Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon is Growing a Beard

We’ve had a lot of time on our hands over the last month and a half. Many of us have spent more time with our electronic devices. Some people have picked up other hobbies. Instead of growing virtual fruit trees in the smash hit life-simulation video game Animal Crossing, Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon has grown a beard.

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New Speed Limits, Signage, & Traffic Signal Timing Arriving in Minneapolis

With piles of data backing up the idea that slower is safer, Minneapolis and St. Paul are implementing lower speed limits. Both cities are setting lower speed limits using authority newly granted by the state legislature.

In Minneapolis, limits of 25 mph on arterial streets will take effect as the new signs are installed. Streets considered “residential” will have limits of 20 mph limits, but won’t get their own signage. The 20 mph limits will take effect once gateway signs for drivers entering the city are installed in the fall. County and state controlled streets will remain unchanged at 30 mph or greater.

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What’s the Truth About Public Housing in Minneapolis?

It’s difficult to sort out what’s true about public housing in Minneapolis. Even if you’re a person who keeps up with the news. Just look at all the corrections issued to articles written about the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority over the course of a few weeks last year.

You could sense some frustration about this public confusion from Tracey Scott, MPHA’s interim director, when she came to the City Council’s Housing Policy & Development Committee last week. The committee was about to vote on whether to ask MPHA to delay an action that Scott felt was necessary to bring in millions of dollars a year in desperately needed funding for public housing. Scott spoke forcefully against it. She said the resolution was based on a “deliberate campaign of fear and misinformation.”

Though the resolution failed in committee 5-1, it sparked an important conversation.

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St. Paul Makes Big Change, Despite Voting to Keep Things Mostly the Same

Yesterday was election day in St. Paul. Here’s the results. Five of seven seats on the City Council have returning incumbents. Rebecca Noecker (62%), Chris Tolbert (61%), Mitra Jalali Nelson (59%), Amy Brendmoen (53%), and Jane Prince (62%). All won by virtue of surpassing 50% of first choice votes after the election night count. Two seats remain up in the air.

In Ward 6, Nelsie Yang has what looks like an insurmountable 17 point lead (44-27%) over Terri Thao. In Ward 1, incumbent Dai Thao leads Anika Bowie 42-30%; Liz De La Torre is in third place with 19%. Final results might take a while: Ramsey County is scheduled to begin reallocating voters’ ranked choices on Friday.

Voters citywide came out in favor retaining St. Paul’s organized trash ordinance by a 63-37% margin. If organized trash was a candidate, it would have been the most popular candidate on the ballot last night.

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Southwest Mpls Reacts to Plan for Affordable Housing

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Last night, Ward 13 Council Member Linea Palmisano hosted a meeting in the Fulton neighborhood to gather feedback on an idea to turn a city-owned parking lot near 50th and France into affordable housing. The lot is at 5028-5044 Ewing Ave S.

This is an early stage idea. Because this is a city-owned lot, criteria would be developed through extensive engagement with the neighborhood. The city would then put out a request for proposals from developers. The city would pick their preferred proposal — or pick none at all. Palmisano told residents at the meeting that she wants to do this “collaboratively” so that it brings “the least amount of disruption to the neighborhood as possible.”

At the beginning of the meeting Palmisano acknowledged she had already heard concerns about parking. To which the guy next to me said, “big time.” Palmisano promised “some amount of parking” included in any development. Parking concerns would go on to dominate much of the meeting.

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Kelly Doran Bullshits His Way Through a Debate with Councilman Steve

On Monday I was at the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA), mostly because I heard a crew of residents would be riled up over a plan for short term rentals. (The rumors were true. I’ve never heard so many lawsuit threats in my life).

As a bonus, I got to hear developers Mike Garvin and Kelly Doran make their case against a proposed city ordinance to limit landlord screening practices on things like background checks, credit checks, and deposit amounts.

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Is It Possible to Have Productive Neighborhood Conversations About Development?

Here’s a story about two six-story apartment proposals, from the same developer in adjacent neighborhoods. In both cases, city planners said the buildings were too big. But the differing approach from each neighborhood organization meant one was approved and the other has been scaled down significantly.

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