LETTER: Support Arden Hills

To the Editor:


Last week the St. Paul City Council voted 6-1 to move forward with the redevelopment plan for the Ford Plant site in Highland Park where I own a UPS Store. The city, neighborhood residents and developer worked well in cooperation throughout the process, and development will likely begin within two years. I applaud their efforts and believe the development will be advantageous for everyone in the community.

In contrast, the promising Rice Creek Commons project previously slated to begin this year is moving backwards. Ramsey County and the City of Arden Hills had established a master agreement of 1,460 housing units for the property with input from neighbors and concerned citizens, as well as traffic and neighborhood development planners.

Unfortunately, Ramsey County commissioners today are demanding 2,500 housing units. Whereas contract conflicts are anticipated in private transactions, we expect our government entities to work together for the common good of our community. The new demand by a large entity like Ramsey County upon a relatively small suburban city is not appropriate, particularly since a mutually agreed upon housing density was already established with citizen approval.

A few years ago, the state Legislature enacted anti-bullying laws to protect our students and schools. Yet the actions of our county commissioners infer that bullying of a smaller municipality is entirely acceptable. I encourage citizens in our north suburban community to support the city and residents of Arden Hills in their commitment to develop Rice Creek Commons per the original agreement with Ramsey County.


Randy Jessup


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