Municipal Consent Hearings
Municipal consent is process of local review and approval by communities affected by a transit project, and is required under Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. 473.3994). During municipal consent, the public is also invited to review preliminary design plans and provide comments directly to local governments or to the Metropolitan Council. The Southwest LRT Project received municipal consent approval twice: once in 2014, and again in 2015 for a revised project scope including design changes in several areas along the LRT route.
2015 Municipal Consent Process
In July 2015, the Metropolitan Council approved a revised scope for the Southwest LRT project, reducing the estimated cost of the project by approximately $250 million. The revised project scope included design changes in several areas along the proposed LRT route. In light of these changes, the Council released revised preliminary design plans on July 23, 2015 and sought municipal consent from Hennepin County and the five cities along the proposed LRT route.
The Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County Board of Commissioners and the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) held a joint public hearing on the physical design component of the revised preliminary design plans on August 27, 2015. Cities along the proposed Southwest LRT route held public hearings in September 2015. The Council accepted public comments on the revised plans from July 23 through September 11, 2015. Comments were also accepted by Hennepin County and the cities along the alignment.
2014 Municipal Consent Process
The Metropolitan Council released preliminary design plans for the Southwest LRT Project on April 22, 2014. The Metropolitan Council and the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) held a joint public hearing on May 29, 2014. Minnetonka, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, and St. Louis Park held public hearings on municipal consent for Southwest LRT in May and June 2014.
The Metropolitan Council approved revisions to the project scope and budget affecting the Minneapolis portion of the Southwest LRT Project on July 9, 2014. The Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, and Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) held a joint hearing on August 13, 2014 to consider revised preliminary design plans. Minneapolis held a public hearing on municipal consent for the revised plans on August 19, 2014. The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners granted municipal consent for the Southwest LRT Project at a special board meeting on August 29, 2014.