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File #: APC 20-2    Version: 2 Name: 1465 Branston St - Luther Seminary Site Plan Appeal by Meri and Don Hauge
Type: Appeal-Planning Comm Status: Archived
In control: City Council
Final action: 3/4/2020
Title: Public hearing to consider the appeal of Meri Hauge and Don Hauge to a decision of the Planning Commission denying the appeal of a zoning administrator decision to approve a site plan for Luther Seminary south campus improvements including expansion of a parking lot at 1465 Branston Street.
Sponsors: Mitra Jalali
Code sections: Sec. 61.402. - Site plan review (all districts)., Sec. 61.702. - Appeals to city council.
Attachments: 1. PC resolution 20-02 (ZF #19-106-417), 2. CC Appeal Application - Luther Seminary Parking Lot - 1465 Branston St - 02032020, 3. PC Action Minutes 01242020, 4. ZC Meeting Minutes - 01162020, 5. Zoning Appeal PC Staff Report - Luther Seminary South Campus Site Improvements - 01102020, 6. PC Appeal Application - Luther Seminary Site Improvements, 7. PC Appeal Application - Supporting Materials, 8. Zoning Maps - Luther Seminary South Campus, 9. SPR_Application_Luther_Seminary_02222019, 10. Final Site Plan Approval - Luther Seminary Campus Improvements - 1490 Fulham St - 11262019, 11. SPR Status Update - Luther Seminary - 1490 Fulham St - 07122019, 12. Conditional Site Plan Approval - Luther Seminary - 1490 Fulham St - 03222019, 13. Civil Plans - Luther Seminary_Revised_190923and191011, 14. Landscape Plans - Luther Seminary_Revised_190923and191011, 15. Architectural Elevations - Luther Seminary_06052019, 16. Luther Campus Boundary Amendment - CUP - 03222019, 17. St Anthony Park Community Council letter of support - 03112019, 18. Luther Seminary response-site plan appeal 19-015088, 1-7-2020, 19. ZC Public Hearing Testimony - received thru 01092020, 20. APC 20-2 Public Hearing Testimony - received thru 03032020, 21. Online Comment re APC 20-2

Title

Public hearing to consider the appeal of Meri Hauge and Don Hauge to a decision of the Planning Commission denying the appeal of a zoning administrator decision to approve a site plan for Luther Seminary south campus improvements including expansion of a parking lot at 1465 Branston Street. 

 

Body

See attached PC Resolution 20-02 dated January 24, 2020, and background information included in the staff report.

Zoning File #:         20-010-837

Appellant:                     Meri Hauge and Don Hauge

Address:                     1490 Fulham Street and 2375 Como Avenue (parking lot at 1465 Branston Street) 

Applicant:                 Luther Seminary (Michael Morrow)

Purpose:                     Appeal of a Planning Commission decision to deny an appeal of a zoning administrator decision to approve a site plan for Luther Seminary south campus improvements including expansion of a parking lot at 1465 Branston Street. 

 

On January 16, 2020, the Zoning Committee held a public hearing where all parties were afforded an opportunity to be heard.

Staff Recommendation:                   Denial

District Council:                                                               No Comment

Zoning Committee:                                  Recommended Denial , vote: 5 - 1

Support (of appeal):                                 3 people spoke, 3 letter received

Opposition:                                                          1 person spoke, 1 letter received

Planning Commission:                     Denial, vote:  12 in favor, 1 against

 

Required Background Information

Deadline for action: Mar 4, 2020

 

Key Staff Contact

Tia Anderson, 651.266.9086, Tia.Anderson@ci.stpaul.mn.us

 

 

 

Date NameDistrictOpinionCommentAction
3/4/2020 6:11 PMNorry Waalen For I live 1/4 block from Monkey Island with the playground equipment, at 1524 Branston St. Our grand kids play at Money Island. The playground is elevated higher than the street level, higher than the eye sight level seen from driving a car in the street. A child or an adult for that matter, could easily cross the street chasing a ball down hill without paying attention because the street is quite narrow. More street and speed ***ps would not have a preventative impact as a visitor to the area is looking for the parking lot. Visitors moving in and out of a parking lot each day would add considerable more street volumn than the current residents related to the current seminary housing. The added parking spaces adds on top of the existing residents, not just by number of spaces added, but by turnover in the lot each day. The seminary perhaps could share parking spaces with the new housing built on former lots they sold, just as the Luth church shares parking with new housing lots. +1
3/4/2020 6:49 AMCynthia Ahlgren For I support the appeal. I live 2 blocks from the Branston Street playground. When my children were young they played there with friends. The playground is on an island with streets on all sides, and it sits up much higher than the street level. I worried about cars, and imagined a child chasing a ball as it rolled down the hill and into the street. However, with Branston being a dead end, the traffic was slight and comprised only of residents who lived there and were aware of the need to watch out for children. Expanding the parking from 6 to 19 would not only increase the traffic, but bring in new, unfamiliar visitors who would be less aware of the heightened need to be alert to the presence of young children. The safety and seclusion provided by the dead end (a cul-de-sac) would be lost. It would be wiser and safer if the seminary parking could be expanded elsewhere around the campus. +1
3/3/2020 11:34 PMDavid Hansen Against I agree with the CC's suggestions for improved signage in the area surrounding 'Monkey Island'. I do not, however, object to Luther Seminary's proposed changes to the parking area. I think removing the old garages would be an improvement. I do not see that that employee or student parking parking would create a hazard. I live about 4 blocks away from the Branston St. project. -1
3/3/2020 7:02 PMRoger Paquin For Agree with the comments above. I live at 1484 Branston directly across from the parking lot. The garage spaces are currently used for storage. In the 5 years I've lived at this location, I have never seen the garages used for anything other than storage. End result, you're moving from 6 parking spaces to 19. You're changing the parking usage from student-residents to commuters. Given that it's right next to a park where a number of kids play, the neighborhood is uniformly against the expansion. +1
3/2/2020 7:50 PMHollis Waalen For I live at 1524 Branston St which is across Hendon from "Monkey Island". I agree with the comments above, that enlarging the parking facility and expanding to include visitors, students and faculty would significantly increase traffic on a very narrow, residential street that surrounds a popular playground. My grandchildren play in this park and I have witnessed small children getting into the street surrounding the park as they aren't aware of the boundaries between street and park. One-way signs may help reduce wrong-way traffic but won't eliminate the risk to small children. The current parking provides space for residents of the street which is very different than providing parking for three times as many nonresidents. I agree that the seminary's current parking should be adequate for this use. The compromise suggested by the Hauges that the parking spaces be expanded to a smaller number and that the spaces be ***igned to those with permits is a reasonable compromise. +1
3/2/2020 5:14 PMMisha Dashevsky For Dear Council members, I live across the street from the proposed lot. 1494 Branston. Luther Seminary has characterized the lot's expansion to 19 spots as an addition of just several. That's misleading. Currently, there's space for six vehicles belonging to the residents of adjacent homes along with several garages used for storage--not parking. The current space is more like a large driveway. The proposed lot would significantly increase the coming and going on Branston--a narrow, alley-like street not intended for much traffic. That in itself is concerning, but it's immediate proximity to a busy playground (where my children and many of my neighbors' kids play) right across the street creates a danger unique to its location. I would like Luther to explain why the large lot next to Olson Campus Center is insufficient. It's appears to comfortably accommodate all employees, students, and visitors. Thank you for your attention and consideration, Misha Dashevsky +1
3/1/2020 10:47 PMBob Beck For I live on the corner of Branston and Hendon and I oppose the proposed parking expansion. The existing parking lot and garage space accommodates the residents of Seminary housing along Branston. The Seminary proposal expands the parking to accommodate student commuters, staff and the like. This is a new use not an expansion of an existing use. The new "parkers" will not be local residents. They will not know the children who play on Monkey Island, they will come and go out of synchrony with the resident community and fail to exhibit the cautions practiced by residents. The Sem could expand the lot next to the Olsen Center with ease. It srtikes me as odd that they claim to suffer from declining enrollment and need more parking. Taking a public resource and handing it off to a poorly managed private user is bad policy and bad politics. Respectfully submitted, Bob Beck +1
2/29/2020 11:37 PMPat Thompson   This comment is submitted on behalf of the St. Anthony Park Community Council. While SAPCC has not taken a position for or against this appeal, nor changed its position on the overall Luther Seminary site plan, we believe there are steps that the city and its Department of Public Works can take to improve the safety of children on Branston: 1. The one-way portions of Branston Street are not clearly marked. This requires signage in two places: at the north end of northbound Branston at Hendon, DO NOT ENTER signs, and at the south end of the park triangle, a split/one-way indication showing the Branston northbound one-way is to the right. 2. Addition of speed ***ps along both sides of the park area to ensure safe driving speeds. Given the presence of the children's play area in an unexpected location at the top of a small hill, speed ***ps would ensure an appropriate rate of speed. We urge the City Council to endorse the implementation of these measures. +2 -1