Southwest Minneapolis may soon add a semi-pro hockey player to its list of well-known residents. Developer Scott Carlston has teamed up with Worcester Sharks player Tony Lucia to build an apartment building near 43rd and France. Lucia's team serves as a farm team for the San Jose Sharks and Lucia’s father coaches at the University of Minnesota, where Lucia went to school.
Confusion Caused Controversy
The project, a six-unit, three-story building, has not been without controversy. Tuesday night, the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) board voted 5-2 not to oppose the zoning variances required by the project. It capped two contentious meetings where the proposed project's neighbors complained they had not been adequately informed of the project before the first meeting, and then argued that the developer was not providing enough parking spaces for residents and their guests.
Carlston said he didn’t notify the neighbors prior to the Linden Hills Zoning Committee meeting because of a miscommunication with the LHiNC board staff. Due to this, the Committee asked Carlston to give residents another chance to comment on the proposal at the next LHiNC meeting.
Since the zoning committee meeting, Carlston said has held an open house and went door to door to gather around 30 signatures.
The residential house that is being torn down to build the development is actually zoned for commercial use, according to Zoning Committee chair Larry LaVercombe, and Carlston only needs variances that would allow the front of the building to be built up to the sidewalk, and a conditional use permit to build the sixth unit, where Lucia will live.
A few neighbors who live close to the building had some opposition to the project. Ken Stone said he’s very concerned about the congestion of the parking that six units will bring. City regulations say Carlston is providing enough parking spots.
Carlston also said that the plan for the development is to encourage bike riding and the use of public transportation. The building will have lockers on the first floor for bikes.
Board member Marilyn Doyle suggested that parking seemed to be an issue that has been coming up a lot as more developments come to Linden Hills.
“It seems like we’re heading toward parking permits,” she said.