When he was a Minneapolis City Council member, Steve Minn was never afraid to take on the bureaucracy of the city or the perceived hypocrisy of his own colleagues. In the years since, as Minn has become a prominent developer around town, he's still fighting City Hall.
For more than six months, Minn's latest battle has been over a project called Pacific Flats, which at various times has called for condos, a hotel, or retail as high as 28 stories on what's referred to as the "Monte Carlo block"—after the downtown restaurant on Washington Avenue North. In December, the city's Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) raised several questions about the project's design and scope within the historic Warehouse District. Since then, Minn's been quietly fuming.
Or perhaps not so quietly. "After getting my chain yanked by the HPC yet again, I blew up and threw a fit," Minn says in an e-mail to Blotter, forwarding correspondence between him and Lee Sheehy, the city's director of Community Planning and Economic development. "Well, read it and laugh."
Sheehy takes issue with Minn's behavior at a preservation commission meeting last month. "We received direct and indirect reports... that you continued to speak loudly without being formally recognized by the chair, shouted an expletive and threat and kicked the door on your way out of the chambers," Sheehy wrote to Minn. "This behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable."
Minn's response: "To the charges that I: 1) Spoke loudly without formal recognition by the Acting HPC chair; 2) Shouted an expletive at staff member Jack Byers; 3) threatened court action against Mr. Byers; and 4) Hit the door of the council chambers with my hand on the way out, I plead guilty. But then again, the HPC is functioning like a Kangaroo Court anyway, so a few little antics should fit right in with the rest of HPC's 'performance.'"