12/13/13: I live on the west side, third floor at Loop Condominiums. A major reason I selected this particular condo was its western sunset view. Even a cursory look at the sketch of the proposed apartment complex indicates the this view would be obstructed if not obliterated, a prospect that literally upsets my stomach. I’m quite sure that my neighbors’ feelings are similar. In addition, Tryg’s has become a comfortable and popular place for people in this neighborhood to congregate, and would be sorely missed. I hope and trust that there will be ample publicizing and opportunity for neighborhood residents to respond and be heard. Sincerely, Nadine Emerson
12/14/13: My main objection is the road infrastructure going into and out of Lake Calhoun is more than 100% maxed out now and can not support it. Morning and evening commutes are terrible. Traffic trying to get in and out of the Whole Foods shopping complex is typically totally gridlocked. Jason Ward
12/20/13: My name is Sylvia Quiles. I own a condo at Loop Calhoun on the top floor at the 3104 bldg. I attended the presentation about the development plans for Trygg’s the other day. My immediate reaction when I first heard about it was not favorable, primarily because when I bought my unit a year ago I specifically chose the top floor facing west so my view would not be blocked by another building. I have a beautiful outdoor deck from which i very often enjoy the sunset with friends. The new proposed bldg not only will block my view but also interfere with my privacy.
But now that I heard the presentation I’m very concerned about how little thought has been put into the effect on traffic congestion and our ability to come in/out of our bldg without major delays. It seems to me that without redesigning the street flow in front on the bldg there could be a considerable increase in traffic related incidents. It is already a problem and particularly during the summer when more cars, bikes and pedestrians come into the area heading in/out Lake Calhoun. I don’t think the city should approve this project without laying out a plan to ensure the safety of everyone and how to address traffic congestion.
I heard the presenters say this is just the first of many meetings and that it is early in the process, so I hope for the next meeting we will hear about what’s being discussed/planned to address these concerns. Thanks for asking for feedback, Sylvia
12/20/13: I wanted to write the CIDNA Land Use and Development to express my concern for the proposed addition of multifamily units at the Trygs location on Lake Street. I believe the proposal is to many units in an already cramped ingress-egress area. This will cause additional traffic and safety concerns and the proposed structure is to large for the available space. Also there are many other multifamily developments under construction in the uptown area. Until those are complete and the vacancy factors and traffic patterns throughout uptown can be studied, it is to early to develop this site. Third I believe the building would be to tall. Is there a height zoning restriction there? I think that any buildings towards the west shouldn’t be taller than the mall area as this would obstruct views that people in our current building paid for. Please include me on any newsletters or other formal communication on this matter. Thanks, Ross Bauerly
12/22/13: As to this project’s impact on traffic, it’s important to clarify two things that you and discussed on Friday. First, that multi-family, as a traffic generator, is about as favorable as any use can be – it produces fewer daily trips, but also spreads them out more consistently throughout the day than office, as an example would (much stronger during peak AM and peak PM periods). The second point to clarify is that our proposed project, at either height, does not require an FAR variance. The height variance, as you know, is required for anything taller than 2.5 stories, due to the SOD. That, along with the setback from Calhoun Village, is the only variance that is being requested (and applies to either plan).
The height of this project doesn’t increase the traffic and the density is compliant with the requirements of the zoning code. We agree and acknowledge that traffic is a critically important component, but I want to be sure that the committee understands the context of what this proposal is requesting. Just like you and I discussed, the challenges with Weisman in the past stem from requests to increase the FAR over the 150K SF – Aaron, Johnny, and I know that, which is why we aren’t seeking any additional FAR with this proposal. This may be well understood by everyone already, but if not, I just wanted to clarify. Grady Hamilton, Trammell Crow Company
12/27/13: Just another thought about the project next door. Now, trucks delivering alcohol and food service supplies drive in and turn around in the back. With their plan, the trucks would have to back out onto Lake Street. Thanks, Kerri Acheson, Resident Manager
1/1/14: I live in a Calhoun Isles townhome and have an interest in our neighborhood streets being pedestrian friendly. The traffic at the Trygg’s site is already imposing, and the prospect of more high density rental units could make it worse yet, unless planned with these concerns in mind.
I offer 4 suggestions:
1. Have the high rise parking be designed for only one car space per unit.
2. Install a car share service in the apartment complex
3. Unbundle the rental unit cost from the parking cost
4. Design livable sidewalks that make it easier to cross the Lake St and Excelsior Blvd traffic
Finally, I’d like to invite you to contact Elizabeth Brisson, Senior Transportation Planner at San Francisco County Transportation Authority, who has acquired a lot of expertise in this area of urban planning.
Thank you for considering these ideas to bring forward as the Trygg’s site goes through the planning design process. Sincerely, Janet Mayer, 3116 Dean Ct
1/4/14: Grady, Thank you very much for this update. If you are in the Twin Cities today, I hope you are staying warm! I am not sure what type of feedback you have received on the project so far. I am guessing that you have gotten some negative feedback about the building’s size and the fact that it puts much of the Loop Calhoun building in its shadow. You have probably heard from those in the Calhoun Isles building about the obstruction of their lake view.
I won’t say more about these concerns (I am sure that others have made their views known!) other than to say that I think that they are valid. We are talking about dozens of residents who have paid premium prices for their properties and have paid significant amounts of property taxes to the city over the years. And as planned, the current building is too large for the space available. One wonders if luxury apartment dwellers would like to open the blinds to have Loop Calhoun residents a few yards away.
Of course my personal preference is no new development next door to me. But since we are still on the “drawing board” stage, I’ve wondered if Trammell Crow would consider an alternative to the current plan.
I am really reluctant to suggest moving the burden of a tall building next door to others. But I’ve wondered if most of the current residents in Calhoun Isles and Loop Calhoun would suffer the least harm if the developer would consider two buildings on the site. One of the buildings would be on the back of the site near the trail. The other would be where the existing Trygg’s building sits. The two buildings would have much smaller footprints and could be connected by an underground parking lot and a neighborhood green space.
A smaller building in front would allow residents of the front building of Loop Calhoun more sunlight in the early afternoon and late evenings. (Especially if the front building were set at an angle with balconies facing southeast, toward the lake. Cutting the southeast corner would provide more lake-facing views for the new apartment building and more sunlight for the front building of Loop Calhoun.) If the front building were shorter and smaller, the residents of Calhoun Isles would suffer less harm to their lake views.
I can think of many advantages to having a building in back that was very close to the trail. It is easy to imagine 1st floor retail space catering to trail users and streetcar riders. The building would be nearer to light rail and streetcars (important when it is 22 below zero!). Residents with northeast views would have great views of Lake of the Isles and downtown Minneapolis. Many apartment dwellers would appreciate being right on the trail for a variety of reasons. Thanks for hearing my thoughts, Grady. Dave Osborn
1/9/14: Grady, My apologies for the somewhat chaotic nature of my exchange with you after Monday’s meeting; aside from having a ride waiting, I was recovering from an illness at the time.It has taken a little time for us (an informal subgroup of people who live at Loop) to metabolize our reactions to the meeting. Speaking for myself, I appreciate the time and work that has gone into these proposals and the meeting itself. We were invited to offer feedback; however, we were left with the impression that the only feedback that would be taken seriously was that which fell within the confines of two options, a high-rise tower or a 6-story “wall” of apartments. We found this disappointing and disturbing, as both options appear oversized for the location, lot size, traffic situation, neighborhood and (a tower) the West Calhoun skyline.Thank you for the opportunity to communicate with you on this matter. Nadine Emerson
1/9/14: Thank you Bob for organizing and Ryan for commenting: A few additional comments:1. Urban density is essential for the city tax base as well as inevitable. Yes.2. If one lives south of Lake St.– i.e., in West Calhoun — we already have more density than infrastructure can support! Just look at traffic density and jams, daunting/dangerous intersections for walkers/bikers, rescue units trapped in place by Excelsior traffic, etc., and fire trucks hampered by jams on Market plaza. Plus, the 186-unit (= 300 plus residents = 200+ more cars) Bigos “Be” is only now beginning to fill. It has 199 on-site parking spaces. It will soon spill a lot more traffic onto the clogged Excelsior-Lake corridor via the already-deadly W. 32d St. intersection. It will also add to clogged street parking. Additionally, it has been proposed via Transit Oriented Development to put a residential and commercial complex right behind Whole Foods and next to the proposed West Lake Station. If that happens, it will create even more traffic spilling on and off Lake St.-Excelsior. Add the Trammel-Crow project to this plus the Weinstein project further toward Uptown and you have a far worse traffic safety situation.3. Bear in mind too that Hennepin County (statement by Commissioner Jim Grube at West Calhoun Walkability Workshop, 2012) has no plans to upgrade the Lake St. – Excelsior corridor in the next five (ten?) years.4. Consider too the future West Lake Station: Yes, it may eventually reduce some traffic on Lake -Excelsior if LRT use outstrips population growth and vehicle use, But, It will be a magnet for still more vehicle traffic into the neighborhood as both cars and buses drive in and out from and to Excelsior via Abbott to the station.Clearly our traffic situation can become wildly worse than a situation that is arguably unsustainable already for safety and quality of life.So, I suggest this:: No more major development projects in CIDNA and West Calhoun along the Lake.St. – Excelsior corridor until infrastructure to make this sustainable is in place. By this I mean: a) Light Rail in place (or other sensible transit) and b) Dangerous Traffic density on Lake-Excelsior significantly reduced, via upgrades or rerouting of vehicles, or however.If the City and County want greater density for a bigger tax base, then pay it forward — invest — first of all in the infrastructure to make it work; don’t allow huge developments in a crowded area where existing travel infrastructure will not support it! Allowing large developments now only contributes to an unsustainable situation. (I appreciate very much other residents who said much the same as this at the Monday CIDNA Land-Use meeting on the Tryg’s project.)I propose the statement in underlined bold above as a resolution for CIDNA and West Calhoun.Let me clarify a little more: We have one of the most appealing assets in the entire Twin Cities, Lake Calhoun. We residents want to enjoy it as an easy and comfortable walk or bike ride, and we want visiting walkers and bikers to reach it without stress from the Greenway and eventually LRT and Trolley. This involves crossing Lake and/or Excelsior. How unpleasant and dangerous could this sojourn become?? What happens to quality of life if residents are hostages in their homes because of traffic (thanks Stacia), and if moving around by foot or bike for residents and visitors is at best unpleasant and at worst dangerous?Let’s hold off and develop ways to plan our way through all of this. Greater urban density has to be built on an adequate infrastructure foundation, not the other way around. Especially in crowded areas like West Calhoun, improved infrastructure has to come first. We aren’t even sure that Light Rail is an absolutely done deal.Richard Logan,
West Calhoun Resident
1/9/14: Bob – Thanks for your continued efforts and communications surrounding the proposed Trygs development.I don’t believe either of these proposals would be the right fit for this space. I agree with a lot of the comments being discussed and precedence to changing zoning rules is a very key point. One of the main reasons I didn’t choose to live in the Calhoun Square part of uptown was neighborhood density. The Dean parkway area has a small neighborhood feel. If you look at what changing the zoning rules did in the Calhoun square area (ie. the Bar Louie Parking Ramp/Office height) it totally changed the feel and look of the area. If we ignore height restrictions, reasonable space between buildings and traffic; the Dean Parkway area will morph into an extension of the other side of Lake Calhoun. I think one of the main goals of your organization is to preserve the neighborhood as a separate area than Uptown.
Obviously the developers need to jam as many units into a small space as possible to make the economics work, but the two designs presented thus far do not benefit the neighborhood enough to off-set the potential long term costs of ignoring zoning rules.
To propose an alternative in the meantime, maybe the city could give the owners of Trygs some sort of Tax Credit for setting aside/creating green space where the empty space is by the greenway. This would buy time for other new build-up by the Beachclub and the Ellipse2 to lease up as well as give time to see where the light rail and other transportation initiatives pan out. Thanks again for your time and I’d like to reiterate that the two proposals are not the right fit for the space. Ross Bauerly
1/9/14: Good afternoon Bob,I may send multiple comments as they come to me rather than a consolidated list. Apologies in advance. As always, thanks for your efforts on land use within our neighborhood, Ryan
- Autos (Restaurant) – The informal sidewalk, behind cars within the driveway, does not my personal safety standards
- Bicycle (Restaurant) – External bicycle parking for the restaurant only calls for three (3) spaces. Given the proximity to the trails, (proposed) rails and recreational assets, I feel this should be greatly expanded (perhaps 12 spaces) to support TOD.
- Deliveries (Restaurant) – The restaurant will require food service delivery trucks (including semi-truck) to offload. My understanding is that the building lacks a loading dock, therefore the truck(s) will block one lane in/out of the property, multiple restaurant parking spaces and perhaps the residential garage entrance.
- Deliveries (Restaurant) – The restaurant will require (likely daily) semi-truck deliveries. I do not feel the driveway corridor accommodates the ability of the vehicle to complete a U-turn on the property to exit back to Lake St. This would force deliveries from truck to curb while blocking a lane of Lake St. Alternatively, deliveries completed within the corridor, then backing out onto Lake St.
- The parkland at the rear, while nice, creates a Greenway setback issue
- I feel commercial and residential structures should open onto the Greenway
- Loop Calhoun does this today
Broadly (beyond the TC parcel):
- I support City’s goal to increase the tax base, primarily through population growth (new construction residential)
- I support proposed transportation infrastructure projects near this parcel (SWLRT & Streetcars)
- I support existing transportation infrastrucutre (Bus, Midtown Greenway, Kenilworth, informal cow paths)
- I envision a well designed, mixed use, Lake St and Greenway facing commercial, higher density residential development combined on both the Pfaff and TC parcels
- I understand this is not proposed at this time
- I understand the two property owners and their decisions are exclusive and not dependent on one another
- This vision includes multiple residential towers that exceed the current overlays, but maintain an airy feel due to their placement throughout the large surface area.
- I feel the TC parcel presents long-term development challenges due to its long/narrow shape and limited in/egress
- I feel the TC parcel, as proposed (11-story tower), does not make the best long-term use of the land
- Too much mass, not airy enough
- Too much mass, too close to existing residential (Loop Calhoun)
Ryan Fox, CIDNA Board Member
1/10/14: I am a resident of Loop Calhoun. I am in favor of the eleven story apartment. I believe it has less negative impact on the surrounding properties and provides a park as an amenity for the unlicensed. Ben Smith, 3112 w. Lake St.
1/12/14: I just wanted to voice my opinion in favor of the 11-story version of the proposed West Calhoun Apartments development on Lake Street. It looks 10 times better than the 6-story version, and definitely better than killing the project to save the ugly Tryg’s parking lot. Ian Futterer, Kenwood Resident
1/6/14 Meeting: Jeffrey Peltola introduced the idea of a taller building and narrower building. A taller structure would allow for the same number of apartments but be less bulky and less likely to block views. “It might produce an airy density, not a blocky density.”
1/6/14 Meeting: Jane Kennedy, a Loop resident, stated “We knew this land would be developed.” She provided testimony that she thought the 11-story version with the park would be acceptable and would enhance the value of her property. She lives on the south in west side of the Loop opposite the proposed tower.
1/6/14 Meeting: Russ Palma, a Loop resident, stated that the tower would be an improvement on the “pile of dirt and leaves” now behind Tryg’s restaurant.
1/6/14 Meeting: Rodge Adams, a Lake Point resident, also observed that a narrower tower taller than 11 stories might be more attractive for the neighborhood.
1/14/14: I am not a CIDNA resident but a Lowry Hill resident. What’s the upshot of the apt building since CIDNA met with Trammel Crow?I oppose the 11 story building for so many reasons. The area is overdeveloped. There’s too much traffic. The existing strip mall encourages more traffic.My biggest issue is that the city is encouraging density, density, density and I believe this particular corner is already taxing the chain of lakes. Why develop close to natural resources? I guess Ican’t fight that zoning fight on this project but it feels like a big mistake that will impact the next generation.Thank you. Janet Halloway, Lowry Hill
1/13/14: We have some concerns regarding the proposed development on the Northwest side of Lake Calhoun. We understand it to be in the form of an either 11 story, 177 unit apartment or a 6 story dwelling with the same amount of units (recently the proposed number of units was 157). We have spoken with several residents of our building as well as with those at other nearby condos. So far, not one individual is in favor of this development and many are adamantly opposed. Following are some of our concerns:1. The 11 Story Design is Too High: The beauty of the view Lake Calhoun has already been degraded by some existing condominiums. Concerns are that the building will block views of the lake, sun rays and will alter the wind, the latter necessary for on-lake activities and overall enjoyment of the lake area.2. Increase In Traffic: The developers maintain that this will not happen. However, adding 177 additional apartments to this area, along with the other proposed dwellings in this area, will Definitely add to traffic woes, according to those we have spoken to who live in the area. Unless one lives in this neighborhood, they do not understand this. We already have a traffic problem in this area. In fact, a survey has found that the intersection at Dean Blvd. and Lake Street is one of the busiest intersections in the State of Minnesota. With 177 more units, one can figure on an increase of approximately 200 to 355 more cars.3. Livability Issues: We understand that Tryg’s restaurant will move into the new apartment complex. We see that a main-floor patio at the restaurant is part of the new plan. This will increase noise issues here. As it is now, in the summer, we hear the music from Tryg’s every weekend when their restaurant doors are open. The new patio will increase the noise from conversations, laughter and, possibly, music once again. Also, proposed is a Trygs “rooftop” patio on the 6th floor of the highrise which, again, would be a problem for surrounding residents. This is a residential neighborhood rather than an entertainment center – we don’t want to hear more noise from an outdoor patio as well.4. Proposal of a “Pocket Park”: This proposal is suggested if the choice of developments is an 11 story building, rather than a 6 story dwelling. Although the proposal states that this park, which would be located adjacent to the Greenway, would be “monitored,” we have serious doubts that this would be the case. Our feeling is that anyone/everyone would have easy access to that park and once again, we would have another noise issue.5. We understand that there is a possibility that Calhoun Village may be razed to provide more high-density dwellings. Calhoun Village is appreciated by the thousands of us who live in this area. It is a much-used part of our neighborhood. We do not want to be it demolished and more housing-density put in its place.6. Proposed Highrise Adjacent to Calhoun Apartments: The Lakepoint residents, to whom we have spoken, are definitely Opposed to this possibility. More traffic congestion and the blocking of views are their major concerns.7. Property Values Will Be Diminished: We are definitely concerned about this should these developments prevail. The reasons for this concern are stated in the above 6 points.
Nancy and Irv Smith, Calhoun Isles Condominiums
1/17/14: The proposed Trammell Crow project would significantly diminish the Lake Calhoun views of several Calhoun Isles Association residents. Whether views of waterways are impacted is an enumerated factor in determining whether to grant a variance. Diminished views means diminished property values. Neighborhood property values should be not be traded for high-priced rentals. Moreover, an 11-story building would be out of character with the area which has seen no construction of the like in over 20 years. It would set a dangerous precedent for other large apartment buildings to be built in a high demand area. Considering the myriad new luxury apartment buildings and Minneapolis’s recent recovery from the glut of condo construction, there is no reason we need such a large project. The proposed construction of a small park does little to balance the damage an 11-story building would impose. We already enjoy several parks in the area, including one in our association. A smaller project that fits within the character of the neighborhood and does not diminish anyone’s property value is a better choice. I strongly oppose any height variance for the Trammell Crow project. Josh Rissman, Attorney, Calhoun-Isles Resident
1/22/14: The building is way out if scale for the neighborhood. Those of us who are on the south side will lose our air and light. We live in a park. Skyscrapers don’t belong in a park.
Theodore Wirth is the one who designated the lakes area of Minneapolis to be enjoyed by all. Why should an out of state developer have the right to build in this sensitive park area?
I will develop my ideas and do whatever is required to prevent this from happening!! Barb Cartford, Calhoun-Isles Condominiums
1/24/14: I have lived at Calhoun Isles since 1995. I received the letter outlining the plan for building building an 11 story highrise where Tryg’s is currently located; I DO NOT SUPPORT this plan.
I will not be able to attend the CIDNA mtg on Wednesday, 12FEB. However, I think important I share my position with you to avoid being included in the ‘silence is consent’ category. Frankly, we have excess capacity of housing available in our neighborhood already – one look at Edina Realty’s website and anyone can see the many units available in the low rise building immediately East of Trygg’s…which has been the situation ever since the building was completed. Regards, Jason Hurlman, Calhoun-Isles Condominiums
1/24/14: I have been a long-time resident of the Calhoun-Isles Condominium Association in the converted grain elevator building, 3141 Dean Court. We own a 2-floor, 3rd and 4th floor unit against the Greenway, on the end facing the location of the proposed highrise complex.
Though we are proponents of quality building in our city, the proposed 11 story building on that site is something we do not support.
First, a building of that height that would be south of our complex would block the sunlight and cast a shadow against our area. That is a reason many of us bought units where they are in the building – for the great sunlight and views. Furthermore, the location of the building on the back of that property would mean another highrise building would have windows looking directly into our building, and visa-versa. We live in a highly coveted area of town and our complex is a high-end building. This project could potentially decrease the value of our property and of those around us because of the extreme density of the proposed building. This is the Lakes district, where this type of building is not appropriate.
We do not support a new building of this magnitude being built on that site.
Also, after the Loop Condominiums and the Lake Calhoun City Apartments building were both completed, the density of the area created huge problems with traffic onto and off of Lake Street, becoming very congested and in many cases, dangerous. To add another huge complex there would make it an impossible area to get around. The density of the area would become higher than what the infrastructure of the area can handle. On the record, we oppose the proposed 11-story highrise on the Tryg’s site (3118 W Lake Street). There are too many negative reasons to allow this project to be approved and built. Paul Olson, Calhoun-Isles Homeowner
2/4/14: To: Bob Corrick, Thank you for the great article in the Hill & Lake Press, January 24, 2014 issue. Also, the abbreviated minutes from the December and January meeting were informative. My wife, Nancy and I have talked to several members living in our Condominium at Calhoun Isles. The “factors” you mentioned like “character of the surrounding neighborhood, access to light and air, and shoreland views” have been part of the issues raised in conversation. Overwhelmingly unanimous of those we talked with are opposed to both options presented by the developers. There is less opposition limiting the height to 35 feet. The question raised on this height issue is where does the Park Board stand on protecting Lake Calhoun and the Lakes Area? Our neighbors feel that the Park Board and Mpls City Officials would not allow an 11+ story tower building. A couple mentioned that they read in the Star Trib that at least 2 new Council Members oppose major changes in the Lakes Areas calling this area a treasure to be protected. Even a high density 5/6 story at Tryg’s site is unacceptable for all the feedback reasons noted on the CIDNA web site. A smaller development of buildings/townhomes/brownstones and/or creative use of the land by forward-looking urban planners should be able to deliver profits for the developers and owners, given established zoning parameters. Tax incentives and creative financing can offer further profits. No one wants more and more density in our neighborhood. One of our neighbors expressed outrage: “What does this mean? Is my condo now going to be worth HALF?” So, this HUGE issue for ALL OF US is our Guaranteed depressed property values if this project is allowed to proceed. Who would buy and what would they be willing to pay? Certainly not the market value of what these properties are worth today. This is looming over our financial future too! Sincerely, Irv & Nancy Smith
The prospects of an eleven story condo at the Tryg’s location is really horrible. We live on the 9th floor of the grain elevator (Calhoun Isles). Adding that many new car slots at the city’s most gridlocked intersection is overwhelming, especially with the addition of a large LRT station nearby. The developer’s strategy may well be that they would compromise with eight stories. The zoning is five and that is as high as it should be, if allowed at all. I don’t think that the protection of the lakes includes Calhoun being ringed by high-rise buildings. If this one at Tryg’s were allowed, many more would follow. I am sorry that we shall not be able to attend the 2-12-2014 meeting since we are out of town. Maureen & Bob Brockway
2/4/14: I live at Calhoun Isles condo and face south. I’m opposed to the proposed tower due to 1) increased neighborhood traffic 2) loss of winter sun and 3) loss of view. I also oppose it on city planning grounds, because the 11 story height violates zoning restrictions.
I’ve lived in Calhoun Isles since 1997. I am continually surprised at the chutzpah of developers proposing projects that do not comply with zoning height restrictions. I feel strongly that they should not be realistically entertained by neighbors or city officials. Kent Marshall, 3145 Dean Ct # 602
2/11/14: Speaking just as an individual citizen, I do hope CIDNA will register with the City and the County that the Lake Street/Excelsior corridor is not really capable right now of absorbing apartment developments that will further inhibit traffic on the corridor. By bringing more cars that need to fit in to traffic by turning on to Lake Street, or that need to slow or stop to turn off of Lake Street, the Tryg’s development will further clog traffic that is already backed up. Turning traffic, especially not at lights, is a major traffic impediment on heavily traveled streets. Add a Weinstein development a few blocks away on Lake Street, and perhaps another development behind Whole Foods by the Greenway (possible Transit Oriented Development project), and it becomes an even worse mess if nothing else is done about traffic infrastructure. Please add this to the concerns you register.
I will add three other points:
1. The first is stimulated by the mother who lives in the white town houses between Lake St. and the Greenway west of the bridge. She said that during rush hours her family is “held hostage to traffic”. Please recognize the truth of her statement. In fact, anyone who lives between Lake St. and Excelsior is in precisely that boxed-in situation because they are totally dependent on Lake or Excelsior to get in or out of the neighborhood. (Residents north of Lake and south of Excelsior do have other options.) Even though the Tryg’s (and Weinstein) developments are in CIDNA, their construction would have large impacts on West Calhoun between Lake St. and Excelsior as far as further hemming residents in during rush hours. Of course, further impeding Lake -Excelsior traffic is not in the interest of any of us. So, please speak out on issues in addition to the height of a development.
2. We have a possible case study on what is at stake in the form of the new 185-unit (about 250 renters) “Be” on the Bigos property. It is oriented to the Greenway for cyclists and walkers, and well positioned for young professionals who will surely use both the Greenway and Light Rail. It is the ideal development for our area, except for one thing: it was built five years too early. At only 20% full it is already clear that it will add a lot more traffic congestion turning on and off Excelsior from the already clogged and small Abbott-Chowen-W. 32d loop. People are not yet moving in without their cars partly because Light Rail isn’t there yet. (Note one other thing: During construction of the “Be” an 80- to 90-car parking lot was taken away from Calhoun- Greenway residents to make way for the new building. The result was a parking nightmare on the Abbott-Chowen-W. 32d loop that caused residents to move out the Calhoun Greenway in droves. So, the construction process can also be highly disruptive.)
3. We want our neighborhoods to be walkable. Please take into account that residents of a Tryg’s development (as residents of the Loop right now) will want to walk to Lake Calhoun and will have to cross both Lake St. and Excelsior to get there. How is that walking experience now? How will that walking experience be in the future if traffic glut is not reduced? In this connection, the Pedestrian Advisory Committee has recently evaluated our area as having serious walkability problems. Thank you very much. Richard Logan, West Calhoun resident
2/11/14: Bob et al: Thank you for the clarification, distinguishing between “variances” and “exceptions”. Not surprisingly, I profoundly disagree with the idea of granting the developers of the Tryg’s property any “exceptions” to allow for greater height than that provided for in the shoreline guidelines. I’d appreciate your putting me on record for the same! Ruth Jones, Lake Point Resident
3/21/14: Given that Lake and Excelsior are without any questions severely over-congested already, I again strongly urge a moratorium on constructing developments that abut this corridor until congestion and safety issues are resolved.
I also urge this step because both WCNC and CIDNA need to become more fully informed about traffic, congestion, parking and safety issues along the corridor. The corridor has not been our focus the way it needs to be because it is on the edge of each of our neighborhoods. We need urgently to form a joint task force to develop a fuller grasp of all of the issues and to speak with a louder voice for all of us. In the meantime, we know enough to see that the corridor is too congested and not safe and to justify a moratorium on developments that will only add to the problems.
Thank you. Richard Logan, West Calhoun resident
3/27/14: Aren’t the Shoreland Overlay District requirements for 2.5 stories within 1000 feet of the lake? The Lake/Excelsior intersection is already terrible. To get from W. Calhoun Blvd. to Calhoun Village or the Lake Point Corporate Center, I have to use the car and drive which is wasteful and ridiculous. A senior with two complete knee replacements, I can often either run nor make it safely across Excelsior and Lake Streets in the times allotted by traffic and pedestrian crossing lights. Driving in the area of this intersection is almost as bad, especially at rush hours. Please, if you can’t kill this project, consider continued fighting to lop off at least a few more stories from the proposed building. Thank you. Ned Bromwyn, West Calhoun resident
Below in red and blue are reasons from the City of Minneapolis Land Use and Zoning policies for conditional use permits as to why the city should turn down the conditional use permit and hold the Trammell Crow Company’s proposed Apartment to a maximum of 56 feet or a 5 floor building at 3118 West Lake Street.
Resident of the LOOP Calhoun
321 750 4800
City of Minneapolis
Community Planning & Economic Development
LAND USE AND ZONING OVERVIEW
Overview of Planning Policies
Conditional Use Permit
In each zoning district particular uses are prohibited, permitted, or conditional. While a permitted use is allowed, a conditional use requires a public hearing before the City Planning Commission. This allows the City to review uses, which because of their unique characteristics, are not permitted as of right in a particular zoning district. A conditional use may be allowed if the City Planning Commission determines that the use will comply with all of the conditions and standards of the zoning ordinance. The zoning code requires that the City Planning Commission make findings before granting a conditional use permit.
See Appendix B for the specific findings for a conditional use permit.
Appendix B for Conditional Use Permit
Findings as Required by the Minneapolis Zoning Code:
1. Will not be detrimental to or endanger the public
, comfort or general welfare. (The more units, 5 vs 6 floors, i.e. a larger project creates more traffic in area that already has too much)
2. Will not be injurious to the use
and enjoyment of other property in the vicinity
and will not impede the normal or orderly development and improvement of surrounding property for uses permitted in the district.(A larger project, the more danger to residents in vicinity. Because a larger project increases traffic)
3. Adequate utilities, access roads, drainage, necessary facilities or other measures, have been or will be provided.
4. Adequate measures have been or will be provided to minimize traffic congestion in the public streets.
5. Is consistent with the applicable policies of the comprehensive plan.
6. And, does in all other respects conform to the applicable regulations of the district in which it is located upon approval of this conditional use permit.
4/9/2014: I just finished rereading the Draft. CIDNA’s Resolution to support Trammel Crow’s project is beyond disappointing. I talked to some neighbors and they had varying comments like “we knew it was coming anyway”, “looks like smoke and mirrors”, and a couple other disparaging remarks. It does look like the position of the Board of Directors of Loop Calhoun was not heard. They voted to oppose the 11 and 6 story height exceptions for any
structure because of its negative impact and quality of life and property values. They also said the character of the neighborhood should be carefully guarded. Basically, we agree and again say— NO to exceeding zone height limits of 56 feet and the Shoreland Overlay District exception and adhering to the height to 35 feet. As we stated earlier, the obstructive view for Calhoun Isles does not (as previously stated in the feedback) “preserve the neighborhood as a separate area than Uptown”. Suddenly the height is 60+ feet and a 75.8 ft high Penthouse? That is not 55/56 ft limit! And will the swimming pool atop the restaurant eventually be a restaurant pool/bar open until 2:00 am? Any guarantees? Or will the roof top patio be noise and party time until 2:00 am too? And another question by our next door neighbor zeroed in on “Who will be the 24 hr Contact–what does that mean?” How about Parking and the coming and going of dozens of cars, honking horns, loud noise/yelling/conversations until 2:00 am? And will the entire project be AT GRADE LEVEL WITH LAKE STREET? What are the guarantees for these above questions? We all know that this project is being “squeezed” into a small area that should not be allowed to contain more high density housing around Lake Calhoun leading to reduced property values and lowered quality of life for all of us in this area.
It is disappointing that the overwhelming feedback to CIDNA was in opposition to this unwanted project in our neighborhood and we end up with what probably was on the drawing board from the outset. What was the point of the feedback? No doubt, a smaller project was off the table. And all of the thoughtful feedback of CIDNA residents was, to say the least, futile. Were we all foolish in believing in good faith discourse?
So, I asked some of the neighbors if they were going to attend the meeting… the response was…Why?
Irv Smith, Calhoun Isles Resident
4/8/14: I applaud the resolutions presented and passed by the CIDNA committee. I too agree that Trammell Crow responded positively to community objections to the Tryg’s site development in a realistic way. Both developments, the Tryg’s site and the Greystar, will be positive additions to the CIDNA neighborhood and the Lake Street street-scape. Granted, The Loop residents on the West side will have to adapt to neighbors after the project is built. But I trust that will be a short transition. We live in the city. We live with neighbors. The Loop “westsiders” lived for a short while next to essentially an open lot. Lucky for them — I guess. If I lived there, I would much prefer to gaze out upon residential neighbors in a well-designed project than a parking lot. They’ll get used to it sooner that later, I predict. I find CIDNA to be an organization possessed of good listeners and a positive outlook to change. Donald Rowe, Architect (retired) recently a resident of Dean Terrace Apartments currently living in Linden Hills and a frequent patron of Tryg’s