February 14, 2006 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council


DRAFT Minutes, 2/14/06


Present:  Mari Taffe, Barb Stevens, Todd Wildermuth, Rosemary Lundell, MGC Rep Cher Underwood Forsberg, coordinator Ahndi Fridell

Absent: George Effrem, Dan Blackburn, Kristi Olmanson,

Guests:  Greg Bentz, Ben Erickson, Beth Elliott, Leon Wirtjes

Treasurer Report: $2,854.05 in NRP account, $1621.47 in development account.


Council Member comments – CM Betsy Hodges was not in attendance


Bus shelter update – Ben Erickson

  • Ben will present the plans to the Park Board on March 1
  • Aaron Isaacs from Metro Transit still needs to fill out the permit application for fire station site
  • Ben will then proceed to send specifications to 3 fabricators to get bids for the ornamentation on the shelter.
  • The original cost estimate was $15-20,000 for modifications to the shelter
  • Metro Transit will install the concrete and electrical and will be reimbursed by West Calhoun
  • West Calhoun will also be responsible for paying for sod and ornamental trees
  • Last month, Dan had suggested using a manufacturer of recycled plastics for the trash receptacles, but the vendor is not approved by the Park Board.


Density and Development discussion, Beth Elliott

  • Beth suggested that WCNC list its major concerns:  height, bulk/scale, parking in back, sustainability, architechtural details, effects on neighboring structures, etc.
  • Then, check to see if the concerns/requirements fit with the City’s policies in the Minneapolis Plan, specifically chapters on urban design and growth.
  • A meeting to discuss these issues was cancelled.  Further discussion will take place at next month’s meeting.  Beth will return to the March 14 meeting.
  • Beth also suggested that Board members talk to Betsy Hodges about the City’s sustainability initiatives.


MGC Update.

  • Midtown Exchange is open (on the old Sears site on Lake St.), which is where the Bike Center will be located.
  • Midtown Greenway Coalition hopes to open office space in there in November
  • The Bike Center is a partnership between MGC and Freewheel Bike.  They are negotiating with Dasani for free bikes.
  • A public meeting on the Midtown Greenway land use and development plan will be held February 28 from 6:30-8:30pm at Intermedia Arts on Lyndale.


Bob Fine – Park Board representative

  • Bob Fine asked if people had questions or concerns.  The stop sign issue was raised again.  He responded that Park Board staff is looking at lake usage as a whole, but did not have a deadline for a report.
  • He was urged to put the fishing dock back in on west side of Lake Calhoun
  • He was questioned whether the Park Board was still interested in doing shoreline restoration with some of WCNC’s money.
  • Concerns were relayed to him regarding the recent Pond Hockey tournament.  Large trucks and other vehicles were parked on the soccer fields.  There was no indication that a street was going to be closed.  There was no parking plan which caused many problems in the neighborhood.  Water pumping early in the morning was very noisy as was music at night, although it did stop at 10pm.  Next year, the neighborhood requested that organizers of the tournament come speak to them first and to ensure that they have alternative plans for parking since there is not enough room to hold all of the traffic.


Other Business

  • Michael Lander presented an updated proposal for the Weisman site to the CIDNA board which overwhelmingly approved it.  It will now move through the city process.
  • Mari and Barb will go to Wells Fargo bank to sign the signature card for WCNC’s checking account.
  • Mari asked if we had any use for paving stones in the community garden?  The City is selling them.
  • A representative from the Calhoun sailing club will present a proposal on a new development at the south end of Lake Calhoun on Wednesday, March 8 at a location to be determined.  Postcards and flyers will be sent out to residents of the neighborhood.
  • Beth Elliott will be the new downtown sector community planner and West Calhoun will be getting a new planner for the Southwest sector.
  • Leon Wirtjes owns the Liberty Tax Service offices and he introduced himself and wanted to let neighbors know they can donate their used cell phones to help soldiers call home from overseas.  www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com


Meeting adjourned at 9:00pm


Next meeting will be held Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 7:00pm in the cooking classroom at Whole Foods Market.