Golden Valley

City adopts tenant protection policy

The Golden Valley City Council last week approved new rules for landlords who take over low-income housing complexes.

The policy, modeled after one adopted this year by St. Louis Park, requires new owners of affordable multifamily buildings to notify tenants about ownership changes within 30 days of a transfer.

The landlord also will have to pay relocation fees for tenants displaced by any changes made within the first three months of ownership.

Owners who don’t follow the policy could be cited and required to pay a penalty that would go toward the displaced tenants.

“I wouldn’t call it the solution, but it’s a step in the right direction,” Mayor Shep Harris said.

Miguel Otárola

STILLWATER

Hovland named to fill school board vacancy

The Stillwater Area School Board has appointed Donald Hovland to fill a seat on the board vacated when Tom Lehmann was named a district judge.

Hovland was principal of Stillwater Junior High School (now Stillwater Middle School) and served as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas.

After Lehmann’s resignation in June, the board reviewed applicants for the position and then voted for Hovland. He will take his seat on the board at the Aug. 23 meeting and fill out the remaining four months of Lehmann’s term. However, Hovland can run for a full term this fall.

mara klecker

Brooklyn Park

Council set to OK snow emergencies

The City Council will vote Monday on an ordinance change that would allow officials to declare a snow emergency when the city receives at least 2 inches of snow.

The council on July 9 unanimously approved the first reading of the proposal, which would allow the city to ticket and tow cars left on unplowed streets.

For the past year, city leaders have debated changes to existing on-street parking rules, which ban parking on public streets between 2 and 5 a.m. from Oct. 15 to April 15 to allow for snow removal. They’ve considered shortening the ban by a month, extending it to year-round or keeping it as is.

Staffers plan to bring the ordinance back to the council next spring to discuss feedback on the change.

Hannah Covington

Mendota Heights

Judge dismisses suit, clears way for project

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Mendota Heights by residents opposed to a controversial 140-unit apartment project, allowing the project backed by city officials to proceed.

The resident group alleged that city officials had violated several ordinances in approving the project, including amending its comprehensive plan for an improper purpose, wrongly issuing a wetlands permit and rezoning the property.

Judge M. Michael Baxter found that the city had, in fact, violated several ordinances initially. But city staffers made modifications to the project over the past six months that corrected those violations.

Plaintiff Bernie Friel said his group “won the battle but lost the war” with the case. Friel said that plaintiffs are planning to appeal.

Erin Adler