Reading the Highland Villager #120

[A Villager in winter. H/t Mike.]
[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: Homeowners feel pain of rising values; Housing market rebound brings big tax increases
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Also greater net worth.]

Headline: St. Paul grants liquor licenses for Salt Cellar; Answer to Selby-Western parking woes still sought
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A restaurant that wanted to open up in a vacant building in a historic walkable area can now do so even though they don't have as many parking spots as other restaurants in the area would like them to have. Minimum parking requirements are vague on the subject, either requiring 31, 13, or 14 spaces. The restaurant will 13. The city staff said 14 but neighborhoods and the owner of W.A. Frost took it to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) who denied the larger requirements. In a recent vote, the City Council sided with city staff and the BZA. Article includes quotes from the owners of the new restaurant about getting their employees to work, and some history of the building, which was formerly an art school. Best quote: "some business owners and residents have said that the Neighborhood ... has reached  a tipping point." [Classic Yogi Berra moment: "Nobody goes there any more, it's too crowded."] People are still concerned about parking. [The key to parking in this neighborhood is to park a few blocks away and walk a few blocks. It's nice to walk in this neighborhood because it's beautiful and doesn't have parking lots everywhere. Fancy restaurants also have valet parking, don't they?]

Headline: City vacates former Lexington Library
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An building that used to have a library in it was sold. Other vacant buildings owned by the city will be sold in the future.

Headline: Grant awarded for transit [Least exciting headline in many months.]
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Counties Transit Improvement Board CTIB has given money to transit projects like SWLRT, Bottineau, Orange Line and Gateway.

Headline: City gets to work on new teardown policy; The question is, how do you legislate standards for new home design?
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city is considering new policies to regulate teardowns [when smaller homes in nice neighborhoods are torn down and replaced with larger homes], most of which is happening in the South-west quadrant of the city. Some questions include how to notify neighbors, what designs and style regulations might look like, and "lot splits."

Headline: Debbie Montgomery gets her name on part of Marshall Ave.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A former Council Member gets a symbolic sign. [See also: SuperTarget.]

Headline: St. Paul takes aim at creating archery range near Pig's Eye
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: You may be able to shoot arrows in park land near Pig's Eye lake in the future. [You'll poke your eye out!]

Headline: Owners of Grand property appeal parking spot denial
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A commercial/residential building housing a contracting business wants not to build a parking spot but the city is trying to make them do so. Neighbors say that tenants "park illegally in the alley."

Headline: Permit sought for next phase of Victoria Park apartments
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An old industrial oil tank farm is still becoming apartment buildings near West 7th Street. 194 new units, outdoor pool, and underground parking. [Park in the pool! Swim in your car!]

Headline: County to pay $11.5M to raze old jail, West Publishing complex in downtown
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Old buildings across the street from City Hall along the bluff downtown will be torn down by the County because they couldn't sell them to anyone. Politicians hope that the demolition will accelerate redevelopment. Article includes history of the buildings, the oldest of which is from 1895. [The jail is so amazing; see here.] "Demolition will take a year." They might get a Met Council grant to help pay for some of it.

Headline: Consultants aid St. Paul's effort to upgrade winter street maintenance
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council is changing the rules about one-sided parking and snow emergencies to make it easier to tag and tow cars. They're using "data" now. [What will they think of next?] Article includes quote: "they faced a blizzard of complaints." They will especially clear snow around the Green Line.

Headline: St. Paul approves regs for Uber, Lyft
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city will let Uber and Lyft operate without requiring individual licenses for drivers. Article includes lots of explanation of what a "smartphone" is. Article includes claims from the companies that lists of drivers' names are "trade secrets." [My understanding is that each company poaches drivers from the other, which if course is bad for the companies because then they get into a bidding war with each other and end up giving more power to the drivers.]

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