Reading the Highland Villager #99

[A Villager searches for parking on Selby.]
[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: New details fail to quell debate over design of Saints ballpark
Author: Frank Jossi

Short short version: The Saints released renderings of the new baseball stadium featuring a "clean modern design." People are complaining. CM Thune is cited, upset because the stadium doesn't "match with the massing of other buildings in the district." The EPA is involved because of the brownfield remediation. Article makes it sound as if there is still a long way to go, bureaucratically speaking. The state historic preservation office is "OK with the massing." [Can't believe that the Villager missed a chance to use a variation on the "Critical mass" pun for their headline. Are they slipping?]

Headline: Committee favors site plan for Vintage on Selby; Local business people, residents praise 5-story mixed-use development
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Whole Foods-accomodating apartments on Snelby were approved by the St Paul Zoning Committee after a three-hour hearing and discussion. [I was there for part of it. It was really really long.] Article includes details of the development. All neighborhood groups seem to be on board. Local business owner says the developer has shown a "collaborative spirit." One business owner cited benefits that the project will exceed its off-street parking minimums. [Oh, hooray. At a TOD node, no less.] Apparently the parking benefit district is dead, because of the location and cost of the proposed shared lot. [Oh well. I'm not sure that the city packaged this properly, clearly linking the costs of the lot to pricing for on-street spaces. That's key to the whole thing, IMO.] Quote from neighbor citing too much parking and not enough attention to pedestrian safety. [As anyone knows who has ever tried to cross Snelling Avenue...]

Headline: Committee leaves Snelling-Selby traffic issues unresolved
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [As part of the above story] the Zoning Committee axed the city reccommendation to expand Selby Avenue at the Snelling-Selby corner. The city staff proposal would have removed a pedestrian bumpout from the Selby corner and widened the road to add a right-turn lane. Most of the traffic on this corner comes from Ayd Mill Road. [The percentage of additional traffic generated by the development itself is very small.] There will be a meeting with the traffic engineers at O'Garas on the 14th. Everyone agrees that more study is needed. [Paging Doctor Interminable Ayd Mill Road Debate. You are wanted in Urgent Care.]

[Note: I have in my hand pictures of the proposed turn lane. Here it is:

... Anyway, you can see for yourself.]

Headline: Mayor announces improvements to St. Paul's snow removal procedures
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: It snowed and got cold, making it difficult to drive.

Headline: Study eyes improved transit linking downtown St. Paul and MSP airport
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The "Riverview Corridor" committee is studying transit options along West 7th Street, in an effort led by the county. They're focusing on mode choice, and according to Commissioner Ortega, "don't have preconceived notions." Options include buses, BRT, LRT, and streetcars, and the scope includes Shepard Road, West 7th, some of 35-E, and the freight rail ROW. Article includes lots of sketchy administrative and financial detail.

Headline: Transition Homes expansion OK'd
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The "transition home" [for people with chemical dependency issues] in Merriam Park will get to house more people. Something about parking.

Headline: Upgrades on tap or warming house at Groveland Rec Center
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The hockey and skating warming house will receive new locks.

Headline: ABRA Auto Body permitted to remain on University Ave.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An auto body shop received a permit to continue despite being in a "high density use" zoning area along the LRT line.

Headline: St. Paul is studying new ways to expand recycling
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council is looking at curbside compost. [Better luck this time.]

Headline: UST liquor license not making as big a splash as some feared
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The St Thomas's liquor license for events [receptions, reunions, etc.] hasn't actually been a problem. Two years ago, there was much outcry about the approval of the license.

Headline: City eases restrictions on new breweries, wineries, distilleries
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There are new zoning regs for alcohol production, including an increase in the amount of brewing. The move is aimed at increasing the number of taprooms by being more flexible about where they can be located.

Headline: Waters of Highland rezoning gains support
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A proposed senior living facility on Snelling Avenue received a zoning change. There are still issues about the exact site plan.

Headline: Hiawatha Corridor will get much needed sprucing up
Author: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: There will be some new landscaping along [the unwalkable pedestrian hell that is] Hiawatha Avenue. Nobody is sure who will maintain the incoming trees and grasses.

Headline: Pieology eyes corner of Ford and Finn
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A pizza place might move into the former gas station in Highland Park. [What a dumb name. I can't even say it.] The development will be modeled after a gyro restaurant that was approved in the area.

Headline: Dangers of drinking and the out of doors hitting home for students; Home break-ins near UST highlight a local problem
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Twice now this winter, a Tommy has gotten drunk and wandered into someone else's house. Apparently this happens every year. [What a nightmare! They should make a zombie/horror/college buddy movie about this. "Tommy and Tommy fail to go to White Castle."]

Headline: In St. Paul, La Cucaracha has meant fine Mexican food for half a century
Author: Morgan Smith

Short short version: History of the Mexican restaurant on Grand and Dale. Apparently "in 1967 the city of St. Paul acquired the ... building in order to widen dale street. The street project never materialized." [Wow, that would have ruined the neighborhood. That's what they did to the rest of Dale, north of University... Does anyone know the detailed history about this proposal? Did Summit Hill people stop it?]

1 comment:

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