Review the Falcon Heights 2040 Comprehensive Plan

The Falcon Heights Planning Commission is comprised of seven volunteer community members who meet monthly for the purpose of advising  the Falcon Heights City Council on matters related to planning, zoning and land use. Every 10 years the city council and the Planning Commission are tasked with amending and updating the city’s Comprehensive Plan as mandated by the Metropolitan Council.  

The Met Council is the seven county regional policy-making body, planning agency and provider of essential services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region. Its mission is to foster efficient and economic growth for a prosperous region. The development of the Falcon Heights Comprehensive Plan is a rigorous process involving local coordination between the City of Falcon Heights, its selected consultants on the process and the Met Council.  

The comprehensive plan is an expression of the community’s vision for future growth and development. It is also a strategic map to reach that vision. Comprehensive planning is an important tool for cities to guide future development of land to ensure a safe, pleasant and economical environment for residential, commercial, industrial and public activities. It is important to look at the 2030 Comprehensive Plan and draw inspiration for future revisions.  

The “Vision, Values, and Objectives” section of the 2030 plan states, “Of all responses Falcon Heights residents made when asked what they value about living in the city, ‘open space’ was by far the leader. Falcon Heights is uniquely advantaged among fully developed inner ring Twin Cities suburbs in that it includes a high proportion of open space, thanks to the University of Minnesota’s extensive agricultural research land and golf course.”

Future redevelopment should honor this history by finding creative ways to maintain the rural/urban character of the city while accommodating the expected growth in households and population. Future development should also embrace every opportunity to build connections between the open spaces and the city’s neighborhoods, commercial areas and public spaces, so that this valued open space is not just a “view” but a living part of the community.

One very important requirement of the process of developing and finalizing the 2040 Comprehensive Plan is to promote the plan to the community and encourage community participation in the process through community engagement. The city council has approved the release of the current draft of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan to the community in order to allow Falcon Heights residents an opportunity to review the current draft and submit comments and inform the final draft of the document in order to reflect the values of the community.  

There is a six month review time period. The document can be found on the Falcon Heights website at www.falconheights.org. It is our intention that we make every effort to engage residents of Falcon Heights and encourage them to review this document and offer their response to our council members, city staff and Planning Commission members.

 

— submitted by Stephen Sunderland, Falcon Heights Planning Commission member

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