The Navarre Community Initiative is a new cooperative effort between the City of Orono and the Navarre Community Initiative Coordinating Committee, a group of Navarre area stakeholders who have come together to foster a sense of community through civic goals and projects in the Navarre area. The Committee will act as an advisory group to help the City Council determine the level of interest in the community for pursuing projects to improve the Navarre area and help coordinate efforts to implement desired improvements. The City Council has pledged to provide the greatest possible level of support for this grass-roots effort as potential improvement projects are presented. It should be noted that due to a variety of geographical, physical and social constraints the Council favors maintaining and enhancing the unique character of Navarre rather than pursuing a complete renovation or reconfiguration of the core commercial district. Long-term goals are to improve the aesthetics of Navarre by addition of visual and functional public amenities as well as via individual renovations; to persuade Hennepin County to improve pedestrian safety and mobility at the 15/19 intersection and at the crosswalk area; and to increase connectivity to the Dakota Rail Trail.

Orono residents and business owners are invited to help identify additional initiatives that might be pursued toward improving the Navarre area. Let us know your thoughts - What changes would you like to see pursued for the Navarre area? Are you willing to assist in making change happen? We’d love to hear from you - contact Assistant City Administrator Mike Gaffron at 952-249-4600 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

*Excerpted from Orono Spring 2012 Newsletter


+1 #1 Guest 2012-04-19 02:50
I would love to see the Hennepin County Library move the small and cramped Long Lake library into a larger spot at the old Snyder's drugstore. That would get more families to come and linger, and could allow for development of a small sandwich spot nearby or, maybe, some other small gift shop.
0 #2 Guest 2012-04-19 02:51
The business strip in Navarre is so stark with the parking lots and rather uninspired facades. A longer term plan could be to have a unifying "lake theme" or "cottage theme" or "arts and crafts theme" or other theme/style for the buildings in the business strip. I would also encourage more density and connectiveity between the businesses along the northern edge of Shoreline Drive between Shadywood and Blaine Avenue, and maybe wrapping around the corner along the western edge of Shadywood Road to, at least, Lyric Avenue. A small "town square" in the southwestern corner of Shoreline Drive and Kelly Avenue, where the dirt patch is right now, could be a nice focal point.
0 #3 Guest 2012-04-19 02:54
Let's get a flaming light (or button-activate d a flashing yellow light) at the crosswalk near D'Vinci's. On winter mornings, someone is going to be seriously hurt trying to cross. It is unnecessarily dangerous.

It would also be nice to have a sidewalk along the western edge of Shadywood Road from Shoreline Drive to, at least, the Dakota Rail Trail (to encourage people using the trail to make a quick trip "into town") for safety purposes. People walk along there, and it can be a pretty harrowing walk.
0 #4 Guest 2012-04-19 02:55
That was supposed to be "flashing" light.
0 #5 Guest 2012-04-19 02:56
Next time Shoreline Drive is addressed, how about moving the eastbound lane from the area of Navarre Avenue to Shadywood Road to the south to allow a median with trees and flowers. It would make it much more welcoming, and break up the rather bland view along that part of Shoreline Drive. (While we are at it, that kind of configuration might allow The Narrows and other businesses to set up tables outside on the sidewalk -- if there would actually be a nicer view, and slower traffic.)

Just some of my thoughts. Anyone else have thoughts?
+2 #6 cmhardten 2012-05-09 11:38
I don't have high hopes for another "Navarre Initiative" I really think this is again just lip service from the Orono council. Having said that, I do wish to go forward with ideas and examples of improvement. In many ways I feel we are like "District 12" in the Hunger games. We have been the ignored eye sore of Orono.I am so tired of the city council trying to rally interest from residents, only to drop the ball and then pick it up a few years later and toss it around again. Its time to make it happen. I think we are all paying enough taxes,lets see some results!Its time to put some pressure on the city. Just who is the "Navarre Iniciative"? Have they chosen residents to be on a panel? Who is heading this up? Mike Gaffron? Where is the committment from the city?
+2 #7 cmhardten 2012-05-09 11:39
While we have crumbling torn up sidewalks, The landscaping and sidewalks surrounding the Orono City Hall are pristine. Why isn't the city handing out citations for the ugly branches laying over the retaining wall on the Kelly ave. side of the liqour store? They have been there for 2 years! It would not take much for a face lift as you come thru Navarre. Some unifacation of awnings,light post with Flowers and attractive banners. Its only a 3 block stretch! Look at what a great job Mound did with their small stretch of city property. Come on! This is Orono!

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