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City Council Work Session
Meeting Date: 02/13/2018  
Subject:    Coon Rapids 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update - Transportation; Water Resources; Parks and Open Space Chapters
From: Grant Fernelius, Community Development Director


Staff will provide an update on the Coon Rapids 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Various City staff have been working on the Coon Rapids 2040 Comp Plan over the last year or so.  Every 10 years, cities in the Metropolitan Area are required under Minnesota law to update their long-range comprehensive plans.  Each community’s plan includes elements that are tied to the Met Council’s long-range system plan known as Thrive MSP 2040. The current Comprehensive Plan for Coon Rapids was adopted in 2008 (online at and must be updated by the end of 2018.

At this work session, staff will present three chapters for Council review, including Transportation; Water Resources; and Parks and Open Space.  Drafts of these chapters are attached, and are also available for public review and comment on the City's website.  Upon conclusion of the presentation, the Council will have reviewed all of the mandatory elements of the 2040 Comp Plan, with the exception of Community Facilities; additional information on that topic is discussed below.  It should also be noted, Engineering staff assisted in the preparation of this memo.

This chapter addresses such topics as existing system conditions, traffic analysis zones (used for forecasting traffic demand) and goals and policies in a number of different transportation sectors (i.e. highways, streets, transit, bicycles, pedestrians, etc.).  Many of the goals and policies of the current Comp Plan are still relevant and will be incorporated into the 2040 Comp Plan.  However, there are some new elements in the plan related to sustainability and resilience which reflect the input of the City’s Sustainability Commission.  Among the recommended goals are things like adoption of a Complete Streets policy; incorporating energy-efficient LED street lighting and traffic signals; infrastructure needs for autonomous vehicles; and charging stations for electric vehicles.  The Sustainability Commission also had recommendations for the transit and sidewalk/trail elements of this chapter.

In addition to the recommendations from various City Commissions, Public Works and Engineering staff have additional priorities for this chapter and want to make sure Council is in agreement prior to inclusion in the Comprehensive Plan and other transportation related plans and initiatives.  Among these are the Highway 10 Coalition work along the corridor (additional lane between Hanson Blvd and Round Lake Blvd), a full access interchange at Highway 610 and Coon Rapids Blvd, the Coon Rapids Blvd corridor in general (evolving over time from the commercial hub of the past to residential - access, pedestrian, and aesthetically enhanced), and inter-modal transportation connections/options (trails and transit).

Water Resources
This chapter provides a high-level summary of the City’s water supply, wastewater, and storm water systems (including surface water bodies).  Each of these distinct water related areas require separate plans that must be submitted and approved by various agencies, typically on a ten year cycle.  The City's Comprehensive Water Supply Plan was completed in 2014.  A Master Water Supply Plan and Wellhead Protection Plan are currently under agency review, and are anticipated to be approved prior to submittal of the City's 2040 Comprehensive Plan. 

There are currently drafts of Comprehensive Sanitary Sewer and Surface Water Plans that are ready to be submitted for agency review, but prior to doing so, staff is looking for Council feedback.  All of these various plans consist of thorough evaluations of the various systems and provide in-depth information; they will be included by reference in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, and provide the basis for the stated goals and policies.  It is critical to get Council buy-in prior to seeking agency approvals, so staff can confidently outline planned goals for the future, and consistently integrate the information into the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Similar to previous chapters, the Sustainability Commission included a number of recommendations as well; policies on water conservation, energy and chemical use at water treatment plants, and innovative storm water treatment practices.

  • Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) reduction.
  1. Better clarifying sewer pipe ownership and maintenance responsibilities (public mains vs. private service laterals) - updates to City Code. The City is only responsible for the sewer mains, and has taken a proactive approach with regard to lining clay pipes, should similar investigations and/or repairs occur on the private services?  Ultimately, private service lines do impact the overall City system (and wastewater and insurance costs), so should there be stricter codes and requirements in place for inspections and repairs to private services?  If so, how best can the City educate and assist in accomplishing this task (recon televising, required point of sale inspections, grants)?
  2. Expanded televising and inspections of the public sewer system to include manhole structures and concrete pipes.
  3. Periodic checks of neighboring community flow contributions through Coon Rapids to determine whether higher instances of I&I are occurring outside our City limits, and whether accurate billing is taking place (primarily the SE portion of the City).
  • Education.
  1. Ownership and maintenance responsibilities; including tree root intrusion, cleaning and repairs, and technical assistance. Sharing the issues and impacts associated with I&I, what the City does, and how citizens can help.
  2. "Flushable" wipes.
  3. Sump pump discharge requirements.
  4. Grease trap requirements, and importance of preventative maintenance.
  • Expanded proactive review of the City's lift stations (similar to the annual well rehab program) to evaluate, prioritize, and budget for needed repairs and upgrades.
  • Consider Contractor licensing so those working in the City are aware of requirements, lined mains, and the potential of private service lateral repairs impacting the public system?
  • Water quantity.
  1. Problem drainage areas throughout the City - finalize the draft policy, identify locations & issues, and consider/plan for budget implications.
  2. Effects of climate change - shorter duration coupled with larger rain events.
  3. Impacts of Atlas 14 standards on existing City stormwater system, including impacts of current watershed model vs. FEMA flood maps - discrepancies and education.
  4. Expanded inspections and maintenance of the City system (potential storage deficiencies - pond & creek siltation, pipes sizing and trouble spots, culvert condition and obstructions, etc.).
  • Water quality
  1. Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) education and watershed approach to corrective actions.
  2. Public and Private chloride/salt usage.
  3. Maintenance access/easements.
  4. Buffer requirements.
  5. Introduce SWAMP computer program for systematic evaluation and prioritization of needed maintenance.  Older system with Best Management Practice (BMP) retrofits - delayed maintenance and expanded system.
  • Groundwater - surface water interactions/connections.
  1. Impacts to wellhead protection (infiltration practices) and aesthetics/recreational opportunities on City waterbodies.  Recharge vs. protection of resource (Anoka sand plain).  City approach would be to partner with various State agencies (not just a local issue).
Parks and Open Space
This chapter details local consistency with the regional park and trail system. It also provides an overview of local parks, trails, and recreational facilities.  In 2012, the City adopted a Parks, Trails, and Open Space System Plan that recommended significant upgrades to facilities, many of which have been implemented in recent years. It is expected that the System Plan will be updated again in the coming years. That plan will refine the broad policies established by this chapter.

Community Facilities
The current version of the Comp Plan includes a short chapter on Community Facilities.  This is an optional section (not required by the Met Council) and mostly relates to publicly owned facilities, including non-city owned assets.  The plan looks at the condition of existing facilities and future capital replacement needs.  Staff is in the process of developing a more comprehensive assessment of these facilities, which we expect to have completed during the summer of 2018.  As such, this chapter has not yet been updated.

Next Steps
The Planning Commission has reviewed most of the 2040 Comp Plan chapters, with the exception of Transportation and Community Facilities.  Staff plans to review the Transportation Chapter with the Commission on February 15.  At that point, the
draft document will go through additional editing to include additional information such as maps, charts/graphs and photos, and a final review for typo and formatting edits.  We expect to have the next draft ready by the end of March for distribution and public comment in early April.  This will then start the official 6 month agency review process.  After the review process, the City will need to conduct a public hearing before the document is submitted to the Met Council.  We would anticipate that to happen this fall.
The February 13 presentation is for information and feedback purposes.  Staff is not seeking any formal action by the Council at this time.

Water Resources
Parks & Open Space

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