The Brooklyn Center City Council moved ahead with the first reading of an ordinance to enact an interim moratorium on development and authorizing a study on of properties within the so-called “opportunity site,” at its July 22 meeting.

The full opportunity site comprises of an estimated 81 acres of land, generally bound by Summit Drive to the north, Shingle Creek Parkway to the west, Bass Lake Road to the south and Highway 100 and Summit Drive to the east.

The council owns approximately 35 acres of the opportunity site property, not including its potential 9-acre purchase of the former Target site. The city has been in a master development agreement with Alatus LLC since April 2018 for the city-owned land.

Redevelopment is planned for the area, including housing, a mixed-use downtown area, open green space, new roads, parks, regional stormwater facilities, and retail or commercial uses.

That said, in 2019, Brooklyn Center began working with a consultant to update the 2006 Opportunity Site Master Plan, a planning document that would provide both a new master plan for the site and regulatory requirements that can help to bring that vision to fruition. The new document is expected to be completed by mid-2020.

The intention of the interim moratorium is to allow the city time to complete its planning and regulation work before properties begin the development phase.

Under state law, a moratorium can be placed for no longer than 12 months. The council approved a full 12-month moratorium, which can be lifted earlier at the will of the council if it is determined that no change in land use or zoning is required.

If approved on the second reading, the moratorium would not impact permits or approvals related to maintaining, repairing or improving properties without expansion. It also would not impact properties that are allowed by the underlying zoning and do require permits or approvals from the city.

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