City Council actions

7/2/04 meeting

Absent: Don Samuels (3rd Ward), Natalie Johnson Lee (5th Ward) and Dean Zimmermann (6th Ward).

Fefercorn: Council voted 8-2 to approve a compromise on a parking variance appeal by Ross Fefercorn for his development at 1221 W. Lake St. Fefercorn and the city had disagreed on the total parking demand his development could generate. Paul Zerby (2nd Ward) and Dan Niziolek (10th Ward) voted no.

I-35W/Crosstown: Council voted 10-0 to extend the public comment period on the Crosstown Commons expansion and I-35W bus rapid transit lane from July 14 to Aug. 10.

Walker Library: Council voted 10-0 to delay for three weeks a vote on a resolution to create the Walker Community Library Task Force to evaluate capital improvements and mixed-use redevelopment alternatives. (See page 2.)

Nicollet Commons: Council voted 10-0 to add Nicollet Commons Condominiums, 3310 Nicollet Ave. S., to its application for the Metropolitan Council’s Livable Communities grants program.

Richfield Road: Council voted 10-0 to accept Schafer Contracting Co.’s low bid to rebuild Richfield Road on Lake Calhoun’s southeast shore.

Quiznos: Council voted 10-0 to approve a sidewalk caf/ license for Quiznos Sub, 1915 Lyndale Ave. S. in Stevens Square.

Salary cap: Council voted 8-2 to grant the City Coordinator the authority to seek waivers to the state salary cap for the city’s top-paid staff when pay disparities exist for comparable jobs. The policy requires the City Coordinator to make a written presentation to the Executive Committee prior to seeking the waiver. Barb Johnson (4th Ward) and Sandy Colvin Roy (12th Ward) voted no.

CDBG: Council voted 10-0 to increase the public’s involvement in deciding how the city spends its federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money. It will hold two public meetings, one in North Minneapolis, one in South Minneapolis. The Council deleted language that made school readiness and early childhood programs a top CDBG priority on a 6-4 vote. Amendment supporters said it defeated the purpose of community comment. Zerby, Robert Lilligren (8th Ward), Gary Schiff (9th Ward) and Niziolek voted no on the amendment.

Workforce housing: Council voted to return to committee guidelines for a new workforce housing program, an effort to create home ownership opportunities for lower-wage workers.

City Council actions

6/18/04 meeting

Absent: Don Samuels (3rd Ward) and Sandy Colvin Roy (12th Ward).

Smoking ban: Council voted to 9-2 to delay a vote on the smoking ban ordinance for five weeks, to July 23, and create a task force of business, government and health leaders to draft an ordinance. Dan Niziolek (10th Ward) and Barret Lane (13th Ward) voted no.

Housing: Council voted 11-0 to consolidate several housing policies into a single unified city policy. It directed staff to forward the policy to the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) Policy Board and neighborhood groups. It requested the NRP Policy Board not finalize any spending plans until NRP submits a business plan and five-year budget.

NRP cops: Council voted 10-1 to allocate $999,942 to neighborhoods from the NRP’s Community-Oriented Public Safety Initiative Reserve Fund. Scott Benson (11th Ward) voted no. Information on individual neighborhood allocations is available at

Civilian Review: Council voted 8-3 to increase the Civilian Review Authority Board from seven to 11 members to help deal with the case backlog. The Board investigates complaints against police. The action expands the role of staff and volunteers and extends the filing deadline for requests for reconsideration. Paul Ostrow (1st Ward), Barb Johnson (4th Ward) and Lane voted no.

Parking fund: Council voted 8-3 to approve a plan to fix the short-term and long-term budget shortfalls in the city’s parking fund, including a reduction in the future transfers to the General Fund. Gary Schiff (9th Ward), Niziolek and Lane voted no.

Uptown Row: Council voted to postpone action on an appeal by Ross Fefercorn, who sought to reverse a city decision that would restrict the types of business he could lease to at his new development at 1221 W. Lake St.

Rotisseria: Council voted 10-0 to approve a sidewalk caf/ license for Rotisseria, 1409 W. Lake St. Benson abstained.

Zeno: Council voted 11-0 to approve a sidewalk caf/ license for Zeno Coffee and Dessert Bar, 2919 Hennepin Ave. S.

Clich/: Council voted 11-0 to approve a secondhand goods license to Clich/, 2403 Lyndale Ave. S.

Minnehaha Creek: Council voted 11-0 to approve four people to represent the city in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s Visioning Partnership: Councilmember Scott Benson (11th Ward), city technical staff Patrick Wrase, Ward 11 citizen representative David Oltmans and Ward 12 citizen representative Jim Thill.

Bond counsel: Council voted 11-0 to approve bond counsel agreements with Kennedy & Graven, Briggs & Morgan, and Gray Plant Mooty for three-year periods.

Linden Hills duplex: Council voted 11-0 to approve an appeal by Carol and Thomas Stuart, 4436 Thomas Ave. S., who sought to overturn a Planning Commission decision, which had denied a variance for a new duplex with tuck-under garage.

Auto repair: Council voted 11-0 to deny Pat Mulroy’s rezoning petition for a major auto repair facility at 3900-3920 Nicollet Ave. S.