Reading the Highland Villager #205

[A Villager enjoying sprinter.]
[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: Plan for new 5-story building on O'Gara's site is taking shape; proposal gets mixed response from area residents at meeting
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The owner of a bar / building / parking lot on Snelling and Selby wants to tear it down and build a much larger building without surface parking and with many apartments. There was a neighborhood group meeting about it. Neighbors are concerned about traffic, parking, Ayd Mill Road, and "canyons."  Quote from bar owner: "we need to do something drastic to stay here." The buildings are a hundred years old [and Charles Shultz's dad's barber shop was there]. Quote from neighbor: "we have to talk about Ayd Mill Road. Close Ayd Mill off at Hamline Avenue and dump that traffic onto Hamline." The bar owner will keep the ceilings and re-build a smaller bar in a new building. "Traffic is horrendous already. We want to support the development but something has to be done about the traffic." [Close Ayd Mill Road? That would solve a big chunk of the traffic problem.]

Headline: Board wants city-county plan for Highland reservoir; Hy-Vee, solar, greenhouse ideas no longer in running
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There is some usable land on Snelling Avenue where a reservoir used to be [and, funnily enough, right across the street from the Villager offices] and a the "Board of Water Commissioners" gets to vote on what to do with it. They initially had a lot of choices, including a grocery store and a weird strawberry farm, but are instead trying to get the city and county to work together. Currently the city wants a field for kids to play and the county wants parking for people to park their cars when they take kids to the ice rinks next door and maybe an indoor ice rink too. The city's plan is much cheaper, but still nobody knows who would pay for any of this. [Um, hockey and soccer have different demographics and kids from different backgrounds play those two sports, and I think that should be taken into account. This seems like a no-brainer to me.] 

Headline: Planning rolls on for recreational trail; five-mile route through Highland, West End may not be ready for six years
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An abandoned rail line might become a bike/walk path. There was a meeting about it, and open houses. It would not be done for many years. Nobody knows how it will be paid for, but might get some Federal or regional grants. [Saint Paul doesn't necessarily have enough money to pay the 20% match for all the bike/ped grants it could receive, believe it or not. That's a damn shame, because those are good investments.] Article includes some specs of the potential project. Crossing West 7th Street would be a real challenge. [Picture the Hiawatha/Greenway crossing...]  

Headline: Dunkin' Donuts, Red's Savoy Pizza planned at Snelling-Hague; Coffee shop and mostly carryout pizza would replace old Dairy Queen
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A tiny Dairy Queen might become a one-story restaurant / coffee shop with a parking lot behind it. Some neighbors are disappointed that the building is not larger. Other neighbors are concerned about traffic and parking. The developer says that a multi-story building was not possible with underground parking on this size lot. Dairy Queen might have wanted to re-build here but would have demanded a drive thru. [I don't see how that could go wrong.] The neighborhood groups  would like a median to help people cross the street. [That is a very important concept that has been tragically ignored for generations.]

Headline: City OKs liquor, entertainment licenses for Ethiopian eatery
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A new Ethiopian restaurant can open off West 8th Street. They will be able to have music and entertainment.

Headline: St. Paul picks official name for new Griggs Street park
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The new park built in the vacant lot by the school will be called... "Midway Peace Park." [Parks Park would have been better, named after Gordon Parks, and fun to say.]

Headline: Commission supports outdoor seating at historic Waldmann
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A brewery that dates to 1857 will probably be able to have people drink beer on tables outside. Neighbors were concerned about noise. Other people claim that people drank beer outside in the past.

Headline: City is planning a trial expansion of disc golf course in Highland Park
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A disc golf course will be expanded, for a while at least. Neighbors are concerned about "encroachment" and pedestrian safety. [I would have liked to have seen the disc golf community testify in support of this project, if only because I imagine it would have been like this testimony.]  

Headline: Moratorium considered to protect 46 historic Merriam Park properties
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Old homes in an old neighborhood might get a "moratorium" for nine months to see if the city should protect them from demolition. There will be a survey of historical information about the homes, and to see if some of the area or all of the area have historical significance. [Very rarely to studies to determine if there is historical significance, done by historic preservation experts, not determine that there is historical significance.] College students are mentioned in the article. [Q: where are college students supposed to live anyway? Asking for a friend.]  Neighbors are concerned about size and scale of new buildings. One house is being torn down already, probably.

Headline: Tenants have mixed reaction to proposed River Bluffs sale
Author: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: A strip mall in the suburbs has been sold and the owner would like to build housing there. [The strip mall looks like an old timey wild-west main street, but is not actually old.]

Headline: Tav on the Ave could see transformation under new owner
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: ["Tav on the Ave" is not a good name. Also, I have never been in here. It seems too much like the Hog's Breath on Rice up in Little Canada for my taste.] There was a meeting to discuss the new owner. Neighbors have complained about "noise, fights, and trash." Some would like it to close at 1pm, but the new owner wants to close at 2. "A name for the new business has not been chosen." ["Tavern on the Avern"?]

Headline: West End showers Corbett with caring
Author: Mary Hansen

Short short version: [The guy I wrote about who has down syndrome, worked at the grocery store, and was hit-and-run by a driver off West 7th Street is in the hospital. He has a broken jaw and just eat pureed food.] 

Headline: Recycling program falls short of city's goal for reduced waste
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The new recycle bins have gotten more people to recycle but the City Council goals still larger. Currently the city recycles 24% of its waste, but the goal is 35%. [A laudable goal! How to achieve it?] There were some complaints for a while, but those have somewhat faded away but not completely. Saint Paul might consider plow alleys to help the recycling trucks. [That'll be the day!] Recycling is way up in the less wealthy parts of town.

Headline: Marshall Avenue landlord loses appeal to retain student rental
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A guy who was letting students rent a house he owned can no longer rent it to students. There were too many people living in the home. Neighbors are concerned about parking and trash. Quote from neighbor: "overoccupancy is an open secret in the neighborhood." The owner of the home apparently filed a complaint on himself to try and get the extra students out of there. Quote from neighbor: "We're paying Summit Avenue property taxes to live in Dinkytown." [This quote might have a weeee bit of privilege showing.]

Headline: It's a Cub for The Capp: grocery is chosen for 46th & Hiawatha project
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [This is in Minneapolis. It looks great. Not in Saint Paul, though. It's market rate, former parking lot, next to a light-rail stop. with street frontages along the sidewalk.]

Headline: Commission OKs Davanni's use of UST lot for 3 more years
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [This is the first time I have been quoted in the Villager! I had a photo in here once, a photo of my right knee only. Wowee. Wait for it... It's the last line in the article. This is so meta.] A parking lot across from a sandwich shop that might have one day been used for student housing or a park will continue to be a parking lot for the next three years while the school and neighbors figure out what to do. A sandwich place uses the parking. The "conditional use" extension was approved by the Zoning Committee. Some people want the University to build  housing. The UST liaison says the school is prioritizing other spots for housing. The school almost converted to "green space" but then the sandwich shop people said they liked it for parking. Here's the quote at the end: [dashingly handsome] "Planning Commissioner Bill Lindeke agreed. 'I feel like this is a spot that would be perfect for housing. I hope we don't have to do this again.'" [Wow. Well said. That is a great point. I agree completely with it.]


Carl said...

Charles Schulz, not Shultz.

Anonymous said...

we are all so impressed with carl. he is smarter than everyone.

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