Post-Redistricting: Ward 6 News from our new Councilmember, Robert Lilligren

Ward 6 News from our new Councilmember, Robert Lilligren

Minneapolis Ward 6 Council Member Robert Lilligren
 April 2, 2012 

local foods

Growing Local Foods

On Friday, March 30th the Minneapolis City Council voted to take a big step forward in urban agriculture. The vote changes the city’s zoning code to allow expanded food growing in our city. The zoning code amendment approves two new land uses—for market gardens and urban farms—and sets development and design standards. Minneapolis already allows community gardens in most areas of the city and there were more than one hundred of them in place last year. This effort takes food growing to a new level for the benefit of resident health, the environment and the economic vitality of the city.
Under the new code, regulatory it is easier to use land for agriculture in Minneapolis. Urban agricultural land uses are now expanded in all zoning districts to include:

– Small market gardens, 10,000 square feet or less of growing area on the ground, on a rooftop, or inside a building. 

– A new temporary use permit was also created, allowing a farmstand to operate for up to 15 days per year to allow market and community gardeners limited to sell products right where they’re grown.

– Larger market gardens, on the ground, on a rooftop, or inside a building with the issuance of a conditional use permit required and if they’re compatible with surrounding properties.

– Urban farms, limited to industrial and general commercial zoning districts, to allow produce to be grown, processed and distributed on the same lot.

“I am very happy to vote for these zoning changes to better support urban agriculture in our city,” says Council Member Lilligren, “A good diet is beyond the reach of many of the people I represent. This action helps bring healthy organic local food to core-city residents.”

The zoning changes emerged from the <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #2189a3;”>Homegrown Minneapolis. Homegrown Minneapolis is a City and community partnership established to develop and implement strategies that will increase and improve the growing, processing, distributing, eating and composting of healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods. In 2011 the Minneapolis City Council formally adopted an <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #2189a3;”>Urban Agriculture Policy Plan to promote development and agricultural land uses can be accommodated throughout the city.
“I like the emphasis on creating a market pathway for food grown right here in Minneapolis,” stated Lilligren, “It’s about economic development and creating jobs.” There has been much interest at the local and federal levels of government to better combine scarce dollars to help build healthy communities through connections between land use, transportation, urban design and access to high quality food. “It’s smart for us to be taking these steps to align with the interest at the federal level to combine agency dollars from HUD, Ag and the Dept. of Transportation to address food deserts in U.S. cities,” states Lilligren, “Now we will be ready to take full advantage of any federal programs created to support this work.”
Councilmember Lilligren believes a healthy community is a sustainable community. He notes that many organic and local farming activities are going on in the 6th Ward, throughout the Phillips area and in other core-city neighborhoods. Robert is active in leading this environmental friendly charge and has served for years on the board of the <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #2189a3;”>Women’s Environmental Institute – an organization that promotes agricultural justice, organic and sustainable agriculture and ecological awareness; and supports activism that influences public policy and promotes social change.

Community Highlight

The <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #2189a3;”>Whittier Alliance is gearing up for its Annual Meeting to be kicked off by a social  hour and include Board Member elections, resource tables, and more! Please consider attending on Tuesday, April 3rd from 5:30-8:30pm. Swing by with your friends and neighbors to hear about <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #2189a3;”>Whittier’s accomplishments and stop by to say hi to Council Member Lilligren’s as the 6th Ward Office will be tabling during the event.

Street Sweeping

Spring comprehensive street sweeping is scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 10.  Parkway, and some downtown sweeping at night, will start earlier on March 26.  Watch for temporary no parking signs, and use the online <a href=";…” target=”_blank” style=”color: #2189a3;”>Street Sweeping Schedule Lookup.

street sweeper


Mondays with Robert

Council Member Lilligren has always believed that it’s important for people like you and me to have access to government. Robert is still committed to that value today. For that reason, Robert makes himself available to community member visits on a walk-in and appointment basis.

You can meet with Robert on the first four Mondays of the month at each of the neighborhoods he represents. Call or email Alondra at 673-2206 or to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, however – you will be asked to wait if there is a scheduled appointment.

NOTE: On City holidays office hours will be cancelled.
First Monday of the Month
Whittier Alliance, 10 E. 25th Street
9:30am – 11:30am
Second Monday of the Month
Phillips West, 2400 Park Ave.
Center for Changing Lives
9:30am – 11:30am
Third Monday of the Month
Stevens Square, 1925 Nicollet Ave.
9:30am – 11:30am
Fourth Monday of the Month
Ventura Village, 2323 11th Ave. S.
2nd Floor of Phillips Community Center
9:30am – 11:30am

Openings on the Neighborhood & Community Engagement Commission

On September 26, 2008 the City Council adopted <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #2189a3; text-decoration: none;”>Resolution 2008R-402 , creating the new Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission. Through the input and work of the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission, residents and neighborhood organizations will play a key role in enhancing and shaping how the City engages its residents.

This year, neighborhood districts 2,4,6 and 8 are up for re-election through the neighborhood election process. In addition 1 Mayoral and 3 City Council positions are up for re-appointment through the City’s appointment process. To learn more about how you can apply to become a Neighborhood & Community Engagement Commissioner please visit the<a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #2189a3; text-decoration: none;”> Neighborhood & Community Relations website.

<a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #2189a3; text-decoration: none;”>

To learn more about the 50+ City commissions and boards that the public can apply to become a part of please visit the <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #2189a3; text-decoration: none;”>City’s Boards & Commissions website.


Redistricting Done in Minneapolis

Following the U.S. Census every ten years, political districts are redrawn to ensure that there is close to equal populations living in each. This starts at the federal level with Congressional Districts (all of Minneapolis remains in the 6th Congressional District), followed by the State Senate and House Districts, and finally the City and County lines.
By referendum, Minneapolis voters chose the City’s Charter Commission to act as the <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #acbbc1;”>redistricting commission. The Charter Commission appointed a community advisory group to help them in their work, which was completed on March 27.
There are significant changes in the boundaries of the 6th Ward. The current 6th Ward is made up of the neighborhoods of Stevens Square/Loring Heights, Whittier, Ventura Village and Phillips West. The new 6th Ward retains Stevens Square (without Loring Heights), Ventura Village and Phillips West, which has been Council Member Lilligren’s home for 30 years. The new 6th Ward also includes portions of Elliot Park Neighborhood, Cedar Riverside and Seward.
Robert will continue to represent the current 6th Ward until January of 2014, following the municipal elections in the fall of 2013. The actual effective date of new political boundaries varies for different purposes. For precincts and polling places, the change will be immediate and will be in effect for the Presidential primary and general election later this year. The wards as they were configured in 2002—will remain in place and effective for general city government purposes until the next municipal election in November 2013. Thus, even though we have publicly announced a new ward plan that has redrawn the boundaries of the 13 city wards, those new ward lines don’t become “effective” until the next election.

new ward lines



NACDI electrical art box

Art in Your Neighborhood, Initial Application Deadlines April 9th and 24th

Would you like to see an intersection painting, do some art on a utility box or implement another art project that will take place on City property? Well then, you’re reading the right newsletter section! You can view the City of Minneapolis’ review schedule for community public art projects on City property <a href=";…” target=”_blank” style=”color: #acbbc1;”>here, projects are reviewed by the Public Art Advisory Panel, the Arts Commission and the Department of Public Works. Guidelines for painted or wrapped projects can be found <a href=";…” target=”_blank” style=”color: #acbbc1;”>here. If you have any questions about this public art opportunity please contact Mary Altman,  at 612-673-3006 or via email at
Photo above: The <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #acbbc1;”>Native American Community Development Institute worked with the City of Minneapolis to place culturally relevant art along the utility boxes located on the emerging <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #acbbc1;”>American Indian Cultural Corridor – thereby using art and culture as a key component of a community’s economic revitalization plan. Photo courtesy of Daniel Yang, Justin Kii Huenemann, and the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI).
Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards Project Nominations due April 6
Preserve Minneapolis, American Institute of Architects Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission invite nominations of outstanding projects for the 21st Annual Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards. The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards highlight the year’s best achievements for transforming or preserving a historic property, building, or landscape. Recognition is also given to those who submit projects that incorporate both new and old elements in a way that is respectful to the past. Submissions are judged on attention to the quality of design, architecture, workmanship, and materials as well as the positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood and community. Awards are made based on nomination materials submitted. A jury comprised of three Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commissioners, three members of American Institute of Architects Minneapolis, and three board members from Preserve Minneapolis reviews nominations. Self-nominations are encouraged. To read more about the nomination categories please visit the <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #acbbc1;”>Heritage Preservation Awards website, you can submit your electronic nominations forms <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #acbbc1;”>online here.
Spring! That means “Parks & Rec” Time
As the weather warms up everyone starts getting the itchin’ to go out for a walk to the park. 
The <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #acbbc1;”>Minneapolis Parks and Recreation website is a handy tool for you and yours to learn more about the happenings in parks near your area. Also take a look at their <a href=";” target=”_blank” style=”color: #acbbc1;”>2012 Spring Guide to learn about the recreation opportunities that the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board offers for all people to gather, celebrate, contemplate and engage in activities that promote the health, well being, community and the environment.

From the Office of City Council Vice President Robert Lilligren
350 South 5th Street, City Hall, Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415 · Ward 6 website · (612) 673-2206


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