Pillsbury Commons Trips Before the Finish Line: No. 2 Story of the Year

One of the most read and talked about topics in Richfield's recent history.

Richfield Patch covered a lot of different stories, topics and events throughout 2012, but there were a few that stood out as the most interesting, important or possibly infamous to our readers. The following is the No. 2 story of the year.


Pillsbury Commons. While it's a project that's long over, the mere mention of it can still evoke passionate discussions, sighs and grumbles among Richfield residents.

The affordable housing complex, which was in the works for more than two years, was officially laid to rest in July after months of back and forth between the city and the developer, Ron Clark Construction & Design—and the city and residents.

The most outspoken residents opposed the development, citing increases in traffic, population density and decreases in property values as their major gripes about the project. Those few who were unwaivering proponents of the development said the complex would help provide working class families with stable, affordable housing.

Those charged with making the final decision—the Richfield City Council—were hard to read throughout the negotiations. That is until June 11 when the council denied the sale of two additional land parcels—parcels of which were absolutely essential in the approval of the project. In the month following, more denials followed, .


See all the stories related to this topic:

  • Pillsbury Commons Development Proposal Faces Opposition
  • Pillsbury Commons Developers to Make the Rounds in Richfield
  • Richfield City Officials See Huge Community Turn-Out at Pillsbury Commons Presentation
  • Residents Asking City Council to ‘Say No’ to Pillsbury Commons
  • Questions Remain About Pillsbury Commons Proposal
  • Concerned Residents Continue Pleas for City to Reconsider Pillsbury Commons
  • UPDATED: Planning Commission's Pillsbury Commons Public Hearing Postponed
  • Ron Clark Explains Request for Planning Commission Continuation
  • Pillsbury Commons On City Council Docket Once Again
  • Wroge Accuses City Attorney of Violating Public’s Free Speech Rights
  • City Officials ‘Offended’ By Ron Clark Presentation
  • Pillsbury Commons: What Happens Next?
  • Ron Clark Pulls Land Use Applications
  • Commissioner: ‘We’re All Dressed Up With No Place To Go’
  • School Officials: ‘Anyone Who Walks Through Those Doors Are Our Kids’
  • Long-Time Resident Stands Up for Pillsbury Commons
  • Richfield Commoners United Responds to Criticism
  • UPDATED: Ron Clark Submits New Pillsbury Commons Design Plans
  • City Outlines Next Steps for Pillsbury Commons
  • UPDATED: Pillsbury Commons Process Hits Another Snag
  • Residents Step Up To The Pillsbury Commons Microphone
  • Poll: Does The City Know What It's Doing With Housing?
  • Resident Accuses Pillsbury Commons Supporters of 'Crying Wolf'
  • Pillsbury Commons Project Effectively ‘Dead’
  • Pillsbury Commons Further Marred By City Officials’ Decisions
  • Council Refuses to Reconsider Recent Pillsbury Commons Actions
  • UPDATE: Ron Clark Changes Mind on Optioned Land
  • Ron Clark Releases Statement on Failed Pillsbury Commons Project

Editor's Note: A clarification has been made regarding the legal actions surrounding the eventual denial of the project.

Barry L. December 19, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Hi, It was not only the three reason written above. There is other important issues for taking this conversations to the citizens of Richfield. The proposed development or any development that does not follow best practices as defined by HUD or MHFA that promotes reinforces residential segregation. We are still looking for that meaningful, regional approach to planning that does not concentrate affordable/low-income into one area. Diversity and integration are good things but when one community either takes on the responsibility or has that responsibility foisted upon them the long-term result is neither socially or economically healthy nor is it sustainable. Please visit our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/RichfieldMinnesota to review the research that we’ve compiled and we encourage everyone to respectfully participate in the dialogue. Best Regards, Barry LeBlanc


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