Residents Asking City Council to ‘Say No’ to Pillsbury Commons

The Richfield City Council is holding another special work session regarding the project Tuesday night.

One of the most controversial redevelopment projects in Richfield’s recent history is again on the Richfield City Council docket.

The $12.6 million  would bring a multi-unit, low-income, workforce housing development to the corner of 77th Street and Pillsbury Avenue. However, , with residents worrying about a possible decline in property values and rise in crime, and council members skeptical on the design of the property.

. With many questions remaining, city officials scheduled another work session. Project developers, Ron Clark Construction & Design, will present the project at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at . A regular council meeting follows at 7 p.m.

Once again, residents won’t be able to ask questions or address the council during the work session.

While city officials haven't expressed specific opposition, they appear concerned with how prospective tenants would be considered for residency and that current residents get priority. According to Tuesday night’s agenda, Ron Clark has asked the Minnesota Housing and Finance Agency to give priority to current residents, but he has yet to receive feedback on his plan from the city.

Residents living near the proposed development have assembled a neighborhood group in opposition of the development. Residents have called and written letters and emails to city officials expressing their concerns. A recent newsletter from the group carried the headline "Say No.”

“Everyone wants affordable housing, and doing your community’s fair share is important," the group said in its newsletter. "But, good planning is critical and this just isn’t a good plan.”

Carolyn Engeldinger February 14, 2012 at 09:35 PM
I think the biggest problem right now is the lack of factual information. Without unbiased, factual information a good decscion cannot be made.
Sheridan Hills February 15, 2012 at 02:09 AM
It would be wonderful if the city council listened to it's citizens on this one and stood up to the developer.
Barry L. February 15, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Hi Carolyn, You can view city documents that have been uploaded on this face book site, you do not need to be a face book member to look. www.facebook.com/richfieldminnesota You can skip the wall activity and view Richfield and Minnesota documents that have been collected and scanned in. As with this story the more you can see the better informed you are.
Richfield Commoners United March 08, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Barry L. March 09, 2012 at 05:11 PM
In dealing with Pillsbury Commons there seems to be confusion over the issue of just what "affordable housing" and low income housing are. The use of "low income housing " is not being derogatory. It is important to realize that all low income housing is affordable but not all affordable housing is low income. To prove the point, can a tenant be "affordable" or "low income"? Many of the apartments in Richfield are affordable - that is, they are affordable to people with low incomes but can be rented by people with high incomes. A low income housing development like Pillsbury Commons is housing that is set aside for people who meet low income guidelines. Richfield is very affordable and has quite a bit of affordable housing. Edina is not affordable has no affordable housing which is why it really needs affordable housing so people with low incomes can afford to live their.


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