New Climate Investment Fund, 2020 Census results, World Suicide Prevention Day, and more
Census results are in: The 2020 census results are in, and they show St. Louis Park’s population grew by 4,760 residents since the last census, to a total 50,010 residents as of April 1, 2020. About 23 percent of SLP residents are Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) today, compared with about 19 percent in 2010. The average household size is 2.05 people, unchanged from 2010. Here’s a preliminary summary of the results with more detail to come. Thanks to everyone who helped SLP achieve a participation rate of 80.6 percent, compared with a statewide average of 75 percent!
Former Holiday site: Later this month, council will take action on proposed zoning and land use changes for an approximately one-acre parcel of land at the northwest corner of Hwy. 100 & Minnetonka Blvd., the former site of a Holiday gas station/convenience store prior to the expansion of Hwy. 100. If approved, the parcel’s allowed use will change from commercial to residential, specifically medium-density residential which for a parcel this size allows between six and 30 units of housing. The city doesn't own this land and doesn't control what specific development will happen here; however council does have the authority to change zoning and land use regulations to guide development in a way that aligns with and supports our shared community goals and priorities. Here’s a link to the city webpage on the proposed changes, including a recording of the virtual public meeting on this topic in August. I’m in support of these changes.
Fern Hill neighborhood street improvements: After a pandemic-induced delay, planning is back on track for street rehabilitation and other infrastructure improvements in the Fern Hill neighborhood between Monterey Ave. and Hwy. 100. Construction will occur in 2022, but now is the time to study potential pedestrian, bike, and vehicle safety improvements and make your voice heard on changes you’d like to see. Here’s a user-friendly summary of resident input on concerns and wishes for the area and here’s a link to the project map. The first in-person public meeting on the project will take place Thursday, Oct. 14, from 5:30-7 pm in the Community Room at City Hall. Watch for additional/alternative opportunities to meet with city staff about the project. You can also reach out directly to city staff to ask questions and share your views; here’s a link to the project page with contact information.
New Climate Investment Fund: In alignment with our city’s Climate Action Plan, Council is supporting the creation of a new Climate Investment Fund (CIF) in 2022. The CIF will leverage private dollars when owners are ready to make improvements that reduce carbon emissions and lower their energy costs. The draft CIF budget for 2022 directs a total of $400,000 toward residential and commercial rooftop solar rebate programs; the city’s Climate Champions program, and carbon banking initiatives like tree planting and other green infrastructure to capture and store CO2. These investments not only reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions but help us continue to lead the way in demonstrating what other cities across the nation and world can and must do to respond to the climate emergency.
Related: Save energy, save water, save money: In SLP, Home Energy Squad visits are a great way for homeowners and renters (up to a fourplex) to increase the energy efficiency and comfort of their homes. The city subsidizes visits with the maximum cost to residents of $50 and many residents qualifying for a free visit. We scheduled a visit to our home last year and were pleased to get lots of LED light bulbs and weather stripping installed on the spot! Sign up here. And if you’re in the market for lawn irrigation or a new toilet, choose water-saving options and you may be eligible for generous rebates through the city too. Details here.
Prime Deli closes & new restaurant planned: St. Louis Park’s only kosher meat restaurant, Prime Deli, at 4224 Minnetonka Blvd., has closed for a renovation project and the development of a new kosher meat restaurant concept, with James Beard semifinalist Stewart Woodman at the helm. Woodman was the chef behind now-closed restaurants Levain and Heidi's. The new restaurant, Shiloh, is expected to open later this fall and will celebrate Jewish American cuisine. Exciting! Here’s a news article on the topic.
Take 5 to save lives: I lost a friend to suicide this year, a completely unexpected and traumatic event. Yet worldwide, more people die of suicide annually than war and murder combined, and here at home, our local PD respond to multiple suicide threats/attempts every month. The causes of suicide are complex and not everyone can be saved. But we as individuals and a community can become more informed about suicide and, in some cases, save a life. Take 5 to Save Lives is one way to learn warning signs and know how to help; the learning module literally takes five minutes to complete. September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day and here in SLP the Louisiana/Hwy. 7 Bridge will be lit up in purple to raise awareness. Find additional suicide prevention resources for businesses, faith-based organizations, and others here.
Here's a select list of upcoming events in our community:
9/11 Commemoration Event: Saturday, Sept. 11, 8:15 am, Fire Station 1, 3750 Wooddale Ave. Arrive 10-15 minutes early; program will start promptly at 8:15 a.m. Info here.
St. Louis Park Art Fair: Saturday, Sept. 11, 10am-5pm at the ROC, 3700 Monterey Blvd. More than 60 artists will sell their handmade items at this third annual community event. Info here.
Free outdoor family movie nights hosted by St. Louis Park Community Education. Coco, Saturday, Sept. 11, 7:30pm, Aquila Park, 3110 Xylon Ave. S. Raya and the Last Dragon, Saturday, Sept. 18, 7:15 pm, Ainsworth Park, 7700 W. 28th St.
STEP Breakfast Fundraiser: Friday, September 17, 7:15am - 8:30am, Metropolitan Ballroom & Clubroom, 5418 Wayzata Boulevard, Golden Valley & virtually. Learn about and support the St. Louis Park Emergency Program’s (STEP) vital programs at their third annual fundraiser. Info and to register here.
MinnesotaThai Street Food Festival: Saturday, Sept. 18, 11am-8pm, Wat Promwachirayan, 2544 Hwy. 100. Family-friendly event showcasing authentic Thai street food and featuring musical performances, local vendors, games, and more. Free health checks, flu vaccines, and COVID-19 vaccines on site. All are welcome! Info here.
City Council Candidate Debate: Thursday, Sept. 23, 7 pm, Community Room, St. Louis Park City Hall, 5005 Minnetonka Blvd (may change to virtual if pandemic conditions warrant). Hosted by the League of Women Voters of St. Louis Park.
Thanks for reading and please stay in touch!
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.