DISTRICT 10 COMO COMMUNITY COUNCIL BOARD MEETING
Historic Streetcar Station
1224 Lexington Parkway North, St Paul, MN 55103
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I. Call to Order: Chair Jon Knox called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
II. Board Introductions:
Present: Jon Knox, Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Kim Moon, Laurie Erickson, Dick Dian, Penny Spence, Panod Klongtruatroke, Ron Edlund, Kate Wilinski, Betsy Wehrwein, and Ted Blank
Absent: Jody McCardle and Tom Eyre
Staff Present: Jessie Bronk
III. Review, Amend, Approval of Agenda:
Motion: Approve the agenda. (Moon-Spence) Passed.
IV. COMMUNITY SECTION:
A. Board Chair Report: City contracts for 2012 have been approved. Our next board meeting will be held on July 17th at the North Dale Recreation Center.
B. Treasurer’s Report: Reserves are down. Reimbursements will be submitted to the city soon.
C. Sub-District #1 Open Board Position: Curtis Stock and Henry Retka have applied for the open position. Curtis Stock was present and spoke about his reasons for applying for the position. Kim Moon, chair of the Land Use Committee, spoke on Curtis’ behalf. Curtis has been actively involved with the Land Use Committee. Henry Retka was not present at tonight's meeting. Curtis Stock was elected to the open board position for subdistrict #1.
D. Sgt. Charlie Anderson Update: Sgt. Anderson was not able to make it to tonight's meeting, because he investigating a case at a convenience store in the neighborhood. He will come to the next meeting to report on the case and on thefts from autos in the area.
E. Central Corridor Transit Concept Plan: Scott Thompson, Senior Transit Planner and Project Manager for Metro Transit, and Jill Hentges were present at tonight's meeting. One of the reasons for their presence tonight was to get public comment and feedback on the conceptual plan. The public comment period officially ends on July 9th. One of the main goals of the concept plan is to strengthen bus route networks and connect bus routes to the Central Corridor light rail line. The plan includes a new route (83) on Lexington Ave. This route was previously tried in the early 1980s, but was discontinued after two years when service was cut back system-wide. The current route in the conceptual plan would be to turn on Energy Park Drive to Snelling and then to Como. They are looking into the possibility of running route 83 closer to Como Park. The plan will be submitted to the Metropolitan Council in the fall, possibly November. Many people at tonight's meeting encouraged Mr. Thompson to look more seriously at the proposed route 83 and to revise it in order to serve Como Park more directly. Betsy Wehrwein encouraged Mr. Thompson to work more directly with Parks and Rec., considering the Como Regional Park Transportation Implementation Plan. Ellen Anderson advocated extending route 83 up through Roseville to the north. Janice Rettman pointed out that a park and ride exists at Rosedale Mall. The City of St. Paul has also encouraged Metro Transit to provide more direct service to Como Park with this new proposed bus route.
Motion: Approve writing a letter of support for the extension of the proposed route 83 along Lexington Ave. through Como Park. (Harkness-Klongtruatroke). Passed.
F. Sholom Home Update: Rhett McSweeney was scheduled to speak at tonight's meeting, but was not present. We will try to schedule him at a future meeting.
G. Como Woodlands Advisory Committee presentation: This project originated in the D10 Environment Committee in 2003. Deb Robinson & Joan McKearnan presented an update on current efforts. Problems include illegal dumping and invasive species (buckthorn and garlic mustard). Security procedures for the Joyce Kilmer Fireplace are being developed to prevent future vandalism, as had happened shortly after the restoration was completed. The classroom aspect is being developed with local schools, colleges and community education classes.
H. Miscellaneous community discussion: Jon will ask Paul Kolias and an appropriate city staff person to be present at the next Board meeting to present information on the signage study for the Como Regional Park Transportation Implementation Plan. Katie Plese brought up the issue of the request of Walgreens to extend their delivery hours. A Land Use Committee action item is on tonight's agenda per this issue.
V. BOARD BUSINESS SECTION:
A. Review/Amend/Approve Minutes & Financial Statements:
Motion: Approve agenda, financial statements and minutes of 5/15/2012. (Moon-Spence) Passed
B. Staff Report: Jessie Bronk gave us an update on the community garden. We need to work with the City to get a lease for State-owned land. Jessie has been working with Public Works on this, and it is moving forward. A block club leaders’ meeting was held earlier this month, with the focus being National Night Out. Jessie is creating a survey to send to garage sale participants re the 2013 date.
C. Land Use Action Items:
1.) Support for Proposed Hmong College Prep Academy Expansion: Dr. Christianna Hang, Hmong College Prep Academy (HCPA) Superintendent, and Pao Yang, Administrative Operations Director, presented information at the June 4 Land Use Committee meeting about the proposed addition to the Hmong College Prep Academy at 1515 Brewster Ave. Portable classrooms will be used during construction. The addition will provide classroom space and will house a small theatre space. There are currently over 700 students in this K-12 charter school. Enrollment is projected to be approximately 1200 after the proposed addition is completed. None of the students are allowed to drive, so parking needs to accommodate staff only. The new addition will primarily house high school students. HCPA is working with Xcel Energy in its’ pursuit of LEED certification. An action item on the agenda of tonight’s board meeting originally proposed a letter of support from District 10. In the interim, the City of St. Paul has informed HCPA that they will need a variance for the proposed addition. HCPA representatives will come to the next Land Use meeting to request support from District 10 for this variance. This will be publicized in the surrounding neighborhood prior to the next Land Use meeting on June 25th. This item was tabled at this time.
2.) Walgreens requested extended drive-through & delivery hours: The City granted Walgreens a conditional use permit that restricts their delivery hours to 7:00am – 2:00pm and requires the drive through to close by 10:00pm. Walgreens has requested the delivery hours be extended to 5:30am and all restrictions on the drive through hours be removed. If the hours are to be expanded, a new conditional use permit would need to be issued. These hours were part of their conditional use permit based on the recommendation of District 10. We have been holding meetings about the re-development of this corner for approximately 3 years find no reason to reverse this decision. Neighborhood concerns were expressed regarding the noise generated by deliveries in early morning hours, especially due to the close proximity of the planned delivery area relative to the adjoining residential area.
Motion: Approve board vote to send letter to the City Council re-iterating our opposition to any changes in their conditional use permit per the most recent Walgreens’ request to change delivery and drive-through hours of operation. (Moon-Edlund) Passed.
3.) Zoning Variances requested for 1111 W. California & 1117 W. California by
MGM Liquors: The south property line of the commercial area of the future
Walgreens on Lexington and Larpenteur was moved closer to the homes on the north side of California with the redevelopment of the property. This has left the property at 1111 W. California sitting approximately 2 feet closer to the new property line than is required by the setback requirements. Moving the home 2 feet closer to California Avenue to comply with the setback requirements seems illogical. The home is in line with all of the other homes on that side of the block and moving it would negatively alter the character of the block. The property at 1117 W. California has an addition that is currently being used as a bedroom. The addition would have to be removed to comply with the setback requirements. The addition is set back from the property line by 3 feet, which is the same setback requirement as a garage. The Land Use Committee & neighbors who attended the June 4 Land Use meeting don’t feel that leaving this addition in place will alter the essential character of the surrounding area or be detrimental to the property values in the area. There was a large turnout at the June 4 Land Use meeting and no one objected to supporting these variance requests by MGM. The Executive Committee has voted to send a letter in support of the variances requested for these 2 properties, as the zoning hearing was held prior to the meeting tonight. Variances have been granted to MGM by the city for this purpose. At tonight’s meeting, the board voted to affirm the Executive Committee’s decision to write a letter of support for MGM's variance request.
D. Como Fest- Fiscal Agent: Marketing materials are being developed for Como Fest (formerly Staycation). Registrations for the art show are being taken. We need board approval to advance the money for advertising, with participants reimbursing us later. Total advertising cost is projected to be $870. The estimated cost per participant will be slightly over $90. We have received confirmation from 9 participants that they will reimburse us this amount for advertising.
Motion: Approve District 10 as fiscal agent for Como Fest. Approve D10 expenditure as a participant. (Wehrwein-Harkness). Passed.
E. 2012 City grants: Grants have been approved. Reimbursements will be submitted soon.
F. Ward 5 COPP funding: Jessie wrote a proposal to obtain funding for Constant Contact, printing a new D10 brochure and postage. The total is slightly under $5,000.00.
G. Committee Updates:
a. Land Use Committee: Kim Moon had nothing to add beyond above action items.
b. District Plan Ad Hoc Committee: Chris Harkness pointed out meeting minutes in the board packet. Three candidates will be interviewed for the intern position.
c. Neighborhood Relations & Safety Committee: Ted Blank & Betsy Wehrwein are looking for volunteers from the board to staff a D10 table at Como Fest.
d. District Operations Committee: Jody McCardle was not present at tonight's meeting. Jessie reported that she and Jody are meeting next week to review the last fundraising letter, so it can be revised and submitted to the Board for consideration.
e. Environment Committee: Ron Edlund reported that the public gardens need volunteers to help weed.
f. Bylaw Review ad hoc Committee: Panod Klongtruatroke reported that the committee did not meet since the last board meeting.
V. Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 8:50p.m.
Motion to adjourn. (Wehrwein-Spence) Passed.
Respectfully submitted by Linda R. Hinderscheit, Secretary
These minutes were approved on 7/17/2012