Public Hearing Update for August 18, City Council Meeting

At the July 21, 2020 City Council meeting, the Council considered a request from staff to conduct two public hearings that would enable a proposal to sell a City-owned parcel on Duggan Plaza to the Edina Housing Foundation for development of two single-family affordable homes. The public hearings were continued to Aug. 18, 2020.

The first public hearing was to vacate unnecessary City utility easements on the parcel. Staff and the City Attorney have determined this public hearing is no longer necessary. This public hearing was been withdrawn and canceled by staff.

The second public hearing was to consider selling a Duggan Plaza parcel to the Edina Housing Foundation. When the action item for this matter was included on the Council’s July 21 meeting agenda, it generated a great deal of public interest and scrutiny. Historical facts about the Duggan Plaza parcel came to light.

Specifically, on March 11, 1963, the Edina Village Council unanimously approved a Resolution for Acquisition of Tax-Forfeited Land for Park Purposes. The Duggan Plaza land was conveyed by the State of Minnesota to the Village of Edina on April 19, 1963. The conveyance of the parcel included a deed restriction that the land be used exclusively for “park purposes,” which was consistent with intent of the Village Council’s March 11 resolution purchasing it.

The Duggan Plaza parcels were originally acquired for park purposes. Residents of the neighborhood surrounding the Duggan Plaza parcels have relied on this for more than 50 years. The City’s 2008 Comprehensive Guide Plan classifies this land as “Open Space and Parks.” While the City Council has the legal authority to convert City-owned park land to a different use, doing so in this circumstance would be a break of trust and faith between the City and the neighborhood. As a result, City Manager Scott Neal has made the following recommendations to be considered at the Aug. 18 City Council meeting:

  1. Accept the staff’s request to withdraw the proposal and recommendation (Resolution 2020-71) to sell the Duggan Plaza parcel to the Edina Housing Foundation for the development of affordable housing.
  2. Cancel the proposed Aug. 18, 2020 public hearing for Resolution 2020-71.
  3. Direct staff to take the necessary actions to more formally include the Duggan Plaza parcels in the City’s land use and park regulatory systems, recognizing the status of the parcels as land reserved for public park purposes.
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