Downtown Minneapolis Residents Association -- Board Meeting

Symphony Place -- September 19, 1995 -- 7:00 to 8:35 p.m.

Called to Order: 7:00 p.m. by Vice Chair DH who chaired the meeting in the absence of GR.


1. Secretary's Report (PB)

a. Roll Call:

i. Present: Donald Hicks (DH), Andy Hauer (AH), Dolores Cotten (DC), Eunice Roo (ER), Mike Olson (MO), Paul Barber (PB)

ii. Excused: George Rosenquist (GR)

iii. Absent: Marsha McKinnie Davis (MKD)

iv. Guests: Council Member Pat Scott; Denise Tolbert, Mayor Sayles Belton's Office; Billie Binder, Council President Cherryhome's Office; Sally Westby, Office Partner.

b. Minutes from the August 15, 1995 Board of Directors meeting were approved with one change. Item #4 under Old Business should be changed to indicate that it was AH rather than DH who reported that the LaSalle Apartments had decided not to distribute DMRA booklets.

2. Treasurer s Report (AH)

See attached material from AH.

3. Report by Council Member Pat Scott

a. Proposal to Restrict Fire Arms Dealers in Minneapolis

Pat Scott presented an update on the City's proposed fire arms dealers' ordinance. The ordinance has been amended by the City's Zoning and Planning Committee to grandfather existing dealers located in residential neighborhoods. Scott believes the grandfathering will lessen the likelihood of displaced gun shops choosing to locate downtown. New gun dealers, however, would be limited to the B3C and B4C districts which includes downtown.

b. Grand Prix Race

Council Member Scott passed out a route for the proposed Children's Grand Prix car race and suggested that DMRA look at the map carefully to see what problems the race might engender. Streets in downtown will need to be rebuilt for the race, access will be blocked, and noise could be an issue. Representatives of the race committee will likely meet with DMRA in October. The race is scheduled for 1996 and will take substantial planning by city and race officials.

c. City budget cuts

The new city budget does not provide money for the Peavey Plaza skating rink. Scott suggested DMRA make any concerns about the skating rink known. It might also wish to consider whether it would want to make funding for Peavey Plaza one of its NRP priorities. The cost of running the rink is about $38,000. The Downtown Council contributes $12,000. The rest of the money has come from the City's Public Works budget in the past.

d. Ivy Tower

This building at 11th Street and 2nd Avenue has been designated historic and can be listed on the National Register. It is currently vacant but developer Brendt Rusten has proposed to restore it as a small hotel to serve the convention center. There is considerable interest in Rusten's proposal -- Sally Westby reported it received an enthusiastic review by the city's Heritage Preservation Committee -- but public assistance will be needed to make the project viable. Other neighborhoods (Stevens Square and Elliot Park) have utilized some of their NRP funds to help save historic buildings and Scott thought DMRA should be aware of the Ivy project in case it wishes to do something similar.

Old Business

1. PRO-Neighborhoods Grant

An ad has been prepared for the hiring of a community organizer. AH MOVED and PB SECONDED a motion to authorize a task force of the Board to place the ad and hire a community organizer as soon as possible. Motion CARRIED unanimously. GR, AH and DC will serve on the task force.

2. Nominating Committee

This committee has not met yet. DH will be responsible for calling a meeting prior to the October Board Meeting. DH, DC, ER, and AH have agreed to serve on the committee. Besides suggesting nominees for next year's DMRA board, the committee will also propose a topic for the annual meeting.

3. Fire Arms Ordinance

AH recapped the results of various City meetings during the past month and suggested that DMRA stand firm on its August resolution in opposition to the ordinance. Denise Tolbert of Mayor Sayles Belton's office explained the Mayor's rationale for proposing the ordinance and noted that the addition of the grandfather clause amendment was made expressly in response to DMRA's concerns.

AH reiterated his belief that restricting gun shops to certain locations will result in the same kinds of problems for downtown residents that restricting adult entertainment did. That is, they will be moved from residential neighborhoods outside downtown and dumped next to people's homes in the north loop. MO noted that the ordinance, even as amended, treats downtown as a non-neighborhood.

PB MOVED and MO SECONDED a motion to send a letter reiterating DMRA's August, 1995 position on the gun ordinance to all members of the City Council and the Mayor. CARRIED unanimously.

New Business:

1. Downtown Command

GR has written a letter in support of Police Chief Olson's proposal for a Downtown Police Command. It was MOVED and SECONDED that the letter be adopted as written and sent from the DMRA board. Motion CARRIED unanimously.

2. Ribfest

PB raised concerns about the cost of beer and food at the event. Other board members indicated the event as a whole was very enjoyable. It brought lots of people into downtown but was also well attended by downtown residents. AH suggested a letter be sent to the Ribfest organizers praising them for their security measures, suggesting they expand the event to the old Nicollet Hotel block and asking them to consider making prices more reasonable. PB volunteered to write the letter.

3. NW Bike Race

Billie Binder asked the group for its reactions to the NW Bike Race. Council President Cherryhomes has been asked by NW to comment on the race. Those present indicated approval and support of the race noting that it brings people downtown and provides a great family atmosphere. PB noted that, unlike the proposed Grand Prix, the bike race blocks off streets for only a short time.

4. Cedar Lake Bike Trail

PB indicated his interest in supporting completion of the Cedar Lake Trail. Binder noted that Phase III funding for the trail is currently being sought. The trail will hopefully be completed next year. Binder serves on the bicycle advisory task force and was pleased at DMRA's interest in the trail. PB asked to be kept apprised of developments in case DMRA'S assistance could be helpful.

5. WCCO Tour

DMRA board members have been invited to tour a WCCO studio as a group.

6. Block E

PB suggested the Board look at the proposals and consider taking a position. He will contact Julie Idelkope, 673-2977, in Mayor Sayles Belton's office, for copies of the proposals.

7. Miscellaneous

AH led a short discussion of a pro-neighborhoods project, the Central City Neighbhorhood Partnership, that DMRA became involved in last year with other neighborhoods in the central community. He is concerned that the project has become a personal political forum for some people and is not sure DMRA should continue involvement.

AH reported that the Public Forum regarding revision of the City's Comprehensive Plan was excellent. Further meetings are scheduled and board members are encouraged to attend. PB and Marsha Wagner will send copies of the notice for these meetings to all downtown building managers along with a copy of the flier announcing the Walk for One Community Rally in Loring Park on Sunday, October 1 at 2 p.m.

PB noted that lots of neighborhood groups are getting on the Internet. DMRA is a trend setter but clearly not alone.

Adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted

Paul Barber, Secretary