DeLaSalle Stadium plan encounters triumphs, snafus

City Council grants appeal, with conditions, of Planning Commission denials

The City Council reversed a previous decision by the City Planning Commission, when it voted Aug. 17 to approve a permit allowing DeLaSalle High School to build a new outdoor athletic stadium.

The City Planning Commission had rejected a conditional-use permit that would have approved the installation of an athletic field, the vacation of Grove Street on Nicollet Island and the construction of light fixtures more than 35 feet tall. DeLaSalle later appealed that decision.

Two Bridgeland representatives — Ward 2 Council Member Cam Gordon and Ward 3 Council Member Diane Hofstede — were among the three council members to vote against endorsing the permits.

Ten other council members voted to approve the applications submitted by the school, albeit with certain conditions.

Under the conditions, lighting for the stadium could only be used for a maximum of 43 evening events per year, with all lights having to be turned off by 10:15 p.m.; the public path around the field could not be gated and would need to be made of a consistent material throughout (except for the area previously occupied by the Grove Street right of way); a landscape “buffer” between the path and the building — of at least five feet — would have to be provided; and signage at entrances and exits to the path would need to explain the public nature of the path.

The City Council’s approval of the project is still contingent on the outcome of a Sept. 18 legal hearing that would decide whether historic parkland can even be used for the project.

To further complicate the situation, the Metropolitan Council threw out a proposal on Aug. 22 by the Minneapolis Park Board for a land swap involving some of the land DeLaSalle wanted for the stadium, according to a press release from Friends of the Riverfront.

last revised: September 7, 2007