Letter: Edina needs to take action to keep social classes mixed

To the Editor:

Thanks to David Valentine for raising the issue of the increasing number of disproportionately large, upper income houses being built in Edina’s older, mixed income neighborhoods (“How much house can go on 50 feet?” Dec. 6).

This issue goes far beyond the renewal of the city’s aging housing stock. A recent Pew Research Center study points to the rising segregation of American neighborhoods by social class. The percentage of upper income neighborhoods doubled between 1980 and 2010, rising 18 percent.  Neighborhoods of mostly low-income households rose from 18 to 23 percent.  Neighborhoods of predominantly middle class or socio-economically mixed households shrank.

If the city of Edina is to successfully manage its rising racial/ethnic diversity and preserve its traditional mixed-income character, it will take more than a “wait-and-see” stance on the part of policy makers. Market forces, absent countervailing city policies, will result in a higher concentration of wealthy households.  It will force out many “middle” folks like David Valentine who have lived here for generations.

Mayor (Jim) Hovland is correct when he says that the key is finding and preserving the balance. He is also right when he says, “We need to move on this.”

Hope Melton


  • David Valentine

    Although I appreciate all the support possible I would like to add this:
    For the rest of the home owners faced with 50′ two story overbuilding right smack the faces of our loved ramblers, I NEVER ever intended this to become a social classes issue!
    For me, it is over, damage done. I am only rising up to get the city of Edina to stop this foolishness. It is CRAZY to turn new MONSTER homes SIDEWAYS on 50′ lots. It looks bad now, it will look bad in the future. This is not what Edina should look like, SIDEWAYS row houses, how awful!
    They are forcing us out with these ugly in-your-face oversized monster dwellings. It is not right, it is not fair, it is not desirable. It is unattractive, unappealing, unpleasant, hideous, unlovely, unprepossessing, unsightly.
    5024 Hankerson Ave; stop by and take a look, you are permitted to walk to the back of my house and see this from my sight lines, go ahead, take a look at progress, beauty, and the future as allowed and encouraged by the City of Edina. I really hope social and diversity don’t also become factors, there is already enough problems with what we have here. Stop changing our watersheds too!
    Let the City of Edina know how you feel before it is also too late for you. STOP THIS BUILDING OF IMPRUDENCE! NOW! It is your choice to do something about it. I have tried and now it is up to the affected citizens of Edina to start doing more than talking between yourselves. Let’s flood the city with our concern, they are supposed to work FOR us. Force them to!