My Future Cottage Grove

The recommendations from The My Future Cottage Grove initiative resulted in these projects. Updates will be provided from each group as they move forward in turning the recommendations into reality.

Establish a Community Center Task Force

The Community Center Task Force has narrowed its' focus on design options. Six options with site criteria and financial implications will be brought back to the group in June for refinement. A final report to Council is expected fall of 2018. For more information, email Parks and Recreation Director Zac Dockter or call 651-458-2847.

Celebrating Diversity

The recommendation "Launch a Food and Fun Festival to intentionally celebrate the community's diversity and next generation" is the result of input from the teens in the community. The Celebrating Diversity Committee meets at 7 pm, the second Tuesday of every month. For more information, or to volunteer, email Management Assistant Becky Ahlvin or call 651-458-2814.

Ambitiously Program Settler's Island

The Mississippi River Task Force is working closely with the Park, Recreation, and Natural Resources Commission to look at programming options for Settler's Island. For more information, email Parks and Recreation Director Zac Dockter or call 651-458-2847.

Develop a Housing Plan

This group met several times to discuss the City's housing plan, including:

  • A Housing and Builders Panel with three panelists to discuss housing trends and the market for Metro area
  • A joint meeting between the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Task Force, 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update Steering Committee, Planning Commission and Parks Commission to learn about transportation, recreation trails, and sidewalk corridors. Participants participated in a polling exercise and mapping activity for existing and missing pedestrian links.
  • A joint open house between the Housing Focus Group, the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update Steering Committee, Bike/Pedestrian Transportation Forum, and Planning Commission

More Information

At this time, this initiative is complete and feedback has been incorporated into the draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update. For more information, email Community Development Director/City Engineer Jennifer Levitt or call 651-458-2890.

Meeting Documents

Improve Pedestrian Safety and Connection to Parks

The focus group met in February and March with the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update Steering Committee, Planning Commission, and Parks Commission to discuss how to improve pedestrian safety and connections to parks. Many of the comments from the forum and online interactive map survey recommended adding additional trail segments and sidewalks in developed sections of the City to improve connectivity. Several of the recommendations were for connections in areas outside of the City's jurisdiction (County, State, and neighboring city limits). The areas within the City's jurisdiction are in developed areas where the projects would require significant design and construction, taking considerable more time to properly design and implement. This will be addressed through the City's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

Pedestrian Safety Initiative

To move forward with connectivity and pedestrian safety improvements, City Staff developed a pilot pedestrian safety initiative that will include education and outreach along with engineered solutions. For more information, email Community Development Director/City Engineer Jennifer Levitt or call 651-458-2890.

Test & Use Digital Engagement Tools

The City will work with the volunteers for this initiative to test new digital engagement tools as needed. For more information, email Communications Coordinator Sharon Madsen or call 651-458-2882.

Engage Residents to Attract & Launch Retail and Restaurants

The Retail and Restaurants Committee met in March with Ben Gathje the owner of Culver's, Jason Fleig the co-owner of Junction 70 Grill and Tom Leighton a retail market specialist with Tangible Consulting Services. The meeting focused on the current restaurant sector in Cottage Grove, the decisions restaurants make when they choose a location and some of the challenges/strengths of the Cottage Grove restaurant market.

Key points from the meeting:

  • Daytime populations, specifically Monday through Thursday, need to increase for restaurants to take the next step in Cottage Grove.
  • Financing for businesses is getting harder to access as construction costs continue to increase and contractors are more difficult to access.

More Information

At this time there are no plans for the group to meet until further topics of discussion are determined. For more information, email Economic Development Assistant Matt Wolf or call 651-458-2833.

Background on the My Future Cottage Grove Initiative

What will Cottage Grove's future look like?

In 2016, a community visioning project called My Future Cottage Grove was begun to answer that question. More than 3,700 comments were received from residents. They wrote their wishes for the community on large chalkboards placed around town. They answered Number Future Friday questions on the City's social media sites. They provided thoughts and ideas at community visioning sessions, both face-to-face and through Facebook Live. They gave input and comments through the online survey. They participated in focus groups at the middle school, high school, and senior center.

Full Report

In September 2017, the Cottage Grove City Council unanimously accepted the findings and recommendations of The My Future Cottage Grove report. Read the My Future Cottage Grove Report (PDF). The My Future Cottage Grove Report was presented to City Council at their September 20 meeting. Read The Seven My Future Cottage Grove Recommendations (PDF).