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:

Highland Villager: Concerns raised over changing permit parking area near St. Thomas

Jane McClure writes in the Highland Villager: “Concerns raised over changing permit parking area near St. Thomas.” (Wednesday, 8 February 2012, page 12, is anyone else as annoyed as I am that the Villager is not online?)

The article covers the 1/23 MGCC Transportation Committee meeting. She quotes several neighbors, misspelling names along the way:

“Permit parking is not popular,” said Eric Hess, who lives in the area of Lincoln that does not have permit parking now. “People would love to have the street back in the evenings and not have to use visitor passes.”

“We’d like summers off,” said Lincoln Avenue resident Kristine Anderson.

McClure also covered the opposition to changes in Area 21 parking:

“What we’re concerned about is that we’re taking one block’s problem and pushing it onto another,” [Lenny Russo] said.

The article notes that the full MGCC board will be voting on the Area 21 parking permit request tomorrow evening, February 9, during their 6:45pm meeting at the Edgecumbe Rec Center. Neighbors concerned about the issue should consider attending to make sure the board hears from all sides of the issue.