When Hoisington Koegler Group completed Inver Grove Heights’ comprehensive plan update in 1999, one of the key land use issues identified in the plan was the development of the 2,200-acre northwest quadrant of the community, an area bounded by Interstate 494, TH 52 and TH 55 - all major urban freeways. The Northwest Area presents unique development challanges and opportunities due to its varied physical topography, areas of extensive tree cover and numerous landlocked, define wetland basins. While valuable, these natural features also increase the costs for storm sewer infrastructure if traditional techniques are implemented.
The 2001 Northwest Quadrant Study prepared by HKGi and the 2004 Northwest Quadrant Hydrologic and Hydraulic Analysis prepared by Emmons & Olivier Resources identified a land use pattern and low impact stormwater management techniques to minimize storm water runoff and sediment movement. The desired land use pattern is intended to have a diversity of housing styles, cluster development practices which preserve natural features, pedestrian connections and reductions in impervious surface cover to maximize stormater infiltration.
Based on these studies, HKGi developed the Northwest Area Overlay District. The ordinance establishes minimum densities, bulk standards, open space preservation, mix of uses, stormwater management, parking and driveway requirements, and subdivision regulations relating to street design. HKGi has also been assisting Staff in reviewing development projects. This has included the development of a tracking form which enables both the project applicant and City Staff to easily compare planning assumptions with actual development. It also helps City Staff track development revenue and Met Council commercial/industrial square footage, density and FAR goals.