Wayzata – Charting the Course: Reconciling Small Town Character and Housing Diversity

Posted on: December 2, 2020

Van Meter Williams Pollack, LLP is thrilled to assist the City of Wayzata in their update of their Design Standards in coordination with the Wayzata 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Wayzata comes from the Dakota word meaning “north shore” and city is known for its beautiful lakefront, historic train depot, strong boating culture, and bustling village core. The people of Wayzata have a deep understanding of their identity and are passionate about planning for the future generations that will live here. VMWP looks forward to building on the history of Wayzata, keeping the cherished character of the town, and guiding appropriate and attractive future growth.

VMWP is an award-winning urban design and multifamily architecture firm with offices in Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Denver. We have been working for over three decades to help small towns and cities to meet housing needs and retain their sense of place and quality of life while continuing to change and grow. We work across architectural and urban design disciplines and provide expertise in master planning, design standards, multifamily architecture, affordable housing, and design for equitable Transit Oriented Development.

As outsiders to a small community, VMWP views our role in Wayzata as both a storyteller and guide: it is not our place to establish a vision, rather we will provide the technical expertise and guidance necessary to help the city to articulate design standards that reinforce its own vision. VMWP has developed an innovative online Visual Preference Study to guide citizens in crafting a shared story of Wayzata and then, building on this story, we will chart a course to implementation by translating feedback from the entire community into suggestions for specific revisions to the design standards.

The project manager and lead urban designer for the Wayzata project, is Andrew Faulkner. He says, “We are excited to collaborate with the city, planning commissioners, and council to fine tune the city’s Design Standards to ensure that future development successfully frames their exciting placemaking initiatives and supports the vision achieved in the Wayzata 2040 Plan.”

Laura Shagalov leads the Minneapolis office which opened in 2019. She says, “Returning to my home state of Minnesota to work on community building and mission-driven design with VMWP has been a dream. Our work on the design standards, in partnership with the City, will contribute to both honoring Wayzata’s history and reflecting a shared vision for the future.

The City of Wayzata is a scenic community, often called “The Jewel of Minnetonka”.



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