Letter: ADU task force members worked hard and deserve praise

I want to take this opportunity to thank a select few of my neighbors.

Over the past couple of years this neighborhood has had a discussion about accessory dwelling units (ADUs). This topic has occasionally been one of controversy. We still have neighbors who feel strongly about this issue and disagree.

One thing that is not in dispute is the tremendous effort that was done recently by some of our neighbors, the members of the ADU task force.

Our neighborhood task force was appointed by our local St. Paul planning district, the St. Anthony Park Community Council. Specifically, it was appointed by the members of the council’s Land Use Committee. I was on the committee and the council board of directors at the time of their appointment.

I know that the task force members met many times and sacrificed a great deal of their time in volunteering. They did this for all of us, to serve all of our interests.

The scope of their task was deliberately left vague: what is the appropriateness of ADUs in St. Anthony Park—all of St Anthony Park. The discussion of ADUs can be complex, with many variables in terms of how they can be constructed, which types of ADUs, and it involves zoning jargon I will not get into here. What I mean to say is that it was not an easy task, even if it were not controversial. They had much to consider.

But of course, it was controversial. Prior to the task force being appointed, the community council hosted a few meetings and these were well-attended and included some spirited discussions among neighbors. Even before their work began, I greatly appreciated those who applied for the task force. Some might wonder, who would be willing to do this?

Thank you to the members of our ADU task force. I appreciate you. I appreciate all the time you took to meet, to research, to hold your public meetings, taking of notes, everything. Thank you for stepping up during a time of need. Thank you also for setting a great example in your public comments, both in front of the Land Use committee while I served and at your own public meetings. You rose above controversy and showed how St. Anthony Park works together.

 

Brad Engelmann, St. Anthony Park

 

 

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