About 1964 Lincoln Avenue

Most of you have seen the “Custom Homes” sign up at 1964 Lincoln and know that our block is due for one of the infamous “teardowns” that many in the neighborhood are concerned about. Let’s hope it goes well and the results are not too disruptive. Custom Homes met with some neighbors earlier this week and Mike’s note below is full of useful information for those who want to know more.

Hi Neighbors!

For those who were unable to attend the meet-and-greet with the Custom Home folks, here are the documents shared with us. I found the first two images the most instructive. The first shows the footprint of the new home (in the middle) compared to the footprint of the neighboring buildings. The second is a rendering of the exterior of all four sides. There will be a detached garage in the location of the current garage and home (which will be torn down, if I remember correctly, on September 2).

Here are other points that I recall (sorry, I was not taking notes):

  • Work hours will be 7-7 (although he does not expect the crews to arrive that early most days)
  • Outside construction is expected to be complete by the end of November, with the remaining inside construction to take place through the winter
  • The house is expected to go on the market in March 2016
  • The finished square footage is ~3500 (3 levels, 1150 footprint)
  • Excavators are expected to access the property via the alley (but should not be parked so as to block alley traffic), other construction vehicles will be parked on Lincoln
  • The site will have an orange plastic temporary site fence
  • The site is not sold at this time, although they have some potential interest. I took this to mean that they have buyers that are generally interested in a Custom Home and that consider each new project, but that no one has expressed specific interest in this property yet.
  • Custom expect to sell for mid $600K’s
  • Their design was approved under the prior building ordinances. The new ordinances do not go into effect until September.

Also, here is the contact information for Jason at Custom, if you have any questions or concerns (now or any time during the project):

Jason Timmers
(651)245-8146 (Mobile)

If anyone has any other tidbits they found interesting or memorable, feel free to share them.

Best Wishes,



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Grand Avenue Zoning Study Needs Your Input

Neighbors United reminds us that the city of Saint Paul is currently studying zoning along Grand Avenue between Cretin and Fairview. This includes Grand Avenue just north of our section of Lincoln. Neighbors United has prepared this flyer with many questions and details of how to get involved. Do you want five story buildings along Grand? Do you have concerns about density or parking? What kind of setbacks do you think are important in our neighborhood?

The department of Planning and Economic Development plans to wrap up public input on this issue by the end of December. You can voice your concerns by visiting the Open Saint Paul site about the West Grand Zoning Study or by writing to the folks listed in the Neighbors United flyer.

Student Rental Housing Ordinance, Letters Needed

In the midst of the RSVP street renovation we are enduring, it can be hard to remember there are other neighborhood issues swirling. One is the student rental housing ordinance that has seen a lot of coverage in the Highland Villager lately. As described back in March, the final reading of this ordinance before City Council will be this week, on Wednesday 6/27. Here is a note from Rachel Westermeyer, a neighbor organizing around this issue:

Russ will do his final reading on the Student Housing Ordinance and it will go to a vote at the Council meeting this Wednesday. There are some letters of support, about 28 to date, but 14 against. We need to push for many more letters of support in the next two days. So, if you want this Ordinance, please, please, please write just a sentence or two saying you support the Ordinance to preserve stability and balance in our community… At the present time, Chris Tolbert is ambivalent about giving this Ordinance his backing. It would also be helpful to write the other 5 Council members as well.

So, please consider emailing Russ Stark and Chris Tolbert with your support of the rental ordinance. Other council emails can be found on their official website.

By the way, for those of you not regularly following these issues, a recent effort to block a five-story apartment building at Grand and Finn failed. This new building, really a de-facto dorm, will have a significant impact on that part of Grand. If you would like to join neighbors who are putting up signs to “Preserve Neighborhood Balance” you can contact Kelly MacGregor who has the signs on the front porch of 2128 Lincoln Avenue for $5 each.

Planning Commission Public Hearing on the Student Rental Housing Ordinance

David Redmond writes, “this is legislation that may affect our block more than any other issue in the near future.”

The Planning Commission Public Hearing on the Student Rental Housing Ordinance will be held Friday, May 4, at 8:30 AM City Hall Conference Center Room 40 15 Kellogg Boulevard West. This is the first of two opportunities for public comment. The second will be at the final hearing before the City Council on June 20.

The proposed ordinance would prevent the establishment of new student rental occupancy of single family homes and duplexes within 150 feet of an existing student rental of a single family home or duplex in an area surrounding the University of St. Thomas.

Student Rental Housing Ordinance Recommendation Released

David Redmond writes with news that City Staff have released their recommendation for the proposed Student Rental Housing Ordinance. This was heard in a closed meeting of the Neighborhood Committee of the Planning Commission and forwarded to the Planning Commission for study. Essentially the recommendation is for no new conversions of single family homes to student rentals within 150 feet of existing student rentals.

Note that the only opportunities for public hearing would be 5/4 at the Planning Commission and 6/20 at the City Council.

The timeline for the full process is as follows:

  • 3 August 2011 (Done): Student Housing Moratorium bridge resolution approved by City Council
  • 23 March 2012 (Done): Agenda sent to Neighborhood Committee of the Planning Commission with proposed new ordinance
  • 28 March 2012 (Done): Discussion of proposed ordinance at Neighborhood Committee
  • 6 April 2012: Planning Commission releases proposed ordinance for public hearing
  • 4 May 2012: Public Hearing at the Planning Commission
  • 9 May 2012: Discussion at Neighborhood Committee (to review comments made at public hearing)
  • 8 May 2012: PC consideration of Neighborhood Committee recommendation
  • 6 June 2012: First City Council reading of proposed ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission
  • 13 June 2012: Second City Council reading of proposed ordinance
  • 20 June 2012: Third City Council reading of proposed ordinance and public hearing
  • 27 June 2012: Fourth and final City Council reading of proposed ordinance
  • 3 July 2012: Legal Ledger Publication
  • 3 August 2012: Ordinance effective date
  • 2 August 2012: Expiration of Moratorium

David also shared these three documents: