The St. Paul City Council on Wednesday met in closed session to discuss the lawsuit filed against it by a drop-in center for homeless and lonely people on the East Side.
Before the council adjourned its regular meeting to meet regarding the Listening House case, Council Member Jane Prince, who represents the neighborhood, characterized the meeting as “an information-gathering session.” Neither she nor other council members would comment further.
Listening House filed suit April 3, arguing that city-imposed limits on the number of its visitors and hours of operation are illegal. Days later, First Lutheran Church, which hosts Listening House in its basement, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the city’s conditions infringe on the church’s rights to minister to the poor and homeless.
At issue in both cases are zoning regulations and conditions the St. Paul Planning Commission and City Council placed on Listening House after neighbors complained about the loud and sometimes threatening behavior of the people coming and going from Swede Hollow Park and Listening House, the church lawsuit said.