Neighborhood notebook // Co-op move

Co-op move still cause for debate

About 30 people showed up at a Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) meeting in early December to discuss the Linden Hills Co-op’s plans to move from 43rd Street and Upton Avenue to 44th Street and France Avenue. The somewhat heated discussion showed that while there is support for the move, some co-op members still aren’t ready to see their grocery store leave its current location.

Co-op member David Smith, who lives a short walk away from the co-op, said it was a big part of the reason he and his wife moved to the neighborhood 22 years ago. The combination of the grocery store, nearby hardware store, meat market and other businesses help make the community self-sustaining, he said.

“I’m just really disappointed and I know a lot of other people are too,” he said.  

Others at the meeting echoed his concerns and worried about the future of the 43rd and Upton node without the co-op, which they described as an anchor.

Clarence Falk, a co-op member since 1976, argued that the area has been through many changes in the past and though there has always been community concern at those times, the node has thrived. He and others at the meeting said they were looking forward to the new store.

Community members also wanted to know whether the new building would incorporate green design features including the use of the existing structure’s solar panels. Co-op manager Luke Schell said the plan was to move the panels to the new site and though the co-op wouldn’t be seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, it would use sustainable materials and practices.   

The co-op’s decision to move, announced in late October, was brought on by a growing membership base and a lack of space to meet its needs.

Co-op leaders and a representative from Wilkus Architects attended the LHiNC meeting to present plans for the new space, which would be 50 percent larger and utilize the former Almsted’s Sunnyside Market building. The co-op is working to raise $1.5 million in member loans by the end of January to help pay for the $3.5 million project.

Kite Festival coming soon

The East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association (EHFNA) and Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) are once again hosting the annual Lake Harriet Kite Festival, scheduled for Jan. 9, from noon–4 p.m. on the lake in front of the band shell. Activities at the free event include kite flying, horse-drawn carriage rides, hot-cocoa sipping and general merry-making. For those without their own kites, some will be available for purchase. If by Jan. 9 Lake Harriet’s ice isn’t thick enough to support droves of kite flyers, a back-up date of Jan. 16 has been set.

Need help with your energy bills?

Linden Hills Power & Light (LHP&L) wants to help people who are having trouble paying their energy bills.

The neighborhood nonprofit is offering to help people insulate their windows to save on heating bills. Seniors, fixed income and people with special needs are preferred.

If you’re interested, contact Felicity Britton at info@lhpowerandlight.org or call 612-925-4249 for more information.

Also, the nonprofit is working on getting the word out about stimulus fund money for free attic and home insulation and/or mechanical upgrades. Households of one earning $21,184 per year or less, households of two people earning $27,700 or less, families of four earning $40,735 are automatically eligible. Both renters and homeowners can apply. Contact 335-5837 for more information.

Neighborhood seeks historic designation for Salem church

The Whittier Alliance Board of Directors will attempt to get a century-old church on Lyndale Avenue designated a historic site.

The Board of Directors voted Nov. 23 to request City Council Member Robert Lilligren (6th Ward) submit for historic designation the original 1904 portion of Salem English Lutheran Church, located at the intersection of West 28th Street and Lyndale Avenue South. The site is slated for redevelopment. This will preserve the oldest parts of the church while adding housing, retail and parking to the site.

Some later additions to the 1904 Salem building were to be demolished during redevelopment.

Whittier requests to postpone Midtown rezoning

A resolution asking the city to postpone a significant rezoning of the area surrounding the Midtown Greenway was approved by the Whittier Alliance Board of Directors Nov. 23.

Various zoning changes are proposed for about 1,500 parcels along the Midtown Greenway, an east-west bicycle and pedestrian corridor that runs from the Mississippi River to Uptown. Many of the proposed zoning changes would allow for greater density along the Greenway.

The Whittier Alliance resolution requested a delay until there is more information available on the rationale behind the changes. They asked for more information on potential future density, the cost of infrastructure changes and the historic elements in the rezoning area.

The resolution also noted rezoning could reduce the variety of housing types in Whittier. Many of the neighborhood’s single-family dwellings are located in the area targeted for rezoning.

Southwest neighborhood group meeting times

Armatage Neighborhood Association (ANA): Board meets 3rd Tuesday monthly at Armatage Park, 57th & Russell.

Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association (BMNA):  Board meets 2nd Wednesday monthly at Bryn Mawr School, 252 Upton Ave. S.

Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG) meeting: Board meets 3rd Tuesday monthly at Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Ave. S.

Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association (CIDNA) meeting: Board meets every 1st Tuesday at Jones-Harrison Residence, 3700 Cedar Lake Ave.

East Calhoun Community Organization (ECCO): Board meets 1st Thursday monthly at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3450 Irving Ave. S.

East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association (EHFNA): Board meets 1st Wednesday monthly at Lyndale Farmstead Park Building, 3900 Bryant Ave.

East Isles Residents Association (EIRA): Board meets 1st Tuesday monthly at Trinity Community Church, 1430 W. 28th St.

Fulton Neighborhood Association (FNA): Board meets 2nd Wednesday monthly at Pershing Park, 3523 W. 48th St.

Kenny Neighborhood Association (KNA): Board meets 3rd Tuesday monthly at Kenny Park Building, 1328 W. 58th St.

Kenwood Isles Area Association (KIAA): Board meets 1st Monday monthly at Kenwood Neighborhood Center, 2101 W. Franklin Ave.

Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA): Board meets 2nd Wednesday monthly at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 41st & Nicollet.

Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC): Board meets 1st Tuesday monthly at Linden Hills Park, 3100 W. 43rd St.

Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association (LHNA): Board meets 1st Tuesday monthly at Kenwood Neighborhood Center, 2101 W. Franklin Ave.

Lowry Hill East (Wedge): Board meets 3rd Wednesday monthly at Jefferson Elementary School, 1200 W. 26th St.

Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA): General membership meetings are on the 4th Monday monthly at Painter Park, 34th & Lyndale.

Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association (LYNAS): Board meets 2nd Monday monthly at 6:30 p.m. at Lynnhurst Community Center, 50th & West Minnehaha Parkway.

Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO): Board meets 3rd Thursday monthly at the Loring-Nicollet Community Center, 1925 Nicollet Ave. S.

Tangletown Neighborhood Association (TNA): Board meets 3rd Monday monthly at Fuller Park, 4800 Grand Ave.

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council: Board meets 2nd Tuesday monthly at The Bakken, 3537 Zenith Ave. S.

Whittier Alliance: Board meets 4th Thursday monthly at the Whittier Community School, 2620 Grand Ave.

Windom Community Council: Board meets 2nd Thursday monthly at Windom Community Center, 5821 Wentworth Ave.

For more information about Southwest neighborhood organizations, go to southwestjournal.com and click on “Resources.” Send neighborhood news to Journal editor Sarah McKenzie at smckenzie@mnpubs.com.