Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from Board of Directors Meeting on Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Hennepin Center for the Arts
528 Hennepin Avenue, Suite 310, Minneapolis

I.          Call to Order and Introductions


Kim Motes, Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.  Other board members in attendance were Andrew Hauer; Tom Hoch; Jodi Pfarr, Secretary; and Carletta Sweet, Vice Chair.  Board members absent were David Abele, Treasurer and Dee Cotten.  Others in attendance included:  Jack Byers, CPED Principle Planner; Christopher Clark; Jeff Hahn; June Harmon, DMNA staff accountant; Crime Prevention Specialist Luther Krueger, MPD 1st Precinct; George Rosenquist, downtown resident and Land Use Committee member; Jeremy Stratton, staff writer for Skyway News; and 2nd Ward Councilmember Paul Zerby.

II.        Update from Councilmember Paul Zerby

Paul explained why he voted against funding the Minnesota Shubert project.  He thought it was not right to put it ahead of more critical issues such as police, fire, public works, and kids.

Paul also explained his concerns regarding the financial terms related to the planned spin off of Clear Channel Entertainment (which will manage the City’s Orpheum, Pantages and State Theatres) from its parent Clear Channel Communications.  Paul noted that a troublesome development in this theater management deal is that the law firm representing the City in this transaction is also involved in a common wall dispute between the Pantages Theatre and the Stimson building.  As a result, the City’s attorney advised them not to waive their conflict of interest.

Paul advised that this past Friday the City Council held a study session on homelessness and its decriminalization (attended by, among others, Deputy Chief Lubinski and Hennepin County Commissioner Dorfman).  Paul believes that the $200,000 (of the $400,000 legislated for outreach) Hennepin County must match will go towards breaking the endless cycle of homelessness.  Kim Motes mentioned the mental health working group sessions Commission McLaughlin put together on homelessness.  Tom Hoch advised he had attended the first of six of these sessions which are looking at the criminal versus the social services side of homelessness.

Paul thanked DMNA for stepping up to continue funding the Skyway Senior Center.  Kim mentioned that a major medical center may be stepping up as a long-term funder.

Lastly, Paul advised that he’s against public funding for a Twins stadium.      

III.       First Precinct Update

Luther Krueger briefed the board on the 2005 downtown security collaborative which is comprised of several initiatives to increase communication between the Minneapolis Police Department, commercial property managers, security personnel, and others involved with crime and safety issues in the First Precinct.  These initiatives include:


·         SafeZone Cameras.   Twenty-nine cameras watching public spaces 24 hours a day/7 days a week within the downtown zone boarded by 3rd and 12th Streets South, Nicollet Mall and 1st Avenue North. 

·         Radio Links.  As an extension to the cameras, on June 28th thirty radios will be available for distribution to downtown security personnel who have been invited to participate in a common radio channel in which they can broadcast significant crime events to other security personnel and to the First Precinct front desk. 

·         Virtual Block Club.  Also by June 28th, the VBC will be enhanced with a web site (developed by a software company located on Main Street east of the Mississippi River) to increase the information exchanged among participants.  Crime alerts will be broadcast as usual along with the weekly crime maps.

·         Security Beats.  Police officers will circulate their beats along with security personnel to present a unified front. 

Luther also advised that every Wednesday at noon training will be conducted with bar staff, security personnel, etc., in all of these initiatives.

IV.       Land Use Committee Update

LUC Chair Andy Hauer submitted the following projects for board consideration:

·         1101, 1103, 1105 Washington Avenue South.   Jeff Hahn explained that he is rehabbing the structure formerly known as Frank’s Plumbing for mixed-use (retail on first level, open office spaces on second and third levels) and is seeking a parking variance to reduce the stalls in the rear from 36 to 16.  Jeff advised he has already received preliminary approval from the staff in the Planning Department.  The board voted unanimously to recommend approval of the variance. 

·         150 Portland Avenue.  Whitney Partners, LLC (the new owners of the Whitney Hotel), is seeking neighborhood approval of its revised building plans, i.e.:  45 to 48 units at 900 to 1,300 square feet (versus 38 units); traditional balconies (versus Juliet balconies); parking under the plaza (versus valet parking); and additional windows.  This project is scheduled to go before the Historic Preservation Commission on Tuesday, June 14, 2005.  The DMNA LUC recommends approval of the proposed changes as submitted with the stipulation that if changes are made to the lighting fixtures that they be replaced with “Acorn Fixtures”.  The board unanimously approved the committee’s recommendation.

·         1100 Harmon Place.  Willie’s Wine Bar and Coffee House, located in the ground level retail space of the St. Thomas Law School’s parking ramp (scheduled to open in September of this year) is seeking a liquor license and sidewalk café.  The board voted unanimously to recommend approval.

V.        Land Use Discussion with Jack Byers

In response to concerns over the explosion in liquor licenses being sought in the entertainment district, and to help clarify what role DMNA plays (i.e., as advisory to the City Council) in downtown development and land use, Jack discussed protocol for issuance of liquor licenses and strategies DMNA could employ for remedying these concerns (i.e., forming coalitions with other neighborhood and business organizations to form a broader perspective).  Jack also discussed the City’s master plan and the land use priorities related thereto.   

In pursuit of these coalitions and to avoid overlapping boundaries and districts within the various neighborhoods, the Chair directed the Land Use Committee to delve into these potential challenges and obstacles.  Jack advised that this is a good time to do so because the 2010 Plan will need to be revised.      

VI.       Consideration of May 2005 Minutes

The minutes from May 10, 2005 board meetings were unanimously approved.

VII.     Consideration of May 2005 Financial Statements

June Harmon distributed and explained the F2005 Budget vs. Actual as of May 2005; the Profit & Loss with YTD statement for May 2005; and the bank register for May 1-31, 2005.  These financial documents were unanimously received and filed.

June then gave DMNA 30 days notice of her departure due to the coffee, book, commissioned arts and crafts shop she is opening with her daughter in the tourist town of Park Rapids.  Everyone expressed congratulations on her new endeavor.

VIII.    Old Business/New Business

Tom announced he received a call from CLPC inquiring whether DMNA would be interested in sponsoring a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters for the mayoral candidate at the Women’s Club on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 for $150.  The board voted unanimously to do so with Andy taking the lead.

Tom also announced that the previously approved Mississippi Watershed Management Organization project grant (a/k/a the Star Tribune storm water runoff demonstration project) was working through the system.

Thereafter the board unanimously approved Carletta’s motion to renew its membership with the East Downtown Council.

IX.       Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2005.

_______________________________                      _______________________________
Chair                                                                Secretary