Sunday, October 02, 2005

Grand Avenue Development Moratorium

In a pleasantly surprising move, the St. Paul City Council has passed a measure that will prevent new development on a stretch of Grand Avenue for a year, allowing neighborhood groups and residents to identify how they want their wonderful little neighborhood to be shaped. Three artciles on the subject worthy of note:

StarTribune: Debating what's good for St. Paul's Grand
StarTribune: Some St. Paul residents back ban on Grand Avenue chains
PioneerPress: St. Paul plan bans big projects

Let's hope the outcome of this moratorium is a zoning and development plan that preserves the area's character without being regressive and obstructionary. While a neighbhood's residents should have a primary say about how their community is shaped, that doesn't always mean they'll be right. (Look at Nicolet Mall in downtown Minneapolis: While many downtown supported the new Target and other developments on the mall, the end result has been a stretch that once housed a large number of local shops and businesses now lacks character and feels like a regular, boring business-district street, only without traffic.)

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