One for the Little Guy

The state Supreme Court sides with a homeowner in Richfield redevelopment spat

Richfield City Manager and HRA director Steve Devich could not be reached for comment. Susan Naughton, a staff attorney with the Minnesota League of Cities who wrote a friend of the court brief in support of the HRA, thinks the ruling will hurt municipalities. "From our perspective, this new standard is very vague and subjective," Naughton says. "It seems that cities have two main options: They can either provide relocation benefits, which can dramatically increase the cost of redevelopment, or they can choose not to provide benefits and face the prospect of time-consuming and expensive litigation."

He can't go home again: Former Richfield resident Kenneth Wren
Craig Lassig
He can't go home again: Former Richfield resident Kenneth Wren

From Kenneth Wren's perspective, that's just fine. "I don't have any ill will towards Richfield," he says, "but I also really don't care for the way they went about things."

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