Solar Car Charging station opening  
Councilmember Russ Stark's Ward 4 E-News

March 2013
Like us on Facebook
In This Issue
Need your input
Something's brewing
Rapid Bus on Snelling

Quick links

Opportunities for you to weigh in
  • Join the conversation about the future of the play area at Griggs Rec Center. March 27 at 6pm at Leonardo's Basement/Griggs Rec (1188 Hubbard. 
  • Community conversation about improving Marshall Avenue for all users from the river to downtown. April 10, 6:30-8:30pm, at Oxford Community Center in the multipurpose room (270 N Lexington). More info upcoming here. 
  • The zoning study on West Grand Avenue is progressing, and there will be a public hearing at the Planning Commission on Friday, April 19, at 8:30am. More info on the staff recommendations and process here.  
  • A new question has been posted on Open St Paul as part of the City's recycling & solid waste assessment. Please visit "Open Saint Paul" to share your priorities for our solid waste system. More information on the process and timeline here. Please do share this with friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
    Recycle It Forward logo
Something's brewing 
Bang Brewing
Bang Brewery photo by John P. Swanson

The smell of hops and the letter "B" must be in the air as Bang Brewery and Burning Brothers Brewery are both in the process of finishing their new spaces in Ward 4. Bang owners Sandy and Jay Boss-Febbo have built a unique new brewery building on the corner of Hersey and Capp Road, near the old Minnesota Transfer rail yards in the heart of the Midway. Bang will have a small tap room when they open, in addition to supplying some local bar/restaurants. The Boss-Febbos are focused on local sourcing and supplying local businesses with a high quality product.


Burning Brothers, which will be the only dedicated gluten-free brewery in the Midwest, is building out their new space in a warehouse on Thomas Avenue near Fairview. The Burning Brothers duo of Thom Foss and Dane Breimhorst got their name from one of their former professions, flame-throwing and fire-eating at the Renaissance Festival, among other places. They hope to fill a growing local and regional market niche, and to eventually have a tap-room on site as well. Our zoning regulations very recently wouldn't have allowed them to have a taproom, but I worked with City Staff and the Planning Commission to make changes to current zoning laws to allow the sale of malted beverages on the site of a brewery in business and traditional neighborhood districts. A vote on this matter will occur next week. 


Additionally, in the past six months, Urban Growler Brewing Company and Fair State Brewing Cooperative have contacted me with interest in siting new craft breweries in the Ward, with their primary interest being in the Midway industrial area near light rail. Please feel free to show all of these breweries some Ward 4 and Saint Paul love! 


To the west of us, Surly, the established, popular Brooklyn Park-based brewery, is moving ahead with plans to relocated and expand at a site on Southeast 5th Street in Minneapolis right on the St. Paul border (just to the northwest of KSTP).


Historically, when breweries were typically massive operations, City zoning was set up to separate beer production, distribution, and retail sales into different locations and zoning districts. In addition to making taprooms viable through zoning changes, Councilmember Brendmoen and I have asked the Planning Commission to undertake a broader zoning study for these uses. The new trend of craft and micro-brews (with about one new brewery opening each day in the U.S. right now), are forcing cities across the country to rethink these kinds of zoning restrictions, and I think appropriately so.


Rapid bus on Snelling Avenue 

Planning for upgrades to the Route 84 bus that runs down Snelling and Ford Parkway from the Rosedale Mall to the 46th and Hiawatha light rail station is getting underway, with a Community Advisory Committee in formation by Metro Transit. The district councils in St. Paul that abut the route are being asked to select representatives to serve on the Committee, along with businesses and institutions along the route. 
Seattle Rapid Ride
Seattle's Rapid Ride (courtesy of Metro Transit) 

The basic idea of Rapid Bus is to create a faster, higher quality service that will attract more riders. This is done by limiting the number of stops and making some modest changes to the traffic signals on Snelling that will hold a green light for a few extra seconds if a bus is approaching. The boarding process will be faster because there will be ticket machines at stops so that people can board the bus quickly rather than paying as they board, and the boarding platforms will be at the level of the bus floor so that wheelchairs and strollers can roll right on.


Metro Transit hopes to wrap up planning for the project in 2013, with construction beginning in 2014 and finishing in 2015. The project would reduce the overall travel time along the route by nearly 30%, and would include an increase in the frequency and consistency (nights and weekends) of service.


Questions, comments?                                                                             Like me on Facebook

Reply to this email, email us here
or call 651-266-8640.