsibility for assembly of the Comprehensive Plan elements and small area plans, while providing support and assistance to other City staff and resident advisory groups and assisting in community engagement.
Biko Associates, Inc., was responsible for ensuring responsiveness of Comprehensive Plan elements to Metropolitan Council requirements, especially with regard to conformance with all metropolitan systems policy plans, consistency with requirements of the Metropolitan Land Planning Act and Metropolitan Council policies, and compatibility with the plans of other local jurisdictions, including school districts.
Small area plans provide guidance on land use, transportation, housing, environmental protection and parks/natural spaces uses and improvements in a specific identified geographic area. Ultimately, the goal of a small area plan is to improve the quality of life within the geographic area, as well as the greater community.
Small area plans help to implement the goals of Edina’s Comprehensive Plan. Small area plans determine land use regulations and help to guide future redevelopment proposals. City staff also use small area plans to identify infrastructure improvements necessary to support the uses proposed in the plan. Small area plans do not, however, guarantee redevelopment will occur or that proposed public improvements will take place. Other factors, such as market conditions or budget priorities, will play an important role in how a small area plan is implemented. It is important to remember that small area plans are intended to provide guidance over a long period of time.
The 44th & France, 50th & France, Wooddale/Valley View, 70th & Cahill and the Greater Southdale areas had been identified as areas of potential change in the 2008 Comprehensive Plan to be studied for small area completion. Wooddale/Valley View was completed with the remainder of small area plans completed as part of the 2018 Plan Update. All were planned to be elements in the 2018 Edina Comprehensive Plan update.
Local residents, business owners and other stakeholders worked together with members of the Comprehensive Plan Task Force, consultants and City staff to draft the small area plans for City Council approval.
After the City Council approved a draft of the Comprehensive Plan, there was a six-month comment period for surrounding jurisdictions to provide feedback. The comment period closed Nov. 8. The following agencies provided comment:
Hennepin County and Minnesota Department of Transportation:
Three Rivers Park District:
City of Bloomington:
Yes, the Comprehensive Plan may be amended at the direction of the City Council.
An applicant may request and receive a land use change by recommendation of the Planning Commission, approval of the City Council and review and approval by the Metropolitan Council. Public hearings are held for all amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.
Work is anticipated to begin in 2026 on the 2028 Comp Plan update.