E-DEMOCRACY | Conflict over East Lake development


From: Marcea Mariani Date: Sep 10 03:03 UTC

Dear LCC residents:

There is a wee triangular space in the Hi-Lake complex:

north of Lake Street, east of the pizza and Wells Fargo businesses and west of Hiawatha

that the city is seriouslyconsidering for

high rise apartments without provisions for additional parking

Businesses there are alreadycomplaining about parking issues

PLEASE GIVE YOUR INPUT ON THIS MATTER – SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS: Comments due on Hi-Lake Apartments and Public Hearing on Tuesday.

Comments due by noon, tomorrow, Monday, September 10, 2012.Send to: Matthew Hendricks, Development Finance Analyst Minneapolis Finance & Property Services Department 105 5th Avenue South, Suite 200 Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401 (612) <email obscured>


East Phillips Neighborhood (EPIC) hosted a major meeting last summer to review the proposed plan for the Hi-Lake Triangle Apartments. This is an unusual development in that it is on a very tiny site, given the number of units, read on.

This concerned us since it was billed as ‘for elders’ and the crime there is significant. We asked them to consider balconies to provide ‘eyes on the station and street’.

The EPIC Board surveyed all businesses in Hi-Lake and they were all struggling with parking issues. This 64 unit building adds very little parking. We have shared these concerns and others with Wellington Developers at a previous EPIC meeting.

BUT NOW we have an opportunity to express our views again. Plans are available for review on the City’s website at: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/c%20/public/index.htm

Contact Mr. Hendricks (612) 673-5236to get copies of EPIC’s recommendations from the EPPIC meeting last summer with Wellington, Inc.

The EPIC board encourages you to support these recommendations and come to the Public Hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING is at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 in Room 317 City Hall.

The City Council is expected to consider the Plans at its meeting on Friday, September 21, 2012.

The City of Minneapolis invites the East Phillips Improvement Coalition, the Corcoran Neighborhood Association and the Longfellow Community Council to review and comment on the proposed Hi-Lake Triangle Apartments Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Plan and the related Modification No. 23 to the Model City Urban Renewal Plan and Modification No. 122 to the Common Development and Redevelopment Plan and Common TIF Plan (collectively, the “Plans”). .

The Plans have been prepared to facilitate Wellington Management Inc.’s development of 64 units of affordable senior rental housing and ground-floor retail space in a new six-story building on a vacant .85-acre site at 2230 East Lake Street. The site is adjacent to the Lake Street/Midtown LRT Station in south Minneapolis.

The project will include 53 one-bedroom units and 11 two-bedroom units. All units will be affordable to individuals and families earning 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income. It is anticipated that two to three retail tenants will occupy the ground-floor commercial space.

The Hi-Lake Triangle Apartments TIF Plan establishes a new housing TIF District within the existing Hiawatha and Lake Redevelopment Project. Modification No. 23 to the Model City Urban Renewal Plan and Modification No. 122 to the Common Plan change project boundaries to remove the Hi-Lake Triangle Apartments parcel from the Model City Urban Renewal Area and the Common Project Area.

The Plans are being transmitted for review and comment to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, the Minneapolis Board of Education, the City Planning Commission, the East Phillips Improvement Coalition, the Corcoran Neighborhood Association, the Longfellow Community Council and other interested parties.

The Minneapolis City Council can approve, amend or reject the proposed Plans after consideration of comments received.

The City welcomes your comments, which are due by noon on Monday, September 10, 2012. Please submit comments to:

Matthew Hendricks, Development Finance Analyst Minneapolis Finance & Property Services Department 105 5th Avenue South, Suite 200 Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401 (612) 673-5236 <email obscured>

If you or your organization would like to meet to discuss the proposed Plans, if you would like paper copies, or if you have questions, please contact Matthew Hendricks.Thank you. Joan Mathieu, Development Finance City of Minneapolis (www.minneapolismn.gov) 105 5th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401-2534 (612) 673-5053 <email obscured>

The following files were added to this topic: =?UTF-8?Q?Hi-Lake Triangle Apartments-096449.pdf?= (886KB) =?UTF-8?Q?EPIC Members Motion and Recommendation.doc?= (29KB)

From: Matt Steele Date: Sep 10 15:31 UTC

It is great to see new development on this property that was “MnDOT surplus.” I urge you all to join me in writing to your councilmember to support this project and other infill projects that will benefit us Minneapolis homeowners.

It is really unfortunate that many still think parking minimums are necessary and helpful for our city. If anything, we should gradually phase out parking minimums and adopt a form-based development code.

Parking minimums seem to be based out of the fear that additional residents in an area will compete for what someone sees as their entitled street parking. In reality, all “free” street parking is a subsidy so that those who decide to store their cars on the street don’t bear the true costs of that car storage. Do incumbents have more of a right to on-street subsidized parking than non-incumbents who move into the area? I don’t even think that’s a fair question because it makes the assumption that someone, whether an old or new resident, deserves free car storage paid by the city.

Secondly, parking minimums force private transfers of car storage costs to those who don’t need car storage. This is because minimum off-street spaces per unit, when higher than the market demand for off-street spaces, means that people in the complex end up paying higher costs to cover that capital expense that’s not generating sufficient revenue to pay for it due to oversupply.

Finally, parking minimums are dangerous to the city and our metropolitan region as a whole. Ryan Avent talks about this in “The Gated City” which shows that artificially-reduced housing supply ends up strangling a city’s competitiveness over time. When parking minimums are enforced, more money and space is spent on car storage at the expense of space for residential units. This raises housing costs and prices people out of the market. This may be seen as positive for neighborhing property owners who benefit from higher property values, but these higher property values and rents are created by suppression of the market from supplying additional units.

Getting back to this specific proposal, I can’t even comprehend why people are upset about this proposal. First, it is more than a block away from any single family homes. Second, it is not a high rise by any definition of the term (usually 10 to 12 or more stories according to most architects/developers/etc). Third, I haven’t heard any justification of the claim that the project doesn’t supply enough private car storage. This parcel is located at the interchange of light rail, one of the most used local bus routes, a limited stop route to downtown St. Paul, and a future streetcar.

Most importantly, there are direct benefits to us Minneapolitans. Increased population and infill means a broader tax base which can lower our existing property tax burden. More density along corridors creates additional demand for transit service, which actually reduces the cost-per-rider (farebox recovery increases as marginal revenue exceeds marginal cost per rider) and creates demand for better quality transit and infrastructure down the road. Finally, more density means more demand for local shops and restaurants which improve our quality of life and indirectly improve the inherent value of our properties.

So, in short, it is URGENT that we support infill development and bringing more residential units to our city!

From: Lisa Boyd Date: Sep 11 13:33 UTC

While this neighborhood desperately needs more *affordable* senior housing – and low-income seniors typically have less of a need for parking, since many of them do not have cars, which are expensive to maintain – my big concern is that this project would locate a potentially vulnerable population (e.g., dealing with chronic health conditions, decreased mobility, etc.) right next to the light rail train and a high traffic area. It seems we are always willing to put poor people into an area that would otherwise be completely undesirable to people with greater means.

From: John Barron Date: Sep 11 13:49 UTC

Locating people (who are less likely to have cars) near light rail is “completely undesirable”?

I don’t see it that way.

John Barron Cooper

From: Lisa Boyd Date: Sep 11 14:13 UTC

As far as I can tell, they are not “near” light rail, they are right on top of it. For someone who has difficulty sleeping, tinnitus, heart disease, high blood pressure, and/or extreme sensitivity to noise and pollution, and has to cross a deep and busy intersection using a cane or a walker to get anywhere other than the Hi-Lake mall, to me that would be a less than desirable location.

Lisa Boyd Howe

From: Tony Scallon Date: Sep 11 14:35 UTC

I support this. I think the important thing is to get development on the corridor instead of vacant land. I do not know the project, but much of the new senior housing serves over 55 and not the very elderly. Recently, Minn Post placed an article that explained why no development in Minneapolis. Is this another example. Look at the condition of East Lake. I am sure a development like this could help but would be opposed for some reason. http://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2012/09/why-almost-nothing-seems-be-getting-done-minneapolis

From: Matt Steele Date: Sep 11 14:58 UTC

Last time I checked, nobody is being forced to live in this complex against their will. So the neighborhood concern is less about parking and more about telling a private developer that we don’t want them taking a bet on a development because the neighborhood knows what’s best for people? If people want more parking, or want to live further from Lake Street, or want to have a unit that isn’t next to a lot of traffic, then those people will choose to live elsewhere. If people want to live right next to a train station and some businesses, I don’t see any problem with a developer taking a risk to give people that option.

From: andrea schaerf Date: Sep 11 15:50 UTC

On Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 10:43 AM, Andrea Schaerf <email obscured>>wrote:

> I would bet a high rise is safer tyhan my Howe Longfellow Home which had > the fronty door lock broken at noon by someone trying to get in. luckily my > husband was only gone 30 minutes and scared the criminal away. So this new > housing will have absolute phenomenal access to business. Their are stores > selling groceries, goods and services within a walking distance most able > bodies folks could enjoy. There is a Farmers Market. I would enjoy all that > as a able bodied person. Public transportation is likely one of the best > access locations. Living in a 60 unit building and being taller than a > house offers quite a degree of safety from crime.

I think people can self select if the location fits their needs . If they are afraid or too frail, they might choose elsewhere to live. The concern I have is that the people who live there may be disabled or become so if they are elderly. Would the units be accessible? Is there space for para transit to park, wait or turn around? What about Handicap parking?

From: David Peterson Date: Sep 11 17:11 UTC

This is a good discussion. I think encouraging this type of infill development is a great idea. That spot has been a weedy mess for many years now. Placing housing next it will definitely help to deter criminal activity. It gives people the option of living with excellent access to multiple forms of public transit, right next to regional bicycle trail resources and right next to a variety of shopping establishments.

This is EXACTLY what transit-oriented development is about. It may not be the environment that all of us might choose for our housing, but people are able to vote with their feet and live in another situation if this isn’t their cup of tea.

From: Jim Mork Date: Sep 11 17:52 UTC

Really marginal place for development. Fact is that it was for decades the site of a gas station, which is about what it could handle. Since that was removed, it has sat unused because of the simple fact that it was not a good parcel. McMahon’s bar is now a grassy empty lot. If some developer is wanting a good site, let them fill that up. They could even put in a parking lot so there doesn’t need to be ANOTHER variance for lack of parking. If Hi-Lake wants a store there, using its parking, that’s a different matter.

Anyway, fact is that that’s another neighborhood. Probably should be in the proper forum.

From: Marcea Mariani Date: 03:10 UTC

“Anyway, fact is that that’s another neighborhood. Probably should be in the proper forum”.

Wow! Really? Jim, we both live in the Cooper neighborhood.

Why would this not be an appropriate forum???

I very frequently conduct business @ Hi-Lake so this topic I S in its proper forum. I put the information into this forum because if it impacts me, it surely would impact others. It definitely is not limited only to those individuals from the neighborhood where the development shall occur.


From: Lisa Boyd Date: 14:14 UTC

I am not opposed to high-density, transit-oriented development – far from it! I just wish the development in this location were being marketed to younger, more active people who can better tolerate or even thrive in such an environment. The reality is that low-income seniors don’t have a lot of choices – so people telling them to go elsewhere if they don’t like it aren’t really helping; and are potentially more negatively impacted by noise, traffic and pollution from such a busy intersection right on top of the light rail. Low-income seniors tend to have a greater incidence of chronic conditions due to lack of access to good health care and good nutrition, which makes this population more vulnerable than their affluent peer group. Most subsidized housing for seniors is 62+, not 55+.

Lisa Boyd Howe

From: John Barron Date: 14:41 UTC

Lisa, I appreciate and respect your views, but I don’t share them. You say:

“The reality is that low-income seniors don’t have a lot of choices – so people telling them to go elsewhere”

I think that this housing would be a good choice (emphasis on *choice*). If it’s not built, there would be fewer choices. Also, it kind of feels like you think that low income seniors should be put out to pasture where urban things like cars, noise, crime and pollution can’t hurt them. I’m closer to being a senior than you are (!) and I am looking forward to all the vitality that a busy urban setting brings. I concede that I may change my mind in a few years.

John Barron Cooper

From: Jim Crants Date: 16:01 UTC

Matt Steele wrote:

“Do incumbents have more of a right to on-street subsidized parking than non-incumbents who move into the area? I don’t even think that’s a fair question because it makes the assumption that someone, whether an old or new resident, deserves free car storage paid by the city.”

I have a couple issues with this argument. First, this makes me wonder if you are advocating that every taxpayer should get only what they pay for and pay for only what they get. This policy would effectively make money the only source of social power, and since the best way to make money is to have money, I don’t like where that approach leads.

Second, no one’s suggesting that current residents have more right to street parking than future residents. People just don’t want more competition for parking. To see the difference, consider who people will resent if they have trouble finding parking: the new residents, or the city and the developers?

As for high-density living, I think Longfellow is exactly as dense as most of us honestly want. Your arguments for increasing density are economic (lower property taxes, lower transit fares, more customers for local business), but that ignores the other motives that attracted most of us to this neighborhood (relatively low crime, light traffic, green spaces and parks, and the general sense of security and community that comes with these things). I would expect resistance to pretty much any high-density development here, and I think that resistance would be justified. Democracy gives us some say in how our city develops, and it’s right to use that power to preserve what we love about where we live, even if some macroeconomic model that equates money with happiness says we’re wrong.

See thread here.

Free Speech Zone The Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. The opinions expressed in the Free Speech Zone and Neighborhood Notes, as well as the opinions of bloggers, are their own and not necessarily the opinion of the TC Daily Planet. E-Democracy forum posts are republished under license by Creative Commons with Attribution