Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from
October 12, 1999 Board of Directors Meeting

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, Inc. (DMNA) was held on Tuesday, October 12, 1999 at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Room 310, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I.    Call to Order and Announcements

With a quorum present, Monroe Bell, Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.  Other board members present were Larry Calhoun, Dolores Cotten, Secretary, Brian Ganske, Andy Hauer, Sue Jahn, Ashu Kataria, Laura Lazar, Jonathan Spector, Vice-Chair, Carletta Sweet, Co-Secretary, and Joan Wilshire.  Al Smith, Treasurer, was the only board member unable to attend.  Nonboard members in attendance included Barbara Andrews, NRP Implementation Committee member, Scott Engel, DMNA/NRP Coordinator, Lisa Goodman, 5th Ward Councilmember, and Cara Latofsky, Executive Director of Stevens Square Community Organization.

After circulating the updated DMNA Board Committee Members’ list to board members for review, the Chair asked for any improvements/corrections/ additions to be noted on the list and returned to Scott for accurate updating.

II.    Action on the September 14 Board of Directors Minutes

Turning to the business of the September 14 board minutes composed by the Chair, Secretary and DMNA/NRP Coordinator, Monroe noted that paragraphs II (Minutes), and VII (Annual Meeting Update) should reflect that both motions passed.  Andy then distributed the three motions (see Exhibits 1-3) he had presented at the September 14 meeting which he felt were not entered correctly.  Under paragraph VII, "Authorize the League of Women Voters to conduct our annual election at a cost not to exceed $75"; under paragraph V, "Authorize the Employment Committee to interview, hire and enter into contract for the position of Housing Coordinator for DMNA, it being under the discretion of the Employment Committee if new/additional candidates are interviewed, with the addition of Alan Arthur and Joan Wilshire on the Committee"; and under paragraph IX, "Move that when the agenda and minutes of the September 14, 1999 DMNA meeting are mailed to the board members for the October meeting, a report be included either prepared by staff or the Treasurer stating . . . ," all which Andy recalled were passed.  Dee moved and Carletta seconded that the September 14 minutes, as amended by Monroe and Andy, be approved.  The motion was carried unanimously.

III.  Downtown Update

After everyone introduced themselves to Lisa Goodman, Andy applauded the hard work and long hours that the downtown councilmembers devote to the issues affecting downtown residents, and announced that following Lisa’s presentation to DMNA's board, she would also be giving a presentation at The Towers that evening from 7:00-10:00 p.m. regarding the issues relevant to The Towers' residents (i.e., the new Library, the Milwaukee Depot, the Marquette Plaza project – old Federal Reserve Bank property), and thanked her profusely for doing so.

Lisa mentioned that in addition to attending all of the monthly neighborhood association meetings, at the request of some condominium associations she will also attend condo association meetings, as her schedule permits, to accommodate those who are unable/unwilling to attend neighborhood association meetings or public hearings.

Turning to her update, Lisa announced a major victory by the City Council regarding the new Minneapolis zoning code that resulted in the expansion of the primary office core by 11 blocks:  one chunk to the north, and one chunk to the east.  The City Council also agreed to conduct a study of East Downtown to ascertain if there are additional opportunities to expand the primary office core beyond Fourth Street to perhaps even Fifth Street in some areas depending on developmental potential.

For clarification, Lisa then explained the two major differences between the primary and secondary office cores, i.e., building square footage and parking requirements.  In the primary office core, building square footage may exceed 1 million, and there is no parking requirement.  However, in the secondary office core, building square footage is limited to under 1 million (about 33 stories), and after the first 400,000 square feet, there is a parking requirement of 1 parking space per 15,000 square feet.  Lisa expressed that this parking difference between the two office cores is important given the parking problems facing downtown residential structures, such as The Towers, The Churchill, and The Crossings, which have insufficient parking spaces (due to the original premise that residents who worked downtown would walk to work) to meet the needs of its residents.  If parking is not required of the larger office structures, parking will still need to be built to accommodate downtown employees, and we'll be required to pay for it - an expensive proposition.  Currently the larger office structures build just enough parking spaces to accommodate executives, instead of the majority of its employees, resulting in a parking encroachment on the surrounding residential neighborhoods.  So in Lisa’s opinion, it is important that we mandate that the larger office structures build sufficient parking spaces to accommodate the building's employees, and that we rethink our overall downtown parking policy now that the compact downtown core has blended with the peripheral parking.  So in the final analysis, Lisa noted, the fight was over land speculation.  As background, Lisa indicated that the Downtown, Elliot Park and Loring Park neighborhood associations had written letters to the City Council stressing concern over expansion of the core.  Loring Park deferred to Downtown and Elliot Park, and they in turn supported the 11-block expansion of the core.  So this time the planning came before the development rather than the development coming before the planning.  Lisa also mentioned that this was one piece of about 50 pieces to the whole zoning puzzle.  So what issues are left for DMNA to be concerned about?  According to Lisa:  the provision for site plan review to ensure downtown pedestrian friendly ingress/egress site design; the Nicollet Mall overlay that sets up special rules and recommendations for how Nicollet Mall will be developed in the future as it pertains to entrances to retail and office structures; and the Harmon height overlay that tries to preserve the integrity of the Harmon auto district by restricting building height to four stories (currently supported by most property owners in that area except for MacPhail because of its planned expansion, and St. Thomas because of its plans for a large law school).

Lisa further mentioned that the new zoning code, which is up for vote on November 12, affects the entire city, not just downtown where most of the fighting has been focused on.  All property in Minneapolis, except for most residential areas, will be rezoned to reflect current conditions.

In conclusion, Lisa expressed that the news is good, that the downtown residents have made tremendous progress in trying to get more of what they want which is (the joke of it is) also what the developers want – to live and work downtown in a pedestrian friendly, crime preventive, environmentally conscious and friendly neighborhood.

The Chair then commented that one of DMNA’s program focus at the annual meeting on November 9 would be to have Tom Hook (Scott verify name) give a presentation featuring the Hennepin Avenue streetscape design project affecting 4th Street through 8th Street.  Lisa agreed that would be a great idea since DMNA board members have been involved in that project, through the arts committee of the NRP process, and would appreciate the designs that are being proposed – creating a streetscape design called the Hennepin Avenue Theater District with specialized marquis, lighting, and signage modeled after the Chicago arts theater district.

The Chair then mentioned that Lisa would be the only councilmember present at the DMNA annual board meeting due to the Mayor’s and the other downtown councilmembers, Joan Campbell’s and Jackie Cherryhomes’ conflicting schedules.

IV.  Restorative Justice Update

The Chair updated the board on DMNA’s involvement in the Restorative Justice 3-year pilot project.  The Chair stated that the project initially arose from the Stevens Square Community Organization initiative, and subsequently included the cooperation of the other downtown associations, Elliot Park, Loring Park, and Downtown (with Dee and Monroe appointed to serve on its advisory committee since DMNA’s participation in 1997).  And as the program ends its pilot period (ending December 31, 1999), it is anticipated that DMNA will continue to participate with the other three neighborhood associations regarding this program.  Support and cooperation from the law enforcement and legal community however was minimal for the first 2 years, but has increased dramatically over the past year. 

The Chair then explained that at Joan Wilshire’s request the board postponed voting on the CCNP Restorative Justice Program (RJP) proposal dated September 8, 1999, because of numerous questions and concerns over its structure and the lack of detailed financial data related to its operations available for board review.  As a result, Cara Latofsky had been asked to come back to address the questions and concerns of the board and provide the requested financial information.

After Cara distributed information on the RJP, its organizational chart, and financial data (program income, budget overview, program expenses, and audit of June 30, 1999), she updated the board on progress to date.  After entertaining questions, the Chair asked the board to decide whether to adopt RJP’s proposal dated September 8, 1999Dee moved and Laura seconded to adopt.  The motion passed 8 to 2.

The Chair then distributed literature regarding RJP’s open house on Tuesday, November 23, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at City of Lakes Transitional Care Center, 110 East 18th Street, Minneapolis.  The Chair mentioned that due to the RJP’s organizational structure, two board members plus an alternate (which is currently vacant) would be required to attend that meeting.  As a result, Dee moved and Laura seconded that Barb Thales, (Scott verify name) who lives in The Itasca, works with Dee at the Greater Lake Country Food Bank (Scott verify name) and has received the support of the staff of RJP, be appointed to the RJP’s advisory committee.  The motion passed unanimously.

V.  Annual Meeting Update

Larry Calhoun briefly updated the board on his progress to date concerning DMNA’s advertising its annual board meeting in City Pages and/or Skyway News.  In essence, City Pages would be too expensive, but Skyway News would be significantly more reasonable depending upon the board’s ultimate ad specifications.  In addition to running a potential ad, the board discussed the content of the flyer and its subsequent distribution within the downtown residential properties, working through each building’s management.  Laura moved and Ashu seconded to authorize Larry, Carletta, and Scott to purchase ad space in Skyway News to publicize DMNA’s November 9 annual meeting, at a amount not to exceed $500, and to photocopy the appropriate number of flyers for distribution to the various downtown residential properties.  The motion passed unanimously.  Then Andy reiterated that the League of Women Voters’ willingness and availability to conduct the board’s annual elections at a cost of $75.

VI.  Treasurer’s Report

In response to Andy’s motion of September 14 requesting a treasurer’s report, Laura Lazar explained the DMNA’s 1-page financial summary and 2-page check register dated September 21, 1999 as prepared and distributed by the Chair.

VII.  NRP Implementation Committee Update

Scott Engel announced that the next Implementation Committee meeting would be held Thursday, October 21, 1999, 6:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Central Library (room to be determined).  Then he distributed a draft scope of services for the theater experiences project for board review and approval.  After the Chair entertained questions, Larry moved and Dee seconded to approve the draft scope of services proposal.  The motion was carried unanimously.

Scott then advised the board that the NRP Policy Board will hold its annual election on November 18, and that each neighborhood association in the city approves an elector to elect policy board members.  Scott’s prework related to this process uncovered that, on behalf of DMNA, George Rosenquist (a member of the Implementation Committee) willing to represent Downtown West as a policy board elector, and Joan Wilshire willing to represent North Loop.  Scott then solicited candidates for Downtown East.  Since no candidate was offered for Downtown East, Andy moved and Dee seconded to appoint George Rosenquist and Joan Wilshire as electors to the NRP Policy Board for Downtown West and North, respectively.  The motion was carried unanimously.

VIII.  Employment Committee Update

Since the last Employment Committee meeting was canceled, no update was available, and committee members agreed to meet immediately following adjournment of the present board meeting.  The Chair then entertained the motion to elect Al Smith, Chair of the Land Use Committee, to also sit on the Employment Committee.  Andy moved and Dee seconded to elect Al to sit on the Employment Committee.  The motion was passed unanimously.

IX.  Land Use Committee Update

Scott mentioned that no update was available, but that Paul Barber and Brian Ganske had expressed an interest in joining the Land Use Committee.  Jonathan moved and Carletta seconded to appoint Paul Barber and Brian Ganske to the Land Use Committee.  The motion was passed unanimously.  Scott then announced the next Land Use Committee meeting to be held on Wednesday, October 20, 1999, members to be subsequently advised of the agenda and location.

Jonathan then announced the neighborhood pre-workshop meeting for the Light Rail Project station design per Paul Barber’s email, and that $2,000 is available to DMNA for this workshop.  Interested parties should contact Paul Barber.

X.  Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Signed and approved by

______________________________                                    ______________________________
Chair                                                                                       Secretary

Exhibit 1

 [Insert Andy Hauer’s Motion No. 1]

Exhibit 2

[Insert Andy Hauer’s Motion No. 2]

Exhibit 3

[Insert Andy Hauer’s Motion No. 3]