Land Use Committee
January 31, 2011
Members Present: Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Bill Sylvester, Jon Knox, Betsy Wehrwein
Others Present: Tim Weiss (Gabe’s), Vince Gillespie, Panod Klongtruatroke, Dennis O’Rourke, Camille Schafer, Penny Spence, Marsha Milgrom, Delores Rufenacht, Jessie Bronk, Steve Finnegan (Java Train)
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m.
Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the 1-10-2011 meeting were approved.
Gabe’s Liquor License: On January 14th Matt Long and George Wozniak returned ownership of Gabe’s to the previous owner Tim Weiss. Mr. Weiss had owned the restaurant from 1989 to approximately 2005. He is currently operating under Mr. Long’s liquor license, but because Mr. Long has not paid the required state taxes, Mr. Weiss cannot purchase any new alcoholic beverages on that license. The City Licensing Inspector has agreed to waive the wait time and recommend approval of the license application at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, 2/2/2011, if the District 10 Land Use Committee agrees. Mr. Weiss has incurred considerable expense in the re-acquisition of Gabe’s and would like to obtain a liquor license in order to serve patrons during the Super Bowl this coming weekend. Mr. Weiss attended tonight’s meeting to explain the situation and answer questions. When asked about the legal troubles that resulted in a punitive judgment against him before he sold Gabe’s a number of years ago, he accepted responsibility and expressed remorse for his actions, vowing to not let illegal activities happen again at Gabe’s. He reported he served the community service portion of his sentence in the weeks immediately following the sentence and indicated that the period of time for which he was not allowed to hold a liquor license in St Paul has now passed. Mr. Weiss assured the committee that he and his management staff would communicate regularly with District 10 and strive to be good neighbors with the nearby residents.
District 10 by-laws allow committee action with the approval of the Executive Committee when actions of the City of St. Paul, county or state will occur before the next regularly scheduled meeting of the District 10 – Como Community Council. Executive Committee members attended tonight’s Land Use Meeting as well. Dennis O’Rourke, community member, attended the meeting to speak in support of Mr. Weiss’ request. No changes from the current liquor license are proposed. Mr. Weiss does intend to apply for a catering license in the future.
Motion approved: That the Land Use Committee supports the request of Tim Weiss for an expedited liquor license for Gabe’s.
Motion approved: That the District 10 Community Council Executive Committee supports the request of Tim Weiss for an expedited liquor license for Gabe’s.
Public Hearing on Proposed Change to the City of St. Paul Sign Regulations: The issues and rationale for the proposed changes to sign regulations were reviewed as they were presented at the last Land Use meeting. The authors of the proposal or their representatives were not present at tonight’s meeting. Steve Finnegan, owner of Java Train, spoke in opposition to a change in regulations. He stated that this would pose an unnecessary, additional regulation of businesses and the City of St. Paul does not have the resources to enforce them. General consensus was in support of the police recommendations that the clerk and cash register be visible from the outside for safety purposes. Concern was expressed over enforcement. There was also general agreement that while signs obscuring store windows may be an issue in some parts of the city, it was, with a couple exceptions, not a widespread issue in District 10. The D10 Safety and Land Use Committees could make a joint effort to educate and communicate with business owners regarding police recommendations to reduce signage in windows for visibility and safety issues. There was not agreement that a change needs to be made to city regulations concerning the amount of window space obscured by signs.
Motion approved: An action item regarding this issue will be presented to the Board at the next Board meeting.
Land Use Committee Charter and 2011 Work Plan: The committee charter was approved. It was unchanged from the previous charter. The 2011 Work Plan was approved with the addition of an objective to include emerging issues in Subdistrict 3.
Midway Parkway West Como: Josh Williams, from the City of St. Paul, has contacted Chris Harkness about the revision of the Midway Parkway West Como small area plan. He has been invited to attend our next meeting as we take on the revision of the small area plan.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:27 p.m.
Next meeting: The next Land Use committee meeting will be held at on Monday, February 28, 2010 at Java Train.
Minutes recorded by Linda R. Hinderscheit, committee member
These minutes are not official until approved.