Wayzata Lake Effect
Lake Effect Public Open House Overview
At the Lake Effect Community Open House on August 16, 2018, residents were able to walk through, review and discuss with the design team, Civitas, and staff their thoughts on the design refinements for the Lake street, Lake Street Plaza and Depot Park.
Boards of the design alternatives were on display and below are the images with descriptions of each of the areas.
At the conclusion of the validation phase it was determined that the option to remove the center turn lane on Lake Street provided the most added benefit to the project. The space previously used for the center lane has been re-allocated to provide a dedicated off-street bike facility, stormwater planting, and expand the public realm north of Lake Street.
A dedicated bike lane will safely bring riders of all ages on to Lake Street to take advantage of the shops and restaurants. The bike facility will feature a visually contrasting pavement treatment from the pedestrian walking space as well as a visual and textural material change in the step out zone between the parked cars and the bike lane and between the transition from pedestrian walk to bike lane. In addition to the dedicated bike facility, the design of the south-side of Lake Street includes an expanded 8’ sidewalk to better accommodate the higher pedestrian traffic that exists throughout the warmer summer months.
Stormwater planting along the south side of Lake Street will capture and treat street runoff in a storm event before it is discharged into lake Minnetonka. This feature will provide an environmental benefit, but will also contribute to the visual impact and patterning along Lake Street by creating a rhythm of green planting.
The increased public realm space accommodates outdoor seating for current and future tenants, additional seating for community, and ample pedestrian space to enjoy the restaurants, shops, businesses and incredible lake views. The Lake Street design from Broadway to Walker will have an enhanced paving and lighting. Special attention has been given to this important and thriving retail block to embrace the views of the lake and enhance the pedestrian, bike, and vehicular experience. Striking light poles resembling the masts of sail boats are proposed to march down Lake Street from Walker Avenue to Broadway Avenue creating an alluring rhythm and calling attention to the 600 block. From these posts catenary lighting will be secured, creating a charming celling.
Lake Street Plaza
Currently the municipal parking lot, the Lake Street Plaza will dramatically transform the asphalt parking into a community space to be used during all seasons. A series of green outdoor rooms will flank a flexible plaza space that can be used to accommodate existing uses such as farmers markets, Art Experience, James J. Hill Days and also provide new uses in the winter such as ice skating and informal games of hockey or curling. A permanent restroom will be located at the East end of the park and plaza providing year-round facilities for the public. Shaded green rooms build upon the existing elevated garden spaces by providing additional space for siting, relaxing or a shady spot to enjoy a picnic. Two slender shade structures framing the flexible plaza create a respite from the sun in the summer and a place to gather near a fire pit in the fall and winter. Catenary lighting over Lake Street extends into the park space creating a ceiling and defining the outdoor rooms over the tilted lawns.
Since design validation the Depot Park design has evolved to ensure existing uses and character are maintained, while at the same time enhancing accessibility and function. Consideration has been made to maintain the parks primary passive nature by keeping the boardwalk down at the water level leaving most of the existing open grass lawn as a passive family oriented gathering space. The ramp system from the boat docks to the Depot has been simplified creating direct access to the Depot and railroad crossing at Barry Street. A small deck floats in the open lawn providing an opportunity for viewing the lake, lounging, picnicking or a stage for concerts at the depot.
One of the most significant changes that has been made to the Eco-Park is the boardwalk itself. Rather than a static pier that reaches out into the marsh land, now the boardwalk creates a loop taking visitors through several plant communities. This new experience creates many opportunities for learning about the variety of plants and animal species that are integral to this the lake ecosystem.
Lake Effect Project
The Wayzata Council approved a contract with Civitas to move forward with the design of implementation plans and construction documents for the Lake Effect Project on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.
The Lake Effect project, a strategic initiative by the City of Wayzata which has been developed through several years of engagement collaboration with the community, will be located along the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka---extending from the Section Foreman House to the historic Depot Park. The project includes the following improvements:
On the east side, an Eco Park with a restored shoreline marsh, will also serve to improve the water quality. A pier will extend into Lake Minnetonka and an interpretive center is planned within the historic Section Foreman House.
A meandering, continuous boardwalk from the Eco Park, past the Broadway community docks, to the historic Depot Park area, which will also be renovated.
Lake Street will be redesigned to be more pedestrian and bicycle friendly with a multi-use plaza, replacing the Broadway Municipal parking lot.
“It has been an honor working closely with this thriving community to understand and implement their needs toward this change in how they celebrate and protect their community’s greatest asset, Lake Minnetonka,” says Civitas Principal Scott Jordan. “We see waterfront parks as investments in healthier communities, economies and habitats, and are excited to move forward on revitalizing Wayzata’s lakefront.” Denver based urban design and landscape architecture firm Civitas is known for creating such successful completed waterfront projects such as the Port of San Diego's North Embarcadero and Calgary, Alberta's St. Patrick's Island Park, which has won the firm multiple awards including the 2016 Excellence on the Waterfront Award from the nonprofit Waterfront Center.
As the City of Wayzata moves forward with the Lake Effect Project, this year is dedicated to the design and development of the entire project and construction is slated to begin in 2019 on the Lake Street and plaza components. “The City is fortunate to be working with a nationally renowned design firm like Civitas to bring this important project to life,” says Mayor Ken Willcox. “They have a remarkable record. Also critical to the success of this endeavor will be the work of the members of the Lake Effect Conservancy and our community partners.”
Outside of the Lake Street and plaza streetscape improvements, the balance of the project is to be funded by a public/private partnership between the City and the Lake Effect Conservancy (LEC). The LEC is a 501 (c) 3, established to raise private funds and to advocate for the Lake Effect project – a transformation of the Wayzata lakeshore.
DRAFT Dates and Milestones
• May 2016
Lake Effect Schematic Design Accepted by the City Council
• August 2016
Lake Effect Conservancy Established
• August 2016
Project Scope Approved by City Council
• August 2016 - April 2018
Environmental Assessment, maintenance and operations cost estimate, agreement with BNSF Railroad
• June 5, 2018
City Council Workshop to discuss design validation of Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza, and Depot Park
• June 19, 2018
City Council action on design validation of Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza, and Depot Park
April - September 2018
Design development/construction documents and permitting
• October - December 2018
Final cost estimates and phasing
• January/February 2019
Construction begins if funds secured
Design First Phase Construction Timeline
Lake Effect Conservancy
The Lake Effect Conservancy advocates and raises private philanthropic funds for development, maintenance, and operating costs of the Lake Effect Park project. Visit the Lake Effect Wayzata Conservancy website for more details.
View the Wayzata Lake Effect Board Walk Campaign (Video below)
Jeffrey Dahl, City Manager at 952-404-5309
Jeff Thomson, Planning and Building Director at 952-404-5312
Lake Effect Latest News
City Council approves elements of the Lake Effect Project – Lake Street, the Plaza Park and the Depot Park
At the June 19th, Wayzata City Council meeting the Council approved the schematic design for three major elements of the Lake Effect Project – Lake Street (between Barry and Broadway), the Lake Street Plaza (where the municipal parking lot is currently), and the Depot Park. These designs were approved after a thorough engagement process that began in earlier this year led by City staff and Civitas – a world-renowned landscape architecture firm based out of Denver.
For the past few months, these elements have been in the validation phase, where the Council and Civitas continued to receive input form the residents of Wayzata and stakeholders. The conclusion of this process is summarized below.
The redesign of Lake Street that was approved involves the area from Broadway to Barry. One of the goals of the Lake Effect Project, was to make downtown Wayzata more pedestrian friendly with added space for sidewalk shopping, dining, and landscaping. To do this, the center turn lane will be eliminated. However, there will be turn pockets included on Broadway and Barry Avenue to ease traffic flow and loading areas designated during the day for deliveries. There will also be a two-way bike lane added on the south side of the street to more safely direct local and regional bike traffic through downtown and connecting to other points in Wayzata and beyond. The new design better maximizes on-street parking with 10 additional spaces added.
Since the completion of the Mill Street parking lot, which added approximately 200additional parking spaces in downtown Wayzata, there has been increased discussion about converting the municipal parking lot at Broadway and Lake into a more multi-use space or plaza. As a result of overwhelming support from the community, the Council approved transforming this lot into a “plaza park.” This will give this space the ability to be used for multiple uses, along with adding green space to this beautiful vantage point on the lake.
While the first two elements will be publicly funded, the Lake Effect Conservancy is raising private dollars to complete the other elements of the Lake Effect Project south of the railroad tracks – including the Depot Park. The design that was approved is ADA (American Disabilities Association) accessible, along with the addition of much more green space down and public restrooms. The existing Garden Club flowerbeds and the model train facility will remain with a more organized design and increased accessibility around them.