August 10, 2010 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

Minutes: 8/10/2010


Present:   Michael Wagner (Chair), Seth Doorn (Treasurer), Meg Forney, Gary Knutson, Kathy Cobb, Jeff Peltola (Vice Chair), David Rhees, Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator)


Guests:    Rodgers Adams

Administrative Items


Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes for July 13, 2010 were approved with one correction (remove extra comma in David Rhees’s name).


       Treasurer’s Report

  • Seth reported that he and Barb and Rhea met on August 2, 2010 for training on the Treasurer’s responsibilities.  Current balance in the NRP account is $4,958.03 after paying the Coordinator’s July invoice and $30 copy card.


Monthly Updates


Council Member comments

  • Council Member Hodges was not present.


Lakes District Council Update/MPRB
  • The next meeting of the Lakes District Council is August 26, 2010.  Rhea will send an e-mail to Board with information about time and location.  Meg Forney may be able to attend this meeting.  Kathy expressed interest in becoming the representative, but she cannot make the August 26 meeting.


Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • Seth expressed interest in considering the position of WCNC representative to the MGC.  Michael and Seth will attend the next meeting, which will likely be August 26.  MGC Director Tim Springer is stepping down some time later this year.  


Other Business


Nolan Properties – 3100 Excelsior Blvd.

  • Jeff reported that he watched a rebroadcast of the Planning Commission meeting regarding 3100 Excelsior Blvd.  Nolan Properties received the necessary approvals, but they are still negotiating about a couple of parking spots.  There will likely be two restaurants at the site, but could be one restaurant and one retail business.


Southwest LRT

  • The next Community Members Working Group will be held August 24.  The next open houses will be September 14 and 15.  
  • Jeff suggested that we schedule a community meeting to hear West Calhoun input on the SW LRT.  Amanda Arnold would be willing to help us with the meeting.  We would share where we are at in the Station Area Planning process and get feedback from the community.  Rhea will contact Amanda and ask if she can attend the October 12 community meeting and the September 14 WCNC meeting (to help plan the community meeting).  We will include notice in our Fall Wavelength newsletter.
  • We looked at the Calhoun Gateway Small Area Plan.  Meg said that CIDNA had requested that we participate in the plan.  Both neighborhoods were looking at the Lake Street bridge and how it could shape both communities.  The question is whether the plan is still relevant.  Rhea will send a copy to Michael.  He will forward it to Amanda Arnold.  Amanda probably doesn’t have the plan because it wasn’t formally adopted.
  • Michael suggested that one approach to looking at the planning process is that there are four ways people move through the neighborhood: 1) walking, 2) biking, 3) driving/bus and 4) light rail (in the future).  
  • Rodgers suggested that we need to consider whether we want traffic moving through the neighborhood to be tempted to stop?  Do we want to be a destination?  We also need to consider circulation through the neighborhood.
  • Meg suggested that we consider hiring Bob Close to help us in revising our NRP Action Plan (and perhaps with Station Area Planning.)  
  • Meg suggested that we need to line our NRP Plan up with our Small Area Plan.  We need to consider, do we want the station to have a passive or active design?  Is our neighborhood a destination?  How do we make pedestrians feel at ease in their neighborhood?  What is the connection from the station to the lake?  How do we attract more businesses?  She also suggested we engage stakeholders like Kelly Duran (Calhoun Towers), Jack Pfaff (Calhoun Village) and the Minikahda Club.
  • Michael reviewed an e-mail from Art Higinbotham of CIDNA regarding the freight rail line.
  • David suggested that we need to identify the key questions, issues and concerns regarding the SW LRT and add a couple of bullet points under each.
  • Michael reminded us that WCNC made a statement in September 2009 regarding SW LRT, which included:   


“Concerns about station location/planning:

  • It is our understanding that there is a policy stating that no Park & Ride facilities shall be located within the City of Minneapolis.  We would like to have clarification on this policy to understand the situation for a potential Park & Ride, or Kiss & Ride facility at the West Lake Station?
  • That the station be an aesthetic asset for the neighborhood.
  • That planning efforts be made to protect the environmental aspects of this location, including existing tree placement, gardens, the Midtown Greenway bike trail, and the neighborhood access to these amenities.
  • That significant effort is considered to study and evaluate traffic and congestion issues associated with the location of this station.
  • That effort is made to study increased noise and vibration to neighboring homes.
  • That the station includes aesthetic lighting that fits in with the character of the neighborhood, and creates the basis for a safe environment.
  • That the WCNC and business partners in the neighborhood be strategically included in discussions that may affect the outcome of station design.”


  • The Board drafted a list of issues and key concerns regarding the Southwest Transitway which included:   


SW Transitway – Key Issues/Concerns

  • Station as a focal point for the community – not just in/out.  Create a sense of place.
  • Meeting place and neighborhood symbol.
  • Enhances and improves the quality of life for residents and the greater community.
  • Signage/lighting.
  • Traffic ($ for management of traffic)
  • Gateway to urban lakes.
  • Park and Ride?  Or parking ramps funded by private interests?  
  • Station name/identity/branding
  • West Calhoun as a destination.


Fall Wavelength Newsletter

  • We will plan to have a fall newsletter to be delivered at the end of September, two weeks before the community meeting.  Suggested articles include: 1) Update on 3100 Excelsior Blvd., 2) Announcement of SW LRT community meeting on October 12, 2010, 3) Salon Intrigue article, 4) Moss Envy article, 5) Introduction of the WCNC board (with photo) and publicize need for two more board members.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.


The next WCNC Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at The Bakken Museum at 6 p.m.  


Respectfully submitted,


Rhea Sullivan

WCNC Coordinator