Minutes - 3/2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010 5:55 PM


District 10 Community Council, Land Use Committee
Monday March 8, 2010, 7:00 PM
Historic Streetcar Station
Committee/Board Members and Guests Present: Chris Harkness, Jon Knox, Chris Martineau, Barbara Frick, William Sylvester, Sally Worku, Linda Hinderscheit, Pete Bolstad, Panod Klongtruatroke
Called to Order at 7:00 PM: Agenda and February 2010 Minutes approved.
Heard TIP Ad Hoc Committee update from Committee Chair Pete Bolstad. Pete encouraged community members to complete the transportation survey for the committee.
Viewed a presentation by MGM VP Paul Setter of a proposal to replace the current MGM buildings with a building to likely house a Walgreens store. During discussions, Mr. Setter acknowledged that MGM owns the five houses directly west of Lexington on the North side of California. This initial plan involves removal of one of the homes (4th home to the West of Lexington), rotating the house on the corner approximately 90 degrees, shortening the backyards of the homes, and redeveloping the properties with shared-access driveways, and garages. 
Listened to feedback by community members. More than 35 area neighbors attended, as well as Councilmember Lee Helgen and his assistant Ann Olson, Ramsey County Public Works Director Ken Haider, MGM owner Michael Maglich and John Kohler of Semper Development, who is the architect working with Walgreens. While a couple of community members spoke favorably of the plan, most of the concerns expressed centered around the size, height, location and look of the building and fence, the taking space from existing residential yards on California Street, the traffic patterns, the alley access, delivery trucks, emergency vehicle access and traffic. Additionally, some community members expressed opposition to having a 24-hour store. Other concerns included the possibility of two vacant buildings to the north of Larpentuer (Snyders and current Walgreens location) and fear of decreased property values. Linda Hinderscheit recorded all the comments, for and against, made during the meeting. Community members were encouraged to get involved by continuing to voice concerns via email and attending the Lexingtion/Larpenteur Ad Hoc Committee meetings. Mr. Kohler indicated that Walgreens will use the community’s feedback going forward and will communicate with the Land Use Committee as the proposal develops. 
Finalized on language in the 2010 work plan (copy follows this report.)
Revisited the idea of an ad hoc committee to fully rework the Midway Pkwy West Como Small Area Plan. The committee believes it is important to have a revitalized updated plan. Tweaking the existing plan is not acceptable and writing a new plan is a bigger job than can be reasonably accomplished in regular Land Use Committee meetings. Chris will attend the Neighborhood Planning Committee’s neighborhood planning discussion on Wednesday, March 10, to get a sense of where the City is headed on this topic.
Discussed the process by which the Gabe’s variance request was approved. There still seems to be dissatisfaction with this process. Questions arose: Should this type of request come to the entire board and be put to a community vote? How can we work with the timing? In this instance Gabe’s came to Land Use before they submitted their request (5 weeks before the event.) By the time the variance request came back to us from the Department of Safety and Inspections it was too late to bring it to the board. That left only time for the Executive Board to authorize action.
Next meeting: April 12, 7:00 pm, at Java Train unless otherwise announced.
Adjourned: 8:50 PM.

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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