Ignoring community voices

It’s disappointing the Sons of Norway project is moving ahead ignoring the voices of the surrounding community. Living in the neighborhood for over 25 years, it’s like a gut punch. I wonder if officials like City Council President Lisa Bender even know what they voted for based on her quote.

“I can’t in good conscience, as an elected official in the city of Minneapolis, force a developer to build multi-million dollar homes at this location,” Bender said. “It just isn’t consistent with any of our policies or the promises that I have made when I ran for office.”

I don’t think multi-million dollar homes were ever discussed for the site. At issue were the existing zoning guidelines and a gradual “step-down” as a buffer to the homes closest to the project. I commend Council Member Lisa Goodman for being the lone dissenter, saying city officials have “a contract, in a way” with the neighborhood to create something that is better. That is all we want!

John Hemmesch

East Calhoun

  • amiller92

    This site is in the center of one of our most dense and in demand neighborhoods, served by transit, a short bus ride from many jobs and a short walk from pretty much everything you need. In truth, we should be building 10 story towers here. This low-rise development is a compromise that’s already a huge give away to existing neighbors.

  • John

    The question for council members was the rezoning. The building the council approved was nearly identical in height and scale to what the existing zoning allowed. By approving the rezoning, the city council simply allowed for more homes to be built on the site.

    So yes, Bender was right in framing this decision as a question of how many people get to live here and what that ultimately costs. Vacancy rates are low. Rents and home prices are high. Housing is in short supply. We need more places for people to live in Minneapolis.

  • Teqen Zéa-Aida

    Interestingly enough, in her own ward CM Goodman is responsible for the LPM development which went against the wishes of the Loring Park neighborhood.
    Ultimately, its fair to say that the only group who is consistently being heard are the developers who indeed form a core campaign donations base for both Goodman and Bender.

  • terry small

    you forgot to say renters who need housing get heard, not just developers.

  • terry small

    I crack up when people think people who work on building housing, hammer, plumb, put in electric, finance it, and actually make things happen don’t deserve to make money.

  • terry small

    It’s amazing that if someone doesn’t get their way, they think they weren’t listened to. When my kids were young, they used to pout and say I wasn’t listening to them when they wanted something and I said no

  • peacekimi

    Why should the city adopt certain regulations to protect neighborhoods if they are willing to ignore them almost every time?
    Who can afford these high rent apartments being built in Minneapolis rents from $1200 to $14,000 per month?
    Bender and her cohorts campaigned on affordable housing how will these developments help that issue?
    In addition; I keep hearing why the city “can’t work out” all new apartments built setting a certain number of units aside for income based rent….it is not that they can’t they won’t their obligation is to the handful of developers raping our city.

  • peacekimi

    People have a right to speak out for what they feel is best for their neighborhoods.

  • Jason Kloster

    The CARAG neighborhood spent a lot of time and energy developing a Small Area Plan (SAP) for how they would like their neighborhood developed. This SAP is being ignored by members of the City Council and the Sons of Norway project is the proof. The people the City council are attempting to hear more of are the developers.

  • Jason Kloster

    The demand will go down dramatically when the first 10 story tower goes up.

  • amiller92

    Just as it has right on the other side of the lake, where no one wants to live in or near the towers on Dean Parkway (or the new towers proposed for over there)? Hm, this idea does not see to hold up.

  • amiller92

    Your first question is a good one. To a surprising degree, it should not, as they’re often unnecessary or harmful.

    As to your question about affordability, this doesn’t provide low income housing, but it absolutely helps stabilize the price of market rate housing, which will keep getting more expensive if we can’t add supply to try to keep pace with demand.

  • peacekimi

    LOL naivete’

  • amiller92

    Yes, it is super naive to believe that regulation has done much beyond enrich existing landowners at the exepense of everyone else.

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