They're everywhere: February's record snowfall means ice dams have invaded the neighborhood. (See the article below for resources on how to deal with dams now, and how to minimize them in the future.)
Petition Delays TCGIS Zoning Decisions
A Saint Paul City Council decision on the site plan and zoning variances for Twin Cities German Immersion School is being delayed until city staff determine whether a formal environmental review is necessary for the school's proposed building addition.

Roy Neal, an activist in the preservation group Save Historic Saint Andrews, filed a citizen petition with the State of Minnesota on Feb. 22, requesting that an Environmental Awareness Worksheet be required for the project. Josh Williams, a principal planner with the city's Department of Planning and Economic Development, says state rules prohibit the city from taking final action on any zoning applications until all environmental reviews are complete.

The City Council was scheduled to hear two zoning appeals on the school project this Wednesday, March 6. The separate appeals -- one by the District 10 Como Community Council, the other by Save Historic Saint Andrews -- challenge decisions by the city's Planning Commission. Under state law, the commission's decisions would allow the school's original site plan to go into effect automatically on March 6; the school's original variance request would go into effect automatically on March 26. However, City Council staff say that, as a result of the citizen petition, the state-imposed timeline for the city to act on the site plan and variance requests would start over, once the environmental review process is complete.

The citizen petition seeking an Environmental Awareness Worksheet argues that the school's building plan  would create four environmental impacts: the demolition of the former St. Andrew's church building; increased traffic and safety concerns in the surrounding residential neighborhood; increased noise levels from more pupils and traffic; and an increase in net carbon production. The petition contains 126 signatures; more than 80 percent of the signers, like Neal, live outside of District 10.
One Meeting as Usual, One Rescheduled
District 10's Neighborhood Relations committee meets this Tuesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. at District 10's office in the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. All renters, homeowners, and other community members are welcome to attend and participate. Preliminary agenda

Land Use rescheduled: District 10's Land Use committee will not meet this Wednesday, March 6. Instead, the committee will meet the following Monday, March 11, at 7 p.m. at the Streetcar Station.
Winter is Stretching Out - How about You?
District 10's first Community Yoga session of 2019 is this Sunday, March 3, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station. The session will be suitable for all levels of skill and experience. Bring a yoga mat or blanket and wear comfortable clothes. The class is limited to 25 participants.  Registration is just $5, which benefits the Como Community Council. 
A seat at the table awaits you.
It's Not Too Early to Think About It
Annual elections for the District 10 Como Community Council board take place April 16. Nine board positions are up for election; in at least five of them, the incumbent is not seeking re-election. That makes it a great opportunity for new activists to seek an open seat. The positions on this April's ballot:
Any resident of District 10 who is age 16 or older is eligible to run. So are authorized representatives from a business or nonprofit organization located in District 10. To get on the ballot, submit your name and a brief biography no later than Tuesday April 9. Nominations submitted after that date will be treated as write-in candidacies. Board members elected this year will serve from April 23, 2019, until April 27, 2021. A list of board member responsibilities is available on District 10's website.
Sign Up Now for a Community Garden Plot
District 10's Community Garden has space available for this growing season. If you are interested in a plot, email our office. New applications are handled on a first-come, first-served basis; District 10 residents get preference. The garden is at Almond and Asbury, just east of Snelling. The annual fee is $25.
Photo: Morning Chores
These Opportunities Don't Last Forever
A couple of short-term projects in Como need a couple of volunteers to dig in and take charge.
  • Como Connect: This one-day event gives local organizations and local residents a rare chance to find each other. The event is penciled in to coincide with District 10's Ice Cream Social the evening of Friday July 12. A lot of the leg work is finished; now the event needs a lead volunteer to bring it to the finish line. If you are interested, email District 10.
  • Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom: Saint Paul Parks and Recreation needs four more stewards, who will oversee designated parcels in the Woodland. Responsibilities take about 4-8 hours a month and cover a range of conservation and restoration practices: removing invasive species, planting native species, and picking up litter. Training takes place this month; you're in charge of your parcel from April-October. If you're interested, email Tricia Wehrle.
Metro Transit Juggles Route Schedules
Bus schedules change on the A Line and Routes 3 and 83 in the Como neighborhood, beginning next Saturday, March 9. The biggest change affects Route 83: Metro Transit is eliminating some morning and evening runs, including all runs after 7 p.m. Details
Coping with Ice Dams, Now and Later
At this point in a winter like this, it's hard to avoid ice dams. But the Minnesota Department of Commerce has advice on:
  • How to minimize dams now
  • How to safely get rid of major dams if you've got them (including what not to do)
  • How to prevent dams from coming back next year
Keep These S Words in Mind
In our never-ending quest to keep sidewalks safe, here are four other S words to keep in mind, courtesy of the Capitol Region Watershed District. The goal: minimize salt use, which minimizes chlorine pollution of Como Lake and other waterways.
  • Shovel: If you shovel and scrape away snow and ice, you need less salt and sand, period.
  • Select: Use salt only if the pavement temperature is 15 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Salt doesn't work at temperatures lower than that. Sand or traction grit do work at lower temperatures -- but are less useful above 15 degrees.
  • Scatter: It doesn't take as much salt or sand to do the job as you might think. A 12-ounce cup of salt is enough to treat a 20-foot driveway or 10 sidewalk squares.
  • Sweep: Any salt or sand left on pavement eventually washes down the storm drain and into waterways. To prevent that, if you see leftover granules sitting on the pavement, sweep them up and reuse them next time.
Coming Up at the Fairgrounds
  • Twin Cities Regional Science Fair: Today-Saturday, March 1-2, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Today, 1-9 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Outdoor News Deer and Turkey Classic: Next Friday-Sunday, March 8-10, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Friday, 1-9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: 16 or older, $12; children 10-15, $5; children 9 or younger, free. Discounts available.
A Busy First Week
  • This Sunday, March 3: "Imagine Our City" conversation with Mayor Melvin Carter, 2-3:30 p.m. Krungthep Thai, 1141 Rice St. Free
  • This Sunday, March 3: Como Park Lutheran Church's Organ Concert Series, 4-5 p.m., 1376 W. Hoyt. Featured musician: Kathy Handford, of Lawrence University. Free
  • This Sunday, March 3: Como Park High School Booster Club fund-raiser, 4-8 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott. Food, music, beverages, raffles. $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
  • This Sunday, March 3: Music Under Glass concludes its 2019 season with a Mardi Gras party (two days early), featuring the New Riverside Ramblers, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. Free
  • This Tuesday, March 5: Ward 5 Council Member Amy Brendmoen holds drop-in "community office hours," 4-5:30 p.m. Rice Street Library, 1011 Rice St.
  • This Tuesday, March 5: "Imagine Our City" conversation with Mayor Melvin Carter, 6-7:30 p.m. Boca Chica, 1 Cesar Chavez St. Free
  • This Thursday, March 7: Ward 1 Council Member Dai Thao holds drop-in "office" hours, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Heritage Tea House Boutique, 360 University Ave.
  • Next Friday, March 8: Ward 1 Council Member Dai Thao holds drop-in "office" hours, 1-2 p.m., Golden Thyme CafĂ©, 921 Selby Ave.
  • Next Saturday, March 9: Como Pathways Project, 2 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N
  • Thursday March 21: Deadline to submit a 2019 Neighborhood STAR application. The City of Saint Paul program provides low-interest loans and grants for neighborhood and local business projects.
Streetcar Station is Open Sunday
The Como Park Streetcar Station will be open as usual on the first Sunday of the month, March 3, from noon-4 p.m. Stop in to pick up an organics recycling starter kit, pick up replacement compostable bags, or just share comments and suggestions with the District 10 board member on staff that day. The Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. 
Spread the Word
District 10 is one of Saint Paul's 17 citizen participation districts. The District 10 Como Community Council is a nonprofit organization, governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by members of the community. The Council's mission is to inform, educate, and connect the neighborhood to increase community pride and confidence. 
You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in District 10 activities.