A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, Inc. (DMNA) was held on
With a quorum present, Jerrie Hayes, Chair, convened the meeting at Other board members in attendance included: Jack Becker, Monroe Bell, Larry Calhoun, Andrew Hauer, Sue Jahn, Janis LaDouceur, Al Smith, Vice Chair, Carletta Sweet, Roberta Webb-Streib, Treasurer, and Joan Wilshire. Dee Cotten, Secretary, was unable to attend. Nonboard members in attendance included Barbara Bell and George Rosenquist, NRP Implementation Committee; Scott Engel, DMNA/NRP Coordinator; Rachel Ramadhyani, Landscape Architect for the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board; and Scott Russell of the Southwest Journal.
Announcements were deferred to later in the meeting where deemed appropriate on the agenda.
Since no action had yet been taken on the
The Chair informed the board that Jackie Cherryholmes, President of the Minneapolis City Council, had
made a motion before the City Planning Commission to remove the
The Chair then synthesized the comments by stating that any downtown area could form its own neighborhood organization, but the real issue is which organization, out of all of the downtown organizations, should control NRP funds and control the vision statement for MCDA on behalf of the entire downtown area. The Chair further stated that this determination would require substantially more information and a more formal process to resolve. However, in the meantime, the Chair would draft a letter in opposition to redistricting and submit it to board members for comments.
Rachel Ramadhyani briefed the board on the Bridge Park project and 20-space surface parking lot to be developed under and around the downtown end of the Hennepin Avenue Bridge (see Attachment 1), and funded through the Federal Reserve’s Off-site Improvement Fund. After the completion of this infrastructure phase, additional funding will need to be pursued to initiate the interpretative phase of development that would include benches, signage, bridge-themed learning experiences and other interpretative features. However, since a CPU is required for the new surface parking area, Rachel requested a letter from DMNA in support of the project.
After the Chair entertained questions and comments concerning interpretative design elements, metered parking problems, and arcade area development and maintenance, although several board members expressed enthusiasm for the project, no official action was taken by the board on this matter.
The Chair entertained discussion in order to ascertain the board’s philosophy
toward downtown housing. Janis asserted a clear need for more affordable and
subsidized housing due to the disparity between cost of construction versus
income, and design elements that create a sense of community and are hospitable
to children. Jack then expressed concern over the dense/cheek-to-jowl development
that’s prevalent along the river, where similar developments in other cities
have turned into slums in the long term. Joan also expressed concern over accessibility-design
issues (e.g., a minimum of one accessible entrance, 32-inch doors, roll-in/walk-in
showers, electrical outlets and switches at appropriate levels). Addressing
rehab opportunities, Al declared the need to also focus on the historic warehouses
Commenting on whether to contract a housing consultant, the Chair was of the
opinion that the board should not pay $25,000 for a market analysis of the downtown
housing stock but rather, in terms of professional assistance, contract someone
who could suggest the appropriate financial programs and creative methods to
feed DMNA’s imminent housing program. Additionally, the Chair
related a disturbing trend – the rehabilitation of the historic
After further discussion, the Chair moved and Al seconded to establish a housing committee (separate and apart from the NRP process) to focus on all aspects of housing, zoning and development in order to develop an overall housing policy. The Chair was of the opinion that the formation of this committee would demonstrate to City Council and the Mayor’s Office that DMNA’s commitment to this issue was moving forward. The motion was passed unanimously.
After the Chair sought nominations to chair the new housing committee, it was
agreed to postpone action on nominations until the next regularly scheduled
meeting. In the meantime, Sue recommended three nonboard
members who had previously volunteered to work on DMNA’s
housing and land use committees: Dan Ashland, Head Architect for the
Responding to the Chair’s request for a physical location
update, Andy passed around pictures of the $500 per month, ground level office
The meeting was adjourned at
Signed and approved by