Northeast residents sue to ban waste facility

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 30, 2011 - 7:55 PM

City-county center would accept household and construction waste. Opponents challenge its zoning.

Residents of a northeast Minneapolis neighborhood have gone to court to fight a proposed city-county trash collection facility.

The city and county want to create a dropoff center for residents to dispose of household chemicals, construction waste and other items not collected in regular trash pickup. The $14 million facility would be built on city-owned land at 340 27th Av. NE.

But some residents don't want the facility near their homes, saying it will bring too many trucks through the neighborhood.

Nineteen residents of the Holland neighborhood are asking a Hennepin County district judge to declare that the facility violates city zoning and to stop the project. The crux of the dispute is whether such a facility can operate in a medium-industrial zoning district, as the city proposes, or needs the highest-intensity industrial zoning.

The city now collects bulky trash at its aging South Transfer Station at 2850 20th Av. S. To dispose of hazardous items such as motor oil and paint, residents must bring them to county facilities in Bloomington and Brooklyn Center or wait for collection events at temporary locations in the city.

Zoning Administrator Steve Poor earlier determined that the site's medium-industrial zoning is sufficient. An appeal by residents has been rejected by a city appeals board and by the City Council.

City Attorney Susan Segal said the city will move to dismiss the lawsuit because no application is yet pending for the facility with the city.

Officials hoped to break ground for the facility in the spring, but planning has slowed because of the departure of solid waste director Susan Young. The city and county would divide the cost.

This is the third location that solid waste officials have proposed for a facility they have been seeking for years. One site was dropped because of the price and another was taken off the market. Those proposals also provoked resident opposition.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

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