Why District Councils?
Go to the Planning and Economic Development site of St. Paul and here is what you'll find as their reason for being:
"The Planning and Economic Development Department (PED) administers a variety of planning, housing, business and economic development activities. These activities support a number of neighborhood initiatives and also provide direct benefits to home owners, home buyers, renters and businesses. Working in partnership with community and neighborhood partners, we increase investment and values throughout Saint Paul."
When PED pushes the Master Design for the Ford site, pay attention to how frequently home owners and renters, neighbors, etc. are mentioned. WHY?
District Councils have official roles in property matters: they develop 10 year plans which are supposed to guide all district development. City zoning folks must, by law, consider any new zoning requests in light of these plans and assure that the requests are in keeping with them and if they are not, the council must gather affected citizens to consider the change being requested. It's all codified in City regulations.
So, what did 470 citizens of District 15 say when they completed the survey over the summer of 2017? You can get the Highland District Council's interpretation of the data at the HDC website (www.highlanddistrictcouncil.org/highland-park-district-15-plan)
Or, you can review 170 pages of actual HP resident responses here.