Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mpls NIMBY's Sue City To Prevent DeLaSalle Football Stadium For Inner City Youth and to Preserve Their Private Domain from the Unwashed

The fight over whether DeLaSalle High School should be allowed to build an athletic stadium on Nicollet Island went into overtime Wednesday as opponents filed a lawsuit.

The long-simmering issue pits the interests of those who want to keep the Nicollet Island parks and neighborhoods the way they've long been against those who want to build a 750-person-capacity stadium on park land adjacent to the school near downtown Minneapolis.

The stadium would be located on and across the eastern half of historic Grove Street and on regional open-space parkland on the island, in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.

Plaintiffs include Friends of the Riverfront, which is a group of home-owners and others who use parks on Nicollet Island, and condo owners in the Grove Street Flats Association. Defendants named in the suit are the city of Minneapolis, the Park and Recreation Board, the Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Agency, DeLaSalle High and City Council President Barbara Johnson, who is on the executive committee of DeLaSalle's board of trustees.

The plaintiffs want the court to determine whether Johnson has an ethical conflict and should be barred from voting on, or in any way influencing, city decisions on the facility. "The obvious and fatal problem with DeLaSalle's proposal is that it is in a completely inappropriate location -- namely on nearly 3 acres of regional open-space park land [if it is open-space park land, how is it that homes and schools and a nearby Central Business District are allowed there?] and across a whole block of a historic street in the upper residential area of historic Nicollet Island," the suit contends.

DeLaSalle has failed to look for a "feasible and prudent" alternative site, say the plaintiffs, who are seeking an injunction and recovery of legal costs and fees.

Supporters say the high school, which serves many inner-city youth, has never had a stadium and that it would benefit the community.

In August, the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission voted against the project. But in March, the Park Board voted 6-3 in favor of two measures that would allow DeLaSalle to build the athletic facility. Star Tribune

1 comment:

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I still don't understand this. I think the residents of Nicollet Island should just come out and say they only want the development THEY want. Condos fine. More traffic and a stadium no. They probably secretly want DeLaSalle to leave but won't come out and say it. Even though the High School has been on the Island for 100 years.

Correct me if I'm mistaken but I believe the "park land" is the south end of the Island which contains the Nicollet Island Inn and the Pavilion. Then, that's bisected by the Hennepin Avenue overpass, then DeLaSalle. I would not exactly call that end of the island "open space"

The residential homes (and there are not a lot of them! 40 or so) are mostly on the north end and the middle.

A lot of the island is undeveloped mostly around the residents and primarily because most of the homes were razed 20-30 years ago. Some of the residents bought those homes for $1. They are worth more now. That whole area is hip now after decades of being a vitual dump. The stadium does not fit into someones vision of gentrification for the river front. New Guthrie fine. Football stadium, no.