On July 13 the Minneapolis City Planning Commission approved plans for the proposed commercial/residential project at northeast corner of Lake Street and Knox Avenue over the objections of three neighborhood associations that states it violates the official Uptown Small Area Plan (USAP), particularly regarding height. USAP generally calls for a maximum height of 35 feet at this location; planning staff recommended 45.5 feet; the Planning Commission approved CPM Development’s proposal for a 56 foot high building.
Four Uptown area neighborhood organizations – East Isles Residents Association (EIRA), East Calhoun Community Organization (ECCO), Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG) and Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association (LHENA) united to file appeals. Nine individuals also joined the appeals.
The City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee will hold a public hearing on the appeals on August 6 at 9:30 a.m. in City Hall Room 317. Ward 10 Council Member Ralph Remington who represents Uptown is a member of this Committee. The Committee’s recommendation will go to the full City Council for decision at its August 14 meeting.
Lara Norkus-Crampton, ECCO resident and Minneapolis Planning Commission member for the past three years, resigned in protest over this ruling. In her letter of resignation she says, “It has become apparent to me that the Planning Department and Planning Commission are more interested in allowing market forces, rather than rational, thoughtful land use planning, to dictate land use decisions. I became a Planning Commissioner because I believe in planning. The complete disregard of the Uptown Small Area Plan (USAP) in the deliberations over the Lake/Knox proposal at the July 13th Planning Commission hearing was a smack in the face for the hundreds of people who worked in good faith to put planning ahead of the speculative real estate market. For me this is the final straw.”
Note from Phyllis Stenerson, Editor, UNN: this article is revised from the original that appeared in the print edition of UNN distributed beginning July 28 to more accurately reflect that the neighborhood associations expressed their opinions that the project violates USAP. Some area residents hold the opinion that USAP sets forth guidelines, not hard rules, and do not object to the plan as presented.
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