Center City is a small city in Chisago County, 45 miles northeast of the Twin Cities. Entirely surrounded by lakes, the city is rich in natural resources. As it develops, the city wants to maintain its small city feel, while conserving its natural areas, farms, woods and lakes. At the same time, Center City recognizes the importance of planning for its growth, to balance the commercial, residential, recreational and wild areas in the city. To achieve these goals, the city used CGO resources to engage qualified professionals to guide its city staff, council and planning commission.
See what Center City Mayor Jill Behnke has to say about her community’s plans for its future and how CGO has made a difference.
CGO Project Overview
Center City will continue the process of reviewing the land use ordinances in order to reflect the goals that were set forth in the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan, in particular the goals of the Natural Resource, Land Use, Parks, Trails and Recreation, Community Facilities, Public Utilities, and Economic Development chapters. The City Has incorporated the use of rain gardens in the B-2 Highway Business District and has addressed two stormwater run-off projects this past 6 months, but would like a more focused plan to address storm water issues in the future. The City will be working to implement a Capital Improvement Plan to help guide the City financially to meet its long term goals related to storm water management and local water quality improvement, amongst other issues.
Center City has participated in the many training opportunities that 1000 Friends of Minnesota has offered as well as receiving localized trainings for City officials and citizens related to planning topics from hired consultants. Through the exposure to new ideas offered to the City through the CGO grant, the City Planning Commission and the City Council has had a change of attitude. The City has looked at sustainable planning practices and is incorporating these into their ordinances. Had this exposure not been made the City would have continued “the way we always have done it.”
Project Goals: More efficient land use, natural resource protection, leadership development
- Created and adopted the first ever comprehensive plan for the City through an expeditious process that included a robust public participation process
- Partnered with 1000 Friends to create a downtown revitalization visualization which will be to guide design during planned reconstruction of the main street
- Update the land use ordinances (Sub-division and land use shoreland districts) to incorporate stormwater management into new and existing residential and commercial districts.
- Develop a twenty-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to help financially guide the City to meet its budget goals, in particular related to storm water management and local water quality improvement
- Work with Chisago County, MnDOT, Lakes Improvement District and the DNR to incorporate stormwater run-off plans to specifically address the City’s lakes (North and South Center) with the goal of removing those lakes removed from the State’s Impaired Waters List
- Actively participate and seek out training through 1000 FOM, MDG, and other opportunities to gain exposure to new ideas, affect local attitudes towards sustainability planning and land use, and incorporating new ideas into ordinances
- Develop first ever comprehensive plan for the community
- Create visualization for downtown business district
- Fully update Land Use Section in the City Code resulting in a working set of land use ordinances
- Update storm water management sections in existing and new ordinances
- Develop Capital Improvement Plan
The Ordinances and training will guide the City in attaining the goals set forth in the newly created comprehensive plan to protect the lakes and Green Spaces in the City limits.
Maps of Center City
Several maps showing Center City’s geography are provided below. The maps are 11” x 17” (but can be printed at 8-1/2” x 11”) and in PDF format.
- Area Location Map
- Aerial Photo Map
- Lakes and Wetlands Map
- Watersheds Map
- Transportation Map
- Forest Cover Map
- Recreational Amenities Areas Map
- Topographical Map