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City Council Regular
Meeting Date: 11/07/2018  
Subject:    2040 Comprehensive Plan Update
From: Scott Harlicker, Planner

The Planning Commission has completed its review of the draft of the update to 2040 Coon Rapids Comprehensive Plan. The Commission conducted the required public hearing at their meeting on October 18, 2018. They have recommended the attached draft of the Comprehensive Plan for the City Council's consideration.

Following Council consideration and approval of the draft Comprehensive Plan, the plan will be forwarded to the Met Council for review. The Met Council has 15 days to determine the plan's completeness.  Once the Met Council determines the plan is complete, the agency has 120 days to review and approve the plan or provide the city with comments. Following Met Council approval of the plan, the city has nine months to formally adopt the plan by resolution.
Various City staff have been working on the Coon Rapids 2040 Plan over the last year or so.  Cities in the Metropolitan Area are required under Minnesota law to update their long-range comprehensive plans every 10 years. 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 plan was a complete rewrite and was adopted in 2008 and it must be updated by the end of 2018. The current Comprehensive Plan can be viewed online at

Chapter 1 - Introduction

The introduction provides background information gleaned from census and other related data sources. Information on population, housing and employment characteristics and trends is provided. A summary of public engagement and outreach is included as well as the City's vision for the future.

Chapter 2 - Land Use
The Land Use section translates the City's population and employment projections into where, when, and what types of development occur. Highlights of the Land Use section include the following:
  • The 2040 Future Land Use Map generally will not result in major rezonings or creation of new nonconforming uses.
  • The proposed policies support existing industrial areas and low-density residential areas.
  • The 2040 Land Use Map proposes fewer commercial designations than the current map. This change is expected to reduce the frequency of comprehensive plan amendments.
  • The section proposes wider use of Mixed Use designations along commercial corridors and nodes, which reflects current zoning (i.e. River Rapids Overlay) and provides more flexibility in commercial areas that may become obsolete.
Chapter 3 - Transportation

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.

Chapter 4 - Housing 

The Housing element establishes standards, plans and programs to meet projected local and regional housing needs. Many of the proposed goals and policies remain unchanged from the current Comprehensive Plan. However, the analysis and implementation sections include much more detail on current City housing initiatives, as well as tools that can be used to address housing affordability, preservation, and maintenance.

Chapter 5 - 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 requires separate comprehensive plans to be developed, submitted, and approved by various agencies, which occurs on a ten year cycle. The City completed its Comprehensive Water Supply Plan in 2014, as well as its Master Water Supply Plan, and Wellhead Protection Plan in 2018. Each of these plans underwent extensive agency review, and each has been approved. In addition, the City has completed its Comprehensive Sanitary Sewer Plan and its Local Surface Water Management Plan. Both of these plans have been reviewed by the Met Council and the Coon Creek Watershed District, with final agency approvals expected this fall.

The goals, objectives, and policies developed in each of these plans have been summarized in the water resources chapter of the 2040 comprehensive plan. Recommendations from the City’s Sustainability Commission, Planning Commission, and the City Council have been included in this chapter of the comprehensive plan.

In general, this chapter consists of goals, objectives, and policies related to the following:
  • Drinking water quality and conservation
  • Energy and chemical use at water treatment plants
  • Procedures for sanitary sewer maintenance
  • Reductions of inflow/infiltration into the City’s sanitary sewer system
  • Storm water flood control and water quality
  • Innovative storm water treatment practices

Chapter 6 - Parks & Open Space

This chapter details local consistency with the Regional Park and trail system. In addition, this chapter provides an overview of the City’s local parks, trails, and recreational facilities. In 2012, the City adopted a Parks, Trails, and Open Space System Plan that recommended significant upgrades to park facilities, many of which have now been completed. The City plans to update this System Plan within the next few years. Recommendations from City Commissions and the City Council have been included in this chapter.  
Chapter 7 - Economic Competitiveness 

The City's current Comprehensive Plan does not include a chapter on Economic Competitiveness.  City policy on redevelopment and business development was instead established by an Economic Development Strategy and the Coon Rapids Boulevard Framework Plan, both of which were adopted in 2010. This chapter updates and enhances the recommendations of those documents and establishes additional policies related to economic development. While this element is not required by the Metropolitan Council, the City has become increasingly proactive in its economic development efforts, making it important to have a formal policy. The section also incorporates recommendations of the recently completed Anoka County Business Recruitment Roadmap.

Chapter 8 - Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area Protection

Established in the 1970s by a Governor's Executive Order, the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) is a land corridor governed by special land use planning requirements and development regulations. These policies are intended to protect and preserve the natural, scenic, recreational, and transportation resources of the Mississippi River. As required by state law, Coon Rapids has had a MRCCA plan for several decades. It was included in the Land Use Chapter of the 2008 Comprehensive Plan. New rules were recently established by the DNR to replace the original executive order, having taken effect in January 2017. Coon Rapids and local governments must update MRCCA plans in accord with the new rules by the end of 2018-the same time the 2040 Comprehensive Plan update is due. Local governments will also be required to update zoning ordinances between 2019 and 2021. Overall, Coon Rapids' MRCCA Plan, which is a standalone chapter in the 2040 Plan, contains similar goals and policies to the previous plan.

Chapter 9 - Implementation

The implementation chapter outlines how the previous chapter's policies and objectives will be addressed. 

Planning Commission Meeting

At the Planning Commission meeting held on October 18th, no one spoke at the public hearing. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the City Council approve the draft Comprehensive Plan.

As a final note, staff have been tracking suggested edits and corrections to the draft Comprehensive Plan that are not reflected in the attached document. The changes are minor and generally include correcting gramitcal errors and formating and will be corrected before the document is sent to the Metropolitan Council for review.
City staff recommends the City Council approve the 2040 Coon Rapids Comprehensive Plan for the purpose of transmittal to the Metropolitan Council.

Draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan

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