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As a neighbor said as he watched these magnificent old hardwoods brought down by chainsaws, "A lifetime to grow, an hour to die."

Read why here.

Goodbye trees, Goodbye historic Hidden Falls

WPA project from 1936, and what else? For a bicycle tunnel? See below-

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What the City was looking for in Hidden Falls-Crosby Farm River Study 1970

Letter from Paul S. Fjare, Bauer and Assoc. to City of St. Paul, Dept of Parks and Rec and Buildings(!)

"Too often a municipality fails to recognize its natural assets before space, time and money run out. The people of St. Paul should consider themselves fortunate that there still remains and area near the heart of downtown, relatively untouched by aggressive development.

The Hidden Falls-Crosby Farm area is a unique combination of topography, vegetation, water and geology...

With a program and design that respects the sites' natural amenities, this area will benefit the Twin Cities now and for future generations."

Too bad their current minions failed to heed them, even though the 2018 group gave it a good shot, see below.

Hidden Falls Regional Park: Natural Resource Management Plan

©2018 by Great River Greening
251 Starkey Street, Suite 2200
St. Paul, MN 55107

 

1. Where possible, ameliorate areas of headward ravine erosion via stormwater runoff
that promote undercutting and collapsing of limestone cliffs.
2. Actively discourage off-trail use by visitors and their pets, such as by blocking access
to closed travel routes and posting signs. Several off-trail areas that attract human traffic
are small sandstone exposures on the bluffs that are becoming badly eroded and growing
in size. Comments about specific eroded exposures are given in preliminary report on
bluff slope erosion given earlier in this report.
Mature Cottonwood – Silver Maple Forest
This community consists of areas of mature, even-aged continuous-canopied floodplain forest dominated by large, tall cottonwoods that form a supercanopy over other trees.


A few of the cottonwoods are enormous, open-grown trees with huge trunk diameters and broad, widely spreading crowns. These few trees are progenitors of most of the cottonwoods in the park. They are surprisingly young, however: one that fell down in late summer 2004 was approximately 4 feet in diameter but had only 80 - 90 growth rings. Most of the other large cottonwoods are younger and straight-trunked, indicating that they grew up together in a stand.

p. 42

(Comment: 'They're gone now, and ain't coming back, Ryan's earth movers done took them away." apologies to John Prine)

NLSP remains committed to promoting responsible community development that enhances the existing neighborhood and the City overall. we need your financial support to ensure that we have the resources to help fund this effort, the pending petition, and future legal action. Please consider making a contribution to support NLSP's Legal Action Fund by clicking HERE.  

You really don't recognize it..

till it's gone!

If you've reviewed even some of the transcripts relating to NLSP's action against Ramsey County you may be overwhelmed. Here's an easier way to think about this situation.

Look at the publicity artwork portraying the Highland Bridge development. Below is an artist's rendering of 2170 Ford Pkwy which is under construction and is the focal point of NLSP's writ of mandamus action. Look carefully at the picture.....

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This picture was created using the initial zoning measures (i.e. open space should be 25% of the building lot). It doesn't take an artistic genius to realize that if 25% of the open space has been magically transferred to an unseen interior square and the balconies (almost all visible here) that there will be no other open space available. So all the tree-lined avenue effect? Gone. If there's no open space, there can be no trees.

How do you define "open space?"
 

WHEREAS, City planning staff propose the following amendments to the Master Plan and the Ford Site zoning ordinances to address these present difficulties when future development applications are received by staff for review:


1. Remove the term “Open Space” from the Master Plan as it pertains to privately owned development parcels and lots and remove the definition of Green Roof Areas as Open Space.


2. Add the definition for “lot coverage” from the Zoning Code to Master Plan Chapter 5 entitled “Building and Lot Terminology.”


3. Amend the Master Plan’s current incentive language for Green Roofs in Chapter 4: Zoning - Districts and General Standards, as follows:
Lot Coverage Bonus for Green Roof Areas
Projects that provide Functional Green Roof can receive a 1% lot coverage by buildings bonus for every 1% of Functional Green Roof provided by the project, up to a maximum 10% lot coverage by buildings bonus.; and amend the definition of Functional Green Roof as follows:
Functional Green Roof Area shall be defined as area atop surface on a building, open to the sky and air, which is surfaced with soil and living plant materials for the purpose of retaining rainwater and absorbing heat from sunlight. The depth of substrate and planted material shall be at least two (2) inches.

From Attachment A to the current revision of the City's Ford Site Master Plan.

And that's not the whole resolution, take a breath and see if you can find it at the City's website. It's supposed to be published but this copy was acquired via the Highland District Council's CDC meeting packet for 6/15/2021.

Nimby v. Yimby

Followers of New Urbanist movements affectionately call themselves YIMBY's for "yes in my back yard." These groups, for e.g. a "YIMBY group called “Open New York”  “want the city to build its way out of the housing crisis.” Where have you heard that one?

 

"The YIMBY pitch is generally quite simple: everyone knows there is a housing crisis in many of America’s cities, and that the rent is too damn high. Thus we need more housing. Increased supply will reduce prices. Unfortunately, the dastardly NIMBYs, those sticks-in-the-mud who don’t believe in change, try to prevent new housing from being built. (Current Affairs, 1/7/21)

But while YIMBYism is presented as the forces of progress and social justice fighting against wealthy entrenched interests, the picture is misleading. As a Guardian report on the phenomenon noted, YIMBYs are not anti-capitalists. They are allies of developers who believe in letting the “free market” determine what kind of housing will be built: 

[M]embers of yimby groups consider themselves progressives and environmentalists, but they’re not afraid to throw the occasional firebomb into the usual liberal alliances. They frequently take aim at space-hogging, single-family homeowners and confound anti-capitalist groups by daring to take the side of developers, even luxury condo developers… Their willingness to lobby for market rate housing in traditionally minority neighbourhoods has seen them called techie gentrifiers and developer stooges."

 

Just like our own new-urban supporters of Lafayette Station.