Minutes - December 3, 2012
Monday, January 07, 2013 5:20 PM

District 10 Community Council

Land Use Committee

Monday December 3, 2012

Java Train




Members Present: Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Kim Moon, Tom Eyre, Curt Stock and Bill Sylvester

Members Absent: Betsy Wehrwein

Staff Present: Jessie Bronk

Others Present: John Thoreson, Gabriel Gomezrey, Ed Kodet, Doug Hawkinson & Amy Thul

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m. 

Adoption of Agenda: Motion to approve the agenda (Hinderscheit-Stock) Passed.

Approval of Minutes: Motion to approve the minutes of the 11/05/2012 meeting (Stock-Eyre) Passed.

Chair Report: Kim Moon went to the last City Council meeting. The sound variance for the Hmong Academy was originally advertised to be on the agenda for a meeting scheduled the night before Thanksgiving, but there was a problem re-scheduling the meeting and giving adequate advance notice to the community, so the variance was not on the agenda last night. It will be on the agenda of the next meeting.


Hmong College Preparatory Academy: Hmong College Preparatory Academy Contractors came to speak with their neighbors about what noise can be expected between now and the end of construction in August 2013.  They have a variance request going before the City Council this coming Wednesday.  They’re requesting a noise variance for now through August 1, 2013, Mon-Fri 7:00am-5:30pm.  Pile driving work to install a retaining wall began earlier this fall & was halted when a neighbor complained about the noise.  City code does not allow noise from construction projects to exceed 65dB.  The pile driver work reached 90 to 95 dB. Approximately 90% of the retaining wall is complete. The project is close to being on schedule. At times during the remainder of construction, sound will exceed 65 dB. The building manager and a resident from the apartments across the street were present. When the pile drivers are in operation, the apartment building vibrates. They are wondering if the operations that are the loudest could start later than 7:00 a.m. The resident present suggested limiting the loudest parts of the construction to between 10:00 and 4:00. He reported that there has been pile driving on a Saturday on at least one occasion. Kim observed that the noise variance was for Monday through Friday. The construction representative indicated that the pile driver should not have been operated on a Saturday. They think they may have only one working day left to finish the pile driving. There will be no more shaking of the ground and adjoining buildings after that time. They indicated they could talk to Bolander Construction about limiting the hours. Once the landscaping commences, there will be further work, which will require construction traffic on the street by the apartment building. A representative of the owners of the apartment building was also present. Some personal belongings of apartment residents have been damaged due to the shaking. There are also some cracks that have appeared in the walls. The building manager suggested two half days rather than one full day for the remaining pile driving to make the noise and shaking more bearable. Improved communication was suggested by one of the construction company representatives.  Bill Sylvester asked for clarification on the building damage. The representative of the owners did not have specifics on that.   A sound level variance will be necessary for the remainder of the project, even after the pile driving is complete.  The sound will occasionally exceed 85 dB; however, there will be no shaking and the noise will be primarily on the other side of the building. Chris Harkness suggested giving the residents of the apartment building contact information so neighbors can contact the construction company representatives directly rather than complaining to the City. The representatives of the project will contact Kim Moon with notice regarding future stages of the project that will involve noise. The Hmong Academy wants to maintain good relationships with the neighborhood. The building manager and the owner's representative offered to act as a conduit of information to residents in the apartment buildings after Kim sends it to them.


Motion: Write a letter supporting a sound level variance for the remainder of the construction project on the Hmong Academy, specifying that the residents in the area receive notice of future excessive noise-generating stages of construction. (Harkness-Stock). Passed. 


 2013 Work Plan:  Copies of the 2012 work plan were distributed prior to the meeting. We added an objective regarding building a relationship and improving communication with the State Fairgrounds administration. We decided to add an objective about future redevelopment of the Como-Snelling commercial area.


Motion: Extend the term of the District Plan ad hoc committee for another year. (Hinderscheit-Harkness). Passed



Future Meeting Dates: We discussed Kim's proposed meeting dates for 2013. Because of the New Year's holiday, we will not be meeting on our usual date of the Monday before the first Wednesday of the month (when Executive Committee meets). We will meet on January 7th instead.


New Business: Tomorrow, Kim Moon and Linda Hinderscheit are meeting with Amy Brendmoen, City Councilmember, and John Kohler of Semper Development regarding our concerns with the Walgreens Development: the plastic fence, the lack of landscaping on the green space, the lights on the back of the building which shine into residences in the area, and putting pictures of Como Park in the fake window spaces on the east side of the building facing Lexington. Semper Development has already sold the property. Chris suggested we get contact information for the new owner of the property.


Kim Moon asked about whether or not we should continue to pursue the possibility of changing the proposed #83 bus route to run up Lexington rather than on Horton and up Hamline. We agreed that we need to continue to have a conversation with them and our elected representatives, including Alice Hausman (MN State Representative) and Amy Brendmoen (City Councilmember for Ward 5). We need to make sure transportation, including mass transit, is included in our Land Use Plan. 

Jessie brought up an email from District 6's Land Use Committee which outlined their suggestions about how the January 9th PED-sponsored community meeting, regarding the boundary shift, should be handled. She has forwarded it to this committee in case we wish to also send a letter stating our preferences.  

Bill Sylvester brought up a concern about how MGM handled the process of acquiring signatures from homeowners on the rezoning petition prior to the Walgreens redevelopment. John Marty may be amenable to introducing legislation at the state level to beef up the laws regarding rezoning, specifically outlawing the buying of votes. We can discuss this at the January meeting, possibly sending a letter suggesting concerns and solutions to legislators.


Adjourn: Motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 p.m. Passed.


 Next Meeting: The next meeting is Monday, January 7, 2012, at Java Train.


Future Meeting Dates (Mondays at Java Train unless noted otherwise): 2/4, 3/4, 4/1, 4/29, 6/3. 7/1, 8/5, 9/2, 9/30, 11/4, 12/2




Minutes recorded by Linda R. Hinderscheit, Committee Member


These minutes are not official until approved.






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