SRF recently worked with the City of Sauk Centre, Minnesota to update their Comprehensive Plan. The update of the Plan improved the readability of the Plan and was based on a strong foundation of public engagement.
Population and employment projections were used as the basis to identify a range of future land consumption for the City. This exercise helped to zero-in on the amount of land to include in the future land use plan, with the understanding that the land being included still considerably exceeds the likely amount of acreage consumed by either residential, commercial, or industrial development.
A summertime pop-up meeting at Sinclair Lewis Days sought the public’s input on the type of growth that should occur in different growth areas of the City. An on-line survey garnered over 400 responses – representing over a 10 percent response rate. These responses included the majority of the local high school’s upper-class thanks to help from the school superintendent. The survey asked for input about a variety of issues related to quality of life and community satisfaction in Sauk Center.
Once the alternative land use plans were prepared and refined by the plan task force, a public meeting was held to gather input on the land use plan alternatives. Alternative approaches to Main Street (US Highway 71) were provided for review by the public to gauge interest in incorporating traffic calming measures and other approaches to enhance the downtown environment. Public input was also sought on various transportation features, such as a possible truck bypass of the community and future trail connections and new trail alignments. The final future land use plan took into account sensitive naturals areas on the city’s fringe, such as wetlands and woodlands, and took into accounted transportation improvements currently programmed by MNDOT.