NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

Summit Hill author Danny Klecko will launch his new book The Dead Fitzgeralds on Saturday, September 24, at Subtext Books in downtown Saint Paul. The book is a eulogy to F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, a couple whom Klecko calls America’s saddest sweethearts, and the date is the anniversary of F. Scott’s birth in 1896 in his family’s home at 481 Laurel Ave. in Ramsey Hill.

Three minor amendments regarding lighting standards, fence materials and street-level uses for new structures have been approved for Saint Paul’s master plan for the Highland Bridge development in Highland Park. The amendments will accommodate the University of Saint Thomas’ plan to construct new sports facilities at the southeastern corner of the 122-acre  site.

Exemptions to Saint Paul’s new rent control ordinance for new construction, subsidized housing and rental units that have been vacated by their tenants were among the changes approved on September 7 by the City Council. The council is scheduled to vote on the entire package of rent control changes on September 14. If approved, the changes would take effect on January 1.

When the Boy Scouts of America opened its ranks to girls in 2019, Twyla Paska was quick to take the Scout Oath. A resident of Macalester-Groveland, she joined all-girl Troop 7091 in what is now known as Scouts BSA and recently became the first young woman in Saint Paul to earn the organization’s highest rank of Eagle Scout. Her troop is sponsored by Macalester-Plymouth United Church.

The Ramsey County Board got its first look on September 6 at the supplemental county budget for 2023 as proposed by county manager Ryan O’Connor. The $785.4 million budget is up about $2.3 million from the 2023 budget approved last December by the County Board. The increase comes from state aid and other revenue, not from the property tax levy.

Saint Paul’s Downtown Alliance is one month into its Let’s Grow promotion, offering free rent for up to six months as an incentive for new tenants to fill vacant storefronts. As of last week the promotion had drawn interest from about 90 prospective tenants. Leases had been signed by Boutique Ramadhan Designs in Wells Fargo Place and the economic development firm 2043 SBC at Treasure Island Center. Other leases are in the offing.

A much-debated plan for a new 72-unit apartment building at the southwest corner of Graham Avenue and Sue Street in Highland Park got mixed reviews on September 8. The Saint Paul Planning Commission’s Zoning Committee recommended a zoning change and conditional use permit for added height for the building. However, it rejected variances for setbacks and for greater density.

Fourteen downtown area businesses and residents are suing the city of Saint Paul and the nonprofit Listening House over a proposed new day shelter for homeless people in the former Red’s Savoy Pizza at 421 E. Seventh St. The suit was filed on September 7 in Ramsey County District Court.

The new Lunds & Byerlys supermarket at Ford Parkway and Cretin Avenue is one step closer to obtaining an on-sale liquor license. The Saint Paul Planning Commission has recommended that the City Council approve the expansion of the Highland Village commercial development district to include the 122-acre Highland Bridge development.

The Highland District Council voted 8-7 on September 1 to support the construction of an asphalt sidewalk on the Highland National Golf Course side of Hamline Avenue between Highland Parkway and Montreal Avenue.

HOME IMPROVEMENT

For years Roxanne Portnoy and her family used their attached single-car garage for storing just about anything but a car. Today, that Highland Park space has been transformed into a sleek home office.

MORE NEWS

The Saint Paul Planning Commission will initiate a study of the East Grand Avenue Overlay District on September 16 to determine whether longtime building height, setback and square footage limits should remain in place, be modified or dropped entirely. Any changes to the restrictions imposed by the overlay district would likely be taken up by the City Council in early 2023.

The Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) on August 29 approved the plans for a three-dwelling cluster development at 549 Holly Ave. The decision followed the approval of three variances by the city’s Board of
Zoning Appeals.

ON THE TOWN

If there was a silver lining in the COVID-19 cloud that hung over the Twin Cities’ music scene for two years, it was the time to write music in the absence of live performances.

SPORTS

When Matt Millard took over the reins of the Nova Classical Academy girls’ soccer program three years ago, he knew he had a lot of work ahead of him. “We barely survived that first season,” he said. The Knights have a lot more depth now.

It’s the same thing in so many high school sports these days. Officials are in such short supply that the situation is approaching the critical stage, according to local coaches. They say an increase in pay might help, but there’s more to it than that.

For Steve Walsh at Cretin-Derham Hall, it’s a getting-to-know-you process. For Sean Jensen at Minnehaha Academy, it’s introducing a new offensive attack. For Brad Moening at Highland Park, it’s getting the troops used to competing against each other.

VIEWPOINT

The city of Saint Paul, as the owner and one of the partners of the proposed Mississippi River Learning Center in Crosby Farm Regional Park, hosted a public meeting on August 11 to unveil an initial schematic design for the 25-acre site. The site was identified by the city’s 2012 Great River Passage (GRP) plan as an important element in an effort to envision river parkland as more natural, more urban and more connected.

VIDEOS

Marvella 8.31
MN Ren Fest

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