Community discussion planned on parks and open spaces at Ford site

As plans for sale of the 125-acre Ford plant site in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood move forward, residents and community leaders will meet tonight to talk about parks and open spaces that might be integrated into the new development.

While the city doesn’t own the site, officials are working to set guidelines and zoning rules for when it is sold and developed. A series of meetings is looking at various many aspects of the site’s future.

The city’s goal: to see the site become “a livable, mixed use neighborhood that looks to the future with clean technologies and high quality design for energy, buildings and infrastructure. This site will support walking, biking and transit, and provide services, jobs and activities that every generation can enjoy.”

Tonight’s meeting on parks and open spaces is at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church’s Fellowship Hall, 700 S. Snelling Av. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Breakout tables for public input will follow the presentation.

The agenda:

  • Parks and Open Space priorities
  • Background and assumptions that shape the priorities
  • Key questions and design ideas to refine the priorities

At the last such meeting on Jan. 29, 170 people showed up to talk about energy issues in the site’s redevelopment: how energy efficiency, a mix of renewable energy sources, and smart design to achieve a ‘net zero development’ by generating as much energy as it uses.

Future meetings will be:

  • April 16 – Walking, biking and transit systems
  • April 30 – Streets and parking
  • May 21 – Stormwater management and other site infrastructure
  • Summer – Zoning, jobs, environmental

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