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Duluth, MN 55802 
Duluth Urban Area Growth Impact Study
The Duluth Urban Area Growth Impact Study utilizes a unique GIS-based development suitability analysis to determine those areas best suited for future growth in Duluth's outlying townships. It also sets forth recommendations ans suggested policies intended to provide area jurisdictions with a foundation for managing future growth and utility extensions and improvements.
A group of local stakeholders met in the summer of 2002 to discuss the possibility of extending water service to townships and areas outside of Duluth. A number of concerns were discussed, such as problems with aging (or failing) residential wells and the need to provide a reliable water source to public facilities. The result of these initial stakeholder meetings was the formation of the Lake Superior Regional Water Committee.

The Lake Superior Regional Water Committee met three times between July and November 2002. The mission of the committee was to “plan, design and fund an adequate metropolitan area public water system to service the general needs of the public and support current and future economic vitality.” Initial discussions of the committee supported the idea of seeking federal and state funding to solve water issues in the area. Discussions about estimating the costs of extensions were begun.

Regional Planning Process
As discussions continued on this topic, it became apparent that this issue was more complex than simply extending water service to outlying areas. Provision of water services is interrelated with other infrastructure and services such as sewer, gas, and roads. The underlying issue is how the growth of residential, commercial and industrial development impacts area communities. It became clear that it would be wise to determine how best to accommodate growth while ensuring taxpayer protection from the consequences of inefficient patterns of development.

This led to a consensus decision to move ahead and conduct a regional planning process with a logical, systematic approach to examine growth impacts. The resulting Duluth Urban Area Growth Impact Study identifies areas that are best suited for growth and answers the question of where water lines and other infrastructure should be built.

For More Information
Contact MIC Principal Planner Andy McDonald by phone at (218) 529-7514 or by e-mail.