District 10 Como Community Council Board Meeting
Historic Street Car Station
1224 Lexington Parkway, Saint Paul, MN 55108
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
I. Call to Order: Chairperson Jon Knox called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
II. Board Introductions:
Present: Jon Knox, Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Debra Pursley, Pete Bolstad, Julie Tholen, Frank Dolejsi, Dana Saeger, Kim Moon, Ryan Flynn, Kevin Dahm and Tedd James
Absent: Mary Michalski, Patrick Tschida, Curt Stock, and Bill Lipkin
Staff Present: Ted Blank
III. Review, Amend, Approval of Agenda:
Motion: Approve the agenda (Moon-Dolejsi) Passed
IV. COMMUNITY SECTION:
A. Board Chair Report: Jon Knox reported that the Street Rod Association show is coming up at the State Fairgrounds this weekend. Reminder: Yard parking is not allowed except during the State Fair.
B. Treasurer's Report: Julie Tholen reported that we are now running a surplus of about $1400 for the year. Income is running ahead of expenses.
C. Special Election (Sub-district 1): Joao (John) Medeiros has submitted an application for the sub-district 1 position, which was left vacant when Julie Tholen was elected as Treasurer at our May meeting. He was present at tonight's meeting.
Motion: Elect Joao Medeiros to the sub-district #1 position by acclamation (Moon-Saeger) Passed.
D. Guest Speaker: City Councilmember (Ward 5) and Chair of the St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), Amy Brendmoen, was our guest speaker this evening. She explained some history and the function of the St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority. She stated that she believes more economic development money and public works projects need to be focused on neighborhoods. In order for a city to be livable and viable, it needs to be walkable. She mentioned two examples (Front/Dale/Como and Como/Rice/Pennsylvania) as areas that seem prime for economic development. She mentioned the goal of getting more through traffic on freeways and off of neighborhood streets. Improved collaboration between the City of St. Paul and Ramsey County is needed. Ted Blank asked about the process for a vacant property (for example, the Sholom Home property) to come under the purview of the HRA. It is a long process with many protections for the property owner(s). Amy’s hours at the Rice Street Library are on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 4:00 to 5:30. She welcomes discussions of residents’ concerns.
E. Miscellaneous Community Discussion:
District Commander Paul Iovino was present to talk about the annual Street Rod Association event this coming weekend. He stated that the event was important to the St. Paul Police Department. They are aware of the problems of idling cars, people sitting on private property, etc. He stated that they do have a plan in place with officers assigned to the event and monitoring the neighborhood. He encouraged residents to call the police if there are problems.
A representative of the Hmong Heritage Preservation Commission of Minnesota was present to talk about their concerns about the leadership of the Hmong Festival that is to be held on July 4th and 5th in Como Park. They would like the cooperation of District 10 in preventing the festival, if not possible for this year, then for next year. Jon Knox responded that we have already taken action on the request for the sound variance this year. So any requested action would need to be in relation to next year's festival.
V. BOARD BUSINESS SECTION:
A. Review/Amend/Approve Minutes and Financial Statements:
Motion: Approve tonight's financial statements and minutes of the 05/20/2014 meeting (Moon-Flynn). Passed.
B. Staff Report: Ted Blank reminded those present that the Street Rod Association Back to 50s Car Show is being held at the State Fairgrounds on the upcoming weekend. Ted has been working with Councilmember Stark's office and with Senior Commander Iovino of the St. Paul Police to mitigate some of the past problems that have occurred in the neighborhood in conjunction with this event. The City has sent a letter to residents near the Fairgrounds that lawn parking is not allowed with the exception of during the State Fair. A community clean up is scheduled for this weekend, and volunteers are needed. The garden tour is also scheduled for this weekend. Ted reminded committee chairs that the Street Car Station is used for summer camps. So if committees think they will need the larger meeting space, Ted needs to be contacted to make sure it is available and usable.
C. Committee Updates:
a. Land Use: Kim Moon has submitted an action item for the approval of a letter to Ramsey County. The letter expresses opposition to the current Ramsey County road diet plan. Our concerns include: lack of process and inclusive community involvement; lack of focus or attention to specific neighborhood needs and concerns regarding the street in question (for example; handicapped access, driveway access); and lack of attention to complete streets (for example; lack of pedestrian crossings and bike lanes). The letter also states that the current plan is a good starting point, but more community input needs to be considered before the plan is put into effect.
Motion: Approve the letter in opposition to the current Ramsey County road diet plan for Dale Street (Moon-Flynn) Passed.
Kim submitted a second action item at tonight's meeting. A zoning variance has been requested by a resident of District 10 to build a large garage (32'x22') with a very narrow side setback. The meeting with BZA was fast-tracked, and Land Use has not had a chance to meet with the resident. There was also no BZA staff report sent with the site plan that we received.
Motion: Approve a letter of support with the amendment that we only approve the variance request if immediate neighbors have given their approval and the water run-off concerns have been addressed satisfactorily (Moon-Flynn) Passed.
The Land Use Committee’s next meeting is Monday, June 30th at North Dale Rec Center.
b. District Plan ad hoc Committee: Chris Harkness reported that the committee has shifted its focus to business development and redevelopment. A survey of attendees was taken at the Ice Cream Social. The top suggestions were family-friendly restaurants and small grocery stores/co-ops.
c. Neighborhood Relations and Safety: Mary Michalski was not able to be present tonight. Her report was included in the board packet. It was estimated that over 400 people attended the ice cream social last Friday night. Ted Blank will send a thank you note to Kemps for their generous donations.
d. Environment Committee: Dana Saeger reported that the garden tour is this coming Saturday. The Tree Trek is on Sunday. The next committee meeting is tomorrow night.
e. Como Regional Park Advisory Committee: Pete Bolstad reported that Parks and Rec is working on fixing and finalizing new signage in Como Park. The RFP for the pedestrian bridge renovation went out last week. Pete reported that there was a good conversation about improving the pedestrian crossing across Lexington near Como Lake and the golf course. Discussions will begin in August regarding which proposed bonding projects will be targeted given the funding approved during the last Legislative session. The shuttle parking lot is off the table at this time. Michele Furrer will be present at our August board meeting. Chris Harkness asked if a plan to expand the deck area at the pool was discussed. She had heard Mike Hamm say that this was being considered. Pete reported that this was not mentioned at the last CRPAC meeting.
f. Executive Committee: Jon Knox reported that the discussion of the issues, which were brought up at the board retreat, was continued (including the use of staff time). Jon is going to make an effort to attend committee meetings so he can get a better idea of how committees are operating currently. We will need to reschedule the July 2nd meeting, because of members' vacation plans.
VI. ADJOURN: Motion to adjourn was made at 8:22 p.m. Passed.
Respectfully submitted by Linda R. Hinderscheit, Secretary
These minutes were approved on July 15, 2014.