Downtown Minneapolis Residents Association - Board Meeting

Riverwalk Apartments -- August 15, 1995 -- 7:00 to 9:10 p.m.

Called to Order: 7:00 p.m. by GR


1. Secretary's Report

a. Roll Call:

i. Present: George Rosenquist (GR), Donald Hicks (DH), Andy Hauer (AH), Dolores Cotten (DC), Eunice Roo (ER), Mike Olson (MO).

ii. Excused: Paul Barber (PB)

iii. Absent: Marsha McKinnie Davis (MKD).

iv. Guests: John Lavine, Itasca Condominiums; Kim Gibson, Resident Manager, RiverWalk; Frank Brust, Downtown Council; Geri and Glen Nelson; Sharon Olson; Council Member Pat Scott; Denise Tolbert, Mayor Sayles Belton's Office; Julia Paulson, City Planning Department, Sally Westby, DMRA office partner.

b. Minutes from the July 18, 1995 Board of Directors meeting were approved with no changes.

2. Treasurer s Report (AH)

No significant changes since last month. Approximately $3,660 in the bank.

Old Business

1. 501(c)(3) Incorporation for DMRA

The paperwork has been submitted. DMRA should hear back in about six months as to whether or not 501(c)(3) status has been granted.

2. PRO-Neighborhoods Grant Proposal

GR and AH met with Ron Hicks from the PRO Neighborhoods grant office but have not heard yet if DMRA has received the grant. A decision will likely be made in September. DMRA's proposal is for crime and safety assistance.

3. General Membership Meeting Follow-up

A DMRA General Meeting was held on August 10 with Police Chief Robert Olson as featured speaker. About 30-35 people attend, fewer than hoped for but still a good meeting.

There are now about 46 new DMRA members. Most were called to attend the General Meeting although few did.

4. Distribution of DMRA Booklets

DH reported that the management at LaSalle decided not to distribute the booklets because it contained advertising for other properties.

Kim indicated that she could use more booklets at RiverWalk. She gives them to prospective as well as current tenants.

New Business:

1. Annual Meeting

All Board members except Don Hicks will be up for re-election. John Lavine suggested that a nominating committee be appointed to find candidates for nomination in advance of the annual meeting. There was general agreement with this suggestion and the following individuals indicated they would serve on the committee: Hauer, Cotten, Hicks, and Roo.

The League of Women Voters will be asked to supervise the election as they have in past years.

Don Hicks MOVED that certificates of appreciation be given to board members who retire. The motion was SECONDED and CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

2. Ribfest

Discussion was tabled since PB was not present.

3. Safety Concerns

Lavine mentioned a recent mugging near the Itasca and a number of car break-ins. A general discussion of crime and safety issues followed. No action was taken.

4. Proposal to Restrict Firearms Dealers in Minneapolis

Julia Paulson of the Minneapolis Planning Department presented information regarding the proposed city ordinance to restrict firearms dealers to the B3C and B4C zoning districts. The change would mean that federally licensed firearms dealers could not sell weapons in residential areas and would have to move to certain business zones many of which are located downtown. Most of the Warehouse District and downtown east (near the Metrodome) would be affected. The retail core of downtown would not be affected. Gun dealers can locate downtown now under current law although few have. There are currently 125 federally licensed gun dealers in the city. They are scattered throughout the city and many are collectors who sell a few guns a year from their homes. A few are large commercial operations including Hy's Loan Office and K-Mart.

Proponents of the ordinance believe it gives the city more control over firearms. They contend that many small dealers will simply go out of business rather than looking for commercial locations.

Opponents (including those at the DMRA meeting) contend the ordinance is unnecessary (sale of guns from residences is not a major problem in the city) and that restricting sales to certain B3 and B4 zones would place an unfair burden on downtown residential communities. Sharon and Mike Olson spoke strongly against the ordinance since they believe it could exacerbate the image of downtown as unsafe. John Lavine noted that the ordinance might set a precedent in favor of restricting certain types of businesses. If gun dealers can be restricted, one could argue as that sex oriented businesses can be restricted as well.

Pat Scott thanked DMRA for its comments at the recent Planning Commission hearing (DMRA spoke in opposition to the ordinance). She does not think the ordinance will have a major impact on the overall crime problem in Minneapolis.

It was MOVED by GR and SECONDED that DMRA adopt the following position regarding the proposed ordinance:

DMRA is concerned with the proposed concentration of federally licensed firearms dealers in Minneapolis and requests that the Planning Commission and City not restrict dealers to the B4C and B3C zones. However, if federally licensed firearms dealers are to be restricted to these zones, at the very least, they should not be allowed within 500 feet of residential property regardless that property's underlying zoning.


GR reiterated for all present that DMRA's position regarding the firearms ordinance is support for the status quo. As a fall back, DMRA requests at the very least that gun dealers not be allowed to locate within 500 feet of property in which there are residential uses.

The issue will be discussed again before the Planning Commission on September 13. (Copies of the ordinance are available from the DMRA office partners at 373-2011.)

5. Miscellaneous

The City of Minneapolis is revising its comprehensive plan and invites all interested citizens to a kick-off meeting on Saturday, September 16 from 9 - 12 at the Humphrey Center at the University (flier enclosed).

Adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted

Sally Westby for Paul Barber, Secretary