Minneapolis Park Board orders removal of boulevard garden

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board sent residents a cease-and-desist letter to remove the items on the park board's property. The residents say they have had the garden for over a decade without complaints.

A debate is brewing in Minneapolis over a boulevard garden on Minnehaha Parkway after the city's parks and recreation board issued a cease-and-desist letter to remove the plants.

"I would have no idea, nobody ever said anything, nobody ever complained in 12 years," said Remigiyus Klyvis, the resident.

When Klyvis bought his home on West Minnehaha Parkway more than a decade ago, the street-side landscaping was already there.

"The whole of this boulevard was already established, irrigation system was installed, all shrubs were planted," he said.

Remigiyus Klyvis kept improving and adding to it, like the Ferris wheel and seasonal decor. He says the feedback has always been good.

"People come here on Saturdays and Sundays with their little children, enjoying all of it, we have fun," said Klyvis.

During an interview with FOX 9, a bus of seniors stopped to take a look. Klyvis says neighbors are used to it.

"In the winter, we see limousine tours driving by the house watching the winter decorations as well," he said.

Two weeks ago, a cease-and-desist letter arrived from Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, citing all the violations that are technically on Park Board property and stating they must be removed by May 31.

"Well, we were very surprised when we heard all the things that were in violation," said Jeff Hagstrom, who also lives there.

Also in violation is a retaining wall, located on the park board's setback property, that Hagstrom is finishing in order to protect runoff onto the sidewalk.

"It kept the water from coming down and filling up the sidewalk with water and backup," said Hagstrom.

As for why this is the first time they’ve heard this in over a decade, the Park Board says they respond to reports of encroachment, confirm it, then notify homeowners what needs to be done. Any encroachment needs a permit.

"I tell you that was honestly the biggest nightmare of my life," said Klyvis. "To find out something I enjoy so much in my life, somebody wants to take it away."