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Arden Hills

City of Arden Hills

Arden Hills is a city in Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 9,552 at the 2010 census. Bethel University and Seminary is located in the city of Arden Hills. Also, the campus of University of Northwestern – St. Paul straddles the Arden Hills – Roseville border. The headquarters of Land O’Lakes and Catholic United Financial, a fraternal benefit society, are located there as well.

Geography
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.65 square miles (24.99 km2), of which 8.59 square miles (22.25 km2) is land and 1.06 square miles (2.75 km2) is water.

Interstate Highway 35W, Interstate Highway 694, U.S. Highway 10, Minnesota Highway 51/Snelling Avenue, and County Highway 96 are some of the main routes in the city.

Economy
The headquarters of Land O’Lakes is in the city.

Land Use
Any new development is expected to conform to the provisions of the very detailed (and sometimes contradictory) provisions of the Zoning Code, the primary stated purpose of which is to ensure fair application of City development regulations and to promote the public health, safety, and welfare.

Proposed deviations from the Zoning Code require the approval of a “variance” by the City Council, which takes into consideration the recommendations of the Planning Commission, staff, and members of the public. Requests for variances are required to address the criteria in Minnesota State Statutes 462.357 Subd. 6. Variances are intended to be used to address unique lot situations when the literal application of the Code would restrict reasonable use of the land and create an undue hardship as defined in Minnesota State Statutes. The undue hardship cannot be created by the landowner or be based entirely on economic reasons. Variance applications are reviewed by the Planning Commission, which is responsible for determining what constitutes “undue hardship.”

Members of the Planning Commission are appointed by the City Council. Commission members are to represent the interests of the community and evaluate development applications based on established City Codes and State Statutes. Planning Commission members must be City residents, and they are unpaid volunteers.

In July 2006 the city reached a tentative agreement with the U.S. Government to purchase a large portion of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site for $45 million, a deal that could lead to a major new development that would include 2,400 new homes and 3,200,000 square feet (300,000 m2) of commercial space.

Environmental Protection
The City has a Shoreland Ordinance, which is typical of communities in Minnesota with lakes. The text of the Ordinance states that uncontrolled use of shorelands of the City affects the public health, safety and general welfare by contributing to pollution of public waters. The purpose of the ordinance is to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare, and to provide for the wise development of shorelands of public waters. The Minnesota Legislature has delegated responsibility to the municipalities of the State to regulate the subdivision, use, and development of the shorelands of public waters, and thus preserve and enhance the quality of surface waters, preserve the economic and natural environmental values of shorelands, and provide for the wise utilization of waters and related land resources. The State has not, however, required that the delegated responsibility be exercised with respect to enforcement of the corresponding laws, ordinances, and regulations, nor does the State require that the municipality have an established administrative sanction (fine) process at its disposal for the punishment of violators.

The City is located within the Rice Creek Watershed District. In its effort to minimize storm water runoff, the District encourages minimization of impervious surfaces in developed areas.

Sports
The Twins Cities Titans of the NEFL are a semi-pro football team who play in Arden Hills.

New Minnesota Stadium
Ramsey County officials announced in May 2011 that they had reached an agreement with the Minnesota Vikings to be the team’s local partner for a new stadium. The site of the stadium would be the former Twins Cities Army Ammunitions Plant in Arden Hills, which is about 10 miles from the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The agreement called for an $884 million stadium and an additional $173 million for on-site infrastructure, parking and environmental costs.

Ramsey county said the Vikings would commit $407 million to the project, which was about 44% of the stadium cost and 39% of the overall cost. The county’s cost would have been $350 million, financed by a half-cent sales tax increase. The remaining amount of $300 million would be paid by Minnesota taxpayers.

Governor Mark Dayton said fixing the roads near the location would likely cost between $175 and 240 million.

This plan fell through, however, on March 1, 2012 when Governor Dayton announced the stadium would be built on the site of their former home, the Metrodome.

References:

“Arden Hills, Minnesota” │ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arden_Hills,_Minnesota

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