Request for Proposals

Parks, Streetscape, and Entrance Sign Master Plan

North Oaks Home Owners' Association

North Oaks, MN

Posted: 07/01/2013
Submittal Deadline: 07/31/2013


The North Oaks Home Owners’ Association (NOHOA) is a formerly gated, private community of approximately 1,700 homes with a population of about 5,000 in the St. Paul-Minneapolis Metropolitan Area, less than 10 miles north of downtown St. Paul. NOHOA’s jurisdiction extends to 99% of the land area of the City of North Oaks.

The 5,548 acres of land that makes up North Oaks was originally purchased by Charles Gilfillan in 1876, as four of the area’s lakes (Pleasant, Charley, Deep, and Wilkinson) were used as a primary source of drinking water for the booming city of St. Paul. To this day, an easement over these lakes and channels is held by St. Paul Regional Water Services.

In 1883, Gilfillan sold the land to railroad magnate James J. Hill, who built what is now known as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Hill used the property as an experimental dairy and cattle farm, breeding bovines that could withstand the harsh winters of the Great Plains. When Hill died in 1916, his son Louis continued the operation as a hobby farm. In addition, Louis provided 19 acres along the southwest shore of Gilfillan Lake to the Volunteers of American for a Fresh Air Camp for the children of needy families.

When Louis Hill passed away in 1948, his son Louis, Jr. decided to use the property for an experimental land use design; the ultimate aim was to develop a model residential community that integrated home sites into the natural environment. This aim was successfully met; over 90% of the residential properties in North Oaks are rural, individual well and septic, on lots over 1 acre in size. Along the perimeter of the community are smaller-lot, sewer and water residential uses. Currently, the land under NOHOA consists of a range of housing choices, including townhouses and a senior-living campus. With a proposed 63-lot residential development proposed to join NOHOA, there are just over 100 vacant lots available. While there is a wide range of home values in North Oaks, over 90% of the housing stock is above the $700,000 price point.

NOHOA is blessed to have residents of all age groups that care deeply about the community and take an active part in its governance. NOHOA is managed by a 10-member Board of Directors elected by the members of the Association. The award-wining North Oaks Golf Club is within the jurisdiction of NOHOA, but is privately-owned; membership is optional to all community residents.

All of the parks and recreation areas are owned by NOHOA; lot lines extend to the middle of the street; and NOHOA holds an ingress/egress easement that establishes the road network. Active recreation lands under NOHOA jurisdiction include three large areas that include ballfields, hockey rinks, and basketball courts; a beach along the north shore of Pleasant Lake, and smaller fields and tot lots. Passive recreation areas involve a large network of groomed, unpaved trails throughout the community.

More information can be found on NOHOA’s website at

Scope of project

• Assess existing park facilities, on a utilitarian and aesthetic level; provide recommendations on how to incorporate “lifecycle recreation” into the Association’s open space. The Association commissioned a Recreation Area Master Plan in 1997, and it is anticipated that this document would be used as a starting point in the assessment;
• Assess existing entrance signage and recommend enhancements and/or redesign of the four entrances, including landscaping and signage;
• Assess existing streetscapes and viewscapes;
• Develop proposed capital improvement plan and financing options for the proposed improvements;
• Solicit input from NOHOA members as to the desirable personality and “brand” of North Oaks. Community participation is critical to success and implementation.

Submission Details

Your RPF must include the following:

• Your proposed process for the project
• How you will engage the community
• Timeline
• Estimated budget for the project including your fee
• Experience and credentials of the team for this project. Those firms with direct experience working with private home owners associations, due to the uniqueness of financing options, will be given preference.
• References from clients with similar projects. Especially include references from private home owners associations.


• Report defining existing park facilities, entrance signage, and streetscapes/viewscapes and desired alternatives incorporating a “lifecycle recreation” approach;
• Actionable recommendations as to how we can translate your report through physical changes to the community;
• Graphic representation/blue prints of all relevant physical changes to all physical structures including park facilities, entrance signage and landscaping, and streetscape enhancements.

Soliciting bids from teams including (some or all):

• Landscape Architects
• Urban planners
• Architects
• Image consultants / Graphic Artists

Proposal due in NOHOA office no later than 4 pm on July 31, 2013. Electronic submissions only to,

For more information, contact:

Dale Powers, AICP, Executive Director
North Oaks Home Owners’ Association
100 Village Center Drive – Suite 240
North Oaks, MN 55127
Phone: (651) 792-7764 or (320) 493-8930