Hopkins Could Require Arts Fees From Developers

A new ‘art dedication fee’ could help the city fund art in the community.

could soon start asking developers to chip in for the arts when they embark on projects in the community.

During discussions Tuesday on the latest plan for the old Mayon Plastics building, City Planner Nancy Anderson said staff told the developer they’ll likely ask for a new “art dedication fee” when the project comes in for planned unit development approval (a process that allows greater flexibility on sites that are difficult to develop).

Anderson added that the city expected to ask future developers to pay the art dedication fee as well.

Kersten Elverum, the city’s economic development and planning director, told Patch after the meeting tht the fees would be a way to support the city’s goals of increasing art in the community—as it’s doing with .

Quality-of-life fees are not new. Hopkins has a park dedication fee that costs developers 5 percent of the land value for commercial redevelopment and $800 per unit for most residential projects—the lowest residential rates in a 24-city area. That money helps fund park projects, .

St. Louis Park even has a similar art dedication fee, Elverum noted.

In the case of the Mayon Plastics project, staff asked the developer to suggest an amount the company would be willing to pay. When staff thought the proposal was too low, the parties arrived at $2,500 as a good number.

The city could also request an art dedication fee from Klodt Inc. for its mixed-use development project on Eighth Avenue that’s to transform the street into a gateway to the downtown for light rail travelers.

Art dedication fees could be used to purchase ArtStreet sculptures that’ll remain in Hopkins after their one-year exhibition period ends. But Elverum said the city would work with developers if they’re interested in other art alternatives. Klodt, for example, could commission a sculpture that would beautify Eighth Avenue.

Elverum said the intention is not to be heavy-handed toward developers. The city just wants to expand on a goal officials feel is important.


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Carol June 07, 2012 at 02:52 PM
If the parks aren't funded enough, then they should be considering collecting additional money for parks not art. Well maintained green spaces are beautiful and useful to almost everyone, but "art" definitions and tastes differ. Permanent art installations is not a good plan imho. Some cities help "sponsor" the arts by having temporary/changing art installations. We don't have to buy the art, the artist is allowed to display their work prominently without a fee with their contact information available, and if a resident doesn't like a piece of art they know they aren't stuck with it forever. If we're going to go the permanent installation art route, then there should be a continuity of theme and the art should be created for Hopkins to enhance the city, not a random collection of weird sculptures littering the side walks.
James Warden June 07, 2012 at 03:35 PM
For those who didn't click on the park link, I'll note that the Park Board suggested three options to raise money for parks: - The city could increase its park dedication fees. A November study that Roseville commissioned found that Hopkins’ $800-per-unit residential fee was the lowest of the 24 cities surveyed. The next-lowest fees were nearly twice as much, and the average was $3,933. Park dedication fees for commercial developments were more comparable to other communities. - Hopkins could also submit another park renewal referendum to voters like it did in 1989. The city spends about $50,000 to $90,000 per year on park improvements and would need about that much just to maintain the status quo. - Direct money from its general fund to park improvements. At the city where park funding was discussed, officials said they plan to have a question about the issue on an upcoming resident survey.
ERB June 07, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Like Carol, I'm a bit nervous about the "art" that might soon be clogging our sidewalks. I certainly appreciate the place art has in society and have seen many moving paintings of wildlife. Also dogs. But sometimes these "artists" get a little too "out there" for me. Like that statue of the little boy peeing. Inappropriate. Or the naked man who is just sitting there and thinking. Thinking about what, I'd like to know. Probably about how he should put some clothes on. What kind of message does that send? I'm just saying there should be some sort of committee overseeing what art gets installed so we don't end up with any of those morally questionable eyesores.


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