Wayzata Lake Effect

Lake Effect Open House

May 17, 6-7:30 p.m. in the City Hall Community Room

The Lake Effect Community Open House will provide residents with an opportunity to walk through, review and discuss with the design team their thoughts on the preliminary design refinements for the following areas:

Lake Street
Since Schematic Design Approval, the Three Rivers Park District has introduced potential partnership funding to connect the Dakota Rail Trail into downtown Wayzata along Lake Street, with the ultimate goal of connecting into Minnetonka. The design studies will consider roadway design that incorporate potential enhanced bicycle facilities along Lake Street and the opportunities and constraints associated with these changes.

Lake Street Plaza
Since completion of schematic design, the city has completed construction of the Mill Street Parking Garage. With this facility fully operational, it may change the need for the Lake Street Plaza to accommodate parking. The design studies will consider alternatives to the quantity and location of parking, as well as the balance of urban plaza vs. planted garden/park type spaces.

Depot Park
At the completion of Schematic Design concerns were raised about the overall composition of the proposed Depot Park improvements with regards to the quantity and location of walls, and the size and location of the Restroom and Shade Pavilion. The design studies presented will represent alternatives that will explore a more traditional passive park space, with refinements to the size and location of the restroom.

Please note, no formal presentations will be made. Residents are invited to come in at their leisure to review the alternatives and discuss their thoughts one-on-one with the design team.

The Wayzata Council approved a contract with Civitas to move forward with the design of implementation plans and construction documents for the Lake Effect Project on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

Lake Effect Project

The Lake Effect project, a strategic initiative by the City of Wayzata which has been developed through several years of engagement collaboration with the community, will be located along the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka---extending from the Section Foreman House to the historic Depot Park. The project includes the following improvements: 

On the east side, an Eco Park with a restored shoreline marsh, will also serve to improve the water quality. A pier will extend into Lake Minnetonka and an interpretive center is planned within the historic Section Foreman House.

A meandering, continuous boardwalk from the Eco Park, past the Broadway community docks, to the historic Depot Park area, which will also be renovated.

Lake Street will be redesigned to be more pedestrian and bicycle friendly with a multi-use plaza, replacing the Broadway Municipal parking lot.

“It has been an honor working closely with this thriving community to understand and implement their needs toward this change in how they celebrate and protect their community’s greatest asset, Lake Minnetonka,” says Civitas Principal Scott Jordan. “We see waterfront parks as investments in healthier communities, economies and habitats, and are excited to move forward on revitalizing Wayzata’s lakefront.” Denver based urban design and landscape architecture firm Civitas is known for creating such successful completed waterfront projects such as the Port of San Diego's North Embarcadero and Calgary, Alberta's St. Patrick's Island Park, which has won the firm multiple awards including the 2016 Excellence on the Waterfront Award from the nonprofit Waterfront Center.

As the City of Wayzata moves forward with the Lake Effect Project, this year is dedicated to the design and development of the entire project and construction is slated to begin in 2019 on the Lake Street and plaza components. “The City is fortunate to be working with a nationally renowned design firm like Civitas to bring this important project to life,” says Mayor Ken Willcox. “They have a remarkable record.  Also critical to the success of this endeavor will be the work of the members of the Lake Effect Conservancy and our community partners.”

Outside of the Lake Street and plaza streetscape improvements, the balance of the project is to be funded by a public/private partnership between the City and the Lake Effect Conservancy (LEC).  The LEC is a 501 (c) 3, established to raise private funds and to advocate for the Lake Effect project – a transformation of the Wayzata lakeshore.

Wayzata Lake Effect_Design Phase Services (1) scope of work
lake effect boardwalk
lake effect section foreman house design view
Lake effect design

DRAFT Dates and Milestones

• May 2016
   Lake Effect Schematic Design Accepted by the City Council
• August 2016
   Lake Effect Conservancy Established
• August 2016
   Project Scope Approved by City Council
• August 2016 - April 2018
   Environmental Assessment, maintenance and operations cost estimate, agreement with BNSF Railroad
• April - September 2018
   Design development/construction documents and permitting
• October - December 2018
   Final cost estimates and phasing
• January/February 2019
   Construction begins if funds secured

Design First Phase Construction Timeline

Wayzata Lake Effect_Design Phase Services (1)

Lake Effect Conservancy


The Lake Effect Conservancy advocates and raises private philanthropic funds for development, maintenance, and operating costs of the Lake Effect Park project. Visit the Lake Effect Wayzata Conservancy website for more details.

View the Wayzata Lake Effect Board Walk Campaign

(Video below)


Project Contact


Jeffrey Dahl, City Manager at 952-404-5309
Jeff Thomson, Planning and Building Director at 952-404-5312