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The city of Brooklyn Center is seeking ownership of a portion of access road at 55th Avenue and the Brooklyn Boulevard, owned by the Robbinsdale School District due to its proximity to Northport Elementary School.

The Robbinsdale School District and the city of Brooklyn Center are considering a land-exchange agreement at Northport Elementary School.

The school district’s Director of Facilities, Operations and Transportation Jeff Connell told the Robbinsdale School Board that Brooklyn Center officials had approached district staff with the proposal.

The city wants to take ownership of a portion of the access road owned by the district near the intersection of 55th Avenue and the Brooklyn Boulevard Frontage Road. Connell said the portion is in the right-of-way of the frontage road, which is meant to alleviate traffic from Brooklyn Boulevard.

“As many of us know, that continues to be a very problematic area,” Connell said. “Part of what (the city) is trying to do is clean up the title and access to these parcels so that they can continue to do some right-of-way work in that area to alleviate traffic.”

The plan would leave intact some of the district’s ownership of the access road. This will ensure the road’s purpose as the entrance to Northport’s school grounds will not be modified.

In exchange, the district would be given land to the north of the access road that is currently utilized for stormwater drainage.

“We already have an easement for drainage and a stormwater infiltration basin. (The easement) would go away and we’d then own all interest in that property,” Connell told the board.

Connell added the swap would not involve the exchange of money, and that Brooklyn Center had agreed to absorb the administrative cost needed to record it.

Boardmember Sharon Brooks Green asked Connell what the benefit was of approving the swap.

“As I understand it, the benefit comes from their having the title to the land, so they can do what they want without having to get additional approval as they look to redesign,” Connell said.

According to his conversations with city staff, Connell said the city of Brooklyn Center was also looking to eventually redevelop a portion of land to the south of the access road. However, he said the city currently had no plans to rezone in the area.

School district staff recommended approval of the land exchange. Board Chair David Boone said the board will vote on the agreement at its Dec. 6 meeting.

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