Kenwood Neighborhood News
Minnehaha Creek Watershed District seeks comments and questions
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) oversees construction permitting within its boundaries. The Metropolitan Council has applied for a permit for the SWLRT Project, a proposed $1.85 billion 14.5-mile light rail transit line from Eden Prairie to downtown Minneapolis.
Within the MCWD, the SWLRT project involves approximately five miles of freight rail, light rail, and paved trail construction, the construction of six LRT stations, and the redevelopment of three park-and-ride lots. The Project crosses Minnehaha Creek and the channel between Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles. It triggers five MCWD rules: Erosion Control, Stormwater Management, Waterbody Crossings and Structures, Floodplain Alteration, and Shoreline and Streambank Stabilization.
Please submit comments or questions about the permit application at: http://www.minnehahacreek.org/permit-16-221-metro-green-line-lrt-extension-comment-notice-period.
The permit application, including all comments received, will be presented to the MCWD Board of Managers for consideration at the February 23rd Board Meeting. The meeting will be held at 6:45 PM at the MCWD offices located at 15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, MN 55345. The comment period will end on February 3rd, 2017.
Kenwood-Isles Area Association
2017–2019 Neighborhood Priorities Plan Survey
At the end of 2016, the Kenwood Isles Area Association (KIAA) surveyed the neighborhood to help identify neighborhood priorities for 2017-2019. We publicized the opportunity to participate widely, and received 125 responses. We greatly appreciate those who took the time to respond.
For the survey, the all-volunteer KIAA board identified 12 possible priorities, and respondents were asked to rate these on a scale from one to five (one being not at all important, five being very important). They were also asked about problems, issues, and opportunities for the neighborhood. Here is what you told us:
1. Addressing SWLRT impacts
Addressing the impacts of Southwest LRT, if it is built, was by far the neighborhood’s highest priority, with 80% of respondents saying they consider it “very important.” The average rating for this priority was 4.54. Examples of neighbors’ elaboration on the issue include:
“SWLRT is a huge issue and one that we need to assure has the least possible impact as far as noise, etc., both during construction and once running. Assuring the SWLRT takes every step to reduce their noise (no bells and horns, etc.) and that the area is built out to mitigate noise (berms, natural and built structures, etc.) will be critical.
2. Protecting our Lakes
“Promoting landscaping that protects our lakes,” with an average rating of 4.22, was considered the second highest priority. About 53% of respondents ranked it as “5 – Very important.”
“As a neighborhood of lakes, proactively promote protecting the environment, in particular water quality in the lakes.”
3. Policing East Cedar Beach
Items relating to East Cedar Beach (Hidden Beach) were also deemed important, though not quite rising to the level of the first two issues. This may reflect the success of recent KIAA initiatives; serious problems have declined significantly over the past two years, so ECB issues may seem less urgent. “Additional police patrols” at ECB ranked as the third top priority at 3.79, “capital improvements” at ECB averaged 3.38, and “sports and youth arts programming” at ECB averaged 3.32.
“Hidden beach continues to be an issue. I like the approaches that have been started and hope they continue.”
4. Supporting Kenwood Recreation Center
At an average rating of 3.64, supporting Kenwood Recreation/Community Center programming comes in just below policing East Cedar Beach. Related to this, capital improvements at Kenwood Park are also seen as somewhat important with an average rating of 3.35.
5. Sponsoring neighborhood events; supporting Kenwood School
These two categories round out the top priorities, both with an average rating of 3.34.
Addressing parking congestion in Downtown Kenwood, creating “public art installations” and “expanding Nice Ride bike share in the neighborhood” all ranked at 3.0 (somewhat important) or below.
Respondents offered many unique issues and suggestions. KIAA will refer a number of these to the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Some of the responses can be grouped into categories for consideration:
Several neighbors identified the need for traffic calming (in both streets and alleys), traffic enforcement, and signage. Some specified specific problematic areas and offered suggestions.
Crime and Safety
A number of people expressed concern about crime, primarily garage and car burglaries. There is a perception that the problem is increasing or that the neighborhood is being targeted.
Several respondents noted that streets seem very dark, and that improved lighting would be a positive addition to Kenwood.
Community Gathering Space
While Downtown Kenwood is thriving, many respondents lamented the lack of a casual gathering space where neighbors could get together.
A number of people suggested events that could improve Kenwood’s livability and vitality, such as winter activities, meet-ups for families with young kids, neighborhood clubs, and coordinating National Night Out.
KIAA will submit our “Neighborhood Priorities Plan” to the City of Minneapolis in support of our Community Participation Plan. We hope to receive $15,000 annually during 2017-2019 through the Neighborhood and Community Relations department to support local efforts.
The KIAA board thanks our neighbors for your thoughtful responses and ideas. We welcome any Kenwood resident who would like to help work on any of these issues. Please feel free to contact KIAA chair Jeanette Colby at [email protected] or any other board member, or come to our regular meetings held on the first Monday of most every month at the Kenwood Rec Center, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.