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Cultivate Hopkins is the City’s latest process to update its comprehensive plan.
The Metropolitan Council sets the basic requirements for what must be included in comprehensive plans. Hopkins' comprehensive plan update must address six plan elements including land use, transportation, water resources, parks, housing, and implementation. The Metropolitan Council also recommends, but does not requiring, local governments address economic competitiveness and resilience. For more information on comprehensive planning requirements check out the Metropolitan Council's Local Planning Handbook.
By law, Hopkins' comprehensive plans must be consistent with Thrive MSP 2040, the Metropolitan Council's policy document that guides development in the metropolitan region over the next 30 years. Comprehensive plans must also align with the Metropolitan Council's regional system and policy plans. The system plans outline regional policy regarding transportation, water resources, parks and open space, and housing. The system plans are updated after each decennial census to address projected growth in population, households and jobs in the metro area.
Minnesota law requires that all cities, counties, and townships within the seven-county metropolitan region must update their comprehensive plan every ten years. Hopkins last comprehensive plan was updated in 2009.
Hopkins 2009 Comprehensive Plan can be found on the City’s website.
No. Your fire alarm system is required by law. It must be maintained in operable condition.
Yes, but there is a catch. The Minnesota State Fire Code allows the fire department to require that your fire alarm system be hooked directly into a monitoring company. If you have a fire sprinkler system, you should already be tied in somewhere. If you have a fire alarm system only, you may not be remotely monitored. It is the policy of the Hopkins Fire Department not to require remote monitoring of fire alarm systems unless one of the following conditions exist:
The first false alarm of a calendar year is free. After that, it will cost $250 per alarm. This is the average cost to the City for an emergency response. The cost is incurred as soon as the dispatcher pages the fire fighters, even if they are canceled before arriving at your building.
75% of our fire alarm calls are caused by 25% of our alarmed buildings. This tells us that just because you have a fire alarm system doesn't mean you are going to have false alarms. Things that can be done to cut down on false alarms include the following:
No. The intent of the policy is not to bill property owners for false alarms. We want to cut down on the number of false alarms.
You will not be billed for:
You will be billed for:
Contact your county assessor to file a homestead application if you or a qualifying relative occupy the property as a homestead on or before December 1.
For agricultural property, a qualifying relative includes a child, grandchild, sibling or parent of the owner or the owner's spouse.
For residential property, a qualifying relative also includes the owner's uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.
You must apply on or before December 15.
Once homestead is granted, annual applications are not necessary unless they are requested by the county assessor.
Contact the assessor by December 15 if the use of the property you own or occupy as a qualifying relative has changed during the past year.
If you sell, move or for any reason no longer qualify for the homestead classification, you are required to notify the county assessor within 30 days of the change in homestead status.
In some limited circumstances, housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members may be excluded from complying.
Unless a building or community qualifies as age-specific housing, it may not discriminate based on familial status, which includes families with one or more children under 18 who live with:
Age-specific housing is exempt from the prohibition against familial status discrimination if:
The Fair Housing Act lists seven basic access requirement standards that must be met:
Call the snow line at 952-939-1399. Though local media including WCCO-AM radio and WCCO-TV are notified of a Hopkins’ snow emergency, the stations do not guarantee the announcement will be broadcast. Also note that snow depths are measured in Hopkins and may not coincide with the snow depths reported at the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport.The City also intends to send out notification messages about snow emergencies using Code Red. Your home phone number is already in this system. If you want to receive notifications on one or more cell phones, register the phone numbers on the Emergency Notifications page.
If you do not have anywhere to park your car off City streets and City parking lots, use the approved snow emergency parking locations. For details regarding locations view the Snow Emergency Parking Locations page.
If a snow emergency is declared in Hopkins during the afternoon or early evening, tagging and towing enforcement will normally begin at 10 p.m. and crews will begin plowing shortly after midnight. However, depending on the snow fall, tagging and towing could begin earlier. The Snow Line, 952-939-1399, will have the actual time. When a snow emergency is declared after 10 p.m., tagging and towing operations will begin at 8 a.m. on the following day.
If you've been towed due to the snow emergency, find out more about reclaiming your vehicle on the Snow Emergency Towing page.
In order to efficiently plow the snow from City streets, every vehicle needs to be off the streets. This allows plowing to be done as quickly as possible.
Plowing around cars would mean that plows would have to come back to streets after cars have been moved. In addition, freezing conditions may cause ridges to form where cars are plowed around. It can be very difficult to remove these ridges.
Off street parking can be difficult to find in parts of Hopkins. Much of Hopkins was built when there were fewer cars. It is not uncommon for households to have three or more vehicles. Banning on street parking would be a hardship for many households.
When deciding whether to call a snow emergency, the City not only looks at the short term forecast but also takes into consideration the time of year. In December or January, a 2 inch snowfall may be followed by freezing conditions or additional snowfalls. It is important to prevent a small snowfall from freezing on the streets. A larger snowfall in March or April may be followed by 40 degrees temperatures. There is no point in going to the expense and inconvenience of calling a snow emergency if the snow is going to melt fairly quickly.
The City does not get any of the money that is charged to vehicle owners when their vehicles are towed. All of the money goes to the towing contractor. The best possible outcome for a snow emergency is to have no vehicles towed.
Under a snowfall of 3 to 5 inches, if a snow emergency is called, and all equipment and personnel are dispatched, we can finish plowing and salting operations in 8 hours. It doesn’t take that much less time to do if there is less snow as we still have to drive all the streets and alleys. It takes more time to remove deeper snow.
Yes. The Hopkins Police Department will attempt to open your car when keys are locked inside, call load permitting. You will be asked to sign a waiver releasing the police department from any damage that may occur as a result of opening the door. You may contact the police department for help.
For more information about the notice ordinance, visit the City Ordinance Reminders Page.
For more information on dogs law, visit the City Ordinance Reminders Page.
During a snow emergency, City ordinance prohibits parking on any city street or city parking lot until plowed, to allow city snow plowing operations to occur. Issuing a citation and allowing the vehicle to remain would not permit the snowplows to adequately and safely clear the streets of snow. For more information, visit the Snow Emergencies Page.
In Hennepin County, an Order for Protection is issued by the Hennepin County Family Court. There are strict requirements that must be met before an order is issued. For information call 612-348-5073. In Hennepin County, a Harassment Restraining Order is issued by District Court. For information call 612-348-7959.
Unfortunately, no. Any person may legally park a vehicle on any City street, unless otherwise posted, for up to 24 continuous hours. This means that anyone can park on the street in front of your house for that period of time. Please call the police department for further inquiries.
For more information on curfew time, visit the City Ordinances Reminders Page.
Please call the Hopkins Police Department to report graffiti.
Hopkins City Code requires property owners to remove graffiti from structures or equipment. Please, visit the Graffiti Removal Tips page to learn more.
Contact the City of Hopkins Assessment Clerk at Hopkins City Hall or call 952-548-6310 for instructions.
To qualify for the special assessment deferment, all of the following are required:
Active Duty Military Reserves:
In 2008 the MN Legislature amended the statute to include property owned by a person who is ordered into active military service, as defined in section 190.05 subdivision 5b or 5c, as stated in the person’s military orders, for whom it would be a hardship to make the payments.
Only special assessments for permanent improvements are eligible.
The deferral will automatically terminate if:
Upon termination of the deferral, the deferred special assessments are due and payable along with accrued simple interest during the assessment period at the rate established for payment of assessments at the time the assessment roll was adopted.
Minnesota Statutes, Sections 435.193 through 435.195, authorize cities to defer the payments of special assessments.
City Ordinance No. 90-683 effective on July 24, 1990 has established the criteria by which special assessments may be deferred.
If you are interested in providing feedback on the Artery designs, or want to be involved as the design of the Artery becomes more detailed, please email Meg Beekman, Community Development Coordinator, or call 952-548-6343. The City will be organizing a review of the project with area artists to gather feedback on how the Artery might be used by artists doing work in various mediums.
The projected cost of implementing the Artery on Eighth Avenue is $2.8 million. To date, the City has secured $700,000 from Hennepin County and $1.325 million from the Metropolitan Council in grant funds towards the project. A previously awarded Metropolitan Council grant in the amount of $125,000 is paying for the preliminary design and engineering of the project. In addition, Three Rivers Park District will be a project partner in the design and construction of the cycle track. Any remaining cost not covered by outside agencies will be paid for by the City of Hopkins, primarily through its utility funds. Artistic elements will be supported through individual and corporate sponsorships, grant writing, and other sources
While the reconstruction of Eighth Avenue and the Downtown Station Plaza (located on the south side of Excelsior at Eighth Avenue) are integrally linked and will need to work together to comfortably and safely move people between the light rail and downtown Hopkins, the two are considered separate projects, both in their funding and timing. The City is developing a concept design for the Downtown Station Plaza, which will be handed over to the Southwest Project Office (SPO) to complete design and engineering. The plaza will be constructed in conjunction with the light rail and will not be completed until closer to the light rail opening in 2019.
The Artery is the reconstruction of Eighth Avenue between Excelsior Boulevard and Mainstreet into a pedestrian seductive, art-infused, interactive corridor. The project, as proposed, includes:
The Artery Experiment, a test run of the Artery, took place on July 11, 2015. The temporary installation of the Eighth Avenue Artery allowed Hopkins residents and others to experience the layout and functionality of the initial design and provide comments and guidance that will inform final design and construction plans.
The City anticipates constructing the Artery in 2017 so that it will be complete prior to opening day of the Southwest light rail in 2020.
Downtown Hopkins has long been considered a hidden gem within the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Historically there has been a feeling that we need a stronger visual connection to downtown Hopkins from Excelsior Boulevard; something that would announce the arrival at a special place.
The Southwest light rail Green Line Extension will include an LRT stop at the SE corner of Eighth Avenue and Excelsior Boulevard. With ridership projected at 26,000 riders per day, there is an opportunity to expand Mainstreet’s market area if those riders can be connected to downtown. Eighth Avenue is the logical place to build a strong visual and physical connection. The goal is to draw people into downtown Hopkins, as well as provide Hopkins’ residents with an easy walk to the LRT station.
No. The City of Hopkins is not planning on assessing property owners for the construction cost of the Artery.
Youth are The Depot's biggest asset. All youth are welcome to come to The Depot and Friday nights we have great live music for teens, although all ages are welcome.
The students describe their governance as "student decisions with adult guidance." The Depot is led by a student board of directors, which meets monthly and is comprised of students and adults. This board sets policy, works with staff to run programs, and works on financial development and planning to sustain the Depot project.
There are two management staff members – one manages the Coffee House business, and the other runs the youth community project side and works closely with the student board.
The Depot employs part-time staff who work behind the counter, as well as staff who run our sound board.
In addition to the adult advisors on the board, the students of the Depot have a partnership agreement with institutional partners including the City of Hopkins, the Three Rivers Park District and Hopkins School District #270.
This group meets quarterly to make sure the Depot is "on track" from safety, legal and financial perspectives. All Depot Youth Project employees are employed by the City of Hopkins.
The Depot Youth Project maintains youth programming and youth development work. The annual budget hovers around $130,000.
The City of Hopkins, which is one of the community partners for The Depot, manages the money. They are a "fiscal agent" and process all donations to the Depot Youth Project. This is particularly important in securing grants from community foundations, as well as from individuals. In this regard, the Depot Youth Project is viewed as a community non-profit organization. The project budget pays for building and utility expenses, and covers the purchasing and maintenance of most of the equipment, whether primary use is for the project or the Coffee House.
There are basically three funding streams for the Depot Youth Project: grants, income (cover charges/tee-shirt sales/rentals) and donations from community groups and individuals. Typically, grants cover specific budget items and donations can be applied to the general budget.
The Depot Coffee House is a profit-making business. The coffee house creates its own revenue to provide for staffing and for product. At the discretion of the manager, some profits can be designated to the Youth Project or other program needs. Student volunteers are expected to learn the business and be trained to "work the counter" as part of their Depot commitment.
The Hopkins School District provides levy for lease funds in order to use The Depot as a "Learning Lab" for the Business Department.
Students have created ads for products on display inside the Depot, and have designed specific promotional campaigns in partnership with the Depot board and staff. Depot board members have been invited into business classes to present the details of the project and ask for specific help and expertise. A "Handbook for The Depot Coffee House / Business Class Learning Lab" has been developed, contains history, rationale, procedures and specific work product, and will be updated on an on-going basis as the program grows and changes.
The majority of the student board must be Hopkins School District residents and/or attend Hopkins schools, but the remainder of the board can be filled from other school districts.
The Chemical Health Commission of the City of Hopkins conducted a forum in order to learn the substance use and abuse situation at Hopkins High School. Thirteen chemically free student panelists presented their stories to an audience of 250 community members; some students had never used, some were in recovery, one admitted she was straight today, but could not make promises about tomorrow. At the conclusion of the evening, the community was amazed. They couldn't believe that any good kid next door could become narcotic dependent. Or that teens could have a smoking addiction or be a chronic alcoholic. The answer became obvious then. Hopkins did not have a chemically-free place for youth to gather that was nearby and safe. A question was posed by one of the student panelists to the audience, "Can you help us?"
After two years of discussion, the project begins, as yet unnamed. Community members, business people, and students worked tirelessly together. An abandoned train depot along the former Milwaukee Railroad Line was chosen. This site was ideal for its location along Excelsior Boulevard and Highway 169, its restoration historical potential, and the lease terms of $1 per year to City of Hopkins from the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority.
The Depot Coffee House renovation completely by volunteer craftsmen and carpenters reaches completion on September 2, 1998. The project was funded by donation of money, labor, materials and grants from area foundations, a major contributor being Park Nicollet Foundation.
Grand opening on October 30, 1998. The Depot Board is charged with overseeing the entire project including the business coffee house. The student board works as the coffee house staff and management.
City Pages, recognizing perhaps the business' success compared to Uptown, awarded the Depot "Best Coffee House" for the 2000 Best of the Twin Cities. Star Tribune picked up and featured the music shows which ran Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The Teen Center, led by Financial Officer Kenneth Ward launches "Teens in Action: The Operation of a Youth-Run Teen Center and Coffee House" — a curriculum of what and how the Depot Coffee House project ideally was operating at the time.
The business is solely charged with the Operations Manager. The Depot Coffee House evolves into two important entities, Teen Center and Business.
The Depot Board produced "Wired Volume I" a compilation CD featuring the Depot Coffee House local bands. For New Year's Eve 2004, the Depot held its first New Year's Eve Bash Battle of the Bands. Other large events done by the board include the Freight Yard Party, and the Halloween Bash.
A new modern sound system was installed via a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Grant. The coffee house came under the direction of the Hopkins School District Royal Cuisine.
Depot consortium (Depot Express) takes over coffee house management.
Youth Award for Creativity launched – provides financial support for art/performance/music projects for local students.
Bike Scream Sundaes begin – monthly summertime bike treks to local ice cream venues departing from the Depot.
Depot celebrated 10th birthday with Anniversary Dinner and Outdoor Picnic.
First Hip Hop Residency with Kristoff Krane – funding from McKnight Foundation.
Depot students staff popcorn and cookie booth at inaugural Hopkins in Motion event.
ENTIRE Depot Board of Directors receives Caring Youth Award.
Hip Hop Residency with No Bird Sing – funding from One Voice Coalition.
Depot Partner Three Rivers receives grant for solar panels on the Depot and alternative energy education projects on site.
Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre lead community workshops for a Depot Raspberry Parade entry - funding from Minnesota Regional Arts Council.
“Raspberry Jam” 24 hours of (mostly) live music during Raspberry Festival.
A good mix of innovation and building on successful past events kept everyone at the Depot very busy in 2011.
Our goal for every event is youth participation - in the planning, in the marketing, in the activity, and in the evaluation. Our live music events continue to bring youth from the entire West Metro to the Depot.
Financially, we are finding our way in a nonprofit environment that has been shaken. Many of our traditional funders are experiencing a decline in investment income and donations. By limiting our expenses, working some unpaid hours, and seeking a broader base for funding, we have survived.
Laurel Sundberg's 'Local Landscapes' collection was featured at the Depot. (Featured painting: Garden to Sleep, 8x10, oil on linen).
If you notice water bubbling out of the street or boulevard contact the Public Works Department at 952-939-1382.
Call 952-939-1382 and schedule a time for someone to check your house for leaks.
The City's water is 21 grains of hardness. The level of magnesium and calcium in your water determines the hardness.
The City of Hopkins filters iron out of the water before it reaches your home. After the water is filtered the remaining iron content is 0.03 parts per million. Even though the City filters out the iron, some iron still remains in the water and coats the inside of the water main pipes. Your water turns brown because of the release of these mineral deposits, caused when large amounts of water are pulled off the system either by hydrant flushing, water main breaks, water service leaks, or the Fire Department.
See our Water Quality page. The City also publishes a water quality report every spring in the Highlights newsletter.
It depends on your toilet. On average, you use 5 gallons of water when you flush your toilet. New low flush toilets use 1.5 through 2 gallons per flush.
A full cycle on a dishwasher uses 15 gallons of water. On the contrary, when you hand wash your dishes and leave the faucet running for rinsing, you use 20 gallons of water.
It's easy. Simply complete the authorization form (PDF) and include a voided check or withdrawal slip. You will continue to receive a billing statement as usual. Each statement will indicate the amount and will show the message "Auto Pay." Funds will be transferred one day prior to the due date on the billing.
It takes up to a month to set up your direct automatic payment. Until you see the wording "Auto Pay" on your utility statement payment stub, please continue to pay your bill as usual, by check, cash, or credit card.
The working day prior to the due date on the billing, funds will automatically be transferred from your account (e.g., If the due date is on a Monday, funds are pulled from your account on the previous Friday).
Each direct payment will be clearly itemized on your monthly statement from your financial institution.
Simply call the City using the phone number on the billing.
State law recognizes that the primary parties to the utility supply transaction are the City, as supplier, and the property benefited by utility service availability.
Minnesota Statute 444.075, s.3(e), authorizes the City to charge the owner and to certify unpaid charges against the property served as a tax. Minnesota Statute 325E.025, s.2, distinguishes other types of utility services (such as electrical, gas, propane, and telephone) from water utilities, recognizing that water utilities provide a unique benefit to the property and are essential to human habitation. In fact, the law prohibits owners from renting out any premises without a connection to the water system. Gas, electric, propane and phone utilities provide a benefit primarily to the end user - accordingly, the landlord is not responsible for their payment and unpaid charges cannot be assessed against the property.
State law also recognizes that part of the charge for water utilities recovers the cost of the infrastructure and its maintenance. Minnesota Statute 444.075, s.3(a).
Ultimately, if City utility bills remain unpaid, state law allows the City to assess the charges, penalties and interest against the real property served by the utility. This is consistent with the concept that it is the property that receives the benefit of the utility service, not simply the user.
Minnesota Statute 444.075, s. 3(e) states: The governing body may make the charges a charge against the owner, lessee, occupant or all of them and may provide and covenant for certifying unpaid charges to the county auditor with taxes against the property served.
Minnesota Statute 116A.22 provides: Charges established for connections to and the use and availability of service from any water or sewer or combined system, if not paid when due, shall, together with any penalties established for nonpayment, become a lien upon the property connected or for which service was made available. written notice shall be mailed to the owner of any property as to which such charges are then due and unpaid, stating the amount of the charges and any penalty thereon and that unless paid the same will be certified...and assessed as a tax...upon the property for collection with and as a part of other taxes.
Almost all of the problems experienced by City utility billing staff with tenant billed accounts revolve around the fact that the City is not a party to the lease and has no knowledge about its specific terms.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, if a landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control, interrupts or causes the interruption of electricity, heat, gas, or water services to the tenant, the tenant may recover from the landlord treble damages or $500, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's fees. It is a defense to any action brought under this section that the interruption was the result of the deliberate or negligent act or omission of a tenant or anyone acting under the direction or control of the tenant. The tenant may recover only actual damages under this section if:
(b) The remedies provided in this section are in addition to and shall not limit other rights or remedies available to landlords and tenants. Any provision, whether oral or written, of any lease or other agreement, whereby any provision of this section is waived by a tenant, is contrary to public policy and void. The provisions of this section also apply to occupants and owners of residential real property which is the subject of a mortgage foreclosure or contract for deed cancellation and as to which the period for redemption or reinstatement of the contract has expired.
Using paper and compostable plastic bags rather than traditional black plastic bags greatly reduces the amount of plastic sent to local composting facilities. Because local composters have less plastic to screen out of their finished compost, processing costs are reduced and the quality of the finished compost is enhanced.
Most home improvement, grocery, and hardware stores carry them.
Compostable plastic bags should clearly state that they meet ASTM D6400 standards for composting and that they are “compostable.” Bags marked “biodegradable” or “degradable” do not meet the state law. The shelf life of compostable bags is approximately 1 to 3 years. Make sure to review the label for the product specific shelf life and purchase accordingly.
Hopkins yard waste pick-up service will not take the non-compostable plastic bags, for details view the Leaf and Yard-Waste Pick Up page. You may still transport your yard waste in plastic bags to the drop off site, but you must dump the material out of the bag and take the bag with you. Understand specifics of the drop off site by viewing the Hopkins Yard Waste Drop Off Site page.
Grass and weeds higher than 10 inches are considered a nuisance and the City will issue a citation. Remember to groom the grass and weeds on your property. If City crews have to maintain your grass and weeds, you will be charged for the service.