Updates from Staff and Council:
Rental Housing Licensing – Tenant Focus Group Meeting
On Wednesday evening, staff hosted a tenant focus group in an effort to hear directly from residents the issues and concerns they have regarding rental housing in Maplewood. It was also an opportunity to garner feedback from residents on the proposed rental housing licensing ordinance and its goals. While staff sent out more than 800 notices to apartment units throughout the city inviting tenants to attend this meeting, which was held at the new Wakefield Park Community Building, only a small handful of individuals attended. Even with a smaller group a dynamic discussion was held regarding rental housing and the role licensing can play in providing safe housing conditions in Maplewood. Staff is working to finalize the timeline for next steps in this process which includes the council holding a public hearing and considering adoption of the ordinance.
Proposed Senior Housing Project, County Road C East and Hazelwood Street North
Cassia, a senior housing developer, and First Evangelical Free Church are holding a Developer Open House this Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at First Evangelical Free Church of Maplewood located at 2696 Hazelwood Street North, in the Main Sanctuary to discuss conceptual plans to build an estimated 140-unit senior living housing project at the intersection of County Road C East and Hazelwood Street North – currently home to community gardens. First Evangelical Free Church owns this land and has long-term plans of relocating its church to this site as well. The senior living community will be developed, owned and operated by Cassia. All property owners within 500 feet of the community garden site have been invited to this open house. The new senior living community is proposed to be one to three stories tall and have underground parking, feature studios and 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and allow older adults an option to live in independent, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing or transitional care within the building.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Wakefield Park Playground Meeting
The next exciting phase of the Wakefield Park improvements is the replacement of the playground. The current equipment has reached the end of its life cycle and the City is working with Northland Recreation/Little Tikes to design a brand-new play area that is safe, full of play value and accessible.
Please join us on Wednesday, May 22 between 6:00pm-7:30pm to review the proposed design for the new Wakefield playground and give us your feedback.
This week Public Works crews were out doing spot pavement repairs on McKnight Road and Case Avenue north of Minnehaha Avenue. These type of repairs will help address areas where filling potholes is no longer effective. Additionally, these repairs will also provide relief to residents until the City address the street conditions as part of a CIP project.
Xcel County Road B Gas Main Replacement Update
County Road, B between Prosperity Road and White Bear Avenue, will be closed over the next several weeks as Xcel works on the removal and replacement of the gas main in this area. Around the first week in July it is anticipated that work will begin on County Road B between White Bear Avenue and McKnight Road. Over the next several weeks staff will be working with Xcel on how to handle access to City Hall and the main access point off of County Road B. If there are any questions about this project please contact Steven Love.
Trees are being delivered to the Public Works building this Friday. Tree pick-up will be located up at the Public Works building and pick-up dates are as follows: Monday, May 20, 5:00-7:00 pm
Have a dry and warm weekend. -Mike