September 11, 2018 Minutes

WCNC Calhoun – Meeting Minutes

Sept. 11, 2018

Submitted by Victoria Hoshal

Board members present:  Michael Sanders, Martha Yunker, Allan Campbell, Richard Logan, John Bordwell, Lynette Davis, Victoria Hoshal

Guests: Jack Whitehurst – Neighborhood Support Specialist, Meg Forney – Minneapolis Park Board member, Linea Palmisano- City Council Representative for Ward 13, Julie Aldrich – Greenspace Consultant.

Board Action:  The July meeting minutes were approved.

Committee Reports:  

Allan noted he has no separate President’s Report.  Re. the Treasurer’s Report – financials have been sent to the board.  Michael requested last year’s actuals so that we can compare YOY.

Development Plans – Calhoun Towers update:  Allan noted he received a call from Robb Bader.  Robb said that Bader Development will not be starting anything until next Spring. Unless the light rail issues are resolved they would begin construction on Phase III (vs. phases I, II or IV).  

Meeting attendee Steve Goltry noted that contractor staging can be difficult with multiple projects going – also emergency vehicle access is an issues.  Richard Logan added that he has observed “the abject failure of the planning commission to operate with best practice assumptions.” Richard suggested that we invite the head of planning commission to our next meeting.  We would question him on how development projects support the health safety and welfare of our neighborhoods.  There was no resolution on this item for an invitation/moving forward.

Allan reported on Movie Night.  There were not as many people as the previous year.  Cosf was $425. John Bordwell reminded the board of the upcoming wine tasting event on Thursday Oct. 11.  There has been $7,500 pledged from top donors and restaurants have donated food. We need 9 – 10 volunteers to work that night in 1 – 1.5 hour shifts.  Decision was made to provide discounted tickets to volunteers. Any tickets sold by WCNC will be our revenue. Attendance goal for the event is 400– 500. is goal – group agreed that volunteers will receive discounted tickets.  

Other conversation occurred around Environment: Buckthorn removal along Lake Calhoun would be desirable but would need to be done by specialists.  Richard will remind Tim about the storm drain stenciling. Re. Safety:  Richard has sent two emails to Calhoun Commons new ownership to commit to changing access points.  He is waiting to hear back from him about scheduling a meeting or joining our board meeting. Re. Traffic CalmingWCNC has $177,000 for traffic calming.  Allan is waiting to hear back from David Ngo.  We should discuss the banners at our next meeting, Annie is working on this and hopefully can provide a report/update.

Allan mentioned that there will be a November board retreat and Nikki is working on this.  Re. New Business: Richard suggested we have Michael present more about the Bakken Museum at our next meeting and we invite the public in.  The Bakken defines the sense of space for the neighborhood. Allan reminded the board that we have an open board seat. Please send nominees to Allan.  

Greenspace Committee:  Allan stated that short-term improvements should be furthering the master plan. Allan and Julie Aldrich are setting up a meeting with the planners to understand what would be permitted.  Allan would like full participation from Greenspace Committee or other board members. Proposal is on hold until we know what we can do. Then Julie will be back with a proposal. Julie stated that the project we are looking to do is ½ scope of full master plan. Park Board has agreed to allow some amenities – neighborhood council to facilitate the project to avoid delays.  We’ll work with PB and set milestones.   Design will happen during Fall/Winter, followed by contractor bids this Winter and construction next Summer.  There is a Category 3 wetland on the site; we will be avoiding that wetland. Will ask for community input. The  northwest portion of the site will be our focus – could be picnic tables, bocce court, fitness equipment, etc. These features would be permanent.  Funding would be outside of WCNC Neighborhood Action Plan.

Guest Jack Whitehurst presented financial information on the Neighborhood Action Plan status.  He also distributed a diversity survey around the demographic make-up of boards of neighborhood organizations.

He will provide online version for board members to respond to as well.

Neighborhood Crime Update from Linea Palmisano

There was a shooting on Excelsior Blvd. male/female victim – being investigated as possibly gang related.  They were in a car heading west on Excelsior Blvd – Saturday night of Labor Day weekend were fired at by another vehicle.  The victims were wounded.

Update on Hotel Proposal

Allan reported that the planners are in the due diligence process and don’t have a date yet for application to the city.  Still talking about traffic issues. No action has been taken over the course of the summer.

Update on Minneapolis 2040 Plan

Linea reported that the 2040 Plan Version 2 is scheduled to be released on Friday.  She has requested a three page summary with highlights of changes from the original plan. Linea has requested that comments received on the original be shared in the updated version.  Her office has organized the feedback. We have one scheduled meeting between now and the release of Version #2 the plan. After Version #2 there will be a public hearing on Oct. 29. There will be a Committee of the Whole meeting on Oct. 12 and a City Council meeting on December 7 for final adoption.  She has been working with the press and the mayor’s office.

Linea noted that Hennepin County is also doing a comprehensive plan – three members of the public are invited to the committee for this plan.  This should have been the case with the 2040 plan. Martha Yunker asked about Goth Public being hired as an agency for the 2040 plan and discussion occurred around the ethical implications for this action by the City.

Other updates from Linea: Early voting begins Sept. 21 downtown and week of Oct. 30 outside of downtown. Election day is Tuesday Nov. 6.  Lesser known items on the ballet include a school referendum proposal to increase funding and a charter amendment involving liquor sales.  To date this has been a very expensive process for restaurant owners. Wakame has had an exemption to serving liquor. Exemptions have to be passed at the state level.  This has been a barrier to small business success and the amendment is an easy solution – making it more viable for entrepreneurs and opening up opportunities for different parts of Minneapolis.  Linea is supportive of the amendment to change it. The current law requires 7 continuous acres of commercially zoned property as the requirement for serving liquor. The amendment does not pertain to off-sale liquor.  

Meg Fourney reported that the Linden Hills Bocce Ball Group has raised $13,000 to install the new courts and make them ADA – they’ve now raised $10,000 addl. From Bremer Bank to make it fully ADA accessible.  Dr. Art Ides is a neighborhood resident and dermatologist and the Natl. Dermatology Society donates money for Sun structures. This could be an additional funding option. Regarding the 2040 plan, Meg served on the planning commission in the past and has tried to advocate for the Shoreland Overlay early on.  Former Council Member and now President Lisa Bender, Ward 10, said that the planning looks at the Shoreland Overlay for rural areas only. The question is: how can we put teeth back into it? Advocating performance-based zoning is one way we could possibly protect water quality, bird safety, shadowing. We’ve asked for that to be put into the 2040 plan.  As it stands, each community can craft the Shoreland Overlay to their preference.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:40

 

July 10, 2018 Minutes

Meeting Minutes

July 10, 2018

Attending board members: Allan Campbell, Richard Logan, Tim Musson, Victoria Hoshal, John Bordwell, Martha Yunker, Jennifer Davie

16 residents

Absent:  (excused) Jeff Idelkope, Michael Sanders, Annie Zager; (unexcused) Lynette Davis

Called to order 6:04

President’s Report: Linea to be coming

Secretary’s Report: June minutes – Richard/John approved

Treasurer’s Report: Fundamentally no changes from last month

City Council Update  Linea Palmisano

Calhoun Towers Planning Commission public hearing on Monday 7/16 (4:30 in Council Chambers). The following points were discussed in preparation for the hearing:

  • Planning Commission – has reps from City Council, Park Board, School Board, residents, and area experts. “Mission statement” is to make decisions on existing comp plan.
  • From here it will go to Zoning & Planning of Council committee then to full Council
  • May not have another opportunity for public comment unless there is an appeal (but need to double checking that info). (NOTE: Did confirm that this was likely the last public comment opportunity.)
  • Resident has been at Planning Commission Committee of the Whole (COW) meetings, and saw some of the architect presentations. Some on committee didn’t seem very well versed on the project. Felt like the traffic assumptions were not in line with reality. COW is an informal meeting of the Planning Commission.
  • City Public Works involved with project for moving of streets…assured that a ladder truck can fit and turn-around in response to concerns about emergency vehicle access in that area.
  • Assumptions that LRT will reduce traffic on Excelsior by 15% – but most agree that the opposite would happen. Actual access to transit is limited (only east-west) in the neighborhood, compounding the impact on these limited routes.
  • Who may live there does matter (will they have cars, are they working, do they have to buy/condo vs rent). This topic was dismissed in COW meetings as insignificant.
  • Affordable housing: this project has increased its commitment to address these concerns somewhat based on WCNC requests along with City Council’s office.
  • Any suggestions of how we may be able to sway this Planning Commission? Had some movement on affordability and the environment, but no movement on density and height. Traffic concerns need a voice.
  • Bader stated they can’t cut back on size and scope, but that if LRT does not come through, then changes would be needed. 2040 Plan seems to be based on LRT.
  • No family housing in the plan (limits that type of diversity).
  • We hope the development will provoke the county to fix the sidewalks on Excelsior.
  • Do they consider how the growth of St Louis Park affects us? Yes, the multi-modal study look at the full region.
  • Representatives at the meeting volunteered to speak at this public hearing on Monday, and will try to coordinate their efforts to maximize the messaging.
  • During the course of past planning commission meetings, big changes have happened. Approve about 80-85% of proposals.

2040 Plan

Best chance to impact change is right now through resident feedback. Next draft scheduled to available by the end of Sept.

Committee Reports:

Land Use:

  • Calhoun Tower project
  • 2040 – yard signs popping up by grassroots efforts of residents

Communications, Outreach, Events:

  • July newsletter – to print Wednesday morning
  • Movie (8/11 – Frozen) Ben & Jerry’s & Sweet Dreams Fair Favs, sponsored by Eli Johnson Realtor
  • Wine Tasting event (10/11)
  • Victoria – website; update, new navigation, logo, wants to do more user friendly: RFPs for redesign

Environment:

  • Minneapolis Green Teams – Tim has joined, and looking into Master Water Steward program
  • Stencilling – we would still like to move forward on this

Greenspace:

  • Landscape architect are still in discussions with Watershed District (regarding wetlands) hope we can have a proposal by September meeting if not sooner

Safety:

  • In conjunction with banners and traffic calming & neighborhood character
    Contest for beautification ideas (way to combine ideas and efforts)
  • Regular scheduling of traffic observations to be set with Steve from CIDNA (information passed on to others) and volunteers are always welcome and needed
    Recommendation to do a quarterly report or such and distribute more widely

Coordinator’s Report:

  • Wine event meeting tomorrow, will monitor email on vaca, next meeting September

New Business:

Adjourn 7:30pm

 

June 12, 2018 Minutes

Meeting Minutes

June 12, 2018

Attending board members: Allan Campbell, Richard Logan, Victoria Hoshal, John Bordwell, Lynette Davis, Jeff Idelkope, Michael Sanders, Annie Zager

16 residents

Absent:  (excused) Jennifer Davie ; (unexcused) Tim Musson, Martha Yunker

Called to order 6:04

President’s Report: Board committee sign-ups

Secretary’s Report: May elected board members approved

Treasurer’s Report: Reports emailed to board. A summary of earmarked dollars (approx $177k each towards two initiatives: green space enhancements and safety improvements) was given to those in attendance.

Committee Reports:

Safety:

  • Traffic calming
    • Banners – Annie has gotten several estimates, and requested a $10,000 budget to be able to continue to pursue installing light pole banners to help with traffic calming and place making in West Calhoun. Motion was approved.
      Details regarding the actual artwork will need to be verified with the City, so more on next steps to come. Suggestions of a design contest, business sponsorship, images of flowers or kids, as well as a tagline.
    • Carpooling – In response to the area’s congestion, we will promote the already existing Metro Transit program which helps connect people with others for carpooling opportunities
  • Concerns about sidewalk accessibility have been shared with the City and the County. The WCNC may be able to help fund a portion of a project along Excelsior. Waiting to hear back about options and timing.
  • Calhoun Commons traffic flow. We are working with the new management to re-direct traffic in/out via Excelsior Boulevard, rather than Market Plaza. Traffic on Market Plaza creates issues for the emergency vehicles, as well as other safety issues for bikes and pedestrians. Currently they have removed the confusing and unhelpful “access” signs. We will be working with City traffic planners as well to continue flow improvements.
  • 5:00 this Thursday Richard will be restarting traffic observations. All are welcome to come, as we restart this process.

Communications, Outreach, Events:

  • Neighborhood Happy Hour 5/3 at Urban Eatery
    Small turn out and didn’t draw any new people. May move back to Wakame. Recommend a topic for discussion. Evaluate best ways to promote (flyers, postcard mailing, social media).
  • July newsletter
    • list of committees and how to join / get involved
      • Volunteers to help with communications (web and FB)
    • carpooling program through Metro Transit
    • Movie
    • Wine event
    • status of development projects
  • Movie (8/11 – Frozen)
  • Wine Tasting event (10/11)

Land Use:

    • Calhoun Towers
      Recent public comments (including an editorial in the SWJ, and letters sent to those in office) were shared. The general feeling is that the City is so pro-density and development that resident concerns are not taken seriously. Safety concerns, about emergency vehicle access into this already dense/congested area were raised. Are there other opinions/experts who are able to help share these concerns? Victoria will contact her brother about his experience with FEMA. With the proposed LRT station, emergency access could be a real issue/concern.
    • 2040 discussion
      Public comment deadline is July 22. The board will work on a WCNC comment, but we encourage everyone to comment. If you choose to email comments, be sure to copy elected officials, etc. to broadcast these concerns to a wider net.

 

  • Update on hotel development Nothing to report. Believe developers are in negotiations with the County regarding the intersection. Current rumor is for a  groundbreaking in September.

 

  • Minikahda – Golf shop is to be replacement. The shop is categorized as an historic building, but the board felt if the club wanted to rebuild it, they had no issues with that and chose to do no official action.

Environment: No updates

Greenspace:

  • Park idea (brought forth by resident, Paul Legler) on county land at France and Lake St (near bus stop). With the growing population of children in that area in particular, and the lack of a neighborhood park, we will be asking our SW parks CAC representative to bring this request forward in the long term park planning.
  • Park dedication fees from current or proposed area development could help us towards larger green space improvements that we are still hoping to bring to fruition. Additionally, we still have our own NRP dollars as mentioned earlier.)
  • Bob Close/Julie Aldrich proposal (landscape architectural work). Needs watershed  district approval, as there is a wetland buffer requirement. We will be updated as soon as possible.

Coordinator’s Report:

  • 2040 info, wine event, communications, community engagement workshop

Officer Elections: A motion was made and seconded for the following nominations. All motions carried.

Chair – Allan Campbell
Vice Chair – Lynette Davis
Treasurer – Tim Musson
Secretary – Jennifer Davie

New Business: A questions was raised regarding  the repair or replacement of railroad ties next to the Greenway (near Cityhomes) and why this work was taking place. No one was sure.

Safety concerns were raised regarding emergency evacuation plans for the areas near the tracks. CIDNA resident, Claire Ruebeck, has detailed knowledge/awareness about this issue.

A resident raised concerns about branches blocking stop and yield signs. These are good situations to report to 311.

Adjourn 7:30pm