There’s a near-secret public hearing tonight on the proposed Land Development Code

Land Development Code Board and Commission Review Draft-July 7, 2011The Northfield Planning Commission is holding a public hearing tonight "to hear comments on the proposed Land Development Code (LDC) and make a recommendation to the City Council to approve."

Publicity on the public hearing (7 pm City Hall) appears to be near-zilch.

Nothing recent posted on:

KYMN has brief blog post on it (link broken as of 4pm) because they’re streaming the meeting.

Last week, Councilor Betsey Buckheit blogged about it:

The Planning Commission has devoted an amazing amount of time and effort to this project to craft regulations which are specific to Northfield.   The Planning Commission has worked with the Chamber of Commerce on both commercial and residential regulations, with both colleges on the regulations affecting their campuses and the relation of the campuses to their surrounding neighborhoods, and held public meetings and information sessions. Thank you – it is more than we should ask of our volunteers, but you demanded that the revision be done and I applaud your efforts.


  1. Kathie Galotti said:

    Why the secrecy? Is it that no public input is wanted, but the councilors feel that they have to act interested? It’s like they’re taking a page out of the Northfield School Board play book…..

    July 7, 2011
  2. Kathie and Griff – this hearing was neither secret or semi-secret. It was appropriately published (as in the legal notice) and that is all the publicity which is required.

    Should there have been more publicity? I really don’t feel it was necessary to do more.

    Public hearings like this one occur at the very end of the process – in this case a very long process which has included multiple public meetings, open houses, conferences with interested groups and individuals, and joint worksessions with the Council. As public process goes, this project has included more opportunities for input and sought more feedback than any I have encountered in Northfield.

    Secrecy? No. Attempt to block or ignore input? I think not.

    July 7, 2011
  3. kiffi summa said:

    There was absolutely NO secrecy issue involved in this Public Hearing for the new Land Development Code!
    Given the length of this process, that is a fairly ridiculous ( IMO ) viewpoint to have.
    If you feel there is, then you just have not been following its long and arduous multi-year track.

    Public Hearing notices always appear in the public notice of the newspaper, preceding or just at the top of the classified ads, and you’ll have to give that page of the newspaper, or the calendar page of the City’s website, a regular look-see if you want to follow Public Hearings.

    There is certainly enough in a local gov’t process, including NF’s, to have varying opinions on… but every effort has been made by the Planning Commission to not only do a monumental amount of extra work, but to keep the public involved.

    Need I say? there is some responsibility on the ‘public’s’ part to stay involved, or get involved, if they want a voice?

    July 8, 2011
  4. David Ludescher said:


    Betsy and Kiffi are right. The Planning Commission came to a Chamber board meeting with a first draft of almost 300 pages while I was still on the board (pre-2010).

    July 8, 2011
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    Nope, they’re wrong, David. 😉 I’ll sermonize on it soon!

    July 8, 2011
  6. David Ludescher said:


    There might not have been much in the pixel world but in the real world there has been a lot of information.

    July 8, 2011
  7. kiffi summa said:

    PLEASE… PLEASE … PLEASE … Spare us the sermon! There’s too much sermonizing in this town! 🙂

    It can no longer be seen in it’s original form on the City calendar, on the City’s website, but when the 7th was not yet past, in that square of the Calendar there were two entries for the Planning Commission: One said: Public Notice, Planning Commission 7PM; and the second one said : Planning Commission meeting, 7 PM.

    As mentioned before, also there were published Public Hearing Notices in the NFNews. Also, it was posted on the Bulletin Board in City Hall.

    July 9, 2011
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    I just discovered that this article was PRINTED in the Wed. Nfld News. It can’t be found online via the news/government section nor via the News’ search feature. I found it via a Google site search.

    Citywide development regulations get public hearing

    Whether you’re planning for an addition on the house, looking to build a new deck or want to ensure the empty parcel down the way is developed according to the city’s vision, you’ll want to attend Thursday’s public hearing on a new Land Development Code.

    The code, which includes zoning regulations, will govern the development and use of every parcel in the city when approved.
    This is the second public hearing on the regulations, said Brian O’Connell, who has helped shepherd their formulation for the city.

    The first, in March, didn’t get a recommendation from the Planning Commission, which has done the lion’s share of the work on the document.

    Instead, O’Connell said, the commission took input from the spring hearing and used it to tweak the current document. In March, concerns the commission heard came mostly from Carleton and St. Olaf colleges and the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

    July 9, 2011

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