Riverfront vision

The Shakopee City Council adopted the Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan in August, which is part of Envision Shakopee. The stabilization of the river is part of that plan, along with celebrating American Indian history in the culturally-rich area.

The Shakopee City Council formally adopted the city’s 2040 comprehensive plan titled Envision Shakopee on Nov. 19, which received preliminary approved Oct. 24 by the Metropolitan Council. The plan, which is 425 pages long, was two-and-a-half years in the making and details the ultimate build-out of the city. It comes after several public input sessions, planning commission meeting discussions and city council and staff revisions.

In the next 20 years, Shakopee is expected to add up to 22,000 residents. Now that the 2040 comprehensive plan has been adopted, the city must comply with the zoning code required for the developments outlined in the comprehensive plan.

The adoption of the plan was approved four to one, with Council Member Matt Lehman dissenting, citing reservations against high-density housing, among other concerns.

Here are some of the takeaways from the plan based on the city’s executive summary.

Highway 101 gateway: Native tree and grass will be planted along the roadside to “beautify” the highway. This will help attract visitors upon first impression, according to the executive summary.

First Avenue: The plan along First Avenue is to redevelop some of the aging commercial buildings and improve the overall appearance of the mixed-use buildings on this street. Envision also outlines plans to improve the walkability of the area and add more vegetation.

Riverfront: The city will aim to undergo a “riverfront transformation” to create more open space and allow more continuity between downtown Shakopee and the river. This involves a terraced walkway connecting Huber Park to the water’s edge, along with streetscaping along Levee Drive, according to the report.

Trails: Minor changes to the trails involve mainly cosmetics: adding shade trees, benches and more signs to already-existing trails in Shakopee.

Safer travel: The comprehensive plan calls for new crosswalks and crossing signals, along with more sidewalk connections to help improve safety in the area. Many of these intersections will require collaboration with the county.

West end: Perhaps the biggest change Shakopee will see in the next 20 years will be its west end, where the annexation of Jackson Township will take place, along with the goal to add a mixed-used employment center, higher-density developments, trail greenways and retail and dining centers. The plan also suggests an interchange improvement at Highway 169 and Highway 41.

Marschall Road: The plan suggests a possible transit station along Marschall Road that would connect Shakopee to I-394.

Envision Shakopee was completed by MKSK out of Columbus, Ohio, along with the help of several subcontractors, and it cost the city $205,000. This fall, Shakopee received a Planning in Context award from the Minnesota chapter of the American Planning Association.

The full plan is available for review at ShakopeeMN.gov/envisionshakopee.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.


Recommended for you