City Council to Hold Public Hearing on September 20 for Ford Site Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2017

Mollie Scozzari, Marketing & Public Relations Manager
City of Saint Paul, Department of Planning & Economic Development
651-266-6575 (o); 651-387-9045 (c)
mollie.scozzari@ci.stpaul.mn.us 

City Council to Hold Public Hearing on September 20 for Ford Site Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan

Public comments can also be submitted online or through postal mail up until the public hearing

SAINT PAUL – The Saint Paul City Council has scheduled a public hearing on the Ford Site redevelopment’s Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan for Wednesday, September 20, at 5:30 p.m. The City Council is also accepting formal written comments, which can be submitted online at stpaul.gov/FordComments or by mail. Written comments will be accepted up until 9 a.m. on September 20th, the day of the public hearing.

“The Ford Site presents an incredible development opportunity for our community,” said Mayor Chris Coleman. “When development is complete, new residents and employees in the area will attract new retail and services to benefit the whole neighborhood, and the site will be an asset for generations to come.” 

On July 28, the Saint Paul Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the Ford Site redevelopment’s Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan, forwarding it to the Saint Paul City Council and Mayor Coleman for further review and proposed adoption. The City has been collecting public feedback and refining the draft plan since the information was first presented to the community in November 2016.

“We need a plan for the Ford Site that will position us for success as our community grows,” said Councilmember Chris Tolbert. “We have been gathering input from the community for more than a decade, and we want to make sure that this plan continues to reflect the community’s goals and desires. Your input is critical to this process.”

About the Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan

The City’s proposed Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan outlines potential land uses on the vacant Ford Site, establishes the expectation for quality public amenities like public parks and other infrastructure, and sets policy for site redevelopment. While the plan is inherently flexible, it will serve as a guiding framework for the future master developer, who will complete additional detailed analyses of the site, including a transportation study based on their actual development proposal.

The plan envisions rezoning the 135-acre site into six districts: four as predominantly multi-family residential areas, and two as primarily commercial areas along Ford Parkway. The site is currently zoned primarily for industrial use, so the rezoning will set the stage for a mixed-use urban village. Housing affordability is an important need across the city, and the Ford Site redevelopment plan outlines specific affordability goals, ensuring that a mix of housing types will be available across the site.

The current plan also calls for more than 20 percent of the site to be public parks, trails, and open space – spread throughout the site to create a vibrant, welcoming development. To facilitate the site’s transportation needs, the plan proposes extending the existing street grid into the site, assisting with efficient traffic flow and ensuring that new development is integrated into the neighborhood.

It is anticipated that Ford Motor Company may put the site on the market later this year or in early 2018. Once adopted, the Ford Site Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan will clearly identify the site’s redevelopment potential and market value to prospective buyers, while creating more certainty for the surrounding community as the phased development takes place over the next 15 to 20 years.

For more information about the Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan, visit stpaul.gov/ford or watch this video. The full draft plan document is also available for download here.