Letters to the editor

A ‘yes’ for Linden Corner

I support the Linden Corner building as proposed, and since there are no “Yes” yard signs on offer, I thought I’d tell my neighbors why.

A lot of folks are talking about how Linden Hills is a village. I see it differently. I see Linden Hills as a thriving experiment in new urbanism. That means higher density, especially at the “node” of 43rd & Upton, getting cars out of the way, encouraging sidewalk culture, people living above the stores, transit, allowing new construction of multifamily dwellings, and so on.  

People are talking about how very tall the building will be. To me, it looks shorter than several other buildings within two blocks — for example, St. Thomas Church or the dark brown box on 44th and Upton. And lower, since it sits at the bottom of two hills. I was raised in Detroit, which would kill to have one building like this added in the whole city every year.  It would make the front page of the Detroit Free Press for a week. Unfortunately, it would also take several years to be fully occupied, because not enough people want to live in Detroit. Whole blocks are taken up by vacant lots with one or two houses sitting there like gap-toothed survivors.  

So perhaps I am not skeptical enough about urban growth. Maybe I am too uncritical, too grateful when the bulldozers roll in, too eager to embrace what looks to me like progress. I love hanging around construction sites and asking questions of the contractors. My questions: Will we get a grocery store and a dry-cleaners out of this? A drug store? Could the sidewalk in front of the restaurants be two tables deep (even though it isn’t like that in the rest of the neighborhood)?

Could at least one of the restaurants have cooks rather than sommeliers and sous-chefs? (No disrespect to the wonderful Tilia or Naviya’s). Could we see the old trolley route resurrected if we can get dense enough to attract enough residents, shoppers and voters? Anyhow, good luck to the people who have to decide.  

– John Bellaimey, Linden Hills

Stop the mindless trash dumping

To those of you who think that any open garbage container is free for public use:

You have dropped off major refuse such as a complete picket fence, the front portico of a house, old exercise equipment, TVs and now an air hockey table. Many times you have filled our dumpster. Often you merely place your discarded item next to our container, perhaps thinking that your trash is another’s treasure. Be assured, if you don’t want it, no one else does either. When items are oversized, I must find a way to dispose of them properly. This increases my costs, which must be factored into my business bottom line and prices.

I appreciate every residents’ pride of their own property and I ask you to be considerate of mine as well. Thank you.

– Karen Rumpza, Linden Hills

Letters to the editor

Linden Corner would be bad news for Linden Hills

Who benefits if Minneapolis grants special permission to build Linden Corner?

Not the community. The village at 43rd and Upton would be destroyed by this development — a five-story building that consumes five lots and the maximum square footage allowed, overshadowing other buildings. Other high buildings would follow.

Not individual residents. Nearby residents would be subjected to construction noise and traffic for over a year. Traffic and noise would increase, diminishing property values. Property taxpayers are right to ask why they should pay for infrastructure costs (sewer and roads) for the development.

Not the existing businesses. The current diverse mix of businesses would be threatened by prolonged and extensive construction. Residents have previously resisted when national chains have tried to locate in Linden Hills; new businesses would likely include such chains that can afford exorbitant rents in such an expensive building.

Not Minneapolis. Linden Hills is one of a few districts that still operate on a pedestrian-friendly scale. Such threatened areas need active preservation efforts to resist large developments that disrupt the neighborhood and destroy the very character that makes Linden Hills so appealing.

Who would benefit? The only people who would benefit are the developer and investors. To maximize their profit, the character of the Linden Hills business district would be replaced by a busier, noisier, congested setting out of scale. On a major thoroughfare (Lake Street, Excelsior Boulevard or France Avenue) a development of this size and scale might benefit more people.

In Linden Hills, the project would destroy the very character that the developer hopes to exploit for personal gain. The project violates zoning and does not represent progress. Over 1,500 local residents have opposed the proposed development and have requested “for the common good” that the developer reduce the project’s size, scale and profit in order to follow current zoning.

Constance Pepin
Linden Hills

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Praise for Terre Thomas

Thanks to Terre Thomas for a great column on embracing the “accessories of aging.” She is always such a funny and wise writer, and I appreciate her unique perspective, even if she is just another old lady with glasses on a chain around her neck (like me!)

Julie Kendrick
Tangletown