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Continued: State's first city teardown enforcer makes her mark in Edina

  • Article by: MARY JANE SMETANKA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 20, 2013 - 9:59 PM

She sees herself not as an advocate for residents or builders, but as a city representative who enforces the rules.

“I feel I can stay level-headed and figure out the issue,” she said. “I was told one reason I got the job was because I am personable and nonjudgmental. I will stay neutral and get a resolution.”

Larson usually begins her days at City Hall, listening to voice mails, reading e-mails and searching city code for answers. She works closely with other departments, using their expertise to check allegations of erosion or excessive noise. Sometime during the day, she drives around, checking construction sites.

The vehemence of some of the complaints she’s gotten has surprised her, Larson said. She always asks if residents have talked with the construction crew, and then goes to investigate herself.

“It’s tough,” she said. “Many of the calls are from people who are home during the day and hear the nail guns and the saws and see the dust.”

But other calls are friendly. Sometimes people just need to vent, she said, and they tell her they appreciate that she is there to listen.

“I really want to help people who are upset, unsure or just confused,” Larson said.

Mary Jane Smetanka • 612-673-7380 • @smetan

  • related content

  • As part of her new duties, Cindy Larson checks out construction sites where new homes are being built after old homes have been torn down.

  • Larson recently was at a construction site to confer with Scott Busyn, right, a builder, and Will Hendrickson, a project management intern.

  • Cindy Larson has a long title — residential redevelopment coordinator for the city of Edina — in other words: the city’s teardown enforcer. Larson is a mediator between home builders and neighbors. “My job is part construction, part counselor,” she said.

  • Larson recently spoke to Scott Busyn, owner of Great Neighborhood Homes, at a new home construction site in Edina.

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