Reading the Highland Villager #215

[A vain attempt at finding the Villager online.]
[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. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free. See also: Three Reasons Why I Re-Blog the Highland Villager.]

Headline: Ryan Cos. to unveil redevelopment plan for Ford Plant site; Developer discusses possible modifications to master plan
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The company that owns and will develop the Ford site is getting ready to tell people they plan to do. There was a meeting at a church where someone from the company listened to people. Neighbors are concerned about traffic, parking, and density. They might start doing actual work in a year. There will be more meetings. The railroad land is not part of the deal yet. Some changes might happen including some rowhouses or town houses. [Essentially downzoning the nicest parts of the property.] Quote from developer guy: "ten-story buildings feel a bit out of scale to us." [This is vaguely disappointing on one hand, but on the other hand this is actually happening.]

Headline: Mayor proposes 7.6% increase in spending in '19; $606M city budget comes with 11.5% tax increase
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Saint Paul pays for expensive things and services with a property tax. Over half of the budget goes to the police and fire departments. There will be extra money for bike lanes, street maintenance, and an immigrant defense fund. [Also worth noting that a growing tax base means there is less of an increase on individual property owners than there otherwise would be.]

Headline: Hearing set Aug. 15 on allowing accessory dwellings citywide
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city might allow ADUs to be built citywide instead of only in a small section of the city near the Green Line. Neighbors are concerned about traffic and parking. [True fact: I actually went and testified in support of this proposal this at the City Council hearing. So far there has been one (1) ADU built in Saint Paul, but over a hundred (100+) in Minneapolis.]

Headline: Redesign of Starbucks' drive-thru OK'd at Marshall-Snelling
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Planning Commission voted 11-2 to approve a new site plan that would allow one or two more cars to queue up for coffee in the drive-thru. [I voted against it. I do not think this will solve the general problem of the drive-thru, and believe both the company and the city would be better off focusing on a real site plan that would meet the conditions attached to the permit, which call for a plan that does not dangerously impact traffic patterns. I predict that this site plan tweak will not solve the general problem of people breaking the law and driving dangerously in order to get coffee without leaving their cars. All this is being done in order for a coffee shop to increase profits at the expense of community safety, most especially for people on bicycles. The next step for people who are upset by this drive-thru will be to contact for the City Zoning Administrator to ask him to reconsider the Conditional Use Permit under which the drive-thru is operating, and whether the permit holder is meeting the conditions. His email is: yaya.diatta@ci.stpaul.mn.us.] Starbucks is asking for Ramsey County to change and redesign the street in order to keep people from turning left and to allow for on-street parking. 

Headline: Rezoning OK'd for new 5-story building on site of O'Gara's bar
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council approved a rezoning for O'Gara's, whcih might become a new mixed-use building. [This is an historic building that contains a bar with car doors on the wall, where Charles Schulz' father's barber shop was located.] Neighbors are concerned about traffic and parking.

Headline: Lander Group to build 37 apartments on site just north of Minnehaha Park
Author: Bill Wagner

Short short version: An old car repair place is becoming an apartment building over in Minneapolis.

Headline: Gentlemen, start your ... scooters; Council regulates new way to get around St. Paul
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Docklesss shared scooters are now legal in Saint Paul. There will be a "trial period." Article includes descriptions and prices for scooters.

Headline: City requires landlords to inform tenants how to register to vote
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There is a new ordinance on the books now that requires landlords to tell tenants how to register, to make their "best efforts." Quote from a guy who owns a triplex: "the job of encouraging people to vote is better left to yourselves." CM Prince voted no.

Headline: Citizens unhappy with new organized trash system give City Council an earful
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Some people don't like the city's new plans for "organizing" trash collection. There was a public hearing.There is a group called St. Paul Trash. [Amazing self-own.] Some landlords are upset about the rising costs for small buildings, like triplexes. [I hope some of the problems can be ironed out, but it's still a good idea.]

Headline: St. Paul approves variance for relocation fo Big Top Liquors
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A popular liquor store is going to be tornd down for a soccer stadium parking lot, but will move into an old Perkins.

Headline: Pawn American gets license to reopen at University-Fry
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city will let a pawn shop move back into its original location on University Avenue.

Headline: Commission favors plan to turn church into arts venue 
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An old church that was for sale might become an arts venue for concerts and also still a church sometimes. Neighbors are concerned about traffic, parking, and noise. [Seems like a great way to save and re-use a cool old building on Summit Avenue.]

Headline: Central's tiny house could spell big reward; Auction to support students learning construction trades
Author: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: Some high school students built a "tiny house" and are going to sell it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Re: Central's tiny house story by Kevin Driscoll... Comendations & thanks must go to St Paul Public School's construction pathways program and the many individuals and business allies who support efforts that introduce students to the building trades. These actions are critical as the need for skilled trades people is great. Thanks to the Villager & Mr Driscoll for terriffic community development story. And I share the hopes of many that this auction is a success!