Save Crystal from Sustainable Development!

May 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm 2 comments

Here are parts of Crystal’s Comprehensive Redevelopment Plan that Mayor Bowman and the city council try to pretend doesn’t exist.  From the city of Crystal’s website;

The Redevelopment chapter identifies 22 areas of the city in which there is a significant potential for redevelopment to occur within the time frame of this plan (by 2030). The Task Force is not necessarily advocating redevelopment of these areas. Rather, the Task Force believes that there is strong potential for redevelopment to occur in any number of these 22 areas due to natural market forces, the city‟s desire to replace blighted or functionally obsolete land uses, or a combination of both.

The task force is not necessarily advocating these changes?  Does anyone believe that?

1. There are 22 areas of the city where redevelopment is likely to be considered at some point in the future. The identification of these areas does not mean that it is definite that redevelopment would occur within the 20 year time frame of this plan. Depending on the specific site characteristics and market forces at the time of redevelopment, the physical extent of redevelopment activities may be greater or less than the area shown in this plan. Key parcels have been identified that appear to be most likely to trigger redevelopment in each area, but they are not absolutely essential for redevelopment to occur in most of the 22 areas. Areas not indicated as potential redevelopment areas in this plan would not be precluded from being redeveloped; this plan describes those areas where redevelopment is most likely to occur but does not limit redevelopment opportunities for those areas.

In other words, this is a beginning….not an end.

2. Community reaction to redevelopment often revolves around opposition to density, especially residential density. Many of the descriptions of the 22 potential redevelopment areas indicate that the likely new use would be medium or high density residential. More than anything, this is a function of the cost of redevelopment, in that the new use must be of higher density for the project to be financially feasible. Each project would have to be examined on its own merits and with due consideration to the characteristics of the surrounding area and community input. It may be that in many of these areas higher densities may not be politically supported, and in such cases the existing uses are likely to remain basically as-is for the foreseeable future.

And these government people deny they want high-density????  And why do they want high density?  Could it be to increase “property tax revenue”?

3. Redevelopment projects may be completely privately financed, or receive some assistance from the city and its Economic Development Authority, or in rare cases be initiated by the city with the EDA as the developer. However, as a practical matter it is unlikely that many of the 22 areas could be significantly redeveloped without financial assistance in some form. Such assistance may take the form of Tax Increment Financing, Tax Abatement, Housing Tax Credits, grants from other units of government, or other funding sources. Each request for financial assistance will be evaluated in accordance with the policies and procedures governing each respective funding source.

Yeah right!  What “redevelopment project” never includes tax money?  Can anyone name one?  Grants from other units of government?  Other funding sources?     We think that is still tax dollars!

4. Due to a combination of market realities, financial constraints, limited eminent domain powers and community concerns about density, traffic, change in general and other issues, it would be unrealistic to expect that all or even a majority of the 22 areas described in this chapter will be redeveloped within the 20 year time frame. Instead, this plan should be viewed as a menu from which citizens, developers, the Planning Commission, the EDA and the City Council may compare and contrast various redevelopment opportunities within the city, and select the best project sites from among the 22 areas described in this chapter.

Limits on Eminent Domain?  A menu of choices?  It’s nice to know what they think of our city and the powers our government should have.

5. Redevelopment projects may trigger, or be triggered by, adjacent public improvements such as roadway reconstruction, water and sewer upgrades, streetscaping, etc. In cases where near-term public improvements are being considered in a potential redevelopment area, but no redevelopment project is imminent, due consideration will be given to the impact of said improvements on the future redevelopment potential of the area.

This and the  22 “areas” are seen here;

You think this isn’t happening check out Area 3

Area #3 – Lakeland Avenue from 56th to 58th. This area is identified as a potential redevelopment area in the current Comprehensive Plan. Existing uses are mostly commercial including the former Crystal-Pierz Marine. There will be impacts from the Bottineau Boulevard reconstruction project due to elimination of the existing frontage road and construction of a new “backage” road which will form the approximate border between non-residential uses along Bottineau Boulevard and the residential uses to the east. The right-in and right-out access to Bottineau Boulevard at 58th Avenue / Airport Road will remain but it will be reconfigured to improve safety and traffic flow. This area would not be quite as isolated as Area #1, and therefore it might also be able to accommodate some destination retail or office uses.

Gee…isn’t this were Northwest Family Physicians is moving which will cost the taxpayers of the city $400,000 (must be one of those alternative funding sources)?

Here are some other “ideas”

Area #4 – Bass Lake Road east of Bottineau Boulevard (56th Avenue from Zane to Orchard). This corridor contains a mixture of neighborhood commercial, small multi-family and single family residential uses. Single family residential uses along the roadway have been negatively impacted by traffic and lack of buffering, although the recent restriping to three lanes may help reduce these impacts. Commercial uses face challenges due to the out-of-the-way character of this roadway segment and lack of critical mass. The existing multi-family uses are small and scattered, and generally suffer from disinvestment. Any significant redevelopment would likely require a significant amendment to the Future Land Use map.

So the roads are too busy and there’s is too much traffic yet there is a lack of critical mass, the houses are scattered, and there is disinvestment.  DOes that make any sense?

Area #6 – 57xx West Broadway. The dominant property in this area is the Thriftway grocery store, which due to its relatively large parcel size would be essential to redevelopment of the block. The current uses may continue for the foreseeable future, depending on market conditions. However, because this area is also starting to exhibit some signs of disinvestment and marginal uses, and because it comprises a transition from the Crystal Shopping Center to surrounding residential areas, it would be a strong candidate for redevelopment at some point in the future if current trends continue. If redevelopment does occur, the most likely uses would be medium or high density residential or destination office/retail.

Disinvestment?  Marginal uses?  Let’s see we have Thriftway, ASI auto repair, Walgreens, Arby’s etc.What part of that is being disinvested?  And, of course, the alternative is high density!!!

Area #7 – 6xxx 56th (Bass Lake Road). This area consists of older strip shopping centers on separate parcels with different owners. It also includes some newer retail development at northeast corner of 56th and Elmhurst. This area exhibits signs of disinvestment and functional obsolescence, but redevelopment may not be likely because (1) it has very limited depth, and (2) it has a high ratio of buildings to land area. If redevelopment were to occur, this area would be a good location for a mixed-use development with multi-story residential above ground floor retail/office.

What’s wrong with separate parcels with different owners?  So much for helping small business!

Check out the total plan and contact your council people!!!!


Entry filed under: Community, Crystal, Mayor, Taxation.

Phase 11 Trudges Ahead in Crystal Pay Those Salaries!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Wants2know  |  June 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Can someone explain what is sustainable about high density living that precludes growing your own fruits and vegetables? Aren’t we being encouraged to eat locally? What could be more local than a backyard garden? Especially in a place where it seems everyone loves to garden

  • 2. Jason Bradley  |  June 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    They cannot tax a home garden… not yet anyway. There are no revenues to be gained. Plus, without high density housing, they cannot control where you go, when you go there (mass transit), or how you live. We must bring down those that have, to build up those who have not. That’s the sustainable development mantra!


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