On March 8th, 2013, the Planning Commission voted to release the findings and recommendations of the West Grand Zoning Study for public review and comment. A public hearing date was set for April 19th. The public hearing will be held during the Planning Commission meeting that day, in Room 40 in the basement of City Hall beginning at 8:30 a.m.
You may share your opinions through Open Saint Paul, at the public hearing, or both.
Open Saint Paul is an online forum for civic engagement. Read what others are saying about important Saint Paul topics, then post your own statement. City staff and officials will read the statements and incorporate them into their decision-making process. Click here for more information on Open Saint Paul.
Findings and Recommendations
The West Grand Zoning Study found that with current RM2 zoning in the study area, demand for student housing could lead to densities beyond those envisioned by the Saint Paul Comprehensive Plan for a “Residential Corridor”, potentially leading to negative impacts on adjacent “Established Neighborhoods”. The study recommended adjusting density and dimensional standards for RM2 districts within the study area to limit maximum building height to four stories and 45 feet, increase the minimum lot area required for three- and four-bedroom units, and decrease required side yard setbacks.
The study also recommended rezoning all current B2-zoned properties, along with two BC- and one RM2-zoned properties located just east of Cleveland Avenue, to T2 Traditional Neighborhood. This recommendation was based on a finding that the design standards and wider range of allowed uses under T2 zoning would be more conducive to achieving the outcomes identified by the Comprehensive Plan.
To read the full West Grand Zoning Study, click here.
From Nancy Wacker inside Ward 4:
I think that the revised zoning does not do enough to address parking. This neighborhood has long-standing parking issues as documented by its long history of permit parking. Even with permit parking, parking challenges on Lincoln and surrounding streets remain because many older apartment buildings on Grand were grandfathered in and do not provide parking for their residents even to the level required by current zoning. I think that any residential redevelopment along this portion of Grand that increases density beyond what is currently there should be required to provide tenant parking beyond what is currently required across the city of Saint Paul. I think this would be appropriate for any area with documented parking issues but is especially important in this neighborhood because, as the rezoning report indicates, redevelopment in this area targets college aged renters who are likely to have more cars than families would. Parking issues have a significant effect on livability and neighborhood atmosphere. As St. Paul’s website prides itself on being “the most live able city in America,” it would seem appropriate that issues of livability should be addressed and protected as change occurs.
From Brian Fogarty inside Ward 4:
We support the zoning recommendation to have West Grand remain RM2 and unit density requirements increased to 2000 square feet for a 4 bedroom apt and 1750 square feet for a 3 bedroom apt. We do not support the 4 story 45 feet building height but would support 3 story 35 feet building height. We do not support a “density bonus” for structured parking, although structured parking should be required since parking is very challenging in area 22 already.
Rationale: UST on the north side of Grand from Cleveland to Cretin has a 40 feet building height limit per the CUP because Grand Avenue is supposed to be the neighborhood’s transition zone from the University. It is logical then that the south side of Grand should step down from that height as buildings approach the alley immediately abutting the Lincoln Avenue neighbors’ back yards.
The 5 story Grand-Finn private student dorm currently under construction has made it clear that the neighborhood suffers under this type of development. One long term family has moved, another long term family is trying to sell, and a third is planning to sell and move, all on the north side of Lincoln between Finn and Cretin and all directly related to the Grand-Finn project. This is already destabilizing our block and will have a ripple effect on a previously stable neighborhood.
We support the development guidelines proposed in the CDI report such as the following:
- A range of housing types to meet the needs of all people throughout the lifespan.
- Moderate density and diverse residential and commercial use.
- Universal design principles to meet the needs of aging populations.
- Diversity of architecture to preserve aesthetic appearance and appeal of the neighborhood with appropriate scale and mass to surrounding buildings.
- Green space and maintaining the tree canopy.
- Creative parking solutions for the neighborhood.
- Working with developers willing to consider varied ownership models.
- Investing in rehabilitation of existing buildings.
There are 2 comments on this question as of April 11, 2013. Read all comments here.