Summit Hill Board Will Vote on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) August 9

At the Zoning and Land Use (ZLU) meeting and public hearing held on Thursday, July 19, the ZLU and the nearly 50 neighbors in attendance heard Jamie Radel, senior planner for the City of Saint Paul Planning and Economic Development Department and lead on the ADU issue, give a presentation on the proposed move to allow ADUs city-wide.

In her presentation and handout, Radel outlined the City's rationale for this expansion. Numerous questions were asked by neighbors and the ZLU during the course of the meeting; those that she couldn't answer at the meeting were addressed the following week in a follow-up email.  These questions and the responses are outlined here.  Ward 2 councilmember Rebecca Noecker was at the meeting to listen to the discussion.  (Note that there are links to the City study and proposed ordinance in the previous news item on the July 19 meeting.)

At the end of the ZLU meeting, committee members voted 3-1 to recommend to the full SHA board that Summit Hill not be included in this expansion, but would consider it at a later date if and when there was sufficient data from other parts of the city that would answer the many concerns and questions raised by Summit Hill neighbors.  This recommendation will be given at the next board meeting on Thursday, August 9 at 7 pm at Linwood Recreation Center.

We highly encourage neighbors to send their written comments to the SHA board ahead of the August 9 meeting for the board to review.  All comments received will also be forwarded to the City Council regardless of which side of the issue they reflect.  Those should be sent to info@summithillassociation.org.  Please be sure to include your street address in your correspondence.  Neighbors are also welcome to attend the August 9 meeting to listen to the discussion and vote.  Due to time constraints, comments by non-board members may be limited, so we encourage you to send your written comments to ensure your viewpoint is shared ahead of the vote.

The outcome of that vote will go to the City Council as SHA's recommendation prior to the Council's third reading of the proposed ordinance on Wednesday, August 15 and public hearing.  A vote by the Council to be taken after the fourth reading a week later. 

Lori Brostrom
Accessory Dwelling Unit Public Hearing July 19

The Summit Hill Association (SHA) learned that on June 1, the St. Paul Planning Commission recommended that Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) be allowed city-wide from the current permitted area half a mile on either side of University Avenue along the Green Line from Lexington Parkway and Emerald Avenue. The initial study for expansion was limited to Mounds Park and four district councils (1, 3, 7 and 9). The Summit Hill Association was never advised about the proposed city-wide expansion until June 6.

SHA expressed concern about both the lack of transparency around the process of this proposal as well as the substance, and asked the City to extend the time period for the City Council readings and vote to allow adequate time for residents of Summit Hill and other affected districts to learn more about the proposed changes. The City Council public hearing was subsequently rescheduled from July 11 to Aug. 15.  SHA's Zoning and Land Use Committee will be holding a meeting on Thursday, July 19 at 7 pm at the Linwood Recreation Center to hear public comment.  All neighbors are welcome to attend.

Jamie Radel, PED Department senior planner and author of the ADU study, will be at the meeting to present the findings and answer questions. Ward 2 Councilmember Rebecca Noecker will be attending to listen to any neighborhood concerns. Based on neighborhood input, the ZLU committee will make a recommendation which will be voted on by the full SHA board on Aug. 9 and communicated to the City Council ahead of their public hearing.

You can learn more about this issue by reviewing the study and initial legislation through the links above. If you are unable to attend the July 19 meeting, please send comments to info@summithillassociation.org or call the office at 651.222.1222.

Lori Brostrom
Chapter 73 Ordinance Update

After the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) meeting on May 24, where public testimony was heard on proposed changes to the Ch. 73 Legislative Code, HPC commissioners voted to form a committee to re-look at some of the elements of the proposed changes.  Subsequently, on June 14, City of St. Paul Planning and Economic Development director Dr. Bruce Corrie issued a statement advising that HPC would be suspending its efforts on Ch. 73 for the foreseeable future.

The Summit Hill Association, which had been planning on hosting a public input session in June on the proposed changes, has postponed those plans in light of this information.  We will revisit the matter at such time as HPC issues revised language on Ch. 73.  Thanks to all who shared their comments ahead of the May 24 HPC meeting.

 

Lori Brostrom
SUMMIT HILL CRIME & SAFETY COMMUNITY MEETING

Please join the Summit Hill Association on Tuesday, May 292018 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM at the Linwood Recreation Center, 860 Saint Clair Avenue for a round-table discussion about recent youth-involved altercations taking place at Linwood Park. CityCouncilmember Rebecca Noecker, along with leaders from Saint Paul Police Department and Parks and Recreation will be on hand to answer your questions. We will be sharing updated information about new security cameras and lighting being installed at the Linwood Recreation Center, and will also be reviewing suggestions about security practices for all of us as we enter the spring and summer months. Please join us for this important conversation.

Liz Gibba
Linwood School Field Day and WaterStories Art Activity with Artist Annie Hejny

Thanks to a grant from the Capitol Region Watershed District, the Summit Hill Association (SHA) has partnered with the second-grade teachers and students at Linwood Monroe Arts Plus Lower School to bring community awareness about rain gardens to our neighbors.  Through its Environment and Beautification Committee, SHA purchased grow lights, seeds and supplies for the students so they could begin growing a variety of rain garden-hardy plants for the large rain garden at the Linwood Recreation Center on St. Clair Avenue. 

On Wednesday, May 23, the students will come to Linwood Recreation Center for a field day, when they will plant their seedlings in the rain garden and learn about rain gardens from a certified Water Steward.  They will learn about the “adopt a drain” program, and why it’s vital to our water system.  And, the students will also work with local artist Annie Hejny, who uses river water and sediment to create beautiful paintings, to create their own art with natural materials.  The students will have a picnic lunch, and have time to play at the playground. 

Then, on Wednesday, June 13 from 5:30 to 7 pm, Annie Hejny will present the final paintings from the Linwood Lower School Field Day at the WaterStories Art Activity in the Linwood Recreation Center. These paintings--made with the river/runoff water from the Field Day event--will be a visual and tactical summary of our Water Stewardship collaboration.  Refreshments will be provided, and all neighbors are welcome! 

Lori Brostrom
Important—Linwood Neighborhood Cleanup New Date!

Because of the recent snow, the Neighborhood Cleanup Day, co-sponsored by the SHA Environment Committee and the Capitol Regional Watershed District and originally scheduled for Saturday, April 21, has been cancelled for that date and rescheduled for Saturday, May 5.  Environment Committee members will join the Linwood Girl Scout troops and interested local neighbors from 9 am to 11:30 am at Linwood Recreation Center, 860 St. Clair Avenue.  Supplies to pick up trash and debris will be provided, along with refreshments.

Please join us in getting our neighborhood ready to enjoy in upcoming months!  Donate a few hours and make it a family service project.  Any questions can be directed to the SHA office at 651-222-1222.

Lori Brostrom
“Plants With a Purpose”—SHA Plant Sale Fundraiser

Support your neighborhood and cross a few spring planting needs off your list when you purchase plants from Gertens through the Summit Hill Association.  A portion of the proceeds will go to SHA and have a positive impact on your neighborhood association.

Pre-orders were due by Wednesday, April 10.

All plants will be ready for pickup the morning of Saturday, May 5 from 9 am to 2 pm at the Linwood Recreation Center, where there will also be a limited selection of plants to purchase.  Early sales will begin on Friday, May 4 from 11 am to 3 pm.

If you have any questions, please call the SHA office at 651-222-1222.

Lori Brostrom
Summit Hill Neighborhood Garage Sale - REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2018

It’s a treasure hunt and also a way to recycle locally!  The annual Summit Hill Association spring garage sale will be held Saturday, May 5 from 9 am to mid-afternoon.  A minimum of 20 participants is needed to hold the sale, so please sign up as soon as possible—the deadline is extended to Monday, April 30, 2018.

The sale participation fee is $20 per sale location, which is used to defray the costs of promotion and sale materials.  Participants coordinate and staff their own garage sale—and retain all the proceeds.  Consider joining together with neighbors to make it an SHA Crime Prevention Block or Building Club social event!

Sales sites receive advance copies of the Garage Sale Sites flyer, two bright-yellow "Summit Hill Garage Sale" posters, and advertising in the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Villager, as well as on the SHA website.  The Garage Sale Sites flyer will be available at each garage sale site, Linwood Recreation Center, and online on the SHA website.

For items you don't sell and want to donate, you can call the Salvation Army at 612-332-5855 for information about their next-day pickup service and donation acceptance practices.

To participate, just complete this form (to complete digitally, download in Adobe Acrobat Reader, fill in, and email to info@summithillassociation.org) and pay your sale participation fee with PayPal or credit/debit card below by clicking on the "By Now" button--both are due by April 25, and your registration will not be complete until payment is made.  Please call the SHA office at 651-222-1222 with any questions.

Location Participation Fee

Number of locations
Lori Brostrom
Progressive Supper--May 5

Sign up for the Summit Hill Progressive Supper and have some fun with your Summit Hill neighbors while enjoying an evening of tasty food.  The more people who participate, the more fun (and food!) there is.

Beginning at 6 pm on Saturday, May 5, the evening consists of four courses:  appetizers, soup/salad, main course and dessert.  After the conclusion of a course, you’ll progress to the next home and your next group of dining companions.  Each course offers a new mix of people and cuisine.  It’s a low-key, casual way to connect and experience a Summit Hill tradition.

If you want to sign up but aren’t able to accommodate people in your home, the dessert course is for you!  Everyone ends the night together for coffee and sweets, and those who can’t host a course provide desserts for the group.

To register, fill out this form (open in Adobe Acrobat Reader to fill out digitally; save and email to info@summithillassociation.org) and click here to pay for tickets ($10 per participant) by credit card or PayPal.

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Lori Brostrom
Neighbors and Parents Pitch In for January 22 Snow Emergency

After an unexpected 12" snowfall on January 22, neighbors of the Linwood Monroe Lower School were quick to see the need and help out.  Starting at 4 pm, it was clear to neighbors of the school that staff and parent cars were getting stuck.  Armed with shovels, they came to help--and then stayed until all cars were freed, checking in with school staff frequently to make sure that all needs were met. 

In the meantime, a group of parents from Randolph Heights Elementary heard that students were stuck at the school, called the school and found out that only snacks were available.  They called the McDonald's restaurant at West 7th and Jefferson, ordered 15 Happy Meals, and then picked them up and delivered them to the school before 8 pm.  Dr. Bryan F. Bass, school principal, sent a letter of thanks to these donors for their generosity.

Lori Brostrom
Announcing Our New Good Neighbor Award Winners!

On January 26, the Summit Hill Association and the City of St. Paul gave the Good Neighbor Award to these three amazing community members.  Congratulations!

Laurie McCann Crowell is owner of The Golden Fig on Grand Avenue, which opened in 2007 and continues to be the only grocery and home goods shop on the avenue selling exclusively American-made goods, featuring the full Golden Fig line as well as exceptional chocolates, cheeses, snacks, preserves, gift baskets and much more.  She was nominated for the award because of her involvement with the neighborhood and her excellent example of a locally-owned business that grows and evolves with the neighborhood it serves.

Laurie apprenticed under some of the country's top fine foods creators.  She attributes much of her gourmet appreciation to and continues to be inspired by Barefoot Contessa's Ina Garten, with whom she worked in East Hampton, NY.  Voted one of the "Top 100 Minnesotans to Watch" by Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, she has developed and manufactured her line of specialty foods--available in specialty shops nationwide--in Minneapolis since 1996.

Laurie stays involved in the local food scene by selling at the St. Paul Farmer's Market where she has had a stall since 1997, as well as by appearing regularly on local television program "Twin Cities Live."

Phillip McGraw is on staff with St. Paul Parks and Recreation.  He is located at the Linwood Recreation Center.  Since 2017, he has been a consistent presence in the community, providing quality programming and leading conversations on how to improve the experience of rec center guests.  Along with his team, he listened to the needs of the community.  He enjoys kids and volunteers some of his time coaching.  He believes that St. Paul is the most livable city in America.

Michael E. Murphy is a former English teacher at St. Olaf and Macalester colleges, and a retired partner from Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels).  He grew up at 1069 Fairmount Avenue and attended grade school at St. Luke's (now St. Thomas More) and graduated in 1957 from Cretin High School (now Cretin-Derham Hall).  Mike's latest collection of poems, "Songs of Crocus Hill," pays tribute to many Summit Hill memories too sweet to forget.  He writes of ice skating out under the stars at "The Olympic Skating Rink" (the flooded-and-frozen courts of the St. Paul Tennis Club) and of a yo-yo salesman doing tricks with a Duncan on the wide stoop in front of Radisky's Linwood Sweetshop at Osceola and Oxford (now a duplex).

Mike also writes  of his dad--Minnesota Supreme Court Justice William Patrick Murphy--stepping off the Grand Avenue streetcar, and of Carl Wolf, the German tailor, whose shop was at Grand and Oxford, across from Vince's Pure Oil (now All-American Auto Service).  He was nominated to honor his love of language, and for the treasure of memories he has preserved through his poetry.

Lori Brostrom
Dixie's/695 Grand Avenue Expansion Update

Dear Neighbors,

On behalf of the Summit Hill Association I want to thank Peter Kenefick, John Wolf and all the stakeholders for your engagement in our discussions about 695 Grand Avenue (Dixie's, Emmett's, Saji-Ya).  We are grateful for your trust in us as facilitators.

Peter Kenefick has reached out to let us know the property owners have determined that their expansion plans do not coincide with the desires of many of their nearby residents.  Accordingly, they have decided not to proceed with redevelopment.

Now, more than ever, I encourage you to show your support of their businesses and all of those on Grand Avenue through your patronage.

Future development of our neighborhood is an important issue.  It requires careful balancing of pragmatic business economics, property value considerations, heritage preservation, housing needs and neighborhood vibrancy.  To be sure we are setting the state for careful development and supporting our local businesses, I invite you all to complete our Neighborhood Plan Survey.  It is available on our web page.

Sincerely,

Andrew Rorvig, President

Summit Hill Association

Lori Brostrom
Grand Avenue Pedestrian Safety Improvements

Please join us on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 7 pm for the Summit Hill Association Board Meeting at the Linwood Recreation Center for a project overview by HunWen Westman, City of St. Paul Public Works.

What is happening?  The City of St. Paul will be making pedestrial safety improvements on Grand Avenue at the intersections between Hamline Avenue and Victoria Street.

When is it happening?  The street will be under construction during the summer and fall of 2018.

How will it impact you?  There will be traffic changes and road closures during construction.

How will it benefit you?  We are making the intersections safer.  We will construct curb extensions (bump outs) and upgrade traffic signals to make it easier for you to cross the street.

Curb extensions will be built at the intersections of Grand Avenue at Syndicate, Dunlap, Oxford, Chatsworth and Milton streets.  Curb extensions will reduce the width of Grand Avenue at these intersections from 54 feet to 38 feet.  This will reduce how far people must walk in the street and it will provide better sight lines between drivers on Grand Avenue and pedestrians on corners.

Parking?  No parking will be removed.  The curb extensions will be put in where it is already illegal to park.

Lori Brostrom
Community Discussion--Dixie's/Saji-Ya/Emmett's Expansion Plans

The owners of  are considering expansion plans. The scope of the project is to be determined, but may involve significant changes to the property. In advance of formal planning, the property owners and the Summit Hill Association/District 16 Planning Council invite you to a community discussion.

Tuesday, January 23, 7 pm at Dixie's, 695 Grand Avenue

 

Lori Brostrom