November 22, 2016
Press Release for Immediate Publication
Injunction Filed Against Alatus Tower
Citizen’s Group Contends Zoning Overreach
Neighbors for East Bank Livability (NEBL), a group of Marcy-Holmes and Nicollet Island-East Bank neighborhood residents, has filed an injunction against Alatus LLC in their ongoing effort to stop development of a proposed mixed-use condominium tower at the corner of Central Avenue and 2nd St SE.
The site, most recently a funeral home, was originally home to the St. Anthony Falls Commercial Club and is in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. The city approved a conditional use permit (CUP) to increase the height of the Project from 4 stories to 42 stories, and a variance to increase the maximum floor area ratio (FAR) by more than 600% from 2.04 to 14.42.
NEBL contends the approval is an extreme departure from the city’s own regulations, and would be a dangerous precedent placing historic and residential districts across Minneapolis at risk. In approving the project, the city’s Planning Commission overruled its own Heritage Preservation Commission’s rejection of the zoning variance finding that the building height was not appropriate for the historic district.
Erich Wunderlich, of NEBL and a Marcy-Holmes neighborhood resident, objects to the project as “…representing extreme overreach. The city has abdicated its responsibility in the planning process. They’ve essentially handed zoning and planning over to the developer. How is this not a citywide issue? If this project is allowed to go forward in its current form, the city will have the ability to ignore guidelines with any future projects in any historic district and any neighborhood throughout the city.”
According to NEBL’s attorney William C. Griffith of the Larkin Hoffman law firm, “This is not a group intent at stopping reasonable development in their neighborhood. Rather, this is a diverse group of thoughtful residents intent on persuading the City to follow its own rules to bring about reasonable and sustainable development that is respectful of the historic neighborhood in which it is proposed.”
Neighbors for East Bank Livability