March 12, 2013 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Board Meeting Minutes
March 12, 2013 – 5:30 p.m., Bakken Museum

Board Members:  Kathy Cobb, Meg Forney, Ian Kees, Gary Knutson, Richard Logan, David Rhees, Aaron Shaffer, Mary Underwood, John Abraham-Watne.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  In attendance:  Sophia Ginis, Linea Palmisano, Matt Perry.  

Secretary’s Report:  February meeting minutes were approved.  We discussed the upcoming Spring newsletter.  Articles will include: promotion of Earth Day and Annual Meeting and Neighborhood Priority Plan questions; Richard – “Dimensions of Urban Density”; Kathy – Edge Update; Aaron – Report on Park Board CAC; Sophia Ginis – SWLRT Update.

Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer John Abraham-Watne reported that there is a $16,551.30 balance in the NCEC account; $1,606.48 balance in NRP account.  The 990N e-postcard has been filed.  John will be working with Seth to prepare the financial report for the Attorney General’s report.  John will also work with Rhea on the financial piece of the Annual Report that is due April 19.  

John also reported that he attended the Linden Hills Small Area Plan meeting on February 28.  The Small Area Plan is a policy document that will become an amendment to the City’s Comprehensive Plan.  Major issues noted included: the large scale of proposed development, parking, relocation of the co-op, concerns about the lack of diversity in the shops and lack of affordable restaurants.  

Sophia Ginis, Community Outreach Coordinator for Metro Transit – Met Council:  Sophia reported that the full outreach team started in January.  Sophia is the liaison for Minneapolis and St. Louis Park.  At this point the project will be moving fast.  They are now in Preliminary Engineering and have to make sure they have data on traffic, pedestrian traffic and access to the station.  They have identified 25 technical issues.  The West Lake Station is one of these.  

Regarding the freight rail issues (co-location vs. relocation), both options are being considered as equals.  They have been mandated to elevate the engineering designs to a specific level.  In early summer there will be more community engagement on this issue.  There has been some talk about moving the line.  Adjustments are being made to the alignment, but they are not going back to consider new alternatives.  

Station planning is still in development, so we don’t know exactly where the West Lake Station will be.  Sophia could bring a larger map to show the SW LRT.  There will be station packets made which will show the walkshed and amenities for each station.  Sophia will plan to attend the annual meeting.  She might have the packets by then.

Aaron Shaffer mentioned that the Kenilworth Alliance (the new name for the Joint Neighborhood Task Force) will be putting together a website to help keep people informed.

Change in Standing Meeting Date:  David Rhees explained that he would like to propose changing the standing meeting date for our monthly Board meeting to the 2nd Thursday of the month instead of the 2nd Tuesday of the month.  Thursdays would be a better day for The Bakken because they are open until 8 p.m. and have staff on the premises.  Rhea will check into potential conflicts.  We will vote next month.

Hill and Lake Press:  West Calhoun does not receive the Hill and Lake Press, which prints information about SW LRT and other pertinent neighborhood issues.  It would be beneficial to keep our residents informed about SW LRT.  The cost for a year to have it delivered to the neighborhood is $900.   It would cost $400 for a one-time delivery of the March issue.  The Board voted to sign on for the $900 rate.  We have a few questions: 1) What do they expect from the partnership?  2) Would they consider covering Ward 13 and Park Board District 6?  3) What would the cost be for an insert (of our newsletter) into the April issue?  Rhea will follow up with the editor and report back to the Board.  

Park Board CAC:  The regularly scheduled meetings of the CAC concluded last month.  They came to some conclusions:  1) To realign the intersection of Dean and Dean, 2) Make Cedar Lake Parkway and Dean Parkway more of a 90 degree angle, 3) Take the space for the bike lane and make a dedicated bike trail.  Some residents protested that they hadn’t heard about the CAC.  The issue was a combined bike and pedestrian path.  They were concerned about parking and people getting hit by bikes.  There is one more meeting scheduled meeting to address the intersection at Cedar Lake Parkway and the future SW LRT route.

Map:  Rhea was asked to get a large map of the neighborhood and have it mounted on foam core.

Blood Drive:  Meg Forney posed the question of whether the Board would like to collaborate with Coldwell Banker Burnett on a blood drive at the Lake Calhoun Executive Center.  Meg said that we could use it as an opportunity to build community with other business people.  Our part will mainly be promotion via emails.  A motion was made to participate in the Blood Drive.  The motion carried.

West Lake Station Walk:  The idea came out of the Joint Neighborhood Task Force.  The point is to get familiarized with the potential site for the station.  Sophia Ginis will attend.  The date has not yet been set.  

Strategic Planning Retreat:  We don’t have time at our regular meetings to look at longer term projects.  David suggested a retreat to give us time to look at our NRP plan and see if we want to make some changes.  It was suggested that it could be a Saturday lunch or a Thursday evening.  A number of possible venues were recommended, including Tryg’s.  Rhea will send out a Meeting Wizard to help us select a date in April.  

Annual Meeting Planning:  Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman, MPRB Assistant Superintendent for Planning Bruce Chamberlain and Metro Transit’s Community Outreach Coordinator for SW LRT Sophia Ginis will all attend the meeting and give updates.  Rhea will request pizza from Whole Foods.  Elections will be held.  Meg Forney volunteered to poll Board members to see if people are willing to continue on the Board.  (Officers will be elected at the June meeting.)  We can report on the results of our Strategic Planning retreat.  

Midtown Greenway Coalition:  Aaron Shaffer asked the Board if they would like to make a contribution to the Midtown Greenway Coalition.  If we donate money we would become a member.  We have to figure out where the money would come from.  We will discuss this at April’s meeting.

The Bakken Museum Donation:  Meg made a motion that we make our annual $500 donation to The Bakken Museum, our meeting space.  The motion carried.  In compliance with the Board’s Conflict of Interest Policy, David Rhees abstained from the vote.

Midtown Greenway Access Point:  There was some discussion about the kiosk sign at the Greenway entrance.  It’s in bad shape.  It’s up to us to maintain the kiosk.  The Hennepin County Railroad Authority maintains the plantings (through Tree Trust) and the water fountain also has a maintenance agreement.  We will add this topic to the retreat agenda.

New logo:  We need a new logo.  David Rhees and Gary Knutson will discuss.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, April 9.  

The meeting was adjourned at 7:19 p.m.