Residents’ Opposition Puts a Lid on Edina Pols’ Pet Project

Edina citizens finally got the city not to put a lid on it. But apparently it took the potential threat to job security that comes on November 6 to convince the Edina City Council to kill an exorbitant, unpopular development project called “the lid.”

The project’s obituary was written up in the Star Tribune.

The Edina City Council wants to make one thing clear: Construction of a proposed massive land bridge over Hwy. 100 near City Hall will not be happening anytime soon.

At a Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) meeting last week, council members agreed to stop spending money on the Grandview Green concept, which has been around for years and drawn opposition from residents who live in the area that would be affected.

“There’s been some confusion in the community about whether we’re building this in 2019 or 2020 or 2021,” Council Member Kevin Staunton said at the meeting. “I want to make it crystal clear to folks that our intent is that this be considered off in the future, not in the … next couple of years.”

Actually, most of the confusion was on the part of city council members, who pushed the project forward despite the objections of many residents. A citizen group dubbed Stop the Lid garnered nearly 2,000 signatures in opposition, fighting city hall in a web-based campaign with the message “Edina’s pursuit of density is running amok.”

Edina’s city council is so focused on serving developers, it’s beginning to fail its residents.

The council is pursuing plans to further dramatically increase our population and automobile traffic at a time when we still need to catch up with the growth that’s just occurred. During the last eight years, Edina’s population surged by nearly 7,000 residents, expanding to a level the Metropolitan Council did not expect to happen until 2040.

Opponents claim the city plowed over $l million of taxpayer funds into the plan, while city leaders insist they spent about $350,000.

Edina needs to halt any further work on Grandview Greens and focus its attention instead on serving its existing residents and businesses, and helping its schools and infrastructure catch up to the city officials already have pushed upon them.

Still you get the feeling that Mayor Jim Hovland left the door open to reconsidering his pet project somewhat sooner.

Other cities, including Rochester and St. Paul, have shown interest in building lids, Hovland said. He added that he hoped it would take 10 or 15 years, rather than 30, to build one in Edina.

“To me, that’s a pretty intriguing idea at some point in the future that maybe deserves some further exploration,” he said.

All of which makes you wonder how long it will be before the lid comes off again.