Minutes - 6/2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 8:30 PM


District 10 Land Use Committee
Java Train, 6/07/2010
Meeting attendance: Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Bill Sylvester, Jon Knox, Sally Worku, Panod Klongtruatroke
Others present: Paul Setter and Mike Maglich, MGM
The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m.
Minutes of the 5/10/2010 meeting were approved.
Variance requests: The homeowners at 838 Nebraska Ave. have requested a variance from the city in order to build an addition on the front of their home. They wish to preserve a large oak tree in their back yard. The required setback is 35 feet; their proposed setback is 29.5 feet (requested variance of 5.5 feet). The staff at the city zoning department requests District 10 input. There is a letter of support from their neighbor to the west (nearest the requested addition) and a letter of support from a neighbor across the street. There was not a letter of support from their neighbor to the east. The Land Use Committee has decided not to take any action.
Lao Family: No representative was present at tonight’s Land Use meeting. The only information that was provided in advance of tonight’s meeting was, “Lao Family Inc, has applied for a sound level variance for activities to be held at Como Park (MacMurray Field) on July 3rd and 4th, 2010. Public hearing is scheduled for June 16, 2010;” but no specific information regarding the variance request was provided. There is a meeting addressing community issues regarding the annual festival scheduled at the Street Car Station tomorrow night (6/8/2010). Sally Worku plans on attending that meeting. She stated that there is general concern over the impact of the annual festival on the neighborhood’s access to their property and the noise level. Sally also stated that we need St. Paul Parks and Rec to be clear about park policies regarding public space rental and usage.
Shalom Home: Jon Knox stated that the owners of the Shalom Home property have been cleaning out the building. The purchase price has been dropped to $1.75 million. A potential buyer has recently expressed interest in redeveloping the site into assisted living condos. There have been no bids received as of this time. Adequate parking is an issue for this site, making assisted living a more attractive option for the neighborhood.
Follow-up on May Land Use Meeting Action Items: 
Sign variance requests for Como Park Elementary: The Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance for a sign smaller than the one originally requested, but 2 square feet larger than the maximum allowed by code. The approved sign is taller than allowed by code, but shorter than the one originally requested. The sign will be lit, but will not flash or scroll.
Stop Sign at Cottage and Grotto Avenues: The stop signs on Grotto at Cottage have been erected, turning this into a 4-way stop. Some neighbors are complaining that the signs are 7 feet high rather than the typical 6 feet high. Barbara Frick is looking into this issue.
Lexington Larpenteur Node Plan ad hoc Committee Report: The report is final and has been accepted by the District 10 Board. The report will be on record as part of the District 10 Land Use archive and will remain on the website indefinitely.
MGM/Walgreens’ Final Conceptual Drawing: Chris Harkness and Jon Knox met with City Councilmember Lee Helgen and developed expectations for the process, procedures and communication regarding potential redevelopment of the current MGM site. Mike Maglich confirmed that any communication regarding the potential development of Walgreens should be addressed to Semper Development. Any communication regarding the homes/residential property currently owned by MGM should be addressed to Mike Maglich or Paul Setter of MGM. Mr. Maglich also stated that if we have difficulty communicating with Semper Development, we should contact him. Contractors have started to examine the exterior of the MGM-owned residential properties to start the planning process for the removal of one home and building new garages and driveways. Chris stated that our main concern regarding the MGM-owned residential properties is that they meet the community standard. Mike Maglich stated that MGM’s goal is to maximize the sale value of the properties and offered to present plans for renovation to the Land Use Committee. Chris stated that the committee would like to continue to work with MGM on this. The committee requested that MGM get a real estate expert to calculate the impact of this proposed re-development on the home values in the neighborhood. Mike Maglich agreed that this would be a good idea. Jon Knox will talk to the Sommerfields, who have handled a lot of real estate in this neighborhood. Mike Maglich estimated that Walgreens would like to open the new store in spring 2011. There are five requirements that need to be met in the process(alley vacation, rezoning, conditional use for the drive-through, watershed plan, and traffic analysis.) Chris will check with Semper Development and ask if John Kohler will be ready to present a more detailed proposal to the Land Use Committee and the community at the next Land Use meeting on July 12, 2010. If Semper Development is able to present the next phase of the proposal at the 7/12 meeting, the Land Use Committee’s plan is to present an action item to the District 10 Board at the 7/20/2010 meeting. Sally Worku suggested having a copy of the proposal available at the District 10 office in the interim between the two meetings, so community members who were not able to attend the Land Use meeting would be able to view the proposal before the Board vote.
The remainder of the agenda items (Midway Parkway West Como Small Area Plan and New Business) was tabled for this evening.
Upcoming meeting: 7:00 p.m. July 12, 2010 (Location to be announced.)
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
These minutes are not official until approved.
Linda R. Hinderscheit, Committee member

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

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