Minutes - CapitolRiver Council

Development Review Committee
April 8, 2014
Meeting Minutes
Present: John Mannillo, Paul Mandell, James McClean, Rob Clapp, Lucy Thompson, Bonnie Alexander,
Pat Driscoll, Vivian Martinson, Jim Ivey, Chris Trost, Ginny Harris, Bill Hosko, Wayne Mikos, Russell
Bailey, LaDonna Westrall, Gloria McDonough, Venita Warnke, Julie Quinn (MetTransit), George
Serumgard (MetTransit).
Meeting called to order. Introductions. Approval of agenda and minutes
Items of discussion:
Downtown St. Paul Transit Facility Improvements
Julie Quinn and George Serumgard of Metro Transit were available to answer questions about the
project. They indicated that construction would begin after the light rail opening (June 14) to minimize
impact. The committee had questions in regards to the reuse of the existing shelters. The
representatives from Metro Transit indicated that the useful life of the existing materials were limited
and the design was no longer considered to be fitting in the district they were located. The cost to move
the shelters was prohibitive considering the minimal lifespan still remaining on many of the materials.
The committee made a motion (Warnke,Driscoll) to support that the shelters not be torn down, and be
rehabilitated as necessary. That motion failed with 7 in support and 8 against.
Committee members pointed out that the task force created by Metro Transit for this project had
included CRC representatives and updates on the task force process had been made at Board of
Directors meetings. Ginny Harris, who served on the MetroTransit Task Force for this project, praised
the process for being very inclusive and open.
The committee discussed communication from CRC members who serve on external committees/task
forces, and how that should be strengthened in the future.
Bill Hosko offered the following recommendation:
“In response to the lack of actual CRC involvement in the decision making process regarding the "Saint
Paul Transit Hub Rehabilitation" and our charge to ensure the downtown community is kept abreast of
development and other important issues I recommend the following CRC policy:
A representative or representatives of the CRC board of directors serving on a task force, whether
created by the CRC or other entities, will issue updates at the approximate 25, 50, 75 and 100% level of
their task force activities. These reports to the appropriate CRC committee and or CRC board of directors
shall include pertinent information, including visual information if relevant, so as to fully convey the work
being performed.”
The Committee reached consensus that task forces and committees should bring decisions and positions
to the full CRC Board as necessary for review and/or approval.
No official position was taken by the committee in regards to the Transit Facility Improvements.
Lowertown Parking Ramp – Major Variance
The request before the committee was for a larger projection than is allowed by the ordinance.(12”
longer than the 48” allowed). The Committee discussed the safety of such signs and the fact that the
project would replace two signs per frontage with one larger sign per frontage.
The CapitolRiver Council supports the request to approve the variance for the Lowertown Parking Ramp
signage. (unanimous)
Business Improvement Districts (BID)
Chair Mannillo explained some of the basics involved in a BID, and the committee discussed the
intricacies of creation, governance and impact of a BID in downtown St. Paul.
The Committee requested more information on how BIDs operate, and specifically those located in
Minnesota (Rochester, Duluth and Minneapolis). The Committee also requested to seek a local expert
interested in making a presentation at a future DRC meeting.
Other Business – Movie Theatres
The Committee was presented with two letters from the management companies of the Cray (formerly
Galtier) building and 180 East Fifth. Each letter described a lack of interest in opening up their facilities
for operation of a movie theatre.
Meeting adjourned.