Project Seeks Parking, Density Variances
An architecht's rendering of 1554 Midway Parkway after renovation.
Developers have officially filed for parking and density variances so they can convert the former Sholom Home property into rental apartments. Midway Community Group LLC wants to renovate the former nursing home at 1554 Midway Parkway and create 150 rental apartments. Variances are necessary because the developer's plan does not meet the city's existing zoning code for the property, which is zoned RM2 multi-family. 

The zoning code presumes 1,500 square feet for each unit. After adjustments, that means code allows a maximum of 82 apartments, not the 150 units the project envisions. The plan calls for 22 studio apartments, 97 one-bedroom apartments, 24 two-bedroom apartments, and 7 three-bedroom apartments in the existing buildings -- all of them less than 1,100 square feet.

For that mix of units, the zoning code also requires 166 off-street parking spaces. The developer's latest architectural site plan, however, provides only 80 spaces: 51 surface parking spots on its Canfield side, plus 29 new indoor spaces. That means the project is 86 parking spaces short.

Therefore, the developer is seeking a parking variance of 86 spaces and a density variance to allow 150 apartments.

District 10's Land Use Committee will consider the variance requests on Monday Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station. The city's Board of Zoning Appeals is likely to hold a hearing on the requests two weeks later, on Monday Feb. 24.
German Immersion Construction Resumes
The next phase of Twin Cities German Immersion School's building addition gets under way today, Friday Jan. 31. As a result, Como Ave. is likely to be closed just west of  Oxford on Jan. 31 from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and weekdays for the next three weeks from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Construction trucks also will operate during those hours.  Crews are assembling a construction crane and expect to begin installing precast wall panels and decking beginning this Monday, Feb. 3.
Community Yoga is Back
Start the month the right way with District 10's first Community Yoga session of 2020. We'll gather this Sunday, Feb. 2, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N. Community member Meegan Hall leads the session, which will be suitable for all levels of skill and experience.

Bring a yoga mat or blanket and wear comfortable clothes. To make sure everyone has room to move, we'll cap sign-ups at 25 participants. Registration is $5, which benefits the Como Community Council.  Reserve your spot

2020 schedule: One of the reasons behind Community Yoga is to build community. So, we'll hold sessions more often this year: on Sundays March 8, April 5, May 3, Sept. 13, Oct. 4, and Nov. 8. Go ahead -- put them on your calendar. 
Neighborhood Relations Gets Sneak Peek
Previews of a new spring soccer tournament planned at Como High School and of 2020's ComoFest line-up in July will be featured at February's Neighborhood Relations meeting. The committee meets this Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Historic Streetcar Station in Como Park, 1224 Lexington Parkway N. All renters, homeowners, and other community members are welcome to attend and participate. A complete agenda will be posted when it is available.
Summer Jobs Program Seeks Applicants
Youth looking for a summer job or internship can apply to Saint Paul's Right Track program beginning this Saturday, Feb. 1. Right Track provides summer employment to Saint Paul residents ages 14-24 who live in cost-burdened households or have a barrier to employment. Most internships begin on June 22 and run 6-9 weeks. The last day to apply is Saturday Feb. 29.

Got jobs available? Businesses or organizations interested in hiring a Right Track intern can get more information by emailing Right Track or calling 651-266-6363.
The Winter Carnival's Last Gasp
Saint Paul's annual Winter Carnival wraps up this weekend, and there's still stuff going on at the Vulcan Snow Park on the State Fairgrounds.
  • Badges and Hoses Snowbowl: Teams from area fire and police departments put trash-talking rights on the line in this touch football tournament. It's a benefit for Second Harvest Heartland. Games run 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Snow sculptures: See if you agree or not with the judges about which sculptures are best. You can eyeball large and small sculptures today, Friday Jan. 31, from 4-9 p.m.; or Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Snow Slide: The slide is open today, Friday Jan. 31, from 5-9 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
How much: Spectating and parking at the Snow Park are free. Riding the Snow Slide is $2, $15 for an all-day wristband, or free with a food donation.

Where: Find activities in the Kidway area, on the giant block bounded roughly by Randall on the north, Cooper on the east, Dan Patch on the south, and Underwood on the west.
Give Ice the Heave-Ho
Even as weeks of compacted snow and ice begin to soften this weekend, your snow shovel might not do much to clear up your sidewalk, steps, or driveway. But that doesn't mean you have to rely on salt, either. Instead, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization points out that an ice chisel (aka ice scraper) is much more effective at actually removing compacted ice -- and better for local waterways, too. If you're not familiar with the tool, check out their one-minute video.
Elderly Waivers Support Independent Living
A free information session on Elderly Waivers is this Thursday, Feb. 6, from noon-3 p.m. at the Rondo Community Library, 461 N. Dale. Waivers make it possible for qualifying seniors to independently live longer in their homes by providing help with transportation, meals, medical supplies, and other services. Advance registration is available, but appointments are not required. You can register online or by calling 651-917-4621.

The session is sponsored by the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging and the Community Stabilization Project.
The UkuLadies
An Alternative to Football and Advertising
After a week off, Music Under Glass resumes this Sunday, Feb. 2, featuring The UkuLadies. The concert is 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Sunken Garden, but speakers pipe the music throughout the conservatory. The music is free; you can buy beer, wine, and snacks. Here's the month's full lineup
Soundset Won't Be Back
Soundset, one of the nation's premier hip-hop festivals, will not happen in 2020. The festival has called the State Fairgrounds home on Memorial Day weekend for the past four years.  Rhymesayers, the local music collective that organized the annual festival, says it is focusing instead on planning an event celebrating its own 25 years of existence.

Rhymesayers has not announced the time or place for its anniversary blowout. A spokeswoman for the Fairgrounds told District 10: "Currently there aren't any plans for this to take place on the Fairgrounds, but since there hasn't been a location determined, it's not totally out of the question."
Erin Spry
Watershed District Honors D10 Volunteer
Congratulations to Erin Spry, who received this year's Watershed Citizen Award from Capitol Region Watershed District. Spry voluntarily coordinated 2019's Como Lake Cleanup. The cleanup, overseen by the Como Community Council's Environment Committee, attracted more than 60 volunteers last summer. They pulled more than 200 pounds of trash from the water and the shoreline.
City Holds Hearing on Parking Permits
New this week:
  • Residential parking permits: In response to creative "entrepreneurship" -- including in District 10's Area 29 during last year's State Fair -- the City Council is considering a new ordinance that prohibits the re-sale of residential parking permits. A public hearing on the proposal, Ordinance 20-3, is this Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 5:30 p.m. in the third-floor City Council chambers, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd.
  • Predatory offender: Saint Paul Police will hold a community notification meeting on Tuesday Feb. 25 about Level III predatory offenders. The discussion includes Newton Wyatt Henderson, who has re-registered to live in the 1000 block of Avon. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Western District headquarters, 389 N. Hamline.
Previously reported:
  • K&L Sales: The secondhand dealer license for this used-car lot at 1523 Como Ave. is up for renewal on March 29. Anyone who has concerns should contact the office of Ward 4 Councilmember Mitra Jalali.
Kolrosing only looks like you're creating a crossword puzzle.
Great River Schedules New Folk Classes
Great River Folk School has added these classes, which are open to the entire community:
  • Spooncarving for Women and Nonbinary Makers: Saturday Feb. 15, 1-4 p.m. $80
  • Crocheted Rope Baskets: Saturday Feb. 29, 1-4 p.m. $85
  • Beginning Cheesemaking: Saturday Feb. 29, 1-4 p.m. $45
  • Kolrosing Basics: Saturday March 1, 1-3:30 p.m. $50
  • From Coop to Soup: Chicken Butchering and Pho Making: Saturday March 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $105
  • Beginning Sourdough: Saturday May 2, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $55
All classes are at Great River School, 1326 Energy Park Drive. 
A New Month's Worth of Activities
  • Today, Friday Jan. 31: Family Skating Party and Bonfire, 6-8 p.m. Northwest Como Recreation Center, 1550 Hamline. Free. (This is rescheduled after the Jan. 17 party was postponed.)
  • Today, Friday, Jan. 31: Application period opens for Saint Paul's 2020 Neighborhood STAR program, which provides grants and low-interest loans for capital improvement projects. Public sector, private sector, or nonprofit organizations are eligible. Matching funds are required.
  • This Thursday, Feb. 6: Ward 4 Councilmember Mitra Jalali holds community "office hours," 8-10 a.m. Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N.
  • This Thursday, Feb. 6: Community Forum on Ramsey County Walking and Biking Initiatives, 6-8 p.m. Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, 270 N. Kent.
  • Next Saturday, Feb. 8: Senate District 66 Town Hall, 10-11:30 a.m. Falcon Heights City Hall, 2077 W. Larpenteur. With State Sen. John Marty and State Reps. Alice Hausman and John Lesch.
  • Next Sunday, Feb. 9: Winter Organ Concert Series, featuring Richard Grey, director of music for St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, Saint Paul, 4 p.m. Como Park Lutheran Church, 1376 Hoyt. Free.
  • Wednesday Feb. 12: Como Community Council Environment Committee meeting, 7 p.m. Historic Streetcar Station in Como Park.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 18: Como Community Council monthly meeting. 7 p.m. Historic Streetcar Station in Como Park.
  • Thursday Feb. 27: Como Friends' Bouquets Fund-Raiser, 7:30-9 p.m. Zoo and Conservatory Visitors Center.
  • Friday Feb. 28: Deadline to apply for 2020 Cultural STAR grants. The program supports arts and cultural activities, including capital and programming projects.
Another Roller Derby Weekend
If the Vulcan Snow Park is too tame for you, the other side of the Fairgrounds offers North Star Roller Derby this Saturday, Feb. 1. The bout begins at 6 p.m. in Warner Coliseum. General admission: $14 (children age 10 or younger free with a paid adult). Group and premium ticket packages also are available.
You Can Text in an Emergency if Necessary
If you're in an emergency situation where calling police could be dangerous, you have the option of texting instead.
  • In Saint Paul (and most other jurisdictions), text to 911. Police ask you to include your full address or location and the type of emergency. Use simple and direct language (no emojis). Respond to questions for as long as you can. Texts have a limit of 160 characters.
  • If you are on a Metro Transit bus, train, or station, you can text 612-900-0411.
Streetcar Station is Open This Sunday
The Historic Streetcar Station in Como Park is open this Sunday, Feb. 2, from noon-4 p.m. It is a great chance to learn a little about the long-gone trolley system in the Twin Cities, about the history and visionaries behind Como and the city's overall park system, to pick up organics recycling bags or kitchen starter kits, or just to chat with a District 10 board member who is staffing the day. The Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. It is open only on the first Sunday of the month through spring.
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.