Votes occurring, ahead on former St. Andrew’s Church
The fate of the former St. Andrew’s Church building on Como Avenue remains in limbo pending reviews by various public groups on whether the Twin Cities German Immersion School, which currently resides there, should be allowed to raze the structure and erect a new, larger facility in its place.
As the Bugle went to press, the Como Community Council board was expected to vote Dec. 18 on whether to follow the recommendation of its Land Use Committee and urge the city of St. Paul to approve three variances on construction of a new German Immersion School. The variances would include allowing the school to increase its footprint on its property and put in fewer parking spaces than are required under the current city code.
The German Immersion School’s building plans are opposed by some neighbors and former parishioners who contend the existing church building is historic and should be spared from the wrecking ball. They have organized a group called “Save Historic St. Andrew’s.” In early November, St. Paul’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) sided with these citizens, contending the old church building is eligible for historic designation.
The Immersion School’s building plans are highly contentious as the votes of the District 10’s Land Use Committee reveal. The committee’s Dec. 5 drew more than 200 citizens and the public votes were highly divided on the proposed variances. For example, the audience voted 96 to 76 to support the School’s request for about a three-foot height variance on its proposed building.
The full District 10 board will forward its recommendations to the Saint Paul Planning Commission’s Zoning Committee, which is scheduled to consider the school’s site plan on Dec. 20. That committee’s recommendations then are expected to go the full City Planning Commission on Dec. 28.
Take new District 10 survey
What do you think about the Como area? The good, the not-so-good, what you’d keep, what you’d change?
A new District 10 survey gives citizens the chance to voice their opinions and ideas about neighborhood trends, amenities, issues, characteristics, and possibilities. The goal: Give the Como Community Council a better understanding of how, where, and why to prioritize (or re-prioritize) goals and work for 2019 and beyond. Take the survey online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/D10survey.
Upcoming District 10 Meetings
Environment Committee: Wednesday, Dec. 19. (Because of the holidays, this meeting is rescheduled.)
Land Use Committee: Wednesday, Jan. 2.
Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee: Tuesday, Jan 8. (Because of the holidays, this meeting is rescheduled.)
All meetings typically begin at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington Parkway and Horton Avenue. The public is welcome to attend and participate. Whenever possible, agendas are posted in advance in the “Board News” section of District 10’s website.
Streetcar Station Open Once a Month
With the change of seasons, the Como Park Streetcar Station is now open only on the first Sunday of each month. Hours remain the same: noon to 4 p.m. Upcoming dates are Jan., 6 and Feb. 3.