June 13, 2006 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes 6/13/06


Present: Todd Wildermuth, Greg Benz, Barb Stevens, Rosemary Lundell, Mari Taffe, George Effrem, coordinator Ahndi Fridell

Absent:  Dan Blackburn, MGC Rep Cher Underwood Forsberg

Guests: Charlie Ainsworth, John and Margarita Johansson


Corrections to minutes:  No Treasurer’s Report


Treasurer’s report

  • Staff – 2307.56 (2005), 2658.50 (2006); mailings – 1321.65 (2005), 1982.29 (2006); miscellaneous – 670 (2005), 165 (2006)
  • Recent checks:  $200 – sailing moderator, $200 – insurance, permits
  • Got $2000 CPED grant
  • Close is paid up, one bill for Postnet still to be paid


Board Member Elections – Mari Taffe, Chair, Todd Wildermuth, Vice Chair, Barb Stevens, Treasurer.  Slate of nominees unanimously elected to continue positions for one more year.


Council Member Comments from Betsy Hodges (via Mari)

  • Tuesday, June 20, 7pm – Christ the King church will host a meeting to talk about how to be of assistance to North Minneapolis community

Chain of Lakes group – Todd Wildermuth

  • Group has formed but there is no formal responsibility, want to keep in communication about issues related to the Lakes, talked about how to better exchange information
  • Park Board is having a visioning session regarding the Legacy, Park Board headquarters, Wed, June 14
  • Shoreline restoration grant from DNR due in September.  West Calhoun may apply.  Fenced-off section of southwest Calhoun is studying shoreline restoration options.

Neighborhood Summit – Greg Benz

  • Ward 13 group to get together about 4 times a year
  • Pressing concern was communicating about issues and sharing best practices
  • Some neighborhoods have email groups, Greg will be setting up a Google group – newsletters, postcards, table at an event, SW Journal
  • Need to continually market it to have larger


Variance request at 3408 Zenith Ave. S. – Property owner John Johansson and Charlie Ainsworth, Charles Cudd Co.

  • Requesting two variances regarding setback and garage larger than 1000 sq.ft. (two garages combined)
  • Would like Board to send a letter saying that they presented this project to us.  Email to Tara Beard at City Planning Commission, need info in by June 21.
  • Some Board members are concerned about precedent of tear down
  • Ahndi will draft a letter for Board members to approve and send to City planning commission


Density and Development Guidelines

  • Todd suggested the Board think about what is the public interest.  If the Board is speaking for the broader neighbors’ interests.
  • Mari would like to see residential development addressed in the guidelines
  • Language should be included about preserving the character of the neighborhood and architecture should reflect other homes in the neighborhood.
  • Add a statement that immediate neighbors must be invited to WCNC Board meeting when a project is being presented.
  • Presenters should also have pictures of existing property, new plans and proposed changes, precise language from the ordinance in which they are requesting a variance or a CUP, and any letters from neighbors.
  • Board members will look over the guidelines document, make their own changes, seek clarification via email and be prepared to finalize the document in July.


Safety strategy

  • The Board proposed to move $15,000 from Strategy 3, Neighborhood Corridors, to create a new Crime Prevention and Safety Strategy (4 yes, 1 abstention).  A neighborhood vote on August 8 to approve the Plan Modification will be announced in the July newsletter.
  • Language for the Crime Prevention and Safety Strategy will be voted on at the July meeting.


West Calhoun Community Garden Fundraiser

  • Thursday, July 20, 6:30-8:30pm, Whole Foods Market patio
  • All proceeds will benefit the garden at the Midtown Greenway Access Point
  • Board members were requested to sell five tickets each to the July 20 wine-tasting fundraiser.  Ahndi will distribute flyers and tickets to each member.
  • Ahndi will email volunteer jobs for the night of the fundraiser


Parade of Community Gardens

  • Saturday, August 19, 10am-2pm
  • Over 30 gardens on the tour.
  • Board members requested to staff the event
  • Mari will ask Shannon O’Halloran to be present to answer questions
  • Handouts:  map of site, factoids on plants, free seed packets
  • No final decision was made on how to celebrate that day.  An email chain will be started to discuss.


Other Business

  • Metro Transit has denied our request to install shelters on Excelsior Blvd and Market Plaza either on the Fire Dept property or across the street on the Park Board site.  Mari has asked Metro Transit if they would approve customized shelters at 32nd St. and Excelsior Blvd. and West Calhoun Parkway and Excelsior Blvd.  We are still waiting to hear back from them.
  • Field Outdoor Spaces will plant the Access Point in July in advance of the community garden parade.  The adjacent community garden is on hold until we hear back from HCRRA in September.
  • Traffic signals at Lake St. and Market Plaza have been fixed according to Council Member Betsy Hodges’ aide, Ben Hecker.  Newsletter will be coming out in early July.


Meeting adjourned at 9:05pm


Next meeting will be held Tuesday, July 11, 2006 at 7:00pm in the cooking classroom at Whole Foods Market.