Loading-zone legislation could hamper

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March 12, 2002 // UPDATED 1:16 pm - April 30, 2007
By: Brent Killackey
Brent Killackey

Asuburban state lawmaker introduced

legislation Feb. 28 that

would dramatically alter a cityapproved

affordable housing project

in south Minneapolis - but could

also greatly restrict Downtown loading

zones.

Rep. Tom Workman (R-Chanhassen)

amended what legislative staff called

a \"Mn/DOT housekeeping bill\" with a

not-so-routine provision eliminating

city and county authority to grant

variances for loading zones on stateaid

roads. Workman admits he was

concerned about the so-called Boulevard

project at 53rd Street & Lyndale

Avenue. City officials granted a loading-

zone variance to allow more

housing units in the project.

However, all of Downtown\'s roads --

with the exception of 12th Avenue

and Nicollet Mall - are also state-aid

roads. City officials say Workman\'s

bill would prevent the

city from creating

future loading zones,

forcing developers and

local officials to go to

the state legislature for

permission.

Rep. Scott Dibble

(DFL-Minneapolis),

who voted against the

amendment in the

House Transportation

Policy Committee, said he feared

there could be implications for future

courier loading zones Downtown.

\"[Rep. Workman] wasn\'t able to

respond to my inquiries

about what this means

for central business districts,

where you necessarily

have loading

zones,\" Dibble said.

Councilmemmber Barret

Lane (Independent-13th

Ward) said of Workman\'s

amendment, \"Whether

this is focused at the

Boulevard or not, this is

a serious incursion into municipal

authority to regulate land-use planning

within its borders. You wouldn\'t

find this generally attached onto a

housekeeping bill for Mn/DOT.\"

Workman, who runs a solid-waste

hauling firm, said his amendment is

aimed at preventing unsafe placement

of loading zones. \"Because of

the way people build buildings, my

employees and everybody else\'s

employees have to sit in the

middle of busy highways

doing, in my case, solid waste

removal,\" Workman said.

\"County state-aid highways

are not loading zones.\"

The representative said he did

not yet have a Senate sponsor

for the amendment. However,

as chairman of a committee,

Workman would have more

power to put the amendment

in the House-Senate \"conference

reports,\" large multi-issue bills that

receive up-or-down votes at the end

of a legislative session.

Workman\'s legislation created

intrigue at the March 1

city council meeting, where

Mayor R.T. Rybak accused

a lobbyist who led opposition

to the Boulevard project

of trying to defeat it by

pushing for the amendment.

Rybak singled out Mary

Ann Campo - who owns

property next to the Boulevard

- with a throat-clearing

maneuver: \"Those of us with

influence over some of the lobbyists

who snuck this in, who should

remain nameless -- [Rybak coughs

dramatically] Maryann Campo -

should do everything we can to make

sure that we don\'t have people

sneaking in amendments at the Legislature

to try and slow some very

tough work.\"

Campo, a south Minneapolis resident

and former Republican legislative

candidate, declined to comment on

any \"gossip\" of her involvement. \"I

have no comment, it\'s Mr. Workman\'s

amendment,\" she said.

Regarding the mayor\'s comments,

Campo said: \"The mayor should be

more careful before engaging in comments

like that -- you should get

them verified.\"

Workman said Campo had spoken to

him about the amendment.

- B r e n t K i l l a c k e y