The following planning priorities emerged from community comments in the planning process including initial website activities, interviews with community organizations, city staff and council, as well as the research and analysis the planning team has conducted to understand the key issues facing Shakopee. As we have continued to talk with community members, through community events and workshops, these priorities have continued to strengthen as the most emphasized topics of focus for Envision Shakopee. The priorities are in no particular order.
The plan must reflect our values and be used as a strategic guide
People are excited about the new approach to planning for the city’s future but are also concerned the city will not stick to its plan. Planning and public investments need to be strategic, connected to a long-term plan and in-line with the city’s values.
Communication efforts need to continue to evolve
People want more information available on the city’s website, such as pages specific to individual development projects and better sharing of information on events and festivals. There is also a desire for improved communication and collaboration between the city, its neighboring jurisdictions and other government agencies.
Transportation options are critical
People are dissatisfied by Highway 169 traffic and see a need for additional improvements for commuters. Also, there is an interest in improving roadway safety and other transportation options, including transit, biking, and walking, for commuting, exercise and other daily activities.
Additional park & trail connections are needed
The city is building a great trail system, but additional improvements, connections and wayfinding signage are needed. For example, a bike trail over Highway 169 near Southbridge is highly desired. Also, the river is one of the city’s biggest under-utilized assets and people want access to it.
A sense of community and belonging is important
People like being around their neighbors and want more opportunities to gather, celebrate and meet. This includes a call to stitch together seemingly disconnected neighborhoods, such as Southbridge. There is also an ardent desire to maintain Shakopee’s unique identity and small-town character.
Availability of quality housing options is a community need
A growing number of people feel housing prices are out of their reach or that the available housing does not meet their needs. For example, seniors need one-level living while many families with kids need reasonably priced units with more bedrooms.
Community aesthetics are important
Many would like to see higher quality architecture and design standards to improve the overall aesthetics of the community. This includes everything from a need for better code enforcement to a desire to have fewer “cookie cutter” buildings.
Residents desire downtown revitalization
Downtown Shakopee has historic and unique characteristics that can be leveraged to encourage public and private improvements. Also, a strong mix of independent, unique and high-quality retail and restaurants are desired.
We must maintain a strong and diverse economy
Shakopee has experienced considerable jobs growth in recent years, but most residents work outside of the city and most employees commute from elsewhere. The plan should support an appropriate jobs/housing balance and a diverse employment base.
Ensure long-term fiscal stability
As Shakopee considers its opportunities for investment, growth and improvement in the community, people want to know that city leaders are strategically considering short-term and long-term financial impacts. Acting as stewards of the public’s resources, the city should work to balance the needs of current and future generations and the built, economic, community, and natural environments while maintaining overall fiscal health of the city.