June 8, 2010 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes: 6/8/10


Present:   Michael Wagner (Chair), Kathy Cobb, Seth Doorn, Jeff Peltola, Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator)


Guests:    Chelsea Adams (CCP/SAFE), Rodgers Adams, Andy Babula (Nolan Properties), Betsy Hodges (Council Member), Frank Hornstein (State Representative), Lt. Jack Kelly (MPD), Gary Knutson, Millicent Lang, John Nolan (Nolan Properties), Haydee Peterson, Jack Pfaff, Sgt. Brian Rogers (Park Police), Aaron Roseth (ESG Architects), Sarah Sponheim

Administrative Items


Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes for May 11, 2010 were approved.


       Treasurer’s Report

  • No report.


Crime & Safety


Lt. Jack Kelly (Minneapolis Police Dept.) and Chelsea Adams (CCP/SAFE)

  • Lt. Jack Kelly and Chelsea Adams spoke about the recent murder at Lake Calhoun.  The homicide is under investigation.  They believe the victim was targeted.  There has been a heavy patrol of the area since the shooting, especially at Thomas Beach.
  • Sgt. Brian Rodgers, Park Police, spoke briefly about added enforcement for violations at Lake Calhoun, including seat belts and parking.  Early spring is the busiest time at Lake Calhoun.
  • Frank Hornstein mentioned that an area resident had called him about a concern regarding evidence of drug paraphernalia.
  • Rogers Adams mentioned that motorcycle noise is a big problem.  He would like to see random decibel checks on Saturday nights.
  • Chelsea Adams stated that Theft from Motor Vehicle is a very common crime in the area.  About 31% of victims are residents; 62% come from outside the area.  Lt. Kelly recommended that folks don’t leave valuables in their car or stow them before they drive to the area and park.
  • Jack Pfaff suggested the possibility of a flashing light at the crosswalk at W. 32nd St. and Calhoun Parkway.  Sgt. Brian Rodgers said that that is not likely, but they could increase patrolling of the crosswalks.  Pedestrians only have the right of way when they enter the crosswalk.  Dean Parkway has elevated crosswalks.  Sgt. Rodgers suggested those might be more effective at getting cars to stop for pedestrians.  


Neighborhood Development


Nolan Properties Group: 3100 Excelsior Blvd. (former Boulevard Gardens site)

  • Andy Babula, Aaron Roseth (ESG Architects) and John Nolan were attending to give a presentation about a proposed development at the former Boulevard Gardens site.
  • The Boulevard Gardens site was a foreclosure and is currently owned by the bank.  Nolan Properties Group is under contract to purchase the property.  It is currently rather dilapidated in addition to being environmentally contaminated (because it was once a landfill).  There is currently methane and dry cleaner waste in the soil.
  • Nolan seeks to redevelop the property as a retail or restaurant space.  The plan is to keep the existing permanent structure and to add an addition that would bring the building up to the front of the lot.  The new structure would have a patio adjacent to the street.  
  • It was suggested that Nolan Properties incorporate some stormwater management features into the design.  John Nolan stated that the MPCA would like to seal the site because of the environmental conditions.  They don’t want water to penetrate into the landfill.  
  • Nolan Properties was asked about the future disposition of the site.  Andy Babula responded that they feel this is the best way to redevelop the site today, but Nolan Properties holds its properties long term.  There is the possibility for greater development of the site in the future.  
  • Michael Wagner suggested that there is an opportunity to make this a gateway to the Midtown Greenway and include a bike path through the site.  
  • Jeff Peltola suggested that sidewalks be added.  He suggested that there be an entrance on Excelsior Boulevard, not just a patio that basically blocks entry to the building from the street.  He suggested the terrace could be put on the back of the building, but Andy Babula commented that the City wants activity on Excelsior Blvd.  Jeff also suggested that Le Pain Quotidien would be a desirable tenant for the site.
  • Rhea Sullivan conveyed a resident’s concern about adding traffic to the area.  Andy Babula responded that they have done a traffic study.  They don’t feel they will have a big impact.  The exit on Abbott should help.  The site includes 31 parking spots.  
  • There is currently not a solid timeline for the development.  It’s early in the process.  Rhea will put contact information for Nolan Properties Group on the WCNC website.


Monthly Updates


Council Member comments

  • Betsy Hodges reported that the next Ward 13 breakfast is on July 21 at 8 a.m. at Pearson’s.  The Public Safety Fair will be in August.
  • Regarding fire inspections for 4+ dwellings, inspections will transfer temporarily from the Fire Department to regulatory services.
  • Youth Employment will be offered through the “Street Works” program for one time or ongoing services this summer for beautification, maintenance, etc.  Contact Betsy if you have an idea for a potential project for Street Works.
  • Betsy handed out a copy of the SW LRT Station Area Planning timeline.  The Community Working Group dates are June 22, August 24, October 26 and December 14.  Community meetings will be held July 13 and 14, September 14 and 15 and November 9 and 10, 2010.


Lakes District Council Update/MPRB
  • No report.  The next meeting will be July 22, 2010.


Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • No report.


Other Business


Officer Elections

  • Elections for officers were held.  
    • Michael Wagner, Chair
    • Jeff Peltola, Vice Chair
    • Seth Doorn, Treasurer


Southwest LRT Community Members Working Group

  • Jeff Peltola and Meg Forney were chosen to share the responsibility of representing WCNC on the Southwest LRT Community Members Working Group.  The first meeting is June 22.  


The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.


The next WCNC Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at The Bakken Museum at 6 p.m.  


Respectfully submitted,


Rhea Sullivan

WCNC Coordinator