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