Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

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Re: Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

Postby seanrichardryan » April 7th, 2021, 7:53 pm

The city council denied the appeal on a 4-3 vote, and will likely get sued. Rightly so.
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Re: Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

Postby 55104er » April 7th, 2021, 8:08 pm

I certainly hope they get sued, and lose. They deserve to. Zero leadership from the City Council to stand up to misguided opposition.

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Re: Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

Postby bubzki2 » April 9th, 2021, 9:55 am

Alatus hasn't had luck with NIMBY opposition, have they? Here the city leadership really messed up and flagrantly flouted the law to make a grand stand of sorts.

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Re: Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

Postby twincitizen » April 9th, 2021, 10:05 am

I'm sure they could sue the city for wrongful denial of a conforming site plan and likely win, but do you think they are likely to do that and go ahead with making a very costly investment in a project that the neighborhood is extremely hostile to, and the city council has rejected? AFAIK, Alatus tends to hold their projects for longer-term ownership (rather than being a merchant developer that builds for someone else or quickly sells after completion like North Bay & Reuter Walton tend to do), so that makes them less likely to proceed. It's clear that they could sue to have the city council decision overturned, but I'm not sure they could do something like instead sue for financial damages. They're almost certainly $100k deep into this thing at this point.

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Re: Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

Postby minntransplant » April 9th, 2021, 10:41 am

I'm sure they could sue the city for wrongful denial of a conforming site plan and likely win, but do you think they are likely to do that and go ahead with making a very costly investment in a project that the neighborhood is extremely hostile to, and the city council has rejected? AFAIK, Alatus tends to hold their projects for longer-term ownership (rather than being a merchant developer that builds for someone else or quickly sells after completion like North Bay & Reuter Walton tend to do), so that makes them less likely to proceed. It's clear that they could sue to have the city council decision overturned, but I'm not sure they could do something like instead sue for financial damages. They're almost certainly $100k deep into this thing at this point.
If I were them, I'd absolutely sue. They are probably out a lot more than $100k at this point (multiples of that). This would be a relatively straightforward lawsuit (as far as lawsuits go), and would be well worth the cost/risk of losing. As far as I can tell, the city is relying on comp plan language, which seems painfully vague. That's probably why the city attorney said there isn't a great legal basis to deny the site plan.

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Re: Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

Postby twincitizen » April 9th, 2021, 10:54 am

I'm almost wondering if one of the "no" votes (Mitra, most likely) will bring a motion to reconsider (or whatever you'd call that) at the next meeting, after the Council gets an earful from constituents and advice from the city attorney. They could save face on their change of heart by getting Alatus to agree to one more small concession towards affordability, whatever that may be.

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Re: Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

Postby bubzki2 » April 9th, 2021, 1:33 pm

^ I could see this, actually. I still think the main reason this was denied (obviously in bad faith) was to draw attention to the real issue of housing costs. Changing the game mid-process was just wrong. Reconsidering if legally possible is actually a bit of a win-win here.

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Re: Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

Postby seanrichardryan » April 9th, 2021, 2:19 pm

They got advice from the city attorney already, and ignored it to make a stand on policy that is in their control, that they have not acted on. Alatus is not 100k in, more like 500k-1m into the project. There is no negotiating with this the 'community opposition' since they've already set their demands outside of financial feasibility.
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Re: Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

Postby Silophant » April 14th, 2021, 6:44 pm

Mayor Carter announced that he will be vetoing the Council decision.

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Re: Alatus Development - 411-417 Lexington Pkwy (MNDOT Snowpile site)

Postby alexschief » April 15th, 2021, 7:13 am

If you're like me and confused about how the Mayor could have the power to veto a denial of a denial of an appeal, the answer is that Minnesota law forces cities to approve or reject projects within 60 days of formal submittal, or else they are automatically approved. What the Mayor is doing here is returning the City Council's decision, and unless they muster five votes to deny it without his signature, then the project is automatically approved on April 17th because the 60 days are up.


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