Who Pays for Parking has Minneapolis and Edina Debating

Updated: 02/01/2014 7:14 AM
Created: 01/31/2014 9:12 PM
By: Brandi Powell

Two local cities are having a big debate over fairness. The issue: Parking. It’s happening at 50th and France, along the border of Minneapolis and Edina.

People living nearby the popular Red Cow restaurant want the city to put in permit-only parking near their homes. Red Cow’s owner sued the City of Minneapolis over the matter. Neither city wants the short end of the stick.

So many shops; so many restaurants; so close together – yet, along the border of two different cities. Along France Avenue near 50th Street, businesses are either located in Minneapolis, or Edina, depending on which side of the street you are on.

It’s an area perhaps too successful; too many shoppers, without enough places to park.

“One of the concerns that's been raised by many of the businesses is why are we paying for the ramps when everyone gets to enjoy them, but only half of us have to pay for that," Bill Neuendorf said. He’s the Economic Development Manager for the City of Edina.

Edina’s Economic Development manager says people who shop and dine on the Minneapolis side of France Avenue are using parking ramps, paid for by businesses on the Edina side.

A Minneapolis City Councilmember disagrees. “I think it's an overstatement,” Linea Palmisano said.

For example, she says the Minneapolis restaurant, Red Cow, which many say sparked the debate, does not have a flood of patrons parking in an Edina ramp.

“I don't think that the majority of folks that go to Minneapolis businesses are parking there,” Palmisano said. “I say that from my own experience, I say that from a lot anecdotal evidence, I say that from living on this street for the last 15 years."

But Edina City Leaders say independent research shows otherwise.

The City Manager says it’s not fair, in his blog. They want to change laws so they can get a fair-share percentage from those Minneapolis businesses.

“There's no state law that would allow two cities to work together to create a shared district," Neuendorf said.

Both sides agree sharing is a good idea, but just how, is still up for debate.

There will be a public hearing about the issue, in February when Edina City leaders plan to outline the specifics of their proposal to create a shared district. Minneapolis city leaders and business owners are currently talking about creating a special-service-district of their own neat 50th and France. 

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