Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kevin M. & Valerie Holler 4111 Washburn Ave N Minneapolis Mn 55412, Lone Property Holdouts Who Sank A New Library For North Minneapolis, Refused To Sell Their Crappy Little Rental House At 1423 45th Ave. N.

Photo, blog post by John Hoff

Patch Dot Com reported the much hoped for, much anticipated new Webber Park Library has been removed from the 2013 Hennepin County budget. Instead, improvements will be made to the old library.

Patch Dot Com said, "The action was taken because efforts to assemble properties for the site of the new library – in particular, a parcel at 1423 45th Ave. N. – were unsuccessful. Acquisition of that site was considered essential."

Of course, Patch Dot Com didn't take things to the next level and name the names of the progress-destroying, neighborhood-screwing lone hold outs.

Well, this ain't Patch Dot Com.

There will be bloggy hell to pay...

Here's what I'm hearing on the "North Talk" Facebook forum, the "I Am North Minneapolis" Facebook forum and behind the scenes, in exchanges of messages from a source who has been involved and following the issue closely.

Kevin and Valerie Holder, who according to city property records reside at 4111 Washburn Ave. N., own the rental property at 1423 45th Ave. N. The house, I am told, "needs work" and isn't very impressive, but it happens to be the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle to build a new library the way the county wants it built. Oh, sure, there's talk of finding a way to get around the "property hold out" problem. I suppose you could build a library shaped like a big lumberjack boot if somebody sat their ass down in its proposed path and said, "I shall not be moved," but who wants to live in a giant piece of footwear like the old woman in the English nursery rhyme?

A library is a 100 year investment in the community, so you better do it right. Hennepin County wasn't going to twist the plan into a pretzel around the lone holdouts. However, word is Hennepin County was unwilling to use eminent domain to get the property, even though "crappy rental property holdout stands in way of new library for a working class neighborhood" is probably one of the best, most justified uses of eminent domain you're likely to find.

Here's what I'm being told by my "involved in the issue" source:

I called (Mike) Opat's office and was told they recently had a mediator from the neighborhood who is a lawyer try to mediate the issue. The owners won't negotiate. The county probably wants to wrap it up as the owners do not show any signs of being reasonable.

In our Victory FB group someone said they were offered WELL over the market price (up to a million!). Okay that sounds like a lot. But it's strange that they had it for sale until the county wanted to buy it don't you think? It seems as though the owners don't mind sitting on it, because they're convinced the country is going to fork over a huge amount of money for it.

The place is not that great and looks like it needs a lot of work. They probably thought their ship had come in and now they probably screwed themselves. And the whole neighborhood too.

(Minor spelling and grammar edits by Johnny Northside)

In a discussion on the Victory Neighborhood FB page, one commenter wrote:

The lone house remaining on the block is the problem. It was for sale before Hennepin County wanted it, then they decided it wasn't for sale.

In defense of the owners of the property, another commenter wrote:

I actually know the owners of the house and they are moving there soon. In addition there is a business on the property as well. None of this matters since there is plenty of room to build a library on that site without using the space occupied by the house.

To this I respond:

Really? There's a business at that property? Because I looked on the city's property website, and it only lists an expired business license from 1995. In regard to the owners of the house moving there soon, well, don't be surprised if all the neighbors have frowny faces that seem to say, "Oh, you're the greedy dirtbags who screwed our neighborhood out of a new library."

My source summed it up well, as follows:

  • it's all about the money for the owners. Can you imagine moving into that space now. They're new neighbors will hate them too!
  • They are master bullsh****rs but people are too kind to notice around here.

To which I respond: I beg to differ. Believe me, there is no milk of human kindness in this blog post in response to this news, only the pissy smelling vinegar of scorn, scorn, scorn.

Kevin M. & Valerie Holler, I scorn thee. Consider yourselves scorned. 


Anonymous said...

Do you have a link to that other commentary? Usually, fair use and courtesy suggest if you quote, you link, so people can weigh something in context. Also, a link gives readers a chance to weigh the credibility of the other commentator. It could be Don Allen, it could be anybody. You leave us all guessing.

Johnny Northside! said...

Normally, I would provide a link to the commentaries in question, but when it's a Facebook conversation the links only seem to work for those who use Facebook (not everybody) and sometimes even those who are participating in the particular FB group.

I did name the particular FB forums, so if you would like to go there and check out the conversation, you can. Also, do you really think I'd quote Don Allen anonymously rather than quoting him by name and saying, "Well, it's Don Allen, so take it for what it's worth, probably nothing"?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what your problem is with these people.
Just like you have the right to free speech, these people have the right to not sell their land. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that cities cannot use imminent domain to take land in every situation. In this case they cannot take the Holler's land. The Holler's have every right to establish a price for their land based on future use.
The facts show that Hennepin County did some pretty poor planning in this case by acquiring the surrounding property before being able to buy the Holler's tract.
Just as you push the limits of the first amendment, these people pushed their right to sell their property at their asking price.
You are both acting like a couple of bullies, under the guise of constitutional protections.
So now you are going to maliciously persecute them for exercising their rights.
This is the epitome of irony.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Here is a direct link to the North Talk Facebook Page. The page itself is an open page, so it should be visible to anyone who is logged on to Facebook, whether you are a member of the group or not. Direct links to specific conversation threads are possible on Facebook, but sometimes difficult to create.

Johnny Northside! said...

To the Anonymous commenter at 12:55 PM.

You said:

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that cities cannot use imminent domain to take land in every situation. In this case they cannot take the Holler's land.

I say: That's your brain dead legal analysis? There's a law that says it can't be done in every situation, and therefore that's the situation here?

The fact the county didn't pursue eminent domain DOES NOT mean that law was in play. Many think it was simply politics.

And, by the way, there's no apostrophe needed on "Hollers" when you're using it as a plural, not a possessive. In ignorant fashion, you just slapped it on both.

But as far as the Hollers (take note) "acting like bullies" and you say I'm doing the same thing, well, I wouldn't even agree with HALF your statement. How are they being "bullies?" No, they're just being obstructionist butt heads, bad neighbors, and engaging in the mortal sin of greed. For that, they deserve SCORN.

If I lived near their house, I would put a sign on my lawn with the word SCORN facing toward their house. As it is, here's my little sign:


Anonymous said...

Typical response for JNS insult people you don't agree with.
Maybe JNS should do some research on the issue before his starts his attacks.
Where did you find the fact that they wanted 1 million dollars for their property?
Read a few things;articles AND comments:

Reads to me like the Hennepin County is as much to blame as the Hollers.

Johnny Northside! said...

May your shoelaces break,
May you burn your steak,
And where you go, every place,
Neighbors turn a frowny face!

Scorn heaped up high,
To a brooding sky,
Your deeds you will mourn,
For now you face SCORN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There. I not only scorn thee, I CURSE THEE.

Johnny Northside! said...

To the commenter who posted all the links:

First, please show me where in the article it says they wanted a million dollars? Go ahead. Point to that place. Quote it.

YES, I saw info they wanted a million dollars. But as I went, I also saw info disputing that fact. I also saw a comment that said "truth lies in the middle."

In the end, I decided not to put the "million dollars" info in this blog article simply because there is info cutting both ways about whether that was either offered or turned down.

As much scorn as I heaped upon them, I didn't want to end up saying they'd asked for or turned down A MILLION DOLLARS.

You know why? Because that information can't be firmly nailed down. If I was writing this article in a more straight up way, without using it as a scorning mechanism, I'd probably go ahead and say "This guy says it was a million dollars. This one says no way, it wasn't. This person says truth probably lies in the middle, and I tend to agree."

But because I AM using this article as a scorning mechanism, I only wanted info I can FIRMLY NAIL DOWN. I'm not going to SCORN these two dunderheads on the basis of "One person says this, but another says that."

None of the links you've provided (helpful and informative though they may be) firmly nail down the rumor of A MILLION DOLLARS.

As long as we're on the topic of the "Makes Me Wanna Hollers."

Their "sudden move" into that house doesn't make sense to me. Let's see, you have this OTHER house at 4111 Washburn Ave. but you're going to move to the little rental on 45th Avenue?

No, to me that sounds more like an attempt to say with a straight face, "This is OUR HOME and you're going to DISPLACE US, therefore PAY US A LOT."

And did I mention...


Johnny Northside! said...

But as for where was the info from batting "a million dollars" back and forth as a disputed fact?

Neighborhood organization FB forums.

Some Chick said...

Found this doing a search after an article in today's Star Tribune that the County is going the eminent domain route.

Some Chick said...

Found this blog post on a search after reading an article in today's Star Tribune. You'll be happy to know (as am I) that Eminent Domain is going to happen now. We will have a library!

Johnny Northside! said...

Defamation lawsuit was dismissed.