Suburbs - General Topics

Twin Cities Suburbs
Tenderfoot
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Tenderfoot » November 24th, 2014, 10:35 am

For what it's worth, that Schaeffer Rd. loop is very much needed (I walk in that area all the time). There is a decent amount of traffic, including lots of both locals and non-locals speeding off 169 and tons of kids. Adding the sidewalks greatly improves West Edina's access to Hopkins as well as Van Valkenburg park. To me, the most ludicrous thing is that Van Valkenburg is the site of Edina's off-leash dog park, but due to its inaccessibility most people drive their dogs there to "walk" them.

The thing about sidewalks is that they aren't necessarily for the benefit of people who already live in that area- it's also to enable "outsiders" to get TO that area. As has already been suggested I suspect that's the real reason why some Edinans are so opposed to them (although objecting to loss of trees is certainly understandable as well).

seanrichardryan
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby seanrichardryan » November 24th, 2014, 12:51 pm

Some of the trees in question. https://goo.gl/maps/FZFre
The whole Parkwood Knolls area Eden Prairie lite.
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Anondson
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Anondson » December 3rd, 2014, 6:17 pm

Which suburbs have the most liquor stores? News you can use!

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/n ... tores.html

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby FISHMANPET » December 4th, 2014, 3:01 pm

Haha wow, if anyone's interested in a table top model of some condos in Burnsville, here's your chance:
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/dak/z ... 76115.html

mattaudio
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » December 4th, 2014, 3:13 pm

It's more of a tabletop model of surface parking, with some accent condos.

EOst
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby EOst » December 4th, 2014, 3:20 pm

mattaudio wrote:It's more of a tabletop model of surface parking, with some accent condos.
Perfect for someone's Hot Wheels collection.

maxbaby
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Value Place Hotels

Postby maxbaby » December 5th, 2014, 3:35 pm


mattaudio
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » December 10th, 2014, 1:20 pm

DEED giving Federal Package Network $147,171 to move from one suburb to another.
http://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/press-rel ... 466-150418

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Anondson
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Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Anondson » December 13th, 2014, 10:40 pm

Suburban homeowners are discovering their ponds aren't natural, nor are they truly ponds. Realtors sold it as (and they paid a premium to be on) waterfront property.

The reality is those ponds are storm water infrastructure. Needing cleaning and expensive maintenance when it gets old and when storms cause erosion. Sticker shock.

http://www.startribune.com/local/north/ ... y#continue

Like the Monty Python Spanish Inquisition skit, no one expects infrastructure replacement!

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sdho
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sdho » December 14th, 2014, 10:49 am

Surprised that anyone wouldn't know the purpose of the ponds. I literally thought they were called "stormwater ponds" or "detention ponds".

I think the fairest system to have some level of public ownership, and public access -- like make it park land, with a trail encircling it, and either pay for maintenance out of general funds, or (if possible) assess all homeowners who benefit from the pond's drainage.

I don't think it's fair that just homeowners who abut the pond should have to pay, when everyone benefits from the stormwater management aspect of it.

However, my preferred option would be linear stormwater management in boulevards, like the new infiltration ditch on Gallagher Dr in Edina. This spreads out the burden and avoids wasting large tracts of land on these ponds.

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sdho
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sdho » December 14th, 2014, 2:46 pm

I retract my earlier statement. Here's the pond in question: https://www.google.com/maps/place/3385+ ... 3a90bdedf5. Only one side fronts a public street, and it seems to be screened from that side. It clearly is mainly an amenity for the homes around the lake -- I'm not even sure if you could reasonably access it without being one of the homeowners.

Although dredging should be paid by everyone (and it sounds like it is from the article), something like shoreline restoration seems to mainly benefit the homes.

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woofner
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby woofner » December 14th, 2014, 5:55 pm

The shoreline vegetation is actually an important part of their function in the water cycle. Ultimately these are an important part of public infrastructure in that they keep all of the pollutants that are essential to the classic suburban way of life (primarily lawn fertilizers and pesticides, which significantly impact water quality, but also automotive pollution) out of streams and lakes.

The part that should be up for debate is whether some of these subdivisions should be built on wetlands in the first place. Maybe instead of filling in wetlands and creating artificial ponds, which don't work as well either for the water cycle or, seemingly, for the ill-informed purchasers of the tract homes, should not be allowed.
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sdho
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sdho » December 14th, 2014, 10:08 pm

woofner wrote:The shoreline vegetation is actually an important part of their function in the water cycle. Ultimately these are an important part of public infrastructure in that they keep all of the pollutants that are essential to the classic suburban way of life (primarily lawn fertilizers and pesticides, which significantly impact water quality, but also automotive pollution) out of streams and lakes.
I still think there's a fundamental difference between ponds that serve as a public park (in addition to their stormwater management aspect) and ponds that add value only to the immediately adjacent parcels (in addition to their stormwater management aspect). Why should the public pay more for certain parcels to benefit disproportionately?

There are many kinds of assessments that serve a public good but still ask those who benefit most to pay more -- like sidewalk or street lighting assessments.

Your last point is a good one -- the easiest way to avoid this is to stop developing outward into greenfields. But these ponds are used in many places that are not natural wetlands. Even there, there's still runoff from roofs, streets, driveways, etc that has to be managed.

emcee squared
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby emcee squared » December 15th, 2014, 12:19 pm

Near where I live, the 'ponds' are just concrete tubs. It doesn't look very nice, but it gets the job done.

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.8135028 ... Z7yrvg!2e0

seanrichardryan
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby seanrichardryan » December 15th, 2014, 10:26 pm

Doran is building in Brooklyn Park at Target North:

http://finance-commerce.com/2014/12/dor ... klyn-park/
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twincitizen
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » December 19th, 2014, 8:33 am

Regarding the on-and-off conversation about tacky suburban chain restaurants (Chili's, Applebees, Ruby Tuesday, etc.) vs. local/independent non-chain places, I feel like one metric some folks have used to defend the chains is price. After having eaten at a few of them in the past year, I have to say it just doesn't hold up. The prices for entrees, apps, or beer at say, Ruby Tuesday at Southdale, are every bit as expensive as the equivalent restaurant in Uptown (Lyndale Tap, Herkimer, Bulldog, etc.). My gf got a pasta entree that was $13.50(!)...and it kinda sucked (to the surprise of no one). Who are these places fooling that they're able to stay in business? Granted, most of these chains are in the distant burbs where local options don't exist at all, because there was no locality when the strip malls and chain restaurants arrived. In places like Woodbury, Maple Grove, etc., the chains were among the first thing in town with the first big-box retail development. As far as inner burbs like Edina and SLP that are steadily adding local/indy options, as well as local "chains" like Crave and Rojo, I could see some of the really shitty chains like Ruby Tuesday going out of business.

*In our defense, it was 9pm and all the quick food joints at Southdale were closing, so we had to choose a place where we could kill an hour before our 10pm movie. Between PF Changs, BWW, Rojo, Cheesecake Factory, and Ruby Tuesday...somehow the latter won that battle. It's easily the worst of that bunch too. Blech!

xandrex
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby xandrex » December 19th, 2014, 10:11 am

^I kind of agree with that assessment, but I've found that going out to the suburban chains has usually saved me a little money, especially if I'm getting a meal and a drink. I seem to spend about $25 or so if I get a meal and a drink (after you throw in tax and tip) at an indie place (or a local chain), whereas a similar meal usually clocks in under $20 at the national chains. I'm always open to spending money locally, but I'd certainly eat out less if my bill was generally higher.

I think where the suburban chains really "win" is their food accessibility. Sometimes you want to go out to eat, but it can be hard to satisfy everyone's palate. Eating out with my family can be a chore because my dad doesn't like Mexican, while my sister isn't a fan of Chinese, and my grandma prefers fairly bland food (it's nearly impossible to get her to go anywhere except Perkins, Applebees, or Bridgeman's). You can get okay food for a variety of tastes at these places for a modest price.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » December 31st, 2014, 8:55 am

Great article on a housing redevelopment program in Columbia Heights: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/ho ... 25721.html

The article states the city's HRA spent $1MM to purchase and demolish the 17 "worst" properties in town. That sounds like a huge bargain to me. I'm guessing a few were already government-owned or let go by banks on the cheap. Every disadvantaged first-ring suburb should be committing at least $1MM annually to a similar program to eliminate the really, really bad housing stock.

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Anondson
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Anondson » December 31st, 2014, 9:09 am

I agree. It can be politically controversial if too many of the properties end up redeveloped into higher density, inspiring a political revolt that ends the program. In certain cases, such as the busiest of intersections with transit, it should be explored.

A few days ago the Strib had an article about one of Saint Louis Park's oldest homes being condemned because the 80+-year-old owner let it slide into disrepair and each fix he attempted was a half-measure, now the brick siding has slid off exposing the wood beams. A lot of outrage bubbled up because people thought the city was picking of the old guy, and because the property sat at the Louisiana Ave. and Minnetonka Blvd. intersection that the city condemned it in order to turn it over to a developer.

twincitizen
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » December 31st, 2014, 9:30 am

I read that one too, but hadn't thought of it in terms of being a redevelopment site. As to my comment on the above article, I was thinking purely of single-family lots remaining single-family. In a program such as this, it would be unlikely to acquire contiguous properties on a major street suitable for multi-unit development. Anything like that would probably have to be done with a completely separate pot of money.

People like seeing newer homes (and larger homes, to an extent) replace dilapidated properties, so you'd figure these programs would be very popular with first-ring taxpayers. This seems like the kind of thing that should be funded with assistance from the county and state though. It's extremely difficult for these smaller, lower-income burbs to come up with even $1MM annually for something like this. I wonder if that $1MM in Columbia Heights was actually spread over several years or aided by a grant from a larger government body. That'd be an enormous percentage of their budget if it were a single year expenditure and 100% local.

It'd be cool to see Hennepin County come up with like $10MM annually to be distributed via competitive grants for replacing dilapidated suburban housing. There is no shortage of terrible, dilapidated, undersized housing in the first ring. At least in Richfield (and I'd assume this goes for SLP, Hopkins, Robbinsdale, etc.), city-owned vacant lots are not held very long.


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