To the editor:

Recently, the City Council gave the preliminary OK to build four buildings on the present Southdale U.S. Bank site, one of which is 24 stories tall. This far exceeds the building code along with two of the other ones exceeding the code as well. To get around these seemingly meaningless restrictions, the city frequently invokes the Planned Unit Development code (PUD) to zone a property all onto its own. As a result, we have increasingly greater density and heights in the Southdale area. Consultants carry the day with their imprimatur over what residents see as desirable.

The City Council does insufficient public involvement on this as evidenced by the virtual meetings with the few participating public having to wait as much as two hours before they can be given their three minutes to speak. The Southdale area is a major area in this city, and it ought to be treated that way. All the residents should be surveyed on how they would want Southdale to be changed. Better yet: We could use a city-wide referendum on this whole subject so the city cannot guess what people find acceptable. We need major input all across Edina to see if we have too many apartment buildings, tall structures, and a lack of openness where we need it the most.

All Edina residents need to make their voices heard on this major subject. Representation implies doing the will of the people.

Gene Persha

Edina

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