March 12, 2015

General Membership Meeting Minutes 03 - 12

March 12, 2015, 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Ali Micalin, Carol Pass, Earl Simms
Board Members Present: Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Jenny Bjorgo, Carol Pass, Rosie Cruz
Board Members Not Present: Ali Micalin,  Jean Howard, Earl Simms,
EPIC Members: Dave Moore, Michael Green, Dana Dewilde, Harold Dewilde, Lee Samuelson, Clara Emma, Carla Scala, Kyla Sisson, Maggie Ewing, Patty Zanski, Ben , Carol Hill Kennedy, George Kennedy, Brad Pass, Will Gilman
Guests: Shirley Heyer, Carrie Day Aspinwall, Richard Aspinwall, Aisha Gomez, Jason ?, Dean Dovolis,

6:35     Introductions

·       Greetings and Introductions, share your “spring fever”

6:50     Agenda
·       Approval of Agenda: Agenda was accepted by consensus.

6:55     Announcements
  • Flyer: Next Financial Literacy Class in SPANISH, March 17th at 6-7:30.Next EPIC Board Meeting, April 4th (10 am)
  • Next EPIC General Membership Meeting, April 9th (6:30 pm)
  • Annual Meeting, April 25th, 2015 at 9:30 am
    • Elections; there are positions open for board members.
·       Flyers: Crime and Safety maps are available.
o   Our crime prevention specialist is Don Greeley, 612-673-3482
·       Tamales Y Bicecletas is holding a 2nd meeting
o   Saturday, 9-10:30 am at Open Arms on Bloomington Avenue.
·       Flyer: The right Medicine at the Right Time (StarTribune, this week)

7:00     Minutes
·       Minutes for February 12th were approved with the correction to attendance: Jenny Bjorgo was present at the February meeting.

7:05     Two problems wedded together: introduction by Carol Pass

7:10     PowerPoint presentation

MOTION: Establish a Clean Air Task Force to repurpose the heavy industry areas of East Phillips to the goals of transit oriented residential housing, to disallow any further introduction of heavy industry and ultimately eliminate heavy industrial polluting enterprises from within the boundaries of East Phillips.

7:25     Discussion of Possibilities for the Asphalt Plant, Foundry site

Dean Dovolis presented an overview of what is represented on a Primary Zoning & Industrial Employment Districts map. This corridor (Hiawatha) used to be primarily a heavy industry area, and housing grew up (for workers) behind and around it. Now, most of these industries have moved out of this area. There are basically only two of these sites left.

The issues of the water works and the foundry in this are not separate from each other. This is basically trading one for the other. There is a bill going through the legislature now, which needs support. Karen Clark initiated this bill which will go before the environmental committee and others.

The city water works needs only about half of the Roof Depot building/space. DD threw out a proposition: if you want to add something, you have to take something away. We could say to the city of Minneapolis:

1.     City give access to half the building/site for community use.
a.     You will underwrite indoor agriculture, for example.
2.     City support our environmental bill in the legislature (to change zoning to industry neutral).
a.     The city of Minneapolis has quite a bit of strength and influence in bills before the legislature.
b.     Karen’s bill is really significant as it has the possibility of really changing the use of this land from heavy industrial. It needs to be supported.
3.     Clean up and make room for additional multi-family housing.
a.     If very costly, ask the legislature for clean-up funds.
b.     The best option for returning this site to residential is to push for clean up, and build 3-4 story residential.

Part of the fight is the facts and figures. Part of it is the vision…”what if…” (see bullets above.) The bullets above can lead to “big ideas” that could create new clean industries, changing this area for the better, creating local jobs, and enhancing local business. It is not just taking out industry, but bringing in new clean industry and jobs.

Painting an image. Now you have a very compelling plan that is unique and the city will be interested. Then Karen Clark and others can say “if you want this, then give us that.” DD thinks we have a great opportunity here.

7:45     Roof Depot site – Discussion of the questions

How might we use the site/building? This building can be put to good use – it has been well maintained. It would be expensive to take the building down that may be counterproductive since housing doesn’t pay the same rate of return – there would have to be a heavy subsidy required for housing to cover this cost.

Richfield is working on a project involving urban agriculture and this might be a good fit.
We can ask the city/state/feds to move the entrance from 26th street to 28th street to move it away from housing.

Aisha – update from city meeting
  • Roof Depot’s tenant - the lease is coming up in June or July of 2016.
  • There is a similarly sized property with appropriate zoning located in NE Minneapolis.
  • CM Cano discussed possible community benefits agreement.

  • Solar power – used to help local low income residents nearby. Excel has money to do 400 projects and they’re not doing much in the city.
  • Bike shop and café
  • Farmer’s market stalls
  • Historic building/glass walls onto the greenway
  • Maximum people to enjoy natural beauty, health, agriculture, building restoration, and solar power.

A Plan proposal
  • Develop a master plan
    • Green
    • Protein farm
      • employment
    • Bike shop/café
    • Open space
    • Water works
      • employment
    • Manage truck traffic
    • Removing the grandfathered property/convert to multi-family housing

This is a gateway to the city, and could become something beautiful. This is the intersection of the Blue Line and the Green Line of the LRT system…because this section of the Blue line is running through an industrial area, it has spurred very little development. This is a prime development oriented transit site, and this could set the stage for revitalizing along this line.

8:30     A resolution?

Developing a master plan is a process, and then you might follow with a formal vote. It would be appropriate to make a motion to “form a master plan” with the points identified tonight as a sort of “skeleton” or starting brainstorm for the plan.

EPIC board on Saturday, allocated up to $10,000 from a fund that is already earmarked for this type of spending, for Dean to begin to work on a master plan, clearing the way for the community to meet Dean and hear his presentation.

Dean explained that there would probably be three meetings: Sketch/Plan, Refinement, Resolution. This could occur over two week increments, with intermediate drawings being available for use in lobbying the legislature.

MOTION: EPIC will support KC proposal for state law changes to deal with the “grandfather clause” regarding the heavy industry along with forming a master plan that we will produce, according to the presentation and discussion tonight with Dean Dovolis. This plan embraces the following:
  1. use of the part of the Roof Depot building un-needed by the Water Yard for Urban Agriculture and Green Jobs,
  2. a place for a bike and coffee shop on the southeast corner of the building,
  3. a solar array on the Roof,
  4. managing negotiations re: the truck traffic with the neighborhood, moving to the cleanest truck exhaust,
  5. City support for our environmental bill in the legislature and
  6. eventually the City help clean up and make room for additional multi-family housing on the Greenway.

            We also agree to an initial process, which would be consistent with a minimum of three meetings:  Sketch/Plan, Refine, and approve a resolution. This schedule of meetings try to could occur over two week increments,  We affirm the Board’s plan to use $10,000 for a contract with DJR Architects for this purpose.
            GK, CE, Approved unanimously.

8:40     Adjournment