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ST. PAUL, MN-Six metro-area communities will receive funding anddesign assistance from the Metropolitan Council forinnovative Smart Growth development.Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura called the program, partof the council’s new Smart Growth Twin Citiesinitiative, an opportunity for communities to developaccording to the wishes of their residents–or, as Ventura said: “by choice, not by chance.”

The six projects include two in St. Paul–the HarrietIsland-District del Sol Urban Village and a jointventure with Maplewood in Hillcrest Village. Othersinclude transit-oriented business and residentialdistrict developments in Brooklyn Center, Chaska,Ramsey and St. Anthony Village.

“These projects will serve as models that other metrocommunities can look to for guidance in creatingtheir own smart growth projects that will help strengthen the entire region,” says TedMondale, head of the council.The Harriet Island-District del Sol Urban Villageproposal calls for a mixed-use neighborhood on St.Paul’s West Side, with residential densities of up to30 units per acre mixed with business and recreationaluses. The proposal sought planning and designassistance from the council. No dollar amounts weregiven.

The Hillcrest Village proposal calls for an urbanvillage development near the intersection of WhiteBear and Larpenteur avenues. The proposal asked for$35,000 for several market and land-use studies witha $17,500 match from both Maplewood and St. Paul.

The St. Anthony Village proposal seeks $170,000 tohelp with the redevelopment of the aging, underusedApache Plaza shopping center. The plan calls for themall to be redeveloped into a mixed-use “suburbanvillage. The area would be developed to incorporatecommercial, light-industrial and residential useswhile allowing better pedestrian and transit access.The city has agreed to match $150,000 of the grant.

National urban design consultant Peter Calthorpe andhis Berkeley, CA-based firm will provide developmentdesigns for the six communities.A $500,000 grant from the McKnight Foundation willsupport public education campaigns about smart growth and publicinvolvement efforts to create further implementationstrategies.

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