Minutes - 8/2008
Friday, August 01, 2008 1:15 PM

  

 

Land Use Meeting 

 

August 14, 2008 

Streetcar Station, 7 pm 

 

 

Agenda 

 

1. Call to order 

 

2. Approve agenda 

 

3.  Discuss RS Eden proposal for the Shalom Home. Special Guests: two RS Eden 

representatives. (30 minutes) 

 

4. Discuss Vik Variance Request. (15 minutes) 

 

5. Discuss Node Study and Tony & Luke's meeting with the City. (15 minutes) 

 

6. Discuss T-Mobile Cell/Light Tower Community Meeting. (10 minutes) 

 

7. Discuss Bench Work Plan Item & Sue's contact with Ramsey County Active 

Living Coordinator. (Sue) (10 minutes) 

 

8. Discuss Bike Rack Work Plan Items. Updates? (Tony) (10 minutes) 

 

9. Other  

 

10. Set date for next LU meeting 

  

11. Adjourn 

  

 

            

 

 

Land Use Meeting 

 

August 14, 2008 

Streetcar Station, 7 pm 

 

Minutes 

 

1. Call to order 

Board members in attendance: Luke, Tony, Sue, Brian, Dennis, and Marc.  

Chai and Jeffery Vik also attended.  

Lois Mueller and Dan, RS Eden's president, attended. 

 

2. Approve agenda 

 

3.  Discuss RS Eden proposal for the Shalom Home. Special Guests: two RS Eden 

representatives. (30 minutes) 

Lois and Dan from RS Eden highlighted the group's history, reviewed 

preliminary proposal for the Shalom Home, answered committee 

questions. RS Eden has not made an offer on the property. RS Eden 

committed to talking to the community before signing a purchase 

agreement for the property. Dan committed to not moving forward 

with the project if the community had strong objections. If the project 

were to move forward, the facility would be operational in 2012. 

RS Eden's preliminary proposal for the Shalom Home site a 129 unit 

sober supporting housing unit – mostly low-income, some Section 8. 

Most of the units would be efficiencies – some would be one-bedroom. 

All of the units would be one-person units (not family housing). The 

facility would be staffed 24-hours a day by a front desk to enforce the 

lease policies. 

Tenants, per their lease, would commit to (1) being sober 100% of the 

time, (2) being employed, and (3) abide by all other standard housing 

laws. The project would be a supportive housing unit – not a treatment 

facility. Tenants could come and go as they please – there are no 

curfews at RS Eden facilities. Tenants would have to show evidence of 

being sober for 2 months prior to moving in.  

Some of the tenants would have criminal backgrounds. Drug 

councilors and probation officers often refer tenants to RS Eden 

facilities. At other facilities, RS Eden has agreed to not accept any sex 

offenders. If the project moves forward, admission of sex offenders 

would be a topic for the community to discuss.  

If RS Eden decides to move forward, LU committed to hold a full 

community meeting – probably prior to any purchase agreement.  

Committee members asked several questions and had many concerns. 

Some of these include 

o The community is already under stress (e.g. State Fair, Job 

Corps, Booth Brown House). 

o This would not be a highly regulated facility. 

o Other RS Eden facilities are in neighborhoods with higher 

crime rates – Como is a low crime neighborhood. 

o Slow police response times to the Como neighborhood. 

o Concerns regarding the safety of young people at the Booth 

Brown House. 

o Sex offender issues.  

o Introducing other people with criminal backgrounds into the 

community. 

o Whether the project would attract bad tenants from outside St. 

Paul and bring them in to the City and Como Park 

o Whether the project would make the park less safe. 

o Concerns about the lack of curfews. 

o Concern about the other possible alternative uses of the Shalom 

Home facility in the future.  

 

4. Discuss Vik Variance Request. (15 minutes) 

Mr. Vik attended the meeting and presented his variance request. Vik 

requests a six foot variance from the City's 25 foot street setback 

requirement.  

The committee reviewed the plan and asked several questions. Vik 

answered everyone's questions. 

Vik presented a petition showing his neighbors had signed off on the 

proposal. Vik has heard no objections. 

Vik is scheduled to have a hearing on his variance request on August 

25. His neighbors have been notified of the meeting. 

Committee members were concerned about changing the sight-line of 

the neighborhood by allowing a garage to protrude closer to the street. 

Nonetheless, the committee decided to recommend board support for 

the project because  

i. Vik's lot is unique – pie-shaped – and requires special 

consideration. 

ii. Mary Lane (the street where Vik has drive-way access) runs 

behind several houses, not heavily used, and effectively a 

glorified alley.  

iii. Giving Vik more garage and driveway space will get more 

vehicles off the street and make the street a safer place to 

travel. 

iv. There is neighborhood support for the project. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Discuss Node Study and Tony & Luke's meeting with the City. (15 minutes) 

Reviewed discussion with the City and discussed possible updates to 

the drawings/plans. Tony and Luke agreed to approach MGM and 

determine if MGM is willing to participate in the process.  

 

6. Discuss T-Mobile Cell/Light Tower Community Meeting. (10 minutes) 

Reviewed what happened at the meeting. Luke sent a summary to the 

board the day after the community meeting.  

 

7. Discuss Bench Work Plan Item & Sue's contact with Ramsey County Active 

Living Coordinator. (Sue) (10 minutes) 

Sue has contacted the County and City – she is awaiting responses and 

needs to gather additional information.  

 

8. Discuss Bike Rack Work Plan Items. Updates? (Tony) (10 minutes) 

Tony is getting a copy of the City's bike route plan and will contact the 

City's bicycle coordinator.  

 

9. Other  

None 

 

10. Set date for next LU meeting 

Tuesday, September 9 

7PM 

Streetcar Station 

  

11. Adjourn 

  

 

            

 

 

 

     Action Item 

 

DATE: 8/19/08 

 

FROM: Land Use Committee 

 

ITEM: LU0819081 

 

ACTION REQUESTED: The Board send a letter of support for Jeffrey Vik's variance 

request at 1514 Lexington Parkway North.     

 

BACKGROUND/ RATIONALE: Vik's lot is unique – pie-shaped – and requires 

special consideration. Mary Lane (the street where Vik has drive-way access) runs behind 

several houses, is not heavily used, and effectively functions as an alley. Giving Vik 

more garage and driveway space will get more vehicles off the street and make the street 

a safer place to travel. There is neighborhood support for the project. 

 

While the Land Use Committee support's Vik's request, Vik's is a unique lot and a unique 

situation; Board support for Vik's variance request is not precedent for granting similar 

variances under different circumstances. Setbacks and sight lines along Como Park 

streets are aesthetically and functionally important and, in most cases, should be 

maintained.  

 

IMPLEMENTATION: The letter would be addressed to the City Department of Safety 

and Inspections. A copy would be sent to Jeffrey Vik and the appropriate 

Councilmember. 

  

ISSUES UNRESOLVED OR YET TO BE DETERMINED: Whether the variance is 

granted.  

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

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