Linea Palmisano is prioritizing transit and development issues as she prepares to succeed Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges in representing the city’s affluent southwestern corner.
The Southwest Corridor light-rail project has the potential to transform the West Lake Station area to the west of Lake Calhoun — an area she represents. The intersection of several major roads makes it hard to navigate on foot: “I want to use that as an opportunity to rethink how people move around [that area]. Make it a more pedestrian-, transit-friendly place.”
Developers knocking down homes to build much larger ones with cheaper materials is a problem Hodges dealt with by spearheading ordinance changes to limit the mass and height of new homes. Palmisano said more can be done to keep neighbors informed of such projects, but she also wonders whether the ordinance needs tweaking: “People literally had tears in their eyes when they were talking about this stuff during the campaign.”
She said density will be an “ongoing conversation” in the area, where neighbors have sought restrictions on developments and building heights. She noted that she has stood up to “public bullying” of development in that neighborhood, including the initial version of the controversial Linden Corner proposal.
Meeting her new colleagues and seeing other parts of the city: “I didn’t often leave the boundaries of the 13th Ward [during the campaign], and now you get to kind of pick your head up and look around.”