27.11.13

Reading the Highland Villager #97

[A Villager searches for parking.]
[Basically the problem is that the best source of Saint Paul streets & sidewalks news is the Highland Villager, a very fine and historical newspaper. This wouldn't be a problem, except that its not available online. You basically have to live in or frequent Saint Paul to read it. That's why I'm reading the Highland Villager. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free.]





Headline: Property owners raise objections over rebuilding Randolph Ave.; County wants to replace section from Snelling-35E
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Randolph needs to be rebuilt from Snelling to Trader Joe's. Businesses don't want the county to rebuild it because of construction and assessments. [But eventually it has to happen, right?] It'll have 11' travel lanes and 9' parking lanes. Plans also call for road widening to add left-turn lanes at Hamline and Lexington. The grocery store owner, in particular, is worried about losing his business.


Headline: City opens biding for Como, Phalen golf courses
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city-owned golf courses are losing money, so the city wants private companies to manage two of them. CMs Thune, Bostrom, and Tolbert voted against privatization for reasons that are unclear, but have to do with lack of clarity. "Professional golf managers" may take a pay cut. [I think they should get rid of the whole golf concept, but that doesn't seem to be on the table.] Skiing will remain as it is.


Headline: City Council seats its first Hmong-American
Author: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: Dai Thao got elected.


Headline: Snelling-Selby in the hunt for more parking; Businesses seek new shared lots on blocks west of Snelling Ave.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There's a new development in a surface parking lot on the corner of two busy streets. The developer and city are proposing a Parking Improvement District (shared lot paid for with meter revenue), but some businesses don't like the idea because the lot will be too far away. Some are advocating demolishing homes West of Snelling to build a parking lot over there instead, or in addition, to the proposed lot. Some people want to improve the streets for bikes and peds, even citing the "friendly streets" model along Charles. [I'm in favor of using parking revenue to solve private parking problems and improve the neighborhood. But bike and ped improvements are even better! Plus it'd make Dan O'Gara roil.]


Headline: Hike in right-of-way assessments held to 3%
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Nobody came to a meeting about raising assessments by 3 percent. [If a tax grows in a city council chamber, but nobody is there to hear it, does it make a outcry?]


Headline: Former U.S. Bank building to be razed this week
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A vacant office building from 1956 will be destroyed and replaced with something, but nobody knows what.


Headline: Highland Library to kick off major renovation on Dec. 1
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A library will be larger soon. They may add eight parking spaces in what is currently right field for some reason. [Seriously, go vote at this link. Such ridiculous priorities?]


Headline: Union Park committee backs Transition Homes' expansion
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A shelter for men with dependency issues will get slightly larger. It's OK because they don't drive cars.


Headline: New permit parking hours set for Mac-Grove block near UST
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: You can't park there.


Headline: Joint Caribou, Bruegger's proposed for Dairy Queen site on West 7th St.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There's a proposal to replace an old one-story DQ on West 7th Street with a new one-story story building with bagels and coffee. The city rezoned the property to TN (traditional neighborhood) [i.e. mixed-use non-auto-oriented] a while ago, and approved design standards for West 7th in particular more recently. [The design standards seem similar to a form based code?  I'm actually not sure of the differences even though I've read them.] People in the neighborhood groups aren't happy about the size of the building or the drive thru. The proposal would need a variance because of the large amount of surface parking. [This is sure to come before the planning commission, so I can't comment on it.] There will be a small patio. Quote from the Caribou developer: keeping a drive through is"extremely  critical." Quote from neighborhood group guy: "If it's supposed to be for the neighborhood, I don't see the need for a drive-through." Adding a second story is similarly fraught with tension over parking and cost.


Headline: St. Paul College loses sign appeal
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The new electronic sign at the [community] college next to the cathedral will only be able to have one color and change every 20 minutes.


Headline: Court to near Ford's argument for lowering property taxes
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The county wants Ford to pay more than Ford wants to pay. The county began assessing it as mixed-use instead of industrial land when the company announced closure. [Sneaky, and noteworthy! Seems similar to this good idea.] Lawyers are involved.


Headline: Commission grants permit for Highland memory care facility
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A former monastery building from the 70s will become a home for old people instead of chemically dependent people because neighbors complained.

4 comments:

Gene said...

i wish you wouldn't skip the opinion section in these summaries

Alex said...

The best evidence that our society is mostly made up of oversized babies is that people protest the maintenance of the infrastructure they depend on.

Anonymous said...

You're a little wrong Alex. I am hoping to see Randolph evolve into a dirt path, possibly with boulders. That would be a major improvement.

Bill Lindeke said...

yeah, well you get what you pay for. its hard enough keeping up with just the facts... the opinion section might drive me up the wall for good.