Bottineau Community Works

Collaborative corridor planning for the METRO Blue Line LRT Extension

To prepare for the planned METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau) light rail transit project, Hennepin County is partnering with cities in the northwest metro to identify and pursue community and economic development opportunities.

Through the Bottineau Community Works program, Hennepin County and cities in the Bottineau corridor (Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Minneapolis, and Robbinsdale) are making policy and infrastructure improvements that benefit our communities.

Together, we are enhancing livability and community and economic vitality near future light rail transit (LRT) stations by:

  • Supporting new and existing businesses
  • Preserving and expanding housing options
  • Improving connections for walking, biking and rolling
  • Helping to attract and guide development and investment
  • Engaging communities and residents in planning activities

The METRO Blue Line Extension LRT project is being planned, built and run by Metropolitan Council and Metro Transit, with funding from Hennepin County and Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority.

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News and updates

Current engagement activities

Cultivate Bottineau

Building relationships along the METRO Blue Line LRT Extension

Cultivate Bottineau: Culture, Community, and Commerce is a collaborative effort to activate spaces, build connections, celebrate diversity, and promote opportunity through local artist-led creative placemaking projects in the Bottineau Corridor where the planned Bottineau Light Rail Transit line will run.

In 2018, Cultivate Bottineau artists completed 26 placemaking projects that involved art installations, musical performances, videos, writing and fitness classes and more.

More projects are scheduled for 2019, including art activities at community events and installation projects with cities.

Learn more on the Cultivate Bottineau website.

Check out Cultivate Bottineau on Instagram or Twitter.

Bottineau connectivity project

Improving pedestrian, bicycle and shared ride connections along the METRO Blue Line LRT Extension

Community input helped shape initial concept designs for ten specific projects to improve walking, biking and rolling near planned LRT stations.

These ten projects provide a combined total of 7.8 miles of new pedestrian and bicycle facilities:

Other resources:

Planning for the future: Transit oriented development

Working with cities and residents to update zoning codes for transit-supportive development near stations

Bottineau demonstration projects

Funding support came from the Center for Prevention, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Bottineau Community Works staff worked with Bottineau Corridor city and community partners to implement bicycle and pedestrian demonstration projects in five future station areas, including one in each city. These projects demonstrate health equity strategies identified in the Bottineau station area plans.

Cities draft zoning code updates for station areas

To further community visions for development near future METRO Blue Line LRT extension stations, the cities of Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park are working with each other, Hennepin County, and a consultant to coordinate preliminary changes to their respective zoning codes. These draft proposals are posted below for your consideration and comment.

Potential zoning code updates being considered could:

  • Allow for new kinds of higher-density development near planned LRT stations
  • Attract a greater variety of businesses, housing, retail and other uses
  • Support long-range strategies for growth
  • Improve community livability, economic vitality and sustainability

Cities will be working to revise and consider these proposals in the coming months.

Draft zoning proposals

Please send feedback on the draft zoning proposals linked below to the listed city contact.

Brooklyn Park zoning proposal (PDF)| Brooklyn Park zoning maps (PDF)

Crystal zoning proposal: Coming soon

Golden Valley zoning proposal (DOCX)

Robbinsdale zoning proposal (DOCX)

Moving from community vision to reality

Bottineau Community Works program activities occur in three general phases, to move from community visions to reality:

  • Station area planning – Corridor communities develop their short- and long-term visions for areas within a half-mile radius of planned light rail transit stations
  • Advanced planning – Cities and their partners define the practical polices and designs needed to prepare for future station area investments and projects
  • Implementation – Specific improvements, investments and developments by all partners begin to realize community visions from station area planning

Previously, station area planning work wrapped up in 2016.

  • View completed station area plans in the drawer below

Currently, as part of advanced planning work, Bottineau Community Works partners are:

  • Collecting community input and working with city staff and policymakers to update zoning codes in station areas to help guide and shape development in these areas
  • Identifying priority improvements to pedestrian, bicycle and shared mobility connections near in station areas
  • Studying housing and commercial property needs and opportunities in station areas
  • Developing business support strategies to help local businesses prepare for the opportunities of light rail transit and the challenges of construction

Next, partners will work to make the visions developed during station area planning reality.

  • Some projects may be prioritized and implemented before the transit line opens, like certain pedestrian and bicycle connections, development projects or public space improvements
  • Other pieces of community visions may take more time to be fully realized, including long-term redevelopment goals and sustained community and economic growth

Preparing businesses

Preparing businesses for light rail

Open to Business program

The planned METRO Blue Line Extension will connect customers, employees and investment to area businesses.

To help local businesses prepare for future opportunities, Hennepin County and corridor cities have partnered with the Open to Business program to provide Bottineau corridor businesses technical assistance and business consulting free of charge.

If you're in need of a trusted business advisor, want help obtaining funding or financing, or could simply use some sound advice, Open to Business provides free, confidential business services to current and prospective entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Learn more at

Enhancing station areas

The area within a half-mile radius or a ten-minute walk of planned light rail transit stations is commonly referred to as the “station area.” Typically, this is where investments in transit infrastructure are expected to generate the greatest community opportunities and impacts. Most Bottineau Community Works program activities are focused on enhancements within station areas. Activities include:

  • Improving mobility and connections for people walking, biking and rolling
  • Increasing the impact of public and private investments in housing, commercial development and infrastructure
  • Creating economic opportunity through increased access to jobs, as well as business recruitment and development
  • Fostering healthy communities connected to regional services and amenities, educational institutions, public spaces and natural places

Map of planned station areas (PDF)

Minneapolis stations

Van White Boulevard

Penn Avenue station

Golden Valley/Minneapolis stations

Plymouth Avenue station

Golden Valley Road station

Robbinsdale station

42nd Avenue station

Crystal station

Bass Lake Road station

Brooklyn Park stations

63rd Avenue, Brooklyn Blvd, 85th Avenue, 93rd Avenue, Oak Grove Parkway stations

Planning for health equity

Promoting healthy lifestyles through community design

Planning and designing our communities with health in mind can lead to improved community health, wellness and quality of life. The planned METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau LRT) project is a valuable opportunity to improve long-term health outcomes in communities experiencing some of the most significant health disparities in Minnesota. The Bottineau Community Works program prioritizes health equity goals in community planning and design activities around Bottineau LRT.

Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

Completed in 2013, the Bottineau Transitway Health Impact Assessment (HIA) found that the METRO Blue Line Extension offers real potential to improve health for people in communities near station areas. The HIA is based on the principle that community health includes the built environment where people live, work, and play. Incorporating health considerations into community planning and design around LRT can contribute to healthier communities.

Healthy communities make healthy choices easy for all. The HIA report looks at transit-related health effects of the planned LRT extension, including:

  • Physical activity
  • Housing and transportation costs
  • Employment
  • Education access
  • Traffic safety
  • Access to healthy food
  • And more

Read the Bottineau Transitway Health Impact Assessment (PDF)

Health Equity Engagement Cohort (HEEC)

To help incorporate the findings of the HIA into planning within the Bottineau LRT corridor, and to advance health equity through station area planning, Hennepin County in partnership with Nexus Community Partners contracted with Bottineau community-based organizations. These organizations, referred to as the Health Equity and Engagement Cohort (HEEC), included geographic, cultural, and faith-based groups within the Bottineau LRT corridor. The HEEC’s primary focus was to conduct community engagement to identify health equity priorities within the corridor. In addition, the HEEC received training on effective community engagement, the attributes of vibrant station areas (housing, services, shops, etc.), and advanced planning.

Hennepin County convened the HEEC in 2013 with support from the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Made up of more than a dozen community-based organizations, the HEEC conducted extensive community engagement to advance community health in planning for the LRT corridor.

Read more about planning for health in your station area (DOCX).

Read more about the impact of the HEEC's work in the Ripple Effect Mapping report (PDF)

Engaging communities

Hennepin County has a long history of robust community engagement throughout the Bottineau LRT corridor. County staff have worked closely with cities, community-based organizations, residents, businesses, and other agencies and institutions to shape the vision and reality of corridor improvements. County engagement activities have been closely coordinated with other outreach efforts for the planning and building of the line itself.

Current engagement efforts

The Bottineau Community Works program currently has a wide range of engagement activities planned through 2019 to support various work plan activities:

  • Housing and development
  • Transit oriented development zoning
  • Bicycle and pedestrian demonstration projects
  • Connecting theory to practice
  • Placemaking
  • Small business and entrepreneur support
  • Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure
  • Corridor development initiative site-specific study

Bottineau Community Works community engagement framework 2017-2019 (PDF)

Corridor documents

Program partners

Bottineau corridor cities

  • Minneapolis
  • Golden Valley
  • Crystal
  • Robbinsdale
  • New Hope
  • Brooklyn Center
  • Brooklyn Park

Agency partners

  • Metropolitan council
  • Metro Transit
  • Three Rivers Park District
  • Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
  • Urban Land Institute Minnesota
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