Elliot Park Neighborhood Inc. released its newly-completed Master Plan to an open house of about 60 people on Nov. 14.
The Master Plan lays out guidelines for how neighbors want to see Elliot Park develop. It is a culmination of more than a year of preparation and citizen participation, with study teams of residents, business owners and Elliot Park workers, led by urban designers from Hokanson/Lunning/Wende Architects and Close Landscape Architecture.
The Master Plan recommends these goals:
"Make Elliot Park a more pedestrian-friendly and livable community through greening efforts and better design of public spaces;
"Encourage in-fill development of new housing and retail space for the best and highest use of neighborhood properties;
"Preserve the distinctive historic features of Elliot Park while integrating them into new design and development initiatives;
"Bring a social and physical unity to the entire neighborhood through coordinated efforts to create Neighborhood Commons spaces and places."
EPNI executive director Tom Reid said the Master Plan was needed because "we have increased pressures from the Downtown core expansion. And we have one of the few neighborhoods with a fair amount of historically significant properties, [so] we wanted to make sure that we had some guidelines to make sure the development that does eventually happen... is appropriate to the residential, pedestrian scale the neighborhood is right now."
Reid is aware many plans gather dust. The Elliot Park Master Plan is unique because it has a built-in implementation phase, he said. "Our neighborhood has gone through years and years of planning efforts that kind of just get sat on the shelf and nothing ever happens," Reid said. "We've got a couple of projects coming in the pipeline now that we can apply the principals of the Master Plan to immediately."
EPNI's next step will be comparing their plan to the city's current zoning for the Elliot Park neighborhood. "Eventually we're going to work toward having the City Council approve it as part of the overall Minneapolis Plan," Reid said.