Anoka looking for community feedback on long-term planning

Managing Editor
Mandy has been with ABC Newspapers since 2007, when she joined the staff as the editor of the Anoka County Union. She has been the managing editor of the UnionHerald and Blaine Spring Lake Park Life since 2014.

The city of Anoka is hoping residents share their vision of the river city over the next two decades.

Anoka, along with cities across the metro, is working on its 2040 Comprehensive Plan, a document submitted to the Metropolitan Council for regional planning purposes.

“Navigating the Future: Planning4Anoka to 2040” is a public comprehensive planning kickoff that will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 22, at Green Haven Golf Club.

From 6-6:30 p.m. staff will explain what a comprehensive plan is, outline development since 2008 and give tips on navigating the public feedback sessions.

From 6:30-8:30 p.m. attendees can visit four “ports of call” where they can offer input on different development topics including embracing the river corridors, the future of retails, building and improving neighborhoods and transportation projects.

The last round of comprehensive planning was done in 2008 and in 1998 before that. The plan helps to guide both land use and development.

Ten years ago, Anoka was on the cusp of major redevelopment and the comprehensive planning process helped to guide those changes.

Out of the 2020 comp plan came regulations for code enforcement and rental licensing, along with the relocation of Castle Field and the construction of the Health Partners clinic on the old ball park site.

Planning Director Carolyn Braun expects the current process to focus on refining plans already in place.

“This time the focus will be on River Walk,” said Braun, referring to the green space along the Rum River the city purchased when Riverplace Counseling was relocated to Highway 10.

There are plans to turn this area into a public park.

Braun said she hopes residents will offer “input on what they want the city to be like in 2040,” along with ideas for improvement.

While cities do officially adopt their comprehensive plans, pieces can and will change.

Anoka has adopted several amendments over the years as development goes in unforeseen directions.

Braun said she hopes the city can incorporate new ideas from this round of public participation.

The June 22 meeting will also include a creative youth activity where kids 10 and older can sketch out their land use vision for Anoka.

If residents have questions, email [email protected] or call 763-576-2720.

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