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Minneapolis City Council looks at residential parking, temporary appointment process

A plan that could reduce the number of parking spaces required for multi-unit residential properties in the University of Minnesota area will be examined this spring by members of the Minneapolis City Council.

“Surface parking is eating up all of the land,” said Council Member Cam Gordon, who has been hearing from developers in the area that there is no longer the demand for the required residential parking spaces that once existed.

At the same time, area businesses want more parking for their potential customers. That, combined with the soon-to-be operating light rail line, makes this a good time to look at the options, he said.

“There’s an interest in changing,” said Gordon, who already has multiple suggestions on how the parking requirements might be changed.

Ward-based appointments on hold

Traditionally, a citizen appointed to a board or commission in Minneapolis will have his or her ward number attached to his or her name. That system will be officially slowed down for the remainder of 2013.

It gets complex. When new ward boundaries were drawn and adopted last March, the sitting council members immediately began representing their newly drawn wards.

This means they are now representing people who have never had an opportunity to vote for, or for that matter, against them.

City Clerk Casey Carl explains that the change would affect a situation where a council member wants to nominate a ward resident, who lives in an area that was not in the before the new boundaries. In such cases, the nomination now would require the approval of the previous and current council member.

Reaching agreement between the two council members during an election year might take extra time.

“This is not to stall or halt the process,” said Carl, adding that it gives city officials more time to verify which people are in which wards. The process will be slowed but not stopped.

When the people speak, Nov. 5, and the new City Council is sworn in come January, then the old system will return.

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Comments (1)

This piece would be more

This piece would be more helpful if it included a list of boards and commissions where the Council Members actually appoint members from within their ward boundaries.

One of the newer features of Minneapolis's so-called advisory boards and commissions is that, post- Paul Ostrow's initiative several years ago, one need not be a resident of Minneapolis in order to be appointed. Curiously, when the city does surveys of these boards' members, they either don't reply at all or leave their residence location unstated. So, we don't have all-Minneapolis boards making decisions to advise our politicians on Minneapolis matters, but that fact is hidden.