Area residents have an opportunity to discuss future state policy regarding growth and its consequences at a meeting Tuesday in Brainerd.
Minnesota planners are hoping area residents will bring insight and opinions regarding urban development to a forum from 7-9 p.m. in the Central Lakes College cafeteria.
Public input is being sought by the Environmental Quality Board in regard to the long-term effects of urban development. Last year the state Legislature directed the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board to examine the long-term effects of urban development -- past, present and future -- on the economy, environment and way of life of state residents.
The idea is to improve the state urban development policies and practices.
Topic areas may include water quality, reduced congestion, habitat, growth costs and benefits, land use and development regulations, strong central cities, access to jobs and services, schools, poverty, neighborhoods, and technology.
Now Brainerd lakes area residents will have an opportunity to review and comment on the study draft. Minnesota Planning representatives also said they want to find out if important questions or issues have been left out before the document goes back to the board.
The urban development scoping document is a series of research studies designed to provide information on the existence and severity of impacts associated with urban development. Minnesota Planning notes the project is a way to generate a better understanding of the cause and effect relationships and consequences of growth-related policies.
The first order of business is defining the problems, gaining public comments and then identifying the type of research necessary to achieve the project goals.
The final document is expected to play a key role in resolving what Minnesota Planning calls "growing controversies surrounding growth and growth management."
A steering committee of 18 Minnesota citizens has been advising the Environmental Quality Board on appropriate content for the document. The document can be previewed at the Minnesota Planning's Web site at www.mnplan.state.mn.us/eqb, or by requesting a copy from the board in St. Paul.
After the public review and comment phase is completed, the final draft or scoping document will be put together along with a budget and submitted to the EQB. If the study is approved by the board, it will be presented to the Legislature. And if funding is approved for the completion of the document, officially known as the Urban Development Generic Environmental Impact Statement, work is expected to begin in July 2001.
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