Forest lake citizens in favor of the zoning text amendment

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The Hills Youth and Family Services have submitted an application to the city of Forest Lake for consideration of a zoning text amendment that would allow the company then to submit a conditional use agreement as a proposal to build a children's residential treatment facility on the land that is currently Shadow Creek Stables on 202nd and 61. 

On February 12th, the zoning text amendment was brought to city council for a vote. At that time it was decided to table the vote and have a public hearing. The public hearing was February 26th.  In the meeting on the 12th, it is quoted in the minutes, "Mayor Winnick stated he supported the idea but does not support the change as this may
not be the best place for the facility. Councilmember Bain clarified that if the ordinance is changed, that doesn't necessarily change with the comprehensive plan. Zoning Administrator Hart stated we would be changing the zoning district not the zoning text in the comprehensive plan."

During the February 26th meeting, many Forest Lake citizens got up to speak as well as many others such as a Ramsey county commissioner, director of special ed district 916, NAMI representatives and many more in support of this zoning text amendment because they know that if this doesn't pass, the plans for the children's facility die. 

On February 26th, it was voted to table the decision once again and sent back to the planning commission for reaffirmation of their first unanimous decision to send to city council for approval.  Mayor Winnick expressed concerns about what the citizens of Forest Lake thought about this facility and the text amendment change, but initially stated another public hearing wasn't needed, although he then agreed to have another public hearing on April 9th. 

I organized and held a public informational meeting on Sunday March 11th and had about 50 community members and professionals in participation. Not one citizen that I'm aware of were opposed to the zoning text amendment or the facility itself. 

Forest Lake has a last reported population of 19,600. I'm starting this petition as a quick way to show our Council that we want this zoning text Amendment passed as well as this facility to be built in our community.  

This facility not only will help the 48 children in our community who are receiving assistance above and beyond regular special education services by being enrolled in services through district 916, but also the 300+ children in our great state of Minnesota who are sent out of state for residential mental health treatment. 

Please consider signing this petition. If you are unsure and have more questions before committing, please email me at I also encourage you to join the Facebook group "Forest Lake zoning amendment discussion". 

I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have, and if I'm unable to answer the question I will either do the research or get you in touch with the right person. 

Let's do this Forest Lake!! This is our city and we should have a say!! 

Thank you!!