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Minneapolis council could override Peavey Plaza demolition delay

The demolition of Peavey Plaza may yet take place, despite the 180-day delay set by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission following a public hearing last week.

Chuck Lutz, interim director of the Community Planning and Economic Development Department, said this week that his staff will ask council members to override the decision, which could delay construction of a newly designed plaza and fundraising for the project.

During the HPC hearing, city staff detailed the deterioration of the current plaza, which includes broken pumps that cannot be replaced, broken concrete, inadequate electricial supplies for events and its shortcoming in meeting federal standards for accessibility.

Fans of the current plaza argued, however, that the design by M. Paul Friedberg is eligible for the National Register and characterized the plaza as his “most significant” U.S.work.

Several HPC commissioners wanted more time to study the significance of the current design before voting on the demolition request from the city.

The move to override the HPC action will take place within the next month.  Billboards at the current plaza are already advertising the new design with the words “Coming Soon.”

No stadium vote

Earlier this week, the City Council Committee of the Whole voted 7 to 6 to add the Vikings stadium to the city’s legislative agenda.  The action followed a two-hour public hearing with testimony by both sides on the issue.

Usually, that item would be included on the agenda for next meeting of the full City Council, which is Friday, but a vote has been delayed for two weeks as a courtesy to Council President Barb Johnson, who will be out of town. Johnson supports the stadium proposal.

Council Vice President Robert Lilligren said that despite the delay in a final vote, the council is officially on record as supporting the stadium because of the committee vote. Lilligren opposes the stadium proposal.

Voter ID resolution

One item that is on Friday's agenda is a resolution opposing the proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to present a government-issued photo identification card at their polling place. The resolution is sponsored by all 13 council members.

Two Cities blog, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul City Halls, is made possible in part by grants from The Saint Paul Foundation and the Carolyn Foundation.

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