Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from
June 13, 2000 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, June 13, 2000 at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Room 310, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I.    Call to Order and Announcements

With a quorum present, Jerrie Hayes, Chair, convened the meeting at 7:08 p.m.  Other board members in attendance included:  Larry Calhoun, Dee Cotten, Secretary, Andrew Hauer, Sue Jahn, Al Smith, Vice Chair, Carletta Sweet, and Joan Wilshire.  Board members unable to attend were Jack Becker, Monroe Bell, Janis LaDouceur, and Roberta Webb-Streib, Treasurer.  Nonboard members in attendance included Scott Engel, DMNA/NRP Coordinator; Greg Finstad, Director of Transportation & Parking Services for City of Minneapolis; Lisa Goodman, 7th Ward City Councilmember, and Douglas Gardner, Administrative Assistant; Joe Kern and Craig Lamothe of SRF Consulting Group; Allan Klugman of Westwood Professional Services; Peggy Lucas of Brighton Development; Marcus Mollison of Faegre & Benson; George Rosenquist, NRP Implementation Committee; Scott Russell of the Southwest Journal; and Daphne Skoglund of the Sherman Group.

As a reminder, the Chair announced the day and time for the following standing committee meetings:  Land Use on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.; Board of Directors on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.; Public Relations on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.; Implementation on the third Thursday of the month at 6:00 p.m.; Executive on the fourth Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m.; and Housing to be determined by Andy Hauer.

II. New North Loop Neighborhood – Fact or Fiction?

After Lisa distributed the June 2000 Spotlight On Seven, the 7th Ward newsletter, she explained why she had come before the board – to start a dialogue and to quash rumors surrounding the issue of creating a new downtown neighborhood.  In putting the rumors to rest, Lisa stated that the City is not in the business of starting new neighborhoods, however there is a very specific process in place for changing neighborhood boundaries.  Furthermore, a North Loop neighborhood already exists which, in conjunction with the Downtown East and Downtown West neighborhoods, is currently represented by the DMNA.  What North Loop residents have approached City Council President Jackie Cherryholmes about is whether they should pursue forming their own neighborhood association since it now has a sufficient population to do so.  Exacerbating this situation is the existence of a completely separate organization, the Northeast Residents Redevelopment Council (NERRC) that reviews all of the business, commercial and industrial development within the North Loop area.  In an attempt to unify these two constituencies, City Council President and the Planning Department are entertaining forming one neighborhood association that would represent not only the North Loop residents, but the business, commercial and industrial interests as well without any boundary changes.

Addressing concerns about the NRP funding process, Lisa explained that since the formula under Phase 1 was based on population, North Loop did not contribute (nor, for that matter, Downtown East) proportionately to the amount of money DMNA received.  But now that the new formula for Phase 2 will be based on income, absentee landlord, blight, and a variety of poverty-type statistics, North Loop remaining under the auspices of DMNA would actually be a detriment to the amount of money DMNA could receive.  How Phase 1 would ultimately be worked out if North Loop were to form its own neighborhood association remains to be seen.  Under Phase 2, there would be more funds available for DMNA if North Loop were to do so.

After entertaining questions, Lisa summarized that in order to be a more effective and inclusive downtown community, more neighborhood organizations (over and beyond the Central City Neighborhoods Partnership) banning together would give its residents the power base needed to address the major concerns facing downtown (e.g., Block E, LRT, Marquette Plaza).

Due to time constraints, the Chair moved and Andy seconded to strike the following agenda items:  project updates from the NRP Implementation Committee Report; Public Relations Committee Report under Other Business; and Election of Committee Chair under Land Use Committee.  The motion was carried unanimously.

III.  Land Use Committee

A.  Washburn Lofts by Peggy Lucas of Brighton Development

The Land Use Committee, at its last meeting on June 6, 2000, reviewed this project.  The materials were subsequently forwarded to the board in advance of this meeting for review.  After Peggy entertained questions regarding disability accessibility, parking, and private space, the Chair moved and Al seconded for a resolution to approve the project. The motion was carried unanimously. The Chair stated she would send a follow up letter to Brighton Development to that effect.

B.  Livable Communities Grant

Since the representative who assisted in preparing the application was not in attendance, the Chair advised the board that the Livable Communities Grant went through the Metropolitan Council, a copy of which will be forwarded in the near future.  A second phase application will be due at the end of the summer.

C.  701 Washington Avenue North Parking Variance by Marcus Mollison

 As background Marcus explained that Ken Sherman and his investment group have a purchase agreement for the Litin Building at 701 Washington Avenue North, scheduled to close at the end of the month.  Additionally, they have a letter of agreement with Hammel Green and Abrahamson (HGA), an architectural firm comprised of 415 employees who would occupy the entire premises and undertake a proposed $6.0+ million historic renovation.  The property currently has approximately 105 parking spaces available on-site, however the new zoning code requires 330 spaces.  In order to comply with the revised zoning code the purchasers are seeking a zoning variance (a copy of which was distributed to the board) to secure the additional spaces required off-site at the municipal ramps at 10th and Washington Avenue and under Interstate 94.  Management for both municipal parking ramps indicated that the requisite number of spaces would be allotted to HGA for the duration of its lease, an additional requirement recommended by the Minneapolis zoning staff.  Marcus also explained that failure by the purchasers to obtain the zoning variance would most likely result in the departure of HGA from Minneapolis, the loss of a well-established professional organization to the area.

After Marcus entertained questions regarding possible demolition of existing buildings, accessibility, and potential shuttle runs, the Chair moved and Andy seconded to approve the application for zoning variance as proposed.  The motion was carried unanimously and the Chair indicated a follow up letter would be sent to that effect.

IV. NRP Implementation Committee Report

The Chair explained that the matter of whether to renew DMNA’s NRP coordinator contract with Scott Engel appeared before the Executive Committee.  Since his contact had already expired, Scott proposed to the Executive Committee a 1-year renewal and a $2.00 per hour raise.  After further discussions with Scott, the Executive Committee proposed to renew with no modifications to his previously contracted responsibilities. 

After the Chair entertained questions, Andy moved and Dee seconded to approve the proposed Agreement for Purchase of Services by DMNA NRP (a copy of which was distributed to the board).  Al then moved, for accounting purposes only and to get on track with MCDA’s fiscal year, to amend the Agreement by changing the ending date under Scope of Services to read December 31, 2000 instead of June 15, 2001.  The motion as amended was carried unanimously.

V.  2000 Downtown Minneapolis Transportation Study Presentation

Greg Finstad, Joe Kern, and Al Klugman presented a synopsis of the study begun September 1999 regarding current and future (through 2010) transportation systems and needs in downtown Minneapolis to improve and enhance vehicular and pedestrian movement going forward, a copy of which was distributed to the board.  Elements of the study included travel demand, traffic flow, transit demand, parking supply and demand, bicycle system, pedestrian circulation, and curbside activities within the riverfront, central and outer core, frame, and technology corridor areas.

After the Chair entertained questions regarding the impact of increased parking demand in the downtown neighborhood and it’s impact on potential green space, , it was determined that no action was required of the board.

VI.  Other Business

Andy advised the board that the Housing Committee was not prepared to give a report at this time and that the next meeting will be soon announced.  Also negotiations are still underway for DMNA’s office space.

VII. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 p.m.

Signed and approved by

______________________________                                    ______________________________
Chair                                                                                       Secretary