Clothing store to open in the historic Walker-Lake district: Sota Clothing will open its first retail store in the Walker Building at 6516 Walker Street. The Twin Cities-based company closed on the property, built in 1892 and SLP's oldest commercial building, earlier this month. Sota will also house its offices and warehouse operations there. There's more new business activity coming to the Walker-Lake area soon. Stay tuned!
Beltline Boulevard SWLRT Station: The next step for this mixed-use development at Beltline Blvd. and Hwy. 7 is a public meeting this Tuesday, March 20, from 5:30-7 pm, at the Rec Center, 3700 Monterey Dr., 55416. The proposed new development includes two 120-unit apartment buildings (including 50 affordable units at 50% area median income), 80,000 square feet of office/commercial space, including, possibly, a coffee shop and/or restaurant; and a 550-stall parking garage. Come let the developers from Sherman Associates know what you'd like to see in this space. Bring photos of buildings you've seen or other ideas for how to make this development the best it can be. Hope to see you there!
Joint School Board/City Council meeting: Do you have ideas for how city government and the school district can partner more closely to benefit students? City Council and School Board members will be meeting in April to discuss this. Please share your ideas here so I can bring them to the discussion. Thanks!
Climate Action Plan: Last month, the SLP City Council unanimously approved a plan for our city to be powered completely by renewable energy by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. The plan, the most aggressive climate action policy of any city in Minnesota, is the result of a collaborative effort between SLP youth, the city's Environment & Sustainability Commission, city staff, and consultants. While the plan is detailed, many specifics still need to be worked out. Youth members of SLPHS's Roots n Shoots club are planning an Earth Day kickoff for the Climate Action Plan on Sunday, April 22.
Garbage & Recycling: While not finalized, it looks like our new 5-year solid waste contract will maintain weekly garbage and organics pickup and every other week recycling pickup. While many residents would have liked weekly recycling, council opted for every other week, for environmental and cost reasons. Did you know you can request as many additional recycling bins as you need, at no cost? You can also set out your own containers with recycling that doesn't fit into your bin. Every other week recycling reduces vehicle miles traveled in SLP, which is one goal of our Climate Action Plan.
Comprehensive Plan: More restaurants, more small/local businesses, more affordable housing ... these are some of the themes that emerged from neighborhood workshops hosted by the City in preparation for the development of our 2040 Comprehensive Plan. More than 1,200 residents provided input in person or online; a summary of neighborhood input can be found here. Watch for additional opportunities to provide input on the Comprehensive Plan in the next couple months.
Westwood Hills Nature Center: City Council members continue to receive input on the proposed $12M interpretive center at Westwood Hills, some in favor of the full $12M plan, and others asking for less expensive options. Please share your thoughts on this proposed project here.
Ranked Choice Voting: Earlier this month, the St. Louis Park Charter Commission voted 10-2 to recommend that the SLP City Council adopt Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for municipal elections. The Council will decide on whether to accept the Charter Commission's recommendation in May. Adoption of RCV requires a unanimous vote of all council members. Click here to learn more about the process in SLP; click here to learn more about RCV.
Next Ward 1 Meetup: My next Ward 1 meetup will take place Sunday, April 8, from 3-4:30 pm at the Birchwood warming house, 27th St & Zarthan Ave. S., 55416. The topic will be racial equity. Please note the change of location from the originally planned Caribou Coffee - not enough room there to accommodate those who want to attend. You can find a schedule of future meetups here.
Your voice in local politics matters! I encourage you to stay informed. SLP City Council meetings take place the first and third Mondays of every month, and study sessions take place the second and fourth Mondays. All meetings are open to the public. Topics that will be discussed are posted on the City's Facebook page and shared to NextDoor. You can also find them here.
I send out a monthly summary of city-related news to Ward 1 residents and interested others, posted here. If you’d like to receive it via email, let me know here.