Industrial Bumping Up Against Residential in Longfellow

I think we’ll see more cases like this as new housing goes up along the Hiawatha corridor:

Lawsuit pits fresh produce against a good night’s sleep

“Herring and his neighbors in the North Longfellow Block Club have been locked in a long-standing dispute with Metro Produce Distributors Inc., which operates the trucks. Next week, attorneys for the company and the city of Minneapolis are expected to go to a mediator to try to settle a federal lawsuit over the matter.

In 2005, the Minneapolis City Council added to existing ordinances prohibiting trucks from loading or unloading outside an insulated building near residential areas between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The new rules also banned trucks from idling or operating refrigeration units during those hours.

The city then cited Metro Produce for violating the rules, court documents say. Metro Produce sued, calling the ordinances vague and unconstitutional. Late last month, a federal judge sided with the company on several claims.”

The blocks along the railroad tracks, and the onces between Hiawatha and Minnehaha are probably the most problematic for industrial noise or dust encroaching on residential properties. Of course, it’s not always clear who’s encroaching on who. For example, if a person bought a home in the flight path of an airport, knowing full well that the airport was there, would they have a right to complain about airport noise?

Here’s a link to a map of the location in question. As you can see, the area (both 27th Ave S and 28th St E) is a dividing line between residential housing and industrial buildings.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. It sounds like the business was operating in the area before the law was changed. How does that play into the court’s decision?

Safest Neighborhoods in Minneapolis

Brian at East-Lake.net and David Brauer on the Minneapolis Issues Forum have crunched the crime numbers to create community safety ranking for Minneapolis:

East-lake’s original rankings, without population, (from safest to least safe), were:

1. Nokomis
2. Calhoun-Isles
3. Southwest
4. Longfellow
5. Phillips
6. University
7. Northeast
8. Camden
9. Central
10. Powderhorn
11. Near North

With resident population factored in – producing “rate per resident” – the results (again, from safest to least safe) change somewhat:

1. Nokomis
1. Southwest (tie)
3. Calhoun-Isles
4. Longfellow
5. University
6. Northeast
7. Powderhorn
8. Camden
9. Central
10. Phillips
11. Near North

I figure Nokomis beats Longfellow because criminals are driven out of Nokomis by the plane noise.

38th St Graffiti Problem

East 38th St in South Minneapolis is one of the busiest areas for graffiti in the city as far as I can tell. The major problem area runs from Hiawatha Ave on the East to just short of 35W on the West. Businesses are tagged over and over again with gang graffiti.

Discussion of this problem has popped up on e-democracy over the past few days.

I’ve talked to some of the businesses along there. Some have largely given up on removing graffiti from their property because it takes too much time. They just rely on neighbors or the city to get around to cleaning it up for them.

In other cases, the building owner lives outside of Minneapolis and leases the building for retail. The tenants don’t seem particularly motivated to remove the graffiti and at the same time don’t seem interested in bugging their landlords about it. So it sits until the landlord receives a letter from the city telling them their building has been tagged again.

Here are six things I think they should do:

1. Install cameras and better lighting on problem buildings like the antique train building.

2. Commission murals on as many buildings as possible.

3. Add signs saying, “Smile, you’re being recorded” to the walls where they’re most often tagged.

4. Insist that remaining buildings standardize on one color of paint and have building owners sign off on immediate cover-ups of any graffiti on their property.

5. Better publicize graffiti arrests in the schools. Gang graffiti is generally done by a younger crowd. Let prospective taggers know the risks of engaging in this behavior.

6. Follow up with people who report graffiti letting them know it’s been been removed. Make them feel like they’re making a difference.

46th & 46th Condo Development Update

I received this notice today:

What: Meeting on the status of the 46th St & 46th Ave development

When: Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 6:30pm

Where: Hiawatha School Park

It’s great that there is an update scheduled but why have a meeting to discuss what could probably be summarized in the meeting request itself? Send out an update so I know what’s going on. If I have a problem with it, THEN I’ll show up to the meeting to discuss the topic.

Another good place for updates would be on the 46th & 46th page of the developer’s web site.

Longfellow Neighborhood Movie Stars

It’s amazing how many movie stars are from the Longfellow neighborhood.

First, you have Jesse Ventura, who grew up across the street from the Kohler household on 46th Ave S.

Then you have the Kohler household, which is ALMOST famous since it was filmed for the movie Fargo as the sheriff’s house, but didn’t make the final cut.

And now throw Aaron Landry into the mix for his cameo roll in An Inconvenient Truth.

Interestingly, all three examples come from Northern Longfellow, specifically Cooper. What’s the deal with LoFo?

ShotSpotter Spots a Shot

Whadya think of the Minneapolis Police Department’s new ShotSpotters? Personally, I think they’re pretty awesome because they help locate shooting locations without violating anyone’s privacy. That’s pretty darn slick.

ShotSpotter lines up first shooting suspect

Minneapolis police Lt. Greg Reinhardt, who is in charge of the ShotSpotter effort, said the microphones were activated at 6 p.m. on Friday. At 1 a.m., shots were fired in the vicinity of 2500 Park Avenue S. “It worked very well. It worked exactly how we set it up,” Reinhardt said.

Police responded after the shots were recorded, a short pursuit ensued and a suspect with a gun was arrested, he said.

While the “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about” arguments are taken a bit too far with some implementations of security cameras, phone tapping, and email monitoring, this is a case where you really have nothing to worry about if you aren’t discharging firearms within the city of Minneapolis.

Condo Buying Tips

Alex Stenback of Behind the Mortgage offers has some great condo buying tips for the Minneapolis market here:

How To: Pick the Right Condo

One question we’ve been getting a lot lately of goes something like this: “We want to buy a condo, but how do we know that we have picked the right condo project? “

I found the info on picking a building too large or small interesting. It makes sense that you’ll have a lot of competition when it comes time to sell a unit in a large building, and small building assessments could be shocking – kind of like home ownership.

Baker Has Beautiful Snow

Baker Has Beautiful Snow, originally uploaded by edkohler.

I’m out ay Baker in Plymouth to time a Lake Conference race. Heck out the tracks. Way more snow than Minneapolis.