LETTER: Vote for Smith, Duggan and Zagel in Mendota Heights

To the Editor:

 

My wife and I moved to Mendota Heights in 1957. We observed and participated in its careful, spacious and well-planned growth over the years. This careful planning kept traffic under control, and made Mendota Heights a highly desirable community in which to live, work and raise a family. Unfortunately, over the last few years a majority of our city council has abandoned attention to the careful planning that has made the city such a desirable place to live. 

In September 2017, a majority of the council voted to rezone land surrounded by twin and single-family homes to permit the construction of 140 apartment units. Dakota County Court found that council action violated a city ordinance and declared it void. Last year a court also overturned the council’s refusal to grant a variance. The council approved a 138-unit apartment complex at Highway 110 (now 62) and Dodd Road knowing that it would add significant traffic backup to an already badly congested Dodd Road, as its own traffic study shows. 

Councilman Duggan, who steadfastly opposed the rezoning, should be re-elected. Jill Smith, who formerly served on the council for eight years, and who has been a leader in our community, should be elected mayor to provide badly needed leadership, and Jonathan Zagel has the much-needed business background capabilities to replace council member Petschel, who appears to be leading the effort to increase density and its related impacts on traffic.

 

Bernard Friel

Mendota Heights

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