Reading the Highland Villager #77

[Homelessness strikes a Highland Villager.]
[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: It may be curtains for art college; CVA announces closing, but alumni hope to save 89-year-old institution
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: St Paul's CVA is closing. Tuition is $25K / year. Article includes accusations of mismanagement [which, knowing what I know about how higher-education is run, comes as no surprise].

Headline: HRA sets aside $36K for Selby-Milton site
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A housing authority owned vacant lot on Selby is still vacant. The last effort to develop the site was nixed by the local neighborhood group's "planning council."

Headline: Lowertown sidewalk hearing set
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The [already discussed here] sidewalk café project on Mears Park had a public hearing at the City Council. Article includes a small bit of [almost entirely accurate] context.

Headline: County asked to take another look into Riverview Corridor
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City is asking the county to do a study on transit options for West 7th Street, thanks to CMs Thune and Tolbert. Article implies that the CMs prefer streetcars, while the MetCouncil prefers BRT.

Headline: Parking concerns delay BZA vote on Marshall Ave. project
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A developer is trying to build a new apartment building on Marshall. Neighbors are concerned about size and design. The BZA is thinking about deciding what to do.

Headline: Madison-Benson to undergo major improvement this year
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Some streets in Highland Park will be completely torn up. [I've never heard of these streets. Not sure they exist.]

Headline: St Paul finds another $1 million for business loans in Central Corridor
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City's forgivable loan program for construction mitigation now has more money.

Headline: UPDC seeks funds to study north end of Ayd Mill Road
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A neighborhood group is asking the city for money to fund a study of a [terribly designed quasi-freeway sorta-]road that runs through the middle of St Paul. [The history of this concrete political football would sap your will to live.] Article cites CM Carter who is pushing this project. Includes quote from Dan O'Gara saying "We can't lose our Selby access." Article includes some of the long history, including an "EIS task force" from 1999, Mayor Kelly's connection steamroll from 2002, the City Council "remain a city street" resolution from 2009. [Stay tuned for more exciting Ayd Mill action.]

Headline: Dozens of local projects seek piece of St. Paul's CIB funding
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article on all the projects that recently applied for city funds as part of the Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) process. Highlights include: an "apparatus bay" for the fire department [if you know what I mean], a playground, remodeling the golf course clubhouse, another playground, elevator repair, some planning funding, the [aforementioned] Ayd Mill study, rebuilding Cretin Avenue, new street lights, two bike boulevards, the historic steps behind Ramsey Hill, and developing the Old Home building on University Avenue.

Headline: Neighbors discuss the virtues of density in redevelopment
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Report on a "workshop" at Macalester about "land-use goals in the face of recent and anticipated pressure for redevelopment." [Boyo, how'd I miss this?] Article includes discussion about zoning changes, the current Grand Avenue development moratorium. Article includes the sentence: "Increased density in housing could also help reverse the decline in population that St. Paul has experienced for so much of the past 50 years." Also includes the sentence: "Redevelopments they would just as soon do without are those that are too dense, create traffic and parking problems, are unattractive or upset the balance between homeowners and renters."

Headline: Landlords register 236 student rental houses around St. Thomas
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Report on the new zoning designation for rental housing, and the Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI) attempts to register "student rental houses" near the University of St Thomas. It seems like there is a bit of difficulty for some of these homes in proving student occupancy. [I'm guessing there's a rush to get registered, so that you aren't the last person standing, unable to rent to students, when the music stops? One of the reasons I'm on the record as thinking this was a bad idea was precisely because of unforeseen and unpredictable consequences surrounding implementation.]


Trevor Henry said...

The council members are right about W7th. Streetcars would be better. The 54 already serves as rapid transit. It brings people from downtown to the stupid mall.

Streetcars would be great for moving people throughout the neighborhood, not moving them out of the neighborhood.

Janne said...

So, uh, have you found Madison-Benson yet?