Slatterly Park Annual Neighborhood Meeting
October 22, 7pm
Hawthorne Room 315
Welcome: Caitlin Doran
Introduction of Members Running for Board Seats: Lindsey Zubay, Naren Hulsing, Melissa Stewart-Ring, Jackie Rognholt and Beth Hillenbrand (not present).
Election resulted in all 5 candidates being elected to the Board. 4 two year terms and 1 one year term the distribution to be determined later.
Treasurer’s report: Naren Hulsing
$3423.29 in the account with no outstanding bills or earmarks.
Upcoming Events: Caitlin Doran
New or reimagined events:
Winter Potluck Social to be held in neighborhood church or other venue. TBD.
Spring Pub Crawl- Late Spring TBD
Litter Bit Better, Art on the Avenue Art for kids table, Med City Marathon Water Stop, Mural repaint, July Potluck, Music and Movie, Late season litter clean up, Garden activities
New Garden Club: Caitlin Doran and Melissa Stewart-Ring
Melissa is kicking off a new garden club to help work on and guide our many projects. Current projects include Riverside Median, Bridge Planting and Clean up, Community gardens and Pollinator Garden at Slatterly and two litter clean ups. More projects could be added. Melissa has a sign up sheet here or contact SlatterlyPark@gmail.com for more info. Kickoff in the Spring!
Warming Shelter Update: Melissa Stewart-Ring and Mark Bilderback
Melissa has an FAQ to pass around. Warming Shelter will be in our neighborhood across from the Government center in the strip mall next to the old Subway. Opening Dec 1st this year (Nov 1st next year). Hours will be 9pm-7am run by Volunteers and Catholic Charities out of St Paul. Able to house 30 adults initially but some expansion is possible. Shelter will close for the season on March 31st. Funding comes from County, City and other sources.
Question from the audience as to where homeless families can go. Mark explained families have more opportunities at Gage, IHN, other County programs but often couches of friends.
Playground- Caitlin Doran and Cathy Clermont
Cathy explained this is a project the Neighborhood is hoping to advocate on this year. The playground at Slatterly is in disrepair and maintenance or replacing would go a long way to encourage positive park uses to discourage the undesirable park uses. Strategy includes contacting park board and elected officials with pictures and stories and hoping for some minimal maintenance. Mark explained the very small budget parks has for this kind of thing.
Kmart- Naren Hulsing and Mark Bilderback
Background: The owners of the Kmart lot entered into negotiations with Mayo to use it as a park and ride for Mayo employees working at St. Mary’s Hospital. This lot was recently rezoned as Transit Oriented Development, which does not allow such a use. The developer did not get approval for the project prior to repaving the lot and adding bus shelters because the asphalt needs to be warm to be properly installed. Originally this was to be a 15 year lease with Mayo but City Council has recommended it be shortened to 10. The lease must pass through the city for approval even though it is not involved the ownership or operation of the lot. The lot is ready for 750 cars now and another 700 after the building is demolished. They are currently removing asbestos to prepare for demolition but no permit for that is pulled yet.
In order to get the approval for the new use, the developers need to hold an informational meeting for the neighborhood (held on Oct 15), complete a traffic study, appear in front of Planning and Zoning Commission (Potentially Nov13th), then have a public hearing at City Council (Dec 2nd or 16th).
Mark mentioned how to best support the neighborhood with the project by planting trees and placing landscaping to buffer the parking lot. He also mentioned he was against adding permit parking to Slatterly Park just to keep out the overflow cars.
Traffic study is not complete. It sounds like it hasn’t been started. It should show how the cars will enter and leave the area and at what times of day. Mark is concerned the cars may backup at 9th St and Broadway causing cars to cut south on 1st Ave- which has a frequently ignored stop sign already- or Cut East on 9th St to 8th Ave- then driving by Lincoln at school pick up time. Mark would like to see electronic signs at the entrances to the city letting people know the downtown lots are full and to park at RCTC or Graham Park. Common sense says if these cars made it to Kmart and didn’t get a parking spot, they’d just park in our neighborhood instead of turning around.
Questions and comments: Can we request an environmental study? We are concerned about air, water, sound and light pollution form the lot. Mark said he could and that there is only one air quality monitor in Rochester by Mayo High School.
A comment was made about a temporary use permit and it was explained that Mayo did not apply for one.
The site is 4-5 years away from having a development ready to build. There are no plans in the works right now.
More people live downtown than 10 years ago and this is the direction Rochester is going, toward more density downtown. A parking lot downtown doesn’t encourage that.
Mayo has plans to build a 2500 car ramp on the west lot. This parking lot could alleviate some growing pains during the time the west lot is out of rotation.
People expressed their disappointment in the Neighborhood meeting. The Developer Representatives were not decision makers. It was poorly handled and too far away. Can we require future meetings are held closer?
General Consensus was against the Kmart lot and Caitlin promised to share upcoming opportunities to speak with the group. Encouraging everyone to show up to city council. Use the open comment period and the public hearing time when it appears. Speak at the Planning and Zoning open comment period but there is not a hearing to speak to at P&Z. Write a letter to the editor and call your elected officials. Get out and speak up and we may still sway some votes here.
Public Works: Alternate Side Parking- Sam Budzyna and Megan Moeller
Rochester’s Seasonal Parking Restriction went into effect Oct 1st and last until May 1st. It is to encourage public safety, to allow emergency vehicles and plows and street sweepers to do their jobs. This is citywide regardless of weather. The ordinance allows parking on the even side of the street from 2am-3pm on even days and the odd side on odd days. The restrictions do not apply to meters or roads with no parking on one or both sides. All other singed parking limitations are still in effect.
An Education campaign is coming soon with radio ads, postcards mailed to every house, videos, billboards and more. City Council has recommended not ticketing cars until Mid November.
Questions: What to do with Garbage Containers? City requires them on your Boulevard or driveway approach. The garbage carriers will need to sort out their rules for pick up.
How much is a ticket? $25
Why these rules? Public Works looked at many cities with seasonal restrictions and decided these best fit Rochester.
www.RochesterMN.gov/winter has resources and information. And remember to be a good neighbor you will get used to it.
Meeting Closed at 8:45pm