CARAG Board Meeting Minutes - February 20, 2018

Attending: Ginny Buran, Max Ellis, Chris Finlay, Brad Klein, Jason Lord, Tricia Markle

Absent: Colin Harris, John Kostorous, Jay Lindgren

The meeting was called to order at 7:06PM.

Introductions & Announcements
    •    Board members and attendees introduced themselves.

Agenda & Minutes
    •    Motion, seconded to approve the agenda and January 16 meeting minutes,. Approved.

10th Ward City Council Update, Tina Erasmus- Associate
    •    Erasmus reported that Council Member Bender was elected as President of the City Council, which will allow her to have influence over the City’s agenda.
    •    Erasmus addressed a question about the recently approved Sons of Norway development, which was opposed by ECCO and some neighbors. CM Bender supported the development with the change of a taller building on Lake St. and five stories along W. 31st Street because it is located along high-frequency transit and increases density near the core of Uptown.
    •    CARAG passed a resolution in October requesting that Public Works consider redesigning the Lake & Hennepin intersection, rather than rebuilding it as is, because of the danger encountered by walkers, bicyclists, and motorists. Erasmus agreed to check in with P.W. staff to determine whether they have pursued a redesign.

Moxy Hotel, Ben Graves/ Matthew Mering Graves Hospitality
    •    Graves representatives described features of the hotel including rooms, the top floor “Green Room”, and the bar/ restaurant. There are 8 spaces in the parking lot, 3 out front for loading and unloading/ valet, and the remaining required stalls are at the Mosaic parking ramp. So far, nearly all hotel guests have arrived by Uber, Lyft, or taxi cab. Most employees walk or bus to work at the hotel.
    •    Several hotel neighbors were in attendance and they expressed concern about the rooftop HVAC system, which makes noise that can be heard within neighbor’s homes. Graves noted that screening will be installed by May to better hide the HVAC and dampen the sound.
    •    An Open House is scheduled for March 8 and CARAG neighbors are invited to attend. 

Neighborhood Revitalization Committee, Scott Engel
    •    Engel presented a proposed “Plan Modification” to Strategy 1.1.1 Safety Lighting of the CARAG NRP Action Plan. The change, which was presented on January 16 and promoted to the neighborhood, would revise language of the plan to expand safety improvements beyond just lighting such as security cameras and upgraded locks/ doors. Motion, seconded to approve the Plan Modification as proposed. Approved.
    •    Engel presented a proposed contract with artist Sharra Frank for the Bryant Square Dolphin Mosaic project. The document describes the scope of work, artist fees, and time line for the project. Motion, seconded to approve the contract as proposed. Approved (Board vote only)

Livability & Engagement Committee:, Tricia Markle/ Max Ellis
    •    The 21st annual CARAG Chilly Chili Fest is February 25 and the event raises funds for Joyce Uptown Food Shelf.
    •    The Committee just finished the 2018 CARAG brochure, which will be delivered soon along with the Chili Fest flyer to CARAG homes. Thanks to Chris Finlay for volunteering to design the new brochure this year.
    •    CARAG also launched a revamped website at thanks to Chris Finlay’s efforts. The site is much cleaner and is mobile-friendly.

CARAG Name Change Task Force, Scott Engel
    •    At least fourteen neighbors have volunteered to participate on the task force looking into possible names and soliciting neighbor feedback. The first meeting is February 21.

CARAG Land Use & Transportation Committee, Jason Lord
    •    Lord noted that the committee has been advocating for an improved design for the Hennepin & Lake intersection as part of the upcoming Hennepin Avenue reconstruction.
    •    The committee reviewed a proposal to create an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in an existing carriage house at 3221 Colfax Ave S. The structure has been in place for 80+ years, but requires a side yard setback variance and variance to exceed the size of a standard ADU floor plate by about 100 square feet. The committee recommends approval of the variances as proposed. Motion, seconded to support two variances for the ADU at 3221 Colfax Ave S. Approved. (1 Abstention)

Treasurer’s Report,  Scott Engel/ Brad Klein
    •    The CARAG Operations and NRP Administrative account reports were available through January for review, as well as the Fy18 first quarter budget reports.
    •    Engel presented the MN Attorney General’s Charitable Organization Registration report for 2018. The document filing requires the CARAG Board to approve a resolution giving authority to the President (Markle) and Vice President (Finlay) to sign the document on behalf of the organization. Motion, seconded to approve the resolution as presented. Approved. (Board vote only)
    •    CARAG has begun moving bank accounts to TruStone Financial Credit Union. Two Certificates of Deposit were cashed out in February and will be transferred to a money market account at TruStone.

Adjourn: The meeting adjourned at 8:30PM.