Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT)

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The Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT) project (METRO Green Line Extension) will operate on a route from downtown Minneapolis through the communities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie, passing in close proximity to Edina. The line will include 15 new stations, including three in St. Louis Park, and will be part of an integrated system of transitways, including connections to the METRO Blue Line, the Northstar Commuter Rail line, many bus routes and proposed future transitways.

The total estimated project cost of $1.858 billion will be funded by the Metropolitan Council and project partners through a mix of federal, state and local sources, with federal funds making up approximately half the total. At Target Field Station in Minneapolis, Green Line Extension trains will continue along the METRO Green Line, providing one-seat rides to the University of Minnesota, State Capital area and downtown St. Paul.

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Southwest LRT Station Area Planning

Transitional Station Area Action Plans were completed for St. Louis Park's three stations (Belt Line, Wooddale and Louisiana) in December 2013. These action plans were developed for each of the 17 stations along the proposed Southwest LRT line. Each plan identifies investments that are needed in the near term to enhance existing businesses, support mixed income housing opportunities and encourage new development. Over the long term, the plans will help create unique, transit oriented stations along the entire corridor. See the following links for information about St. Louis Park station areas, or view the entire Transitional Station Area Action Plan on Hennepin County's website. 

Code for LRT Stations

St. Louis Park is developing form-based codes for its three Southwest LRT station areas, which will be located near Beltline Boulevard, Wooddale Avenue and Louisiana Avenue.

What are form-based codes?
Form-based codes are regulations that control the design of public areas. Rather than focusing on a separation of uses, like commercial versus residential, form-based codes focus on the relationship between buildings and the street, pedestrians and vehicles and public and private spaces. The city is developing the code in order to foster and encourage transit-oriented development. 

What process will St. Louis Park use to develop its code?
The city contracted with CodaMetrics to guide the city through the development process, which is expected to be complete in May 2015. As part of the process, residents and business owners will be able to engage in the process through a variety of public platforms. Details about opportunities for public involvement will be posted here when available. 

To learn more about the approach CodaMetrics and the city will use, click on the link to the Nov. 25, 2013 City Council report below.

Form-Based Code Update
Two community workshops were held in May, 2014 to inform the development of St. Louis Park’s station area form-based code. You can view the results of Image Preference Surveys from those workshops. See results

An Image Preference Survey (IPS) is a powerful tool used to show group preferences on community character and appearance. In our IPS, participants were shown a series of PowerPoint slides, each containing photographs related to geographic areas within the station areas. Participants scored each image from -5 to +5 (most negative to most positive), and then images with the highest and lowest overall scores were discussed in small groups. Survey results will be used to help establish preferred building and street types to write the form-based code.

Livable Communities Grant
Financing for the form-based codes project was provided by a Livable Communities grant from the Metropolitan Council.

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