13th Ward Newsletter

13th Ward eNews from Minneapolis Council Member Linea Palmisano
Visit us at www.minneapolismn.gov/ward13

 April 2014

Issue #2

contact information


Council Member Linea Palmisano
350 S. 5th St.
City Hall, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415



Emily Ziring, Senior Policy Aide

Ken Dahler, Policy Aide


Construction Management Agreement Announced

Today, the City Council unanimously approved a major policy initiative that improves construction management standards for single-family and duplex homes. 

This agreement addresses health and safety issues for residents with infill construction in their neighborhoods. It continues the planning study to address zoning issues, and commits additional staff to assist with citywide modifications in construction management and planning. Once signed by Mayor Hodges and published into law, it will also mark an end date to the moratorium on tear-downs in five of our 13th Ward neighborhoods.

I’ve worked incredibly hard these first few months on issues of site management, zoning standards and environmental sustainability as we work to knit new single family housing into our community.

I have also heard the concerns of citizens and developers who feel they are negatively impacted by the moratorium, while balancing that concern with neighbors who have been negatively affected by teardowns on their street and adjacent to their properties. My colleagues understand this will have a positive effect across the City.

I wholeheartedly thank residents, developers and professional trade groups for their work over this last month to craft solutions to these issues. I’ve received hundreds of letters of support from residents calling for the changes it brings. The new construction agreement received letters of endorsement from individual builders, the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors and the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council.

The Construction Management Agreement applies to unoccupied single family and duplex construction projects across the city.  It addresses 25 categories of livability and environmental concerns that residents face and are often impacted by when infill construction occurs near their homes.  Some of these topics will assist more direct communication between builders and nearby residents, and others are more technical.  The categories include construction site maintenance, surface drainage and groundwater discharge, damage to public property, complaints tracking and protection of adjacent property.  All new permits issued will be subject to the construction agreement, which includes enhanced site plan and permit review and proactive inspection of single family home projects by the Community Planning and Economic Development, Regulatory Services and Public Works departments.

The new agreement can better resolve, and more quickly enforce, the most egregious issues adjacent neighbors experience related to teardowns.  And we have worked closely with stakeholders to reach this point so quickly.

Additionally, I’m committed to continuing the planning study initiated on March 7 to improve development review for single family homes citywide. This work will continue with the Planning Department and will address issues such as setbacks and massing and height of new homes. I plan to introduce those changes as early as June 2014 for consideration by the Council.

These changes will continue to provide opportunities for folks to move into the city and into new housing. They will also protect long-time homeowners, who have invested in and worked to improve our city over the years, to make it a wonderful place to raise a family. Housing investment is a healthy thing for our city, and yet it needs to be addressed so that we can foster growth through all the city’s neighborhoods. Infill development is a topic where Southwest Minneapolis will lead policy conversations. I expect these immediate changes and this study timeline to be especially helpful in areas where residents today endure concentrated construction, and I am committed to that effort in every way.

Focus Group

Focus group on infill construction in Linden Hills on March 29

Met Council Votes to Move Southwest Light Rail Plan Forward

The conversation about SW LRT moved forward this week with Met Council’s vote to approve a plan with shallow tunnels going through the Kenilworth Corridor. The next step is to attain municipal consent from all five cities impacted. While my office has received several emails and phone calls already about this issue, please share your thoughts if you haven’t yet done so. Contact us online or call us at 612.673.2213. All comments will be entered into the public record.

Crime Prevention

As we go into spring, we all want to enjoy the warm weather. This means more people leaving windows open, walking outside and doing yardwork.

Last week, a man was stabbed and robbed in the Armatage neighborhood. And while the perpetrators were detained within hours, remember to keep a few simple crime prevention tips in mind to help reduce the opportunity for crimes.

General tips:

  • Call 911 on suspicious activity at the time you see it!
  • If you are the witness to a crime, please stay around so officers can gather information from you
  • If you are the victim of a crime, please be available for and cooperate with investigators so they can try to locate the perpetrator and gather enough evidence for charging
  • Install or activate a tracking program/app on your smart phone to find it in case it is lost or stolen. This must be done BEFORE the phone is stolen.
  • Install a security program on your laptop if you keep personal information on it or often bring it with you. This must be done BEFORE the laptop is stolen.

For more crime prevention tips, visit http://www.minneapolismn.gov/police/crimeprevention/index.htm.

Additionally, the Armatage Neighborhood Association, in conjunction with the Minneapolis Police Department, will be hosting a Personal Safety Workshop on April 21.

City Council Approves Values, Goals and Strategic Directions

On March 28, the City Council approved its Values, Goals and Strategic Directions for 2014-2017.  This package will shape the City’s work for the next 4 year. It will be used as the basis for City department business plans, the budget process, and the work of City Council Committees. You can see these goals here.

Construction Season Is Upon Us

Nice weather means road work in Minnesota and there a few big projects in 13th Ward this summer.

The Penn Ave. S. paving project is continuing. (This project also has a Facebook page.)

In Lynnhurst, paving will be resurfaced at Burroughs North and Dupont Ave. S.

Finally, there'll be three projects on Xerxes toward the Crosstown Expressway. While none of these projects are managed by the City, our office has had lots of questions. Here’s a summary of the work being done.

Project 1. Xerxes Avenue Bridge Reconstruction
Managed by: MN DOT
Start Date: April 7, 2014
Estimated Completion Date: July 2014
Summary of work: Remove and replace the bridge decks, panels and approaches; Replace bridge rails;
Upgrade pedestrian crossings at ramp intersections to meet modern accessibility standards

Project 2. Xerxes Avenue Gas Pipeline Project
Managed by: Centerpoint Energy
Start Date: mid-April, 2014
Estimated Completion Date: July 2014
Overview: In preparation for a Hennepin County paving project on Xerxes Ave., Michels Corporation, an authorized CenterPoint Energy contractor, will replace approximately 5,700 feet of 2-inch, 3-inch and 6-inch steel pipe with plastic pipe along Xerxes from 54th St. W. to Highway 62 and relocate approximately 150 feet of 12-inch steel pipe at the intersection of Xerxes and 58th St. W. The work will also include replacing approximately 180 natural gas service lines. The project will include removal of the temporary bump-outs for the pipeline construction. Hennepin County is working on a permanent solution for these bump-outs.

Project 3. Xerxes Avenue Mill & Overlay
Managed by: Hennepin County
Start Date: August 2014
Estimated Completion Date: TBD
Overview: Hennepin County will be doing a road mill & overlay project along Xerxes Ave. between 66th St. W. and Minnehaha Creek.
Upcoming public meetings at Edina Community Lutheran Church (4113 W. 54th Street, Edina):
- April 23 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.: Residents of Xerxes between Crosstown and 60th St.
- April 28 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.: Residents of Xerxes between 60th St. and Minnehaha Creek


Following our worst winter in a long time, we are now faced with a rough pothole season. To meet this year's worse-than-usual conditions, we are doing more than usual to overcome them, having added an extra $1 million for pothole repair this year.

The additional $1 million in funding allows the City to bring on additional, temporary labor to create up to two additional crews for two months. We are also contracting with a pothole patching service provider for two spray patching units for about two months, or as needed. Each of these units is essentially like having an additional crew, which means we will be doubling and in some cases tripling our efforts.

As more potholes show themselves, please help us organize our efforts to repair them. If we know about the areas most in need of attention, we can better prioritize and ensure crews aren’t driving back and forth around the city to fixing a few here and a few there. Please use 311 to report the problem areas you notice, either by phone or online.

A Visit from Our Sister City

Sister City Visit

On March 21, we got a visit from students at Kasugaoka High School, located in our sister city, Ibaraki, Japan. 

City Boards and Commissions Need Applicants

Minneapolis residents with diverse backgrounds and experiences are needed to apply to serve on the City’s boards and commissions. The 13th Ward historically has had great representation, and we’re anxious for that trend to continue. Apply here, and then encourage your friends, family and coworkers to do the same.

Yard Waste Collection

Seasonal yard waste collection began on Monday April 7, 2014.  Minnesota state law prohibits disposing yard waste with garbage and requires the use of compostable bags for collection of yard waste from your home.  Yard waste must be prepared for collection at your home.  Visit Solid Waste & Recycling’s Yard Waste webpage for detailed preparation requirements.  

Get a Jump Start on Gardening by Ordering a Compost Bin or a Rain Barrel for Your Home

By using a compost bin, you can keep more than a quarter of your household waste out of the garbage while making valuable compost for your garden.

A rain barrel will help you save water and money by using rainwater rather than the faucet for your garden and trees.  Rain barrels are also a way of trapping the stormwater that runs toward the storm drains, picking up pollutants along the way and entering our lakes, streams and rivers.

Pre-order a $55 compost bin (regularly priced $106) or a $69 rain barrel (regularly priced $139) today and pick it up on Saturday, April 26th.  Items are being sold by the Recycling Association of Minnesota.  Visit their website to place your order or to find more information on the products available.