Minutes - 11/2009
Monday, November 30, 2009 4:50 PM

District 10 Community Council, Land Use Committee

Monday November 9, 2009, 7:00 PM
Java Train Coffee Shop
Present: Jon Knox, William Sylvester, Chris Harkness, Scott Baker, Josh Courteau, Sally Worku.
Agenda approved with adjustments. 
October 2009 Minutes approved.
Discussed the status of the Midway Parkway Small Area Plan. We were asked to certify revisions and updates to the plan, but this committee feels we need to review the plan as it exists now before presenting it to the Board for a vote per the Council’s by laws. Jon will obtain an electronic copy of the plan and distribute it via email to committee members. Chris will check with Ted to clarify the committee’s past and current place in the process. Scott will connect with Josh at PED to let him know we’re still interested in working with the plan. This will be a December agenda item.
Discussed the Gabe’s Roadhouse sound level variance request Chris Harkness received on October 28. The request was for live music from 7 pm to 1 am on October 30 and 31, 2009. (This is a twice yearly request. Gabe’s asks also has an outdoor party at St Patrick’s Day.) Because there was not sufficient time for the Land Use Committee to meet, nor for the Council to put it to a vote, Rhonda requested, and Leah concurred, that Chris Harkness write a letter to support the DSI’s recommendation of approval with the hours of operation amended to 7 pm to 12 am. Chris provided the letter speaking only from the Land Use Committee. Subsequently, Rhonda and Chris agreed to become proactive rather than reactive with a process for obtaining variance requests and getting them to the committee. The committee is uncomfortable with the way this was handled and hopes the Chair will not be put into this position in the future. 
Discussed the City’s request that District 10 identify which billboards residents would like to see removed. In order to be allowed to put up electronic billboards, applicants must agree to take others down. In a phone conversation with Ellen Biales Chris Harkness learned the City cannot dictate to the billboard company which signs will come down, but the City does place the highest priority on those in residential areas when it requests removal. The signs that do come down will not be replaced as St Paul ordinance now prohibits placing billboards within the city. The new dynamic displays will all be in the major freeway corridors.
Based on the input and feedback we received the committee has proposed the following action item be brought to the November 17 board meeting for a vote:
“The billboards that District 10 Community Council recommends be removed are the north and south facing billboards on the structure at the north east corner of the Snelling Como intersection.”
Jon will contact the owner of the building to inform him of the item and invite him to the meeting.
Sally Worko expressed and explained her concern that several the small development projects in Como Regional Park have removed parking within the park and the closing off and repurposing of some streets around the park may be negatively impacting traffic flow and adversely affecting the residential areas adjacent to the park. She would like the Council to obtain a copy of the 2001 Master Plan in order get a bird’s eye view of the entire park and surrounding area one half mile out in order to develop a transportation plan that appropriately considers neighborhood impact before going forward with any more development of the park or that area. Updated traffic and parking measurements are needed to guide further road decisions in the Horton to Jessamine part of the park. Her contentions are that the smaller projects have not taken into view the bigger picture and the community has not had sufficient opportunity for input. Chris Harkness will confer with Neighborhood Relations Committee Chair Chris Martineau to work out which of the committees can best address this important issue.
Discussed the webpage. The committee agrees Chris Harkness should update the page as necessary and post the minutes as soon as they are available. Will discuss the work plan at the December meeting.
New Business: considered a request from Susan Janda of District 6 for District 10 to include her neighborhood across from the Streetcar Station. The committee understands the neighborhood’s desire, but believes this is a request for the Council and not a Land Use Issue. Chris Harkness will look into this further and communicate with Susan before the December meeting.
Reviewed a St Paul City Council Notice of Public Hearing on December 16 regarding Design Standards Zoning Amendments. Did not see a need to get involved with this at this time, but agreed to should go into the Blast. Chris will communicate this to Rhonda.
Josh Courteau expressed a desire for a fenced in dog park in District 10. The City of St Paul has only three. He’ll do some investigating and come back with ideas.
9:00 p.m. adjourned. 

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

Site donated by: Havens Design, Matt Schmitt Photography
and UrbanPlanet Software LLC