The Saint Paul Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) approved a lot width variance on May 2 that will allow the property at 1303 Randolph Ave. to be split and a second house built.

The lot at 1303 Randolph Ave. is 80 feet by 123 feet. A lot width of 40 feet is required in the R4 single-family residential district, and the new lot is 36.53 feet wide.

City staff recommend approval of the variance, indicating it met all other required legal findings. The Macalester-Groveland Community Council’s Housing and Land Use Committee and one neighbor opposed the variance. Objections included the loss of mature trees on the property and the potential size of the second house.

Developer Shawn Devine told the BZA that the intent is to create a second single-family home while maintaining the current rental house, which was built in 1913. He said he understands the concerns about the loss of trees, but that has to balanced against the need to build more housing in Saint Paul. There were no architectural designs yet for the second house.

The city recently relaxed requirements on widths of single-family dwellings, so a smaller house could be built on the new lot without the need for additional variances.

The BZA laid the matter over in April because the vote to approve the variance was 3-2, and a minimum of four votes are needed for passage.

— Jane McClure

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A bridal shop in downtown’s Pioneer-Endicott Building has received a $25,000 city loan to aid in opening its doors. The Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) board approved the loan on April 27 for La Noire Bridal.

The shop is opening in a vacant skyway space at 141 E. Fourth St. Shop owner Lorraine Love has extensive experience as a wedding and event planner, as well as a freelance hair and makeup artist.

In a staff report, city planning director Nicolle Goodman said La Noire Bridal will offer a unique addition to the existing bridal shops in the metro area. Goodman said La Noire Bridal’s focus goes beyond traditional wedding items by offering attire geared for a variety of cultures.

A significant investment has already been made in La Noire Bridal, Goodman said. The $25,000 to cover a financing gap comes from city business development funds.

— Jane McClure

COMMENTS TERMS OF SERVICE

MyVillager welcomes comments from readers. Please include your full name and the neighborhood in which you live. Be respectful of others and stay on topic. We reserve the right to remove any comment we deem to be profane, rude, insulting or hateful. Comments will be reviewed before being published.