Duluth Monitor on the London East Townhomes

Regularly, I am ecstatic to live in a city whose politics so smoothly reflects my values. And regularly, the Duluth Monitor reveals that, when it comes to its regulatory authority over developers utilizing the limited resources of space and property, my city lets me down, always choosing to side with people with money.


Tony D.

about 1 year ago

David, could it possibly have anything to do with the fact that the Duluth DFL campaign finance manager is also the attorney for the majority of developers working in Duluth? In other words, the man who helps finance the campaigns of DFL candidates is the same man who stands in front of the them in City Council meetings and argues that they should vote to give his clients what they want.

David Beard

about 1 year ago

Wow. In this story, the council is almost entirely bypassed by bureaucratic and administrative decisions, but that's an impossible to avoid subtext.


about 1 year ago

My kids and I call them the "dragon face condos"... it's hard to unsee it once you get it.


about 1 year ago

This sounds very typical Duluth. Wasn't Bacon Point built too close the lake and too tall as well?


about 1 year ago

"Bacon Point" haha. Yes, it was built closer to the lake than it was supposed to be. Not sure about the height but I wouldn't doubt it. "Whoops." That was a great little beach to hang out on. If you'll excuse me, I need to go build an elevator penthouse on my abode. Sounds nice.


about 1 year ago

...and yet there are still people out there who think it's the developers who are suffering.

Imagine being a simp for these poor developers as they line their pockets and pay their taxes to Esko


about 1 year ago

Thanks John Ramos. This is consistent with my own experience of dealing with the city's sustainability officer, public information specialist, administrative information specialist and deputy director of planning and development two years ago when I suggested that city planners routinely contravened governing principles 7, 10 and 12 of the 2006 comprehensive plan and subsequent Imagine 2035 plan adopted in 2018 re: adoption of replatted residential subdivisions that deviate from the street grid, the vacation of paper streets, alleys, utilities rights of way and so on. See the PDD post "Save the Street Grid" from 2021.  

I don't know how someone with a utility operations background becomes the director of Duluth city planning nor do I understand how one so inflexible and unimaginative holds the post of deputy director. Yet, Chris Fleege and Adam Fulton are at the helm and it's no wonder a commenter in the Duluth Monitor described it as the "permitting department" which just about says it all.

Planners need to be visionaries of the public realm in as much as pragmatists. The wrong people are running the show.

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