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Empowering Communities: SRF’s Comprehensive Planning & Zoning Services

Community Planning

SRF works with cities, counties, and townships to prepare comprehensive plans that address aspects of growth, development, redevelopment, community values, and quality of life. Our community planners are committed to and embrace the fundamental goals of planning. Through the planning process, SRF can: 

  • Help your community to envision its future
  • Preserve what you love about your community in planning for growth and change
  • Ensure that growth is compatible with the surrounding infrastructure
  • Define actionable and realistic steps to move the community towards its future vision

SRF has extensive experience in the creation of plans from all aspects of the process. We can help with all or any part of the following:

  • Stakeholder and community engagement to include:
    • Public meetings
    • Open houses
    • Focus groups
    • Special event outreach
    • Digital or mail-based community surveys
    • Interactive webpages and mapping
  • Comprehensive Plans
  • Growth Management Plans
  • Neighborhood or Small Area Plans
  • Downtown Revitalization Plans
  • Transportation Plans to include:
    • Safety Action Plans
    • Long-Range Transportation Plans (LRTP)
    • Metropolitan Transportation Plans (MTP)
    • Corridor Plans
    • Pedestrian and Bike Plans

Related Comprehensive Plan Project Experience

Grand Rapids, Minn.
2040 Comprehensive Plan
St. Louis County, Minn.
Comprehensive Land Use Plan

Current Planning

Let’s face it, land use applications come when they come and that doesn’t necessarily align with staff availability. Whether your community has inconsistent or infrequent land use applications and hiring additional staff is not necessary or not possible, SRF can help process, review, and present land use cases to review boards, planning and zoning commissions, and elected officials.

SRF Current Planning services include:

  • Answering zoning-related questions from community members and developers
  • Processing land use applications to include any/all of the following:
    • Reviewing applications for completeness
    • Generating public hearing notification materials
    • Writing staff reports, including associated maps/visuals
    • Presenting to planning and zoning commissions and elected officials
    • Creating associated ordinance and resolutions for land use approvals
  • Providing GIS mapping services to produce internal and public-facing tools
  • Training of staff, planning commissions, and elected officials

Zoning Ordinances & Land Development Codes

Whether it’s on a case-by-case basis or full wrap-around services, SRF can help your community move forward to achieve its goals.

Related Zoning and Land Use Project Experience

Grand Forks, N.D.
2050 Land Use Plan
Mountrail County, N.D.
Land Development Code
August 2022

Zoning ordinances and land development codes are living documents that require care to ensure they stay current and adaptive to the needs of a community. New land uses are popping up every year and each of them brings unique benefits and consequences for communities to consider. Codes age over time and may include outdated language and regulations that do not comply with current case law or align with best practice. Or, some codes just need to be completely reorganized and replaced. SRF can help with all of aspects of a community’s land use regulations, including:

  • Topical – land use-specific regulations, such as solar, data centers, or urban farming
  • Partial Rewrite – Subject area rewrite of the zoning ordinance and land development code, such as floodplain, subdivisions, land use application procedures, etc.
  • Complete Rewrite – Reorganization and rewriting of the zoning ordinance/land development code
  • Zoning Review and Diagnostic Analysis – SRF can provide a third-party review of existing documents, such as development regulations and the comprehensive plan, providing you a better understanding of conflicts between your community’s regulations and it’s goals.  Changes may be undertaken by internal staff or by a consultant as a partial or complete rewrite.

Our planning and zoning team has practical and pragmatic experience, having worked as both public sector planners and planning consultants. We understand what it’s like to serve as local planning staff – charged with the role of interpreting, administering, and enforcing the zoning ordinance. We also understand the need for creative approaches to regulations that have become barriers to desired forms of development.

As a team, we embrace the following goals in improving development regulations:

  • Focus on simplicity – the simpler the code, the easier it is to explain and interpret
  • Understand local needs – each community has a unique set of needs so we work with agency staff and the community to understand their specific circumstances
  • Apply zoning flexibility into the urban fabric – we have worked with form-influenced codes and prepared planned unit developments (PUDs)

Our leaders with expertise in community planning, zoning, and land use include:

Scott Harmstead, MPA, AICP

Scott has 17 years of planning experience in the public and private sectors. His work includes the development of comprehensive and other long-range plans, including constraints analysis, public involvement, and the development of context-sensitive recommendations and policy language. He enjoys working to improve development regulations that make everyone’s life easier—residents, developers, staff, elected leaders, and others.
sharmstead@srfconsulting.com | 701.354.2405

Stephanie Falkers, AICP

Stephanie has 13 years of experience as a community planner and has participated in the development of a number of comprehensive, land use and growth management plans throughout the Midwest. Her engagement approach focuses on providing everyone with a seat at the table, creating opportunities to share ideas, and facilitating discussions of strategies to define a collaborative outcome.
sfalkers@srfconsulting.com | 763.249.6790

David Sweeney, AICP

Dave specializes in land development analysis and its connection to other facets such as the natural environment, economic development, and transportation. He has worked with communities across North Dakota and Minnesota on a variety of planning activities and ordinance updates using tools such as GIS mapping.
dsweeney@srfconsulting.com | 701.893.7426

John Van Dyke, AICP

John has 15 years of planning experience in the public and private sectors, including planning and zoning application review and land development regulation work. His community planning work includes a solutions-oriented approach with a comprehensive focus.
jvandyke@srfconsulting.com | 701.354.2402