Xcel Energy & City of Northfield Alternative Urban Areawide Review 

The final draft of the AUAR has been completed following the 30-day comment period that began July 18, 2023 and ended August 17, 2023. The City accepted written comments via mail, email and online. Comments are part of the official record of the AUAR process. The AUAR was submitted to the Environmental Quality Board on October 3, 2023 and is subject to a 10-day objection period. State agencies and the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities have ten days from the date of receipt of the revised document to file an objection to the document with the City. The objection period ended October 17, 2023 and the City did not receive any objections. The City Council is set to review and give final approval of the AUAR at their November 7, 2023 meeting.

Download the Final Alternative Urban Areawide Review (PDF)


The City of Northfield has approved an order to complete an Alternative Urban Areawide Review (AUAR) for the Northwest Development Area. An AUAR is a tool used to understand how different development scenarios will affect the environment of your community before development occurs. The process is designed to look at the cumulative impacts of anticipated development scenarios within a given geographic area. Environmental analysis information from an AUAR can be used to inform local planning and zoning decisions. Any potential development in the AUAR area, is subject to all city and planning approvals like zoning changes, subdivision, site plan review, etc.


AUAR Project Area

The AUAR study area encompasses approximately 780 acres, located north of North Avenue, East of Holyoke Avenue and and west of Cedar Avenue in Northfield, Dakota County, Minnesota.


  • July 18 to August 17, 2023 — 30-day public comment period on draft
  • September 8, 2023 — City staff submits Final AUAR to the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board for public review
  • October 3, 2023 — City staff submits Final AUAR to the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB)
  • October 3 to 17, 2023 — 10-day objection period for state agencies and the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities
  • November 7, 2023 — City Council — adopts Final AUAR (video)

Development scenarios

Two development scenarios are proposed to be evaluated in the AUAR. 

Scenario A

Scenario A represents a potential single tech user with potential additional business park elements (Figure 1).

Scenario A - Technology Center 07112023

Scenario B

Scenario B represents the current scenario in the City’s 2008 Comprehensive Plan, which could be a multi-user business park (Figure 2).

Scenario B - Industrial Park 07112023


Download the Draft Alternative Urban Areawide Review (PDF)

Resolution approving adoption of the final alternative urban areawide review (AUAR) for the northwest development area