HDC Looking for a few good
If you've ever wondered what you could do to improve your neighborhood, or thought, "why does the City do things like that?" Now's the time to find out.
The annual meeting of the Highland District Council is coming up (via Zoom, of course) on April 22nd and six grids are looking for representatives and two at-large seats need to be filled. You can throw your hat in the ring by taking the following steps:
Go to the Highland District Council website
Click on the "Events" tab, which will become an "Elections" tab
Scroll down and learn about what's involved
Complete a form and submit it if you are interested AND are from one of the odd grids, or want to run for an at-large seat
For specific NLSP info concerning the HDC, just submit your questions on the Contact page at this site.
LITIGATION UPDATE 4/13/2021
Judge Guthmann has reviewed materials from the hearing and reached a decision. He decided that NLSP has no standing in this case because the plaintiffs had sustained no harm. That the City behaved appropriately in this case, some questions are left unanswered.
NLSP Response to Findings
The judge agreed that based on the evidence produced at trial, it may be possible to conclude that the City of Saint Paul failed to perform an official duty imposed by law. This is a key finding that the City has consistently denied. However, the judge ruled that we will not be allowed to prove our case at trial because of procedural issues. This is concerning for multiple reasons.
First, the City appears to be using bureaucratic obfuscation to prevent anyone from challenging them as they make up the rules as they go along to inflate the scope of this project outside of the codified plan. On the one hand they publicly acknowledge the open space definition issue and that they’d correct it, thereby stringing the residents along into a false sense of security so they don’t take action. Then on the other hand, they never address it, continue to count private rooftop balconies as open space and argue that we should have appealed to them within 10 days of their decision to not follow their own law. This can only be viewed as a pattern of bad faith behavior and is hardly consistent with sound public policy and good governance.
Second, Minnesota case law states, and we think fairness dictates, that resident taxpayers have an interest in making sure that the laws of their City are upheld which should be sufficient to confer standing in a case like this.
Finally, the City's municipal government holds power in trust for the benefit of its citizens and the City is not acting in good faith by knowingly violating their own law that they themselves enacted and then deliberately using an appeals process to obfuscate. Although the building at issue is already half-built, we are contemplating the best course of action going forward, including a possible appeal, to ensure that our municipal government is acting in the best interest of its citizens.
Trees forced to give way to tunnel under MDR
As if 122 acres of new concrete wasn't damaging enough to the green-ness of Highland Park, Ryan and the City plan to raze stands of very old, very stately trees. It's NOT easy staying green in Highland Bridge.
We are regaled daily with articles about the need for higher density buildings (usually linked to multi-family, higher-rise buildings).
These clarion calls for change are typically linked to racism, i.e. if you oppose high-density you oppose affordable housing. If you oppose affordable housing you are racist.
Is this the connection which our city should be making? Is it really a good way to go or is it actually an unintentional form of discrimination?
NLSP remains committed to promoting responsible community development that enhances the existing neighborhood and the City overall. we need your financial support to ensure that we have the resources to help fund this effort, the pending petition, and future legal action. Please consider making a contribution to support NLSP's Legal Action Fund by clicking HERE.