Tuesday evening, Linden Hills residents will vote on whether to re-appropriate tens of thousands of dollars to avoid repeating last winter's battle royale over a proposed development on the site of Famous Dave's at 43rd and Upton.
The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) is asking neighborhood residents to come to the Linden Hills Park Recreation Center on Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Residents will vote on whether the neighborhood group should reappropriate up to $60,000 to fund the development of a "small area plan" for neighborhood business nodes.
An open house was held last month to give residents a chance to ask questions about the plan and how it would unfold.
A small area plan, in a nutshell, is a document that sets up specific restrictions and guidelines for developers that are more tailored than current zoning. As Patch wrote earlier this year, when the idea of a small area plan was first floated by LHiNC members:
"The intention is to get ahead of the curve as to what kind of change might take place (in a neighborhood), and to figure out a strategy for how that change should happen over time," said Jack Byers, head of the city's community planning office.
Planners work with neighborhood residents for several months, using focus groups, surveys, and other means to gather input on what they want their neighborhood to look like in 15 years.
"There's no way that we can foresee every design issue that’s going to come up, but we can set guidelines and goals," Byers' colleague Amanda Arnold said. "So if you’ve built that consensus before development is proposed, it starts discussion (with a developer) from a certain point by outlining what the neighborhood wants."
LHiNC board members have billed the small area plan as a chance for area residents to come to an agreement about what kind of development to allow in the neighborhood. If voters on Tuesday approve funding for the plan, LHiNC will then hire an independent consultant to help run the surveys and focus groups needed to gather information about what neighborhood residents want to see in the small area plan. The plan would be ready near the end of 2013.