Landlord sues over neighborhood association membership rejection

Landlords must be residents of Marcy-Holmes and not simply own property.

Jason Klohs , a local landlord, recently filed a grievance against the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, which denied his membership inquiry to the organization, despite the fact that Klohs owns property in the neighborhood. On April 27, Klohs received the membership denial letter from MHNAâÄôs excusive director, Melissa Bean . Bean said in a letter to Klohs he was ineligible to become a member of the association since Klohs is a non-MHNA resident. In a previous interview with the Minnesota Daily, Klohs said he went to a MHNA meeting but was never allowed to take part in the conversation since he lives outside of the neighborhood. Klohs, who felt excluded from the planning process, accused the association of not allowing landlords to participate in neighborhood activities, yet âÄúlandowners pay a large amount of taxes.âÄù According to the letter, Klohs can only learn about neighborhood events and activities on the organizationâÄôs website. This troubled Klohs, and on May 19, he filed a Citizen Participation Program Grievance against the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association. In the letter, he claimed that the AssociationâÄôs past and present activities infringe on the âÄúCitizen Participation Program Guidelines regarding eligibility and Citizen Participation Services.âÄù Klohs and his lawyer Ryan Ahlberg requested âÄúan opportunity to formally discuss these issues with Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association.âÄù Both Klohs and Ahlberg declined to give more information at this time. William Wells, the executive director of University Neighborhood Improvement Association, said that many landowners in the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood have been denied membership to the neighborhood association. Wells said the Association is publicly funded through the City of Minneapolis and the Neighborhood Revitalization Program . For this reason, Wells suggested that âÄúit is very clear that all property owners must be allowed to participate in publicly funded planning efforts when NRP money is used.âÄù NRP At-Large Neighborhood Representative Debbie Evans said the associations have the ability to include and exclude who they want on their board. Evans said the NRP funds this association because it is the only one recognized as a citizen participation organization for the neighborhood. Still, the NRP said they stand side-by-side with the association even when the association isolates the landowners from participating in the planning processes. âÄúThis is very concerning, and frustrating, because Melissa Bean’s actions are destroying the hard work of the newly formed District Alliance, which promotes working together to create positive change,âÄù Wells said. Bean declined to comment on the issue.