22.11.05

stp: December Edition of Avenues

Lots to read in this edition of Avenues, the new Saint Paul local paper (unfortunately, no website).

  • A nice article about Victoria Park, a neighborhood at West 7th and Otto, where old industrial land is being developed along TND lines.
  • An Op-Ed about how the city's PED (Dept. of Economic Development) has laid off a whole bunch of planners, and has become less sensitive to neighborhood groups in the last decade or so. The article comes down hard on the city for screwing up the dreams of a Tatoo artist named Grease Lehman. I've heard about this story before, and it seems like the perfect example of old-fashioned overwrought overplanning.
  • The Heritage Presevation Commission is trying to get local historic designation for the Schmidt Brewery (also on W 7th), an important step for keeping any future development true to the spirit of the place.
  • And an update on the Grand Avenue formula business code plans. The Planning Commission is meeting today to review a public hearing that took place on the beginning of the month. The city council is trying to figure out what to do, and the two sides are drawn along traditional lines: neighborhoods and most citizens on one side, the Chamber of Commerce on the other.

My take on the Grand Avenue ordinance is that there's nothing wrong with the neighborhood getting together and trying to control what sort of commercial development occurs on the street. The sorts of size and format limitations they're discussing sound perfectly reasonable.

I'm not in favor of getting rid of the "rule of five," though. Really small businesses shouldn't need to provide their own parking lot, and the sorts of places that do (Grand Avenue liquors) are just paving green space.

1 comment:

MNObserver said...

What do you mean by "overwrought overplanning?"