Reading the Highland Villager #67

[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 so that you don't have to. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free.]

Headline: Great River Passage rounds the last bend; blueprint for riverfront development reviewed
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Report on the public hearing on the Great River Passage Plan, a long-term plan for areas around the Mississippi River through St Paul. The specifically contentious part of the plan is an environmental education center at Watergate Marina [a run-down] part of Crosby Farm Regional Park. Article quotes groups who don’t approve of the educational center, including Highland District Council, Friends of the Parks and Trails of St Paul, and Friends of the Mississippi River.  Concerns seem to stem from the idea that this plan would supersede other city and neighborhood plans for areas along the river, and remove the need for separate approval from neighborhoods. Also, there is the desire to keep the riverfront area largely undeveloped.

Headline: City considers leasing out two more of its rec centers
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city council is concerned about the leasing of former rec centers that have been leased to outside groups. Currently there isn’t a review of the leases. Article includes quotes from three out of the seven council members.

Headline: HPC denies permit, seeks options for Thompson Hall window work
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: An old building on Marshall Avenue [that is a historical center for deaf people] is struggling to figure out how to re-fenestrate bricked over windows that they bricked over without a permit. The work was stopped when a city worker spotted the un-fenestration in process. The un-fenestration was an “oversight” according  to a building trustee. Article includes detail that the windows have long been useless as they “have been walled off from the inside.” Article includes re-, un-, and faux-fenestration options. [Just as long as there's no defenestration...]

Headline: Moratorium on Grand Ave. development gets hearing
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city council is having a hearing on a moratorium on development on Grand between Cretin and Fairview. The development ban is in response to a developer who is building apartment buildings on Grand. [It’s in the vicinity of St Thomas. Don’t get me started. See the upcoming streets.mn podcast for more on this. –Ed.]

Headline:  Lexington Restaurant seeks license to add rooftop patio
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Lexington [the very old school wood paneled steakcentric dining establishment on Lexington] is trying to build a rooftop patio. So far, “only one neighbor in opposition.” [I think a special ordinance should be written that ties the fate of the Lexington patio to the Wild Onion patio, so that whatever happens at one, must happen at the other.]

Headline: Council OKs financing plan for Episcopal Homes expansion
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version:  The plan for the old [catholic but not Catholic] folks home on University is going ahead for the old Porky’s site.

Headline:  Commission supports easier nonconforming use permits
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The St Paul Planning Commission supports changes to the regulations about nonconforming use permits [which are very very common, as I’m learning]. The changes involve loosening the requirements for the numbers of signatures required for “consent petitions.” Article includes quote from Commission chair explaining the situation, tidbit that the Summit Hill Association is not in favor of the change.

Headline: St. Paul looks to place rules on commercial pedal cars
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: CM Thune is worried about pedal pubs during rush hours, has proposed restrictions and regulations. Article includes quotes from business owners claiming that pedal pubs “bring vitality and fun to the city.”

Headline: Council votes to turn Charles Ave. into a 3 1/2–mile bicycle boulevard [Article is kind of buried in the paper for some reason, deep after the news roundup. Perhaps there's a new editorial policy that doesn't constantly splash bike issues all over the front page?]

Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Report on the city council passing the Charles Avenue bicycle boulevard plan [covered extensively already by me]. Article includes supportive quote from CM Stark, opponents who claim it will hurt business. Article includes description of Council hearing, where turnout was over 100 persons. [The Midway Chamber was very much opposed.] Article includes quote from CM Thune: “I think somebody’s going to get splattered.” [Thune might want to look at current safety statistics on Snelling, where splattering is a common occurrence.]

Headline: Milton St. duplex gets preliminary OK
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: A home in Summit Hill can be a duplex. [2012 + duplex = end of world!]

Headline: Falafel King to reopen West 7th drive-through
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: [If you want to eat a gyro sandwich without unbuckling your seatbelt, you’re in luck.] Article includes mention of the debate over when the restaurant should close on weekends.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I'm looking forward to St Paul passing a moratorium on anything changing ever.