March 9, 2010 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes: 3/09/2010


Present:   David Rhees, Barb Stevens (Treasurer), Michael Wagner (Chair), Rhea Sullivan (Coordinator)


Guests:    Rodgers Adams, Brad Bourn (MPRB District 6 Commissioner), Seth Doorn, Ben Hecker (Council Member’s Aide), Art Higinbotham (CIDNA), Jack Pfaff, Ben Stelmach

Administrative Items


Secretary’s Report

  • We delayed approval of the minutes.  The minutes for the January 2010 meeting still need to be approved.  WCNC did not meeting in February 2010.


       Treasurer’s Report

  • Barb Stevens reported $8,646.56 in NRP account and $481 in the NRP development account.  


Monthly Updates


Council Member comments

  • Ben Hecker reported that there has been huge support following the fire in the business district at 50th and Bryant.  Betsy is weighing her vote regarding the reappointment of the Police Chief.  Betsy and Ben met with City Planner Amanda Arnold regarding SW Transitway planning.  The Council will vote on the LPA on May 12.  They are preparing for station area planning.  They would like one focused meeting regarding the West Lake station.  The West Lake station and the Penn and 21st station area planning will occur at the same meeting.  


Lakes District Council Update/MPRB
  • No report.


Midtown Greenway Coalition

  • Michael Wagner reported that the MGC is preparing for spring and currently is focusing on the Trail Watch Program.  


Other Business


Brad Bourn – MPRB District 6 Commissioner

  • Brad Bourn, newly elected District 6 Commissioner, introduced himself.  He reported that the MPRB held a “listening session” in November regarding Lake Calhoun planning.  Many constituent groups submitted “Letters of Connection.”  He said that not much has happened beyond that at this point.
  • He reported that the MRPB will be looking for a new superintendent to replace outgoing Superintendent Jon Gurban.
  • Kingfield Neighborhood Association is lobbying for a dog park at Martin Luther King Park.  Southwest Minneapolis is the only area in the city without a dog park.
  • The MRPB is re-examining tobacco use policies.  There is a lobbyist group, Tobacco Free Youth Recreation, which is seeking a system-wide ban on tobacco in the parks through ordinance.  Brad reports that he is in favor of strengthening the limitations on tobacco use in the parks.
  • Brad’s committees:  Brad is the MPRB representative to the Minneapolis Planning Commission and the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee. His MPRB Committees include:  Recreation, Operations and Environment (Vice Chair), Legislation and Intergovernmental and the Committee on Standards and Conduct (Chair).
  • WCNC Chair Michael Wagner stated that WCNC is looking for ways to incorporate access from the West Lake Station to Lake Calhoun.  
  • The MPRB has a strategic plan for 2007 to 2020.  It should be available on the MPRB website.  
  • The MPRB Recreation Committee last met one year ago.  This committee looks at strategic partnerships and program delivery and will also perhaps connect to other Park Board events, like Earth Day.
  • We reiterated our three key concerns at Lake Calhoun that were expressed in our “Lake Calhoun Letter of Connection”: 1) Traffic calming at Lake Calhoun, 2) Restoration of the fishing pier, 3) Shoreline restoration and gave Brad some background on our experiences in trying to address these concerns over the past several years.  
  • Jack Pfaff asked if they had considered speed bumps to calm traffic on West 32nd Street.  Ben Hecker explained that this expense would be borne by the adjacent property owner(s).  Speed bumps require a petition and can be controversial.  Cost is $2,500 each.  A traffic engineer would have to determine if the location would meet width requirements.  Jack mentioned that he would be interested in working on a speed bump on West 32nd Street.
  • Brad asked that we send an e-mail to him as a request for improvements at Lake Calhoun.  He stated that we could continue to use the mobile speed wagon on West Calhoun Parkway.  


WCNC Bylaw Revision

  • Rhea Sullivan distributed copies of a draft revision of WCNC bylaws that include a concise conflict of interest policy.  
  • Art Higinbotham noted that CIDNA will be reviewing its bylaws on April 6.
  • We will continue to review the bylaws in April.


WCNC NRP Phase I Funds

  • Rhea Sullivan distributed copies of a spreadsheet that shows remaining Phase I NRP funding.  
  • Art Higinbotham reported that CIDNA is issuing an RFP to hire a consultant to do a Small Area Plan for CIDNA.  They are also working on NRP Phase II.  
  • Seth Doorn mentioned the possibility of using NRP funds to do something to address the traffic bottleneck at the intersection where Excelsior and Lake Street split.  



  • We will be mailing a colorful postcard with a neighborhood map before the annual meeting as an awareness builder for West Calhoun.  
  • Seth Doorn lives in the Calhoun Towers apartments.  He said it is made up mostly of folks in their 20s and 30s, with some elderly residents.  They do not have a resident council.  Seth recommended that we have a Happy Hour at Tryg’s.  Jack Pfaff suggested possibly Burger Jones might be another good location.  Jack said that he has connections with both Tryg’s and Burger Jones and would be happy to help us try to set something up with either establishment.  
  • Ben Stelmach lives in the Lakewood Isles/Calhoun West apartments.  He suggested we might put something in their Welcome Packet – perhaps the postcard.
  • Rhea will connect with Seth and Ben when we set up a Happy Hour/”Meet and Greet”.  We could put a poster in the lobby of both buildings to publicize the “Meet and Greet” event.  
  • We will target the first week of April for delivery of our Spring Wavelength newsletter, in time to publicize our Earth Day event at Lake Calhoun.  


SW LRT Update

  • Michael Wagner reported that he and Rhea Sullivan had met with Amanda Arnold about the Southwest Transitway.  Amanda suggested some things we can do to prepare for station area planning, which include developing a business list with e-mails and a condo association contact list.  We will also need to do outreach to property owners.
  • Art Higinbotham suggested that WCNC try to get an appointment on the Citizen Advisory Council (CAC).  Kathie Doty has already mentioned this as a possibility.  
  • Art is asking for a WCNC resolution regarding mitigation issues on the Kenilworth trail.  WCNC would like to see the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) finalized before taking a position on mitigation.  There will be open houses and a 45-day comment period.  
  • They will likely select the consultant for station area planning in April and start planning in May.  
  • Michael mentioned our “hot list” of issues, which includes: 1) access to the station, 2) traffic mitigation and 3) the Park and Ride.  


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


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


Respectfully submitted,


Rhea Sullivan

WCNC Coordinator