Duluth is changing, and after months of meetings and feedback, city leaders are closer to understanding what that change will bring in the years to come.
It's all part of the "Imagine Duluth 2035" Comprehensive Plan, that aims to develop the Zenith City over the next several years in an all-encompassing manner--from housing, to transportation, and beyond.
According to Imagine Duluth's website:
"The City’s current Comprehensive Land Use Plan was an outgrowth of the “2001 and Beyond” planning process, and was adopted in 2006. City Staff has worked with the Planning Commission and the Administration to begin an update to the plan for a number of reasons, but crucially because Duluth is a markedly different city than it was in 2006 - demographically, economically and culturally.
The social and economic environment that existed when the 2006 plan was adopted has changed. For example, over the last several years Duluth has been recognized nationally for its expanded community assets and investments. A comprehensive plan is a representation of a community’s vision and goals for the future. When the community changes, the community’s vision should adapt. The updated plan will recognize and build upon the successes and momentum of the community that have compounded over the past decade.
A comprehensive plan is also the primary tool a community has to plan for the future; it is a tool that ensures that growth makes the community better, not just bigger. Land use controls, such as zoning and subdivision regulations, are most supportable and allow the City to provide the highest level development services to the community when made in the context of an up-to-date comprehensive plan."
Imagine Duluth 2035 teams now have their final draft plan online, and are showcasing some of its highlights at public meetings this January and February. Over 135 public meetings have taken place so far, with six more to come. A vote from the planning commission is scheduled to take place in February.
The group's initiative staff have been working on the plan to get input from residents of all ages, and visitors to Duluth, in the hopes of ensuring Duluth's future growth.
Mayor Emily Larson spoke during Monday's meeting to the efforts the Vision staff has put forth.
"Really ensuring that the direction we move as a community that imagining Duluth in 2035 is inclusive of opportunities city-wide," said Larson. "It does recognize that part of our call is not just to stabilize our community, but to really lift up our neighbors and community."
If the commission approves the plan, it will then be passed to the City Council, where they will vote on the plan February 26.
Part of the comprehensive plan also targets tourism, and making places throughout Duluth a year-round attraction.
In Canal Park, for example, city leaders are officially planning "Cold Front February" for the start of the month. It's a weekend-long celebration that aims to embrace the sub-zero landscape the Twin Ports is gifted with in winter. Events include an ice skating trail, vendors, camp fires, and more.
In this week's Beyond the Headlines, Dan Wolfe sits down with those behind the Imagine Duluth efforts, along with a member of the Canal Park Business Association.
For more on the Cold Front February celebrations, click here.
To read more about the Imagine Duluth 2035 plan click here.
Public hearing opportunities:
Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 5:30 - 7:00 pm Grant Rec Center (901 E 11th St)
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 5:30 - 7:00 pm Community Action Duluth, Cafeteria (2424 W 5th St #102)
Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 5:30 - 7:00 pm Portman Rec Center, 4601 McCulloch Street
Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 5:30 - 7:00 pm City Center West, 5830 Grand Avenue, Duluth MN
Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00 pm Hope United Methodist Church, 301 W St. Marie St, Duluth, MN
Thursday, February 1, 2018, 5:30 - 7:00 pm Gary New Duluth Rec Center, 801 101st Ave. W