Maybe If It Was A Statue Of Wellstone

Saint Paul homeowner puts up a statue of Christ in his garden.

On his property.

Did I mention it was in Saint Paul?  Where there are no property rights?

Jesus is said to have walked on water, but according to the St. Paul City Council he can’t stand at the edge of a Mississippi River bluff.

On a 5-2 vote, the council Wednesday rejected Tuan Pham’s request for a zoning variance to keep his back-yard statue of Jesus in the current spot high up on the West Side bluffs.

Mind you, it’s a variance.  Not a change in the law.  A variance.  For a statue.  In a private garden.

Pham, 76 and a retired Frogtown grocer, erected the 7-foot Jesus on a 10-foot base at his home on the 200 block of Isabel Avenue, placing it closer to the edge of the bluff than city rules permit.

“Give me the gift of hope for the future,” Pham pleaded with the council before the evening vote.

Sorry, Mr. Pham.  It’ll take a miracle to bring hope to the future of Saint Paul – and the Saint Paul City Council has outlawed miracles.

Mr. Pham has been on the target of the Council’s contempt for private property before:

No one spoke against the variance and Mike “Sammy” Samuelson spoke of how Pham was a “pioneer” in the revitalization of University Avenue. He said Pham’s statue, “is more of a garden; I’d liken it to a gnome, it’s a big gnome.”

Pham’s Jesus is a replica of the Christ of Vung Tua, a 105-foot monument in Vietnam. Pham emigrated from Vietnam in 1980.

He was a pioneer in revitalizing a street that the City Council has spent a decade working overtime to destroy.

Council Members Dan Bostrom and Pat Harris argued that Pham be allowed to keep the statue in its spot, saying it didn’t violate zoning laws because it is a garden, not a “development.”

But Council President Kathy Lantry and Council Member Dave Thune said the ordinance is clear that in Mississippi River Corridor, a 40-foot setback from the bluff edge is required for any “material change in the use” of the land.

Lantry said the core legal question is: “Tell me why this property can’t be put to a reasonable use without this variance.” She said the variance isn’t needed for reasonable use.

So the City Council says decorating one’s garden, on one’s private property, is not a “reasonable use?”

UPDATE: According to Channel 9 news, the whole flap started as a neighbor complaint.  45 other neighbors petitioned the city to keep the statue.

Saint Paul – the city where your property rights are only as safe as  your best-connected neighbor wants you to be.

21 thoughts on “Maybe If It Was A Statue Of Wellstone

  1. So, I guess this means that I can forget about putting my 10 foot tall statue of Chief Gray Iron on my River Bluff property.

    I just love how City Councils over react to ONE stinking complaint, yet ignore the majority that say it’s cool with them.

    Seig Heil, Kathy Lantry and Dave Thune! Idiots of the first order!

  2. Again, my city government shames me. I just really have to shake my head and think, there is another argument against having full time councilmen. They are always thinking they have to do something. And control what other people do.

  3. Time for the Alliance Defense Fund.

    (notwithstanding the enactment of Godwin’s Law, supra)

  4. If he erected an eighteen foot glass around it and filled it with simulated urine they would applaud.
    Democrats suck.

  5. Mitch Berg wrote:

    “Sorry, Mr. Pham. It’ll take a miracle to bring hope to the future of Saint Paul – and the Saint Paul City Council has outlawed miracles.”

    Doesn’t sound right.

    “Sorry, Mr. Pham. It’ll take a miracle to bring hope to the future of Saint Paul – and the Saint Paul City Politburo has outlawed free exercise of religion.”

    Fixed.

  6. Dave Thune. Fascist.

    As you state. This isn’t a new building. It’s not even a deck being added to his house. It’s a fricken statue in his garden.

  7. “Doesn’t sound right.”

    Have you been on University, or to Minnehaha and Forest, lately?

    Sounds right.

    Which takes nothing away from your version. There’s room for both.

  8. The St. Paul City Council can’t outlaw all religion. They have to allow for the worship of The State as embodied by the Divine DFL.

  9. “Pham’s Jesus is a replica of the Christ of Vung Tua, a 105-foot monument in Vietnam. Pham emigrated from Vietnam in 1980.”

    The “multi-cultural” Dims show us what hypocrites they really are. Think they might have more “compassion” for his cause if he where an illegal alien (err…undocumented worker) in their sanctuary city?

    The frickin thing is 17ft high for crying out loud! That’s a far cry shorter that the roof peak on most houses.

    At the end of the day you don’t own your property, the State does, and it will exercise its’ authority over it and you. That’ll always be the case until we run the scum off and restore Liberty.

  10. May the State forgive you, Scott. An extra donation on April 15th might expedite your absolution.

  11. I’d like to put the “donation” on the State’s doorstep, in a flaming brown paper bag!! (wink)

  12. Headline that we should see, but probably won’t:

    “White City Council denies Asian immigrant religious rights”

  13. If you want to know what the thought processes may be in the minds of the St. Paul City Council, read about the UC Davis policy (which didn’t last long) condemning *only* Christianity as a oppressor religion. These leftists are really out there when it comes to race politics.

  14. At work and with friends I say,
    “Don’t call black people ‘black’ people… it offends white people.”

    I suspect the neighbor in question is not a Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, or Eastern Orthodox person… mostly likely someone who grew up in a Protestant and fell away. Maybe a lapsed Catholic.

  15. “The “multi-cultural” Dims show us what hypocrites they really are. Think they might have more “compassion” for his cause if he where an illegal alien (err…undocumented worker) in their sanctuary city?”

    Scott, you may have just pointed out the Achilles heel of those Nazi bastards!

    Mr. Pham should launch a discrimination law suit! Hell, it can’t be any more absud than Mooslims suing every time they don’t get their way! Besides, law suits are the only thing that Dims understand!

  16. While they’re at it, the city needs to change it’s name. Saint Paul? Really? On every letterhead and every police cruiser, but an old man can’t have a statue in his garden?

    Thune and Lantry are the equivalent of Mahmoud and Hugo

  17. While they’re at it, the city needs to change it’s name. Saint Paul? Really?

    I know. Separation of Church and State, people! That’s why for 15 years I’ve advocated changing the city name.

    To “Reagan”.

    Thune and Lantry are the equivalent of Mahmoud and Hugo

    Ahmadinejad has a more enlightened vacant-property policy.

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