St. Paul Man Wants To Keep Jesus In His Backyard

By Susie Jones, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A 76-year-old man with a 7-foot statue of Jesus Christ in his backyard is fighting to keep it there.

Tuan Pham brought the statue here from Vietnam and it sits on a cement block overlooking the Mississippi River. But the city of St. Paul says it sits too close to the edge of the bluff and needs to be moved.

Angie Wiese, from the St. Paul zoning department, said they received a complaint about the statue.

“Any structure within 40 feet of the bluff is in violation. The statue is within 10 feet of the bluff,” she said.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

Pham was given two choices: Move the statue, or apply for a variance, which would allow him to keep it where it is.

He applied for the variance, but was denied. Now, he plans to ask the City Council to allow the statue to remain.

Pham said he’s gotten signatures from 45 neighbors who say they support keeping the statue in its current location. Pham owned a grocery store on University Avenue for many years, and says he’s given a lot to the city. He said he hopes the council members will return the favor.

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