Hello & happy August!
There’s a lot happening in St. Louis Park these days. Here’s a select list of updates that may interest you.
Utica Trail: Great news! City Council recently approved a final plan to build a pedestrian/bike trail along Utica Avenue that connects the Birchwood neighborhood to the North Cedar Lake Trail. The trail will provide safer access to children and families living in apartments along Utica to nearby parks, as well as safer access for bikers and pedestrians traveling through the Birchwood Neighborhood to the Cedar Lake Trail. Thanks to those who provided feedback on optimizing safety measures on the trail; your input made a difference in the final plan. The project should be completed by fall 2018.
Airplane noise: Yes, there have been more planes over SLP lately! Blame the wind. We’ve had more easterly and southerly winds this summer. According to the Metropolitan Airports Commission, air traffic controllers employ runways that provide the greatest amount of headwind and related lift; easterly and southerly winds promote use of a south flow which means aircraft will overfly St. Louis Park as they approach the airport. For more information on how runway decisions are made, check out this video put out by the MAC.
"Feather the Nest" Street Party: After years of hard work and planning, SLP Nest is set to open in September. The Nest is envisioned as a welcoming, teen-centric space for youth and, in my view, is a much-needed asset in our Children First community. Nest organizers are hosting a street party this Wednesday, August 15, from 6-10 pm in and around their new space at 3412 Library Lane. Live music, food trucks, and games for all ages! I’ve got a shift in the dunk tank from 8-8:30 pm. Please come out to support this worthy project with donations while having a great time with neighbors & family.
Affordable housing policies: At our study session this Monday, August 13, council will consider two new approaches to creating & preserving affordable housing: (1) amending our inclusionary housing policy and (2) establishing an affordable housing trust fund. I’m pleased that residents and council members continue to keep this issue at the forefront as it’s a critical one for the future of our shared community. Do you have a personal story or concern related to affordable housing? I’d like to hear it. Please email me here.
Body-Worn Camera Policy: Also on Monday, council will discuss a draft policy regarding the SLP Police Department’s potential use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) in the future. BWC policies are complex and, if council approves going forward with purchasing and authorizing the use of BWCs, a vetted, community-supported policy is critical. You can review the draft policy and provide feedback here. A public hearing on the issue will take place at the city council meeting on Monday, August 20, starting at 7:30 pm.
First Sunday Meetups: My monthly “First Sunday” meet ups for Ward 1 residents and interested others will resume in September. We’ll meet on Sunday, September 2 (yes, it’s Labor Day weekend) from 3-4:30 pm in the Birchwood Park warming house, 2700 Zarthan Ave. S. The topic for September will be police body-worn cameras.
Thanks for reading & please reach out to me any time with your ideas and concerns.