Edina is studying the possibility of a commuter rail service through the city and is seeking feedback from residents and business owners.

City officials and the project consultant are hosting a public meeting on the issue from 5 to 7 p.m. on July 25 at the Public Works and Park Maintenance Facility, 7450 Metro Blvd. Residents will be able to view information displays and ask questions of project staff.

The city is considering reactivating commuter rail on the Dan Patch Corridor, which is west of Hwy. 100 and runs north-south through Edina.

The Transportation Commission is expected to make a recommendation on commuter rail to the City Council in September.

Another public meeting will be scheduled at a later date. More information is available online at EdinaMN.gov/passenger-rail-report.

Miguel Otárola

West Metro

Target, watershed district host cleanup

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and Target will host a cleanup along several sections of Minnehaha Creek in St. Louis Park and Hopkins on July 23.

Volunteers will meet at the Knollwood Target at 8900 Hwy. 7 in St. Louis Park, where they will pick up trash from the stream bank and storm drains that lead to the creek.

From there, they can take buses to other locations including Cottageville Park in Hopkins and Creekside Park and the Japs-Olson Co. in St. Louis Park.

After the cleanup, volunteers will return to Target, where they will weigh their trash and try to qualify for a prize from outdoor recreation store REI. Cleanup teams will be provided with gloves, trash bags, water and breakfast.

The cleanup is part of a series of community events planned for the 50th anniversary of the watershed district.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to noon. Interested volunteers must register at minnehahacreek.org/50.

Miguel Otárola


Concept plans for Commons to be unveiled

A group establishing a new master plan for the Commons, Excelsior’s park on Lake Minnetonka, will unveil initial concept ideas to the public on Wednesday.

The meeting, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Excelsior City Hall, 339 3rd St., will be the first of two public meetings for residents to provide input on landscape architects’ initial ideas for revamping the 13-acre park.

A second meeting will be held in September, and the public feedback will help shape a final master plan to be presented to the City Council in October.

The Commons, a rare piece of public land on Lake Minnetonka, has been in the public domain for more than 160 years. It includes a band shell and bathhouse that date to the 1950s and ’60s.

Excelsior has long sought to improve its facilities, but officials say the city doesn’t get enough tax revenue from its 2,300 residents to do it alone and that the park should be supported regionally by metro-area residents who use it for free.

This summer, the city added boat docks to boost revenue for the park. A park conservancy, Community for the Commons, was started in 2015 to raise money and launch an endowment fund.

The city unsuccessfully sought legislative approval this year for a half-cent sales tax to raise $7 million for park improvements. Excelsior voters agreed in 2014 to a sales tax increase of up to 1 percent for the park, but state approval is needed before the city can implement the tax increase.



City weighs restrictions for East Town

In response to possible development plans, Excelsior’s Planning Commission has unanimously recommended changing the city’s zoning code to establish new rules such as height restrictions for the area called East Town.

The City Council will consider the city code change Monday.

Excelsior is in the midst of a nine-month development moratorium, to expire in September, that restricts significant development in the East Town area next to Lake Minnetonka.

A consultant recently put together a plan studying East Town, once the site of the popular Excelsior Amusement Park.

The moratorium was passed last year in response to an influx of redevelopment proposals. Bayview Event Center, which includes the Bayside Grille, abruptly closed last year before being put up for sale.

The city also wanted to sell a former police station but held off over concerns about possible high-density housing.

High-density development long has been controversial in Excelsior. The city approved its first four-story building, a senior housing project, last year despite concerns it was outsized for the community.

A few years ago, the Heritage Preservation Commission opposed a proposed hotel for its size and scale; the City Council overturned the decision, but plans for the hotel were later abandoned.


Brooklyn Park

City updating 10-year park system plan

Brooklyn Park is updating its 10-year park system plan and looking for residential feedback.

A community meeting is planned for 6 p.m. on Friday at Zanewood Recreation Center, 7100 Zane Av. N.

City leaders expect to finish the plan, which will set priorities for Brooklyn Park’s trails, parks and recreation programs, in early 2018.

A park system plan survey is also available online.

Hannah Covington