Ward 8 Update Newsletters

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April 11, 2014

Sidewalk Sales Proposed Ordinance

Council Member Glidden has proposed a new ordinance that would allow sidewalk sales, or outdoor sales, by a variety of businesses in Minneapolis.  While this ordinance recently was approved by the planning commission, on April 7, it still must be approved by the City Council at an upcoming meeting that is yet to be set.

The sidewalk sales ordinance would allow sales of goods outside of commercial buildings -- on the sidewalk.  Today, there is an uneven playing field, as only hardware stores can legally display their goods for sale outside of their store.  This proposal would permit all business to display goods, with some restrictions.

Why allow sidewalk sales?  To continue momentum, shown by the popularity of sidewalk cafés, of building a vibrant, interesting outdoor environment, encouraging walkable neighborhoods and business districts, and supporting the ability of local stores to attract customers.

The proposed ordinance has also prompted a review of good enforcement models – business licensing will take over enforcement of this ordinance, as well as issues involving sandwich boards and other encroachments on the right of way, to ensure there is consistency of enforcement by inspectors that have a regular relationship with the business community.

The sidewalk sales ordinance proposal will require that there is at least 5 feet of right of way clear, next to any goods displayed by a business.  This is greater clearance than the right of way next to a sidewalk café, which requires a minimum of 4 feet clearance.  You can review the full proposed ordinance here.

Comments on the proposed ordinance?  Please contact Elizabeth at (612) 673-2208 or Elizabeth.glidden@minneapolismn.gov.

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Boulevard Care Ordinance

Yes, friends, neighbor complaints and suggestions can lead to ordinance changes! Recently, the City Council approved Council Member Glidden’s ordinance about care for boulevards that clarifies enforcement strategies by cities when boulevards are overgrown with bushes or other plantings.  The ordinance also now has removed the prohibition against growing edible items (like fruits and vegetables).   Structures, like raised beds, are not permitted in boulevards.  You can read the ordinance here.

The impetus for the ordinance amendment came from neighbors who had complained multiple times about large (10 feet tall!!) overgrown bushes in a boulevard, which also created an unsafe situation for pedestrians, bicyclists and cars that could not see around the bushes.  Unfortunately, the City process did not clearly identify what department was responsible to address the overgrown bushes.  Thanks to creative City staff, this issue was fixed with business process improvements and some ordinance changes.  To residents, THANK YOU for letting us know of your concerns – it is your complaints that help the City identify process and policy solutions important to serving everyone well.

PLEASE NOTE:  While the City does not prohibit planting edibles on the boulevard, you should test your soil in all parts of your yard before eating any plants grown.  City soil may have many types of contaminants that can be harmful to you.  Two places you can contact for soil testing are the University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory and City of Minneapolis.

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Minneapolis Police Department is Hiring

MPD

The Minneapolis Police Department will be accepting applications for the following positions:

  • Police Officer – Lateral (applications accepted  April 7 – 25)
  • Community Service Officer (applications accepted April 14-May2)

You are welcome to attend an information session presented by the MPD on these positions:

Tuesday April 15, 6-8:00 pm
Special Operation Center (SOC), 4119 DuPont Ave North, Minneapolis, MN

To review application materials and more information about these positions please go to the Minneapolis Police Department webpage for recruiting here.

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Special Election for Hennepin County Commissioner

A Special Election for Hennepin County Commissioner is fast approaching. With Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman’s retirement, a special election will be held to elect her replacement.  Ward 8 neighborhoods that will vote in the special election are Lyndale and Kingfield (precincts 8-1, 8-2, 8-6, and 8-7).

Please SAVE THE DATE:  The Special Primary is Tuesday, April 29 and the Special General Election is May 13.  Your one stop shop for all voting information in Minneapolis is http://vote.minneapolismn.gov

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Can you serve? Minneapolis Boards and Commissions

Minneapolis is seeking applications for boards and commissions as part of its spring application period.  Applications will again be sought in the fall.  You can see all boards here

We are seeking a Ward 8 representative to the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee, or the BAC.  You can find out more about the BAC here, including meeting times and location.  You can access application materials here.

Minneapolis is also seeking applicants to the Charter Commission; in particular, Minneapolis hopes to recruit more applicants of color to the Charter Commission, so please help spread the word.  Charter Commission members are appointed, under state law, by the Chief Judge of the Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota.  You can view the application materials for the Charter Commission here.  The Charter Commission is one of the most significant bodies in the City of Minneapolis; it reviews recommended changes to the City Charter which is the governing document, or Constitution, of the City.

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Upcoming Events

Earth Day

Lyndale Open House
Friday, April 11, 6-8:30pm
Lyndale Community School, 34th and Grand Ave
A FREE event, everyone is invited!
*great food from local restaurants *fun games *wonderful community

Earth Day Clean Up 2014
Saturday, April 26, 9:30am – noon
At a park or green space near you!

Join your neighbors for the 20th annual Earth Day event to clean up our parks and our neighborhood. It's easy to get involved; no pre-registration is required! For the list of official Earth Day Park clean-up locations please check the Minneapolis Park Board here. At official locations, which include MLK Park at 4055 Nicollet, you can arrive anytime between 9:30 and noon, and check in at the registration table to get a bag and instructions on where to pick-up and leave trash. You can also create your own Earth Day event by helping pick up debris in your own neighborhood. Thank you for getting involved!