Envisioning Task Force Open House

On November 20, 2003, the Envisioning Task Force held a two-hour public open house to present its findings, recommendations, and written report to residents of the Township. The open house included a brief half-hour overview of the project, as well as six stations the public could visit to learn more about the study and ask questions. Approximately 90 Eureka residents and landowners attended the event.

Most of the materials from the open house are available below. Please note that all items are PDF files. To view or print PDF files, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 6.0 or later. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader free. Some of these files are very large, and may take several minutes to download if you are using a modem connection, so please be patient. Files size is indicated for each item.

If you would like more information about the Eureka Envisioning Task Force or this open house, contact task force chair Mike Greco by e-mail at curaweb@umn.edu.

Overview Presentation

A brief presentation by the chair of the Envisioning Task Force provided guests with an overview of the Eureka Envisioning Project, a two-year study undertaken with Dakota County and 1000 Friends of Minnesota.

Overview Presentation

Station One: Welcome

At this station, guests were asked to sign in and received an agenda of the evening’s events. Guests also received a handout that defined unfamiliar terms they might encounter during the evening.

Open House Agenda
Terms You Might See Tonight

Station Two: Eureka Township and Surrounding Communities

This station provided guests with a visual overview of Eureka Township and surrounding communities, and results from a “Community Attributes” survey conducted at the November 2002 Envisioning Open House.

Three posterboards at the station showed images of development in Eureka, surrounding communities such as Lakeville and Farmington, and other communities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. A PowerPoint presentation offered guests a visual journey through the township as it exists today. Guests were given a handout with the year 2000 U.S. Census data for Eureka.

This station also presented the concept of community attributes, the unique characteristics that make up a community. Guests were shown results from a survey conducted at the November 2002 open house that asked residents to rate the importance of various community attributes assuming some growth in Eureka. Results of the survey were presented to the Eureka Town Board in December 2003.

2000 U.S. Census Data for Eureka Township (Fact Sheet No. 2)
Community Attributes Survey Results (Fact Sheet No. 3)

Station Three: Eureka Growth Scenarios and Indicators

This station presented the results of the two-year Eureka Envisioning Project. Guests were introduced to the concept of a scenarioa description or model of a hypothetical future development pattern. The Envisioning Task Force studied existing conditions in Eureka, as well as six different scenarios for future growth in the township:

(WARNING: Many of the files below are large files, and may take several minutes to download, especially if you are using a modem connection)

Existing Conditions

Shows all existing land parcels and development in Eureka Township, as well as roads, cultivated farmland, and natural areas.

View map of Existing Conditions

Current Zoning Buildout Scenario

A hypothetical residential buildout of Eureka Township at the current zoning density of one house per quarter-quarter section. (A buildout assumes that all developable parcels in the township are developed.)

View map of Current Zoning Buildout Scenario

Town Center Scenario

A hypothetical mixed-use commercial and residential development in the center of Eureka Township, at the intersection of Cedar Avenue and 25th Street.

View map of Town Center Scenario

10-Acre Buildout Scenario

A hypothetical residential buildout of Eureka Township assuming a zoning density of one house per ten acres.

View map of 10-Acre Buildout Scenario

Residential Cluster Scenario

A hypothetical residential buildout of Eureka Township assuming a zoning density of one house per 10 acres and a mandatory cluster development requirement to preserve farmland and open space.

View map of Residential Cluster Scenario

Suburban Progression Scenario

A hypothetical residential and commercial buildout of the northern one-fifth of Eureka Township at suburban densities characteristic of Lakeville or Farmington (1/3-acre and 1/2-acre lots).

View map of Suburban Progression Scenario

2.5-Acre Rural Estates Scenario

A hypothetical residential buildout of Eureka Township assuming a zoning density of one house per 2.5 acres.

View map of 2.5-Acre Rural Estates Scenario

Guests at the open house were asked to rate the six growth scenarios and comment on what they liked or disliked about them. Results of the survey were tabulated and presented to the Eureka Town Board in December 2003.

Scenario Comment Form (Activity No. 1)
Results of Scenario Survey

This station also introduced the concept of an indicator—a feature of the township (for example, population, number of roads, demand for services, or amount of farmland) that could be impacted by future development in a way that is statistically measurable. Indicators allow comparison of various growth scenarios based on issues of concern to township residents. The task force studied 15 indicators grouped in the following categories:

Demographic and Economic Impacts
Farmland and Natural Area Impacts
Solid Waste and Infrastructure Impacts
Water Use, Water Quality, and Septic Discharge Impacts

Guests also received several handouts that provided more information about concepts at this station, including:

What Is an Indicator? (Fact Sheet No. 4)
What Is a Scenario? (Fact Sheet No. 5)
What Is Cluster Development? (Fact Sheet No. 6)
What Is a Town Center? (Fact Sheet No. 7)

Station Four: Transfer of Development Rights

This station explained how a transfer of development rights program works and how this development tool could be applied in Eureka. Transfer of development rights (also called TDR) programs use market forces to simultaneously encourage conservation in high-value natural, agricultural, and open space areas while encouraging growth in developed and developing sections of a community. Successful TDR programs have been in place throughout the United States since 1980 and have protected tens of thousands of acres of farmland and open space.

Guests at the open house received several handouts that explained TDR and related land conservation programs:

What Is Transfer of Development Rights (TDR)? (Fact. Sheet No. 9)
What Is Purchase of Development Rights (PDR)? (Fact Sheet No. 8)
What Is a Conservation Easement? (Fact Sheet No. 10)

Guests at the open house were asked their opinion of TDR programs. Results of the survey were presented to the Eureka Town Board in December 2003.

TDR Comment Form (Activity No. 2)
TDR Survey Results

Station Five: Next Steps

The purpose of this station was to present the ten “next steps” recommended by the Envisioning Task Force to carry forward their work. These included:

  1. Build a sense of community and a greater investment in the township by encouraging and rewarding citizen involvement.
  2. Build the technical capacity of Township officials, staff, and citizens through regular training opportunities, informational sessions, and workshops.
  3. Use current Envisioning Task Force members and other interested citizen volunteers to further research issues related to growth and development.
  4. Stay actively informed of developments beyond our borders and become more fully engaged with Dakota County, the Metropolitan Council and surrounding communities.
  5. Create a vision statement for Eureka Township, based on input from resi dents, that describes what the township would ideally look like 30 years from now.
  6. Commission a fiscal impact study for Eureka Township that shows the likely costs of new development (for infrastructure, public services, etc.) versus the potential tax revenue generated by development.
  7. Create guidelines and incentives to minimize the impacts of development and encourage preservation of natural resources, farmland, scenic views, and watersheds.
  8. Identify specific indicators to track over time to measure and document changes in our community.
  9. Hire professional planners or planning consultants with expertise in rural development before any changes are made to the current zoning in Eureka Township.
  10. Research and apply for grant opportunities available to Eureka to help the Township address growth and development issues.

 

Guests at the open house were asked to rate the importance of each of these next steps. Results of the survey (see below) were presented to the Eureka Town Board in December 2003. The decision to go forward with these recommendations and build on the work of the Envisioning Task Force ultimately rests with the Town Board.

Envisioning Task Force Next Steps and Recommendations
“Next Steps” Comment Form (Activity No. 3)
“Next Steps” Survey Results

Station Six: Envisioning Task Force Report

This station allowed guests to review or purchase a copy of the Envisioning Task Force’s written report. A handout listing additional Envisioning Resources was also available.

Envisioning Resources (Fact Sheet No. 12)

Summary Report

The task force’s summary report includes an abbreviated discussion of the purpose of the Eureka Envisioning Project, the six core growth scenarios and indicators the task force investigated, and the next steps recommended by the task force. The summary report (24 pages, four-color 11X17 inch format) is available for purchase on CD for $2.00 ($3.00 with shipping and handling) and in hardcopy for $17.00 ($20.00 with shipping and handling). To order, contact Town Clerk Nanett Leine.

Full Report

The task force’s full report includes all materials related to the two-year Eureka Envisioning Project. The full report (80 pages, four-color 11X17 inch format) is available in hardcopy at the Lakeville and Farmington Libraries. It is available for purchase on CD for $2.00 ($3.00 with shipping and handling) and in hardcopy for $65.00 ($70.00 with shipping and handling). To order, contact Town Clerk Nanett Leine.