Pace of house teardowns appears to be slowing

The record-breaking pace of teardowns in Edina has slowed, according to information presented recently to the city's Planning Commission.

Edina issued 41 demolition permits from Jan. 1 through June 15. That was down 16 percent from the same period last year and down 29 percent from 2013. Currently, there are 114 residential building permits active in some stage of construction in the city. As has been the case throughout the current building boom, most of the work is concentrated in a few areas of the city.

Only "a handful" of permits have been issued south of Crosstown Hwy. 62, with most of the permits issued in the northeast part of the city, said Cindy Larson, Edina's residential redevelopment coordinator. Larson told residents that a tool kit for neighbors of construction projects is available in the "residential redevelopment" section of the city's website, www.edinamn.gov.



Historic river town moves to identify key properties

Afton is commissioning a $20,000 study to get a better handle on its most sensitive landmark properties.

The City Council and the city's Design Review/Heritage Preservation Commission are in the process of finding an expert who can carry out the historic research needed to "prepare local designation nominations for Afton historic properties."

The city is home to the iconic Afton House Inn and other ­venerable buildings.

Preservation Commission records show that the group is eyeing 13 properties in all, but is also sensitive to the hesitation some owners feel in getting what some consider a mixed blessing: an honor but also a new set of restrictions.

Officials prepared a five-page handout seeking permission from property owners to move forward.

David Peterson


Splash pad play area to debut this week

Burnsville will celebrate the opening of its new "splash pad" play area Thursday at the Burnsville Lions Playground at Cliff Fen Park, 120 E. Cliff Road.

Weather permitting, a grand opening event will begin at 6 p.m., featuring music and ice cream with a ribbon-cutting to follow.

The Burnsville Lions Club donated $70,000 to add the new play area and construction began in May. The club previously donated $50,000 in 2013 to finish construction of the former Skyland Playground.

Splash pads have little or no standing water and typically feature water buckets, nozzles and showers. Burnsville's splash pad will have more than a dozen such features covering roughly 2,000 square feet.

Stephen Montemayor


City will celebrate Disabilities Act

Minneapolis will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 23.

The event will feature speakers, awards, numerous performances, a demonstration by Canine Inspired Change and tours of the latest accessible Metro Transit buses. The city will close Fourth Street in front of City Hall for the event, which runs from noon until 3 p.m.

This event will include American Sign Language interpreters. For disability-related accommodation such as materials in an alternative format, please contact Claudia Diggs at claudia.diggs@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-3750. Attendees can also download a free ride pass from Metro Transit.

The city has started an Americans with Disabilities Act evaluation of its own programs and services to identify possible problems for residents. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is also undergoing its own Americans with Disabilities Act evaluation process.

The celebration is being organized by the City of Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, the City of Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and the Metropolitan Council.

Staff report