Emily Buss joined the South Washington County Bulletin in February 2013. She covers local government in Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park and Newport, along with other general assignment reporting. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
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As St. Paul Park loosens its ordinances regarding chickens on residential properties, the city of Cottage Grove is still struggling to find what council member Derrick Lehrke called a "happy medium" on the issue. The Cottage Grove City Council began discussing urban fowl last fall after several residents filed complaints against their neighbors who had chickens and ducks within city limits.
Plans to complete the half-finished Famous Dave's at 8479 East Point Douglas Road may have been resurrected. Early last week, Dave Von Rueden, franchise owner and lease holder for the Cottage Grove location, quietly announced via a restaurant voicemail message that the barbecue restaurant "will not be opening anytime soon," if at all.
Communities across the metro are rewriting city ordinances to accommodate urban fowl and beehives, and St. Paul Park is following the buzz. A recent request from City Council member Jennifer Cheesman prompted the council to re-evaluate its laws relating to animal restrictions to see if they could be loosened. Now, St. Paul Park residents can cultivate a beehive and keep their chicken coops closer to their homes. While chickens are allowed within city limits, bee-keeping was previously not.
After nearly eight months of sporadic construction, plans to open a Famous Dave's barbecue restaurant in Cottage Grove have been put on hold indefinitely. Dave Von Rueden, franchise owner and lease holder for the Cottage Grove location, quietly announced Monday via answering machine that the store at 8479 East Point Douglas Road "will not be opening anytime soon," if at all.
The Cottage Grove Public Works Department has a few too many single axle dump trucks, four-wheel drive pick-ups, and various other heavy duty equipment items in its garage and instead of trading them in, the department decided to put the items up for sale on eBay. The department has a surplus of several vehicles, lawn equipment, even a small garbage truck that will soon be up for auction on the Internet. The city's fire department is also auctioning off three thermal imaging cameras.
A tiny green menace plaguing thousands of Minnesota trees is on the move. An invasive beetle native to China, the Emerald Ash Borer has put both Ramsey and Hennepin counties in an indefinite quarantine and is slowly infesting trees around the metro. While it has yet to be discovered in Cottage Grove, the city's Parks and Recreation Department is trying to stay ahead of the bug. In 2010, the city implemented an aggressive, $162,000-per-year treatment and prevention program aimed at assessing the city's ash trees, which make up roughly 25 percent of the city-owned tree population.
After more than a year of debate regarding a petition urging the city of Cottage Grove to relinquish its statutory form of government for a home-rule charter, a decision is expected at the end of the month. Residents unsuccessful in their efforts to force a citywide vote on financing for the nearly $15 million city hall and public safety building collected more than 1,600 signatures asking for the city to change its governing framework.
The iconic Cottage View Drive-In marquee that has welcomed outdoor cinema-goers for nearly five decades will soon be en route to the Little Log House Pioneer Village in Hastings. A late Monday afternoon deal was made between the city of Cottage Grove, drive-in owner Gerry Herringer, and local preservationist Steve Bauer, sealing the fate of the now-closed outdoor theater. Cottage Grove City Administrator Ryan Schroeder said Monday agreements were being signed between Herringer and Bauer, and between Bauer and the city of Cottage Grove, in a strategic move that would allow the city to regain
A Kentucky-based credit union might fill the vacant lot at the corner of Summit Avenue and St. Paul Park Road in St. Paul Park. The 31,000-square-foot plat, which is in need of landscaping and tree removal, has sat empty since the city acquired the land in 2002.
The debate over urban poultry in Cottage Grove remains unresolved as city officials continue to grapple with a solution to farm birds in residential neighborhoods. After neighbors filed complaints to the city's Community Development Department last fall, the Cottage Grove City Council began looking into the issue. However, after several months of study, council members say they want more information. "Unfortunately, I don't feel as educated (about this topic) as I would like to be," council member Justin Olsen said during a recent council workshop.