Minutes- 11/12/12
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:10 PM

District 10 Land Use Plan Ad Hoc Committee
District Plan Community Meeting
Monday, November 12, 2012
Street Car Station

Present: Chris Harkness, Bill Sylvester, Art Oglesby, Theo Woehrle, Josh Williams, Dick Dian, Curt Stock and about 15 community members.

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

Second Public Meeting to gather input for the District Plan:

Chair Chris Harkness presented the purpose of the meeting and introduced committee members.

City Planner Josh Williams explained the City Plan and District Plans for the group. District plans set priorities and articulate a vision for a neighborhood. District plans can specify working with other organizations such as schools or businesses on projects. The comprehensive plan is vague, but district plans can be more specific. The comprehensive is a legal document and the basis for city investment. Contrary to what one community member said she had heard there is no plan to eliminate district plans. The city is scaling back small area plans. Both land use and small area plans are adopted as addenda to the comprehensive plans.

Discussion ensued regarding land use plans and the small area plans and the process of adoption by the City.

Theo Woehrle—presented the results of data collected to date.
October 8—the main themes emerging from the data have to do with preservation of history residential feel and open space; Survey results—172 respondents, other aspects contributing to quality of life: community, location, events. Decreasing quality: traffic, crime, events, parking
Community Discussion—
Green space: Como Park land preservation language states that park land shall not be converted for other purposes. That’s a separate issue from how that parkland is managed. Como Park is different because is it regional, not city, but the city manages it. Como Golf Course is parkland.
Open space and green space are not necessarily defined the same way by residents and the Park. Residents see surfaces of the park being paved as loss of green space, while Park management appears to equate open with green. Going forward we should ask projects in the park to designate of percentage of their funding for plantings and green areas. We also want to preserve unmanaged areas of the Park. We should get someone from Parks & Recreation involved in this process to discuss green space, parking and security.
Residents want to protect the trees in the district. The city sees trees as an asset and recently studied the tree canopy. The City strategy is prevention of disease to guard against losing trees to epidemic all at once. In the Plan—engage with city management concerning tree management and communicating when trees will be removed.
Development: When it occurs, no fake windows. We should use lessons we learned during the Walgreens process and put them in the plan. It will be easier to work with potential developers and small businesses if we specify guidelines that work in our neighborhoods. Height limits are determined by zoning. But it is possible to have overlays with more specific design standards. The plan would be the place to lay out why we want those specifics. (Neighborhood support gives the city the ability to implement it.) There is strong support for keeping height limits down along Larpenteur.
Also, the residents are forced out by development must be fairly compensated for the market value of their homes.
Zoning—B2- 30-foot height limits. It’s very hard to change zoning. It doesn’t happen quickly without community input.
Single-family homes: Preserving housing stock, keeping them maintained. How can we make sure rental properties are well maintained? Residents can make complaints as a first step. District councils can apply pressure on owners, but hard to codify in the plan. You can’t force commercial owners to the table but owners should come to the neighborhoods every six months to converse.
Biking and walk ability: How can we link up the neighborhoods? A city-wide bike plan is in the works. Where do we need/want lanes in our district? Como Ave. is an important connection to Dale. We need a focused conversation. We will have a meeting with Emily E. around this issue. The city got a grant to look at all streets in terms of vehicles, bicycles and walking to make it easier to bike and walk everywhere.
Transportation, traffic and parking—we can emphasize that we want the city bus up Lexington through park north to Larpenteur and beyond. We have to address the issue of cut through commuter traffic through the neighborhoods. Our plan can help identify how we want to work with law enforcement to enforce speed limits and traffic stops. We have to identify specific problems (timing of the lights) and get them into the plan.
Permit parking may or may not be effective. It is not enforced consistently. As the park gets busier and use of the area expands more areas may want permit parking, but without enforcement… Let’s advocate for three legged stool…Permit parking, paid parking in the park, and shuttle.
City should install signs on Lexington that say do not block intersections and extend to signage district-wide to enforce existing laws.
Improving quality of life: In the Plan build on what’s good. The communities are not as cohesive as they used to be. We can lay out vision for engaging neighbors in community activities.
Next meeting: The next District 10 Land Use Plan ad hoc committee meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 10, at the Historic Streetcar Station.

Meeting adjourned: 8:55 p.m. Future Meetings: The second Monday of each month.

Respectfully submitted by Chris Harkness, committee chair.
These minutes are not official until approved.

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

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