Three Things to Know
Edina is planning to grow the population by 33% and households by 44% by 2040. This growth is unprecedented. In the forty-year period from 1970 to 2010 Edina added 3,900 people. In the thirty-year period from 2010 to 2040 Edina’s leadership plans to add nearly 16,000 people.
This includes the city’s recent Met Council request to increase our 2040 population target from 55,100 to 63,600. A jump of nearly 20% in the last four months. In a stunning statement, Planning Commissioner Lou Miranda stated to our group that Edina could handle 100,000 people. An active city volunteer, Mr. Miranda was most recently on the Transportation Commission. Maybe we need some fresh voices!
The 2017 Quality of Life Survey yielded 477 responses from a mailing of 1,500 resident surveys. The results clearly demonstrated that residents’ #1 concern was Housing (teardowns, overdevelopment, affordability). The second most serious concern was Traffic and Infrastructure.
Edina residents’ primary concerns are density and traffic.
In the last four months our elected officials have requested that the Met Council increase our 2040 population target by 20%. There’s an obvious disconnect happening here. Since 2010, our City has embarked on an unprecedented new pace of growth for Edina. We just can’t understand why.
Edina’s 2008 ten-year Comprehensive Plan opened with the statement – our city will grow in response to resident wants and needs. Unfortunately, the proposed 2018 Comp Plan is built on a much different premise. Population growth.
Communities set the vision for their future
At least once every 10 years, city councils, town boards, and county boards throughout the region take on a very important job – to update their local comprehensive plans. A local comprehensive plan represents a community’s vision of how it wants to grow and change – how it will develop its land, redevelop older areas, ensure adequate housing, provide roads and sewers, protect natural areas, and meet other community objectives.
Source: Met Council
Population growth is the cornerstone of this document. The Met Council clearly demands that the Plan “ensures adequate housing” to accommodate this growth.
For the past forty years we have lived in municipally calm waters. Edina’s had a strong reputation for fiscal discipline and good schools; overall an effective, competent city administration. Since 2010 something changed. A disruptive mood has crept into city hall. As the following charts clearly demonstrate our city leadership is planning on a much larger community. The Plan regularly refers to the statement “as a fully developed city” which we believe discloses the city’s true intention – massive urban density. The base question is why.
Did we ask our elected leaders to grow the population 33% and housing stock 44%?
Edina’s story is being rewritten with all the attendant risks – schools, traffic, urban-center scale density; dramatically and permanently impacting our overall quality of life. Is this what residents want?
We hope Edina residents are paying attention, demanding answers, and holding people accountable for the outcomes.
Edina’s 2017 Quality of Life Survey clearly demonstrates that residents’ primary concerns were overbuilding, density, and traffic.
If density/overbuilding was the number one concern why would our city set us on such a course?
Accommodating growth is a Met Council requirement. How do we compare with our neighbors?
Edina and Eden Prairie are projecting the largest population increases out of these West metro suburbs. An interesting side note: Edina’s City Manager and former Eden Prairie City Manager is Scott Neal.
QUALITY OF LIFE CHANGES AHEAD:
Population growth is complex. There are a lot of secondary and tertiary consequences of large scale population growth on the existing ecosystem of our city. These consequences are also known as “carrying capacity”. Here are a few that we think are important:
More people = more students = larger class size in schools
More people = more cars = more traffic on already congested roads
More traffic on roads = longer response times for emergency vehicles
You get the picture.