City Council actions

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May 24, 2004 // UPDATED 1:44 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

05/14/04 meeting

Smoking ban: Dean Zimmermann (6th Ward) introduced subject matter for an ordinance to ban smoking in all city bars and restaurants. It was referred to the Health and Human Services and Public Safety and Regulatory Services committees.

Historic Theaters: Council voted 13-0 to issue a request for proposals for a group to manage and book three city-owned Downtown theaters: the State, Orpheum and Pantages. It voted to appoint the chair of the Minneapolis Arts Commission to the Theater Study Committee.

Planetarium: Council voted 13-0 to add to the federal lobbying priorities a $4 million request for the new Planetarium and Space Discovery Center in the Veterans Administration/Housing and Urban Development 2005 budget.

Quiznos: Council voted 13-0 to approve a sidewalk caf/ license for Quiznos Sub Shop, 1122 Harmon Place.

Rainbow Rooster: Council voted 7-5 to return to committee a request for an on-sale liquor license with Sunday sales for Rainbow Rooster Diner, 501 Washington Ave. S. Don Samuels (3rd Ward), Zimmermann, Lisa Goodman (7th Ward), Gary Schiff (9th Ward) and Sandy Colvin Roy (12th Ward) voted no. Scott Benson (11th Ward) abstained. Dan Niziolek (10th Ward) said the Police Licensing division hadn't finished its review. Goodman said the owner had applied 12 weeks prior.

Trees: Council voted 13-0 to accept a $100,000 federal Environmental Protection Agency grant to plant trees Downtown to reduce heat in the urban core.

LaSalle Avenue: Council voted 13-0 to sell bonds and levy special assessments for the LaSalle Avenue reconstruction from West Grant Street to Franklin Avenue.

Security Lofts: Council voted 13-0 to rezone 404 Washington Ave. N. and 201 5th Ave. N., to permit development of Security Warehouse Lofts, a mixed-use planned unit development with 215 units. The zoning changed from I2 (industrial) to C3A (community activity center).

Livable wage: Council voted 6-7 against a livable wage ordinance, which would have set the city's minimum hourly wage at $14.28, or $29,700 a year -- enough so 30 percent of income could cover $743 monthly rent for an average one-bedroom apartment. Paul Zerby (2nd Ward) said it would have affected 72 employees and cost the city roughly $347,000-$433,000. Zerby, Samuels, Natalie Johnson Lee (5th Ward), Zimmermann, Robert Lilligren (8th Ward) and Schiff voted yes.

Sweatshop: Zerby introduced a resolution requiring that the city purchase or rent apparel only from "responsible manufacturers and factories," complying with wage and benefit laws, workplace health and safety regulations, and other issues. (It apparently would apply to the Convention Center.) In a rare display of Council rancor so early in the process, members nearly defeated the introduction, 7-5. Paul Ostrom (1st Ward), Barb Johnson (4th Ward), Goodman, Colvin Roy and Barret Lane (13th Ward) voted no. Niziolek was not present.

Nuisance properties: Council voted 13-0 to increase the amount the city may spend to fix up vacant hazardous and nuisance buildings, to preserve existing housing stock. The amount was capped at the cost of demolition (approximately $10,000). It is increased to 50 percent of the after-rehabilitation market value of the property. The city assesses the cost against the property.

Vacant buildings: Council voted 13-0 to fund the demolition of vacant and boarded buildings, dropping a prior requirement of Neighborhood Revitalization Program matching money.

Public health: Council voted 12-1 to accept a report from the Blue Ribbon Panel on Public Health which recommends Minneapolis and Hennepin County not merge their public health departments, but work together on an urban health agenda. Lane voted no.