KFNA Redevelopment Committee
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
7 – 9 P.M. Martin Luther King Park
Attendance: approximately 60 people
Redevelopment Committee Members:
Mark Hinds, Arthur Knowles, Tom Parent, Rosie Dolata, Dave Saddoris KFNA Staff: Sarah Linnes-Robinson and Joanna S. Hallstrom Call to Order: Tom Parent, Chair of the KFNA Redevelopment Committee opened the meeting by reviewing the agenda, which was focused on Crime and Safety Issues related to KFNA and this project. Parent showed the group the comment book that is a compilation of all the comments submitted to KFNA on the Nicollet Square project thus far. Parent stated that these comments will be reviewed by the redevelopment committee and the KFNA board. He also noted that KFNA is still accepting comments from neighborhood residents.
Parent quickly reviewed the summary of the community engagement process that has transpired over the last few months regarding the PCNF Nicollet Square development. The summary was emailed to residents and included in the printed agenda. It is also listed below and links to supporting documents and meeting minutes can be found at www.kingfield.org.
Nov 7, 2007
PCNF presents proposed development for 3700 Nicollet Avenue
Nov 28, 2007
Identification of issues affecting the proposed development. Small groups explored different topic areas in depth and then reported back to the full group.
Dec 19, 2007
KFNA organizational discussion about how to adequately address issues posed in November and going forward. Subject areas were Building Mass / Architecture, Social Service Model, Property Value Impact, Community Outreach and Crime Prevention and Safety. Developed written Q&A forum for community and PCNF.
Jan 23, 2008
Presentations by Cathy tenBroeke (Heading Home Hennepin / Hennepin County), PCNF & YouthLink, the Stevens Square Community and the Elliot Park neighborhood. Ms. tenBroeke presented the overarching goals of Heading Home Hennepin and the societal need for supportive housing. PCNF & YouthLink spoke about the development of the social service model and best practice strategies that guided their decisions. Ken Stroebel of the Stevens Square Community shared his experiences on the construction and daily functioning of Lydia Apartments. Dave Fields of the Elliot Park neighborhood, unable to attend the meeting due to illness, wrote a letter describing his experiences on the daily functioning and neighborhood impact of Barnabas. Meeting also allowed for extensive Q&A session with all presenters.
Feb 6, 2008
Presentations by Ed Goetz (Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota), Amanda Arnold (City of Minneapolis), Cermak Rhoades Architects and PCNF. Mr. Goetz spoke about the academic research he has done in Minneapolis in regards to the impact affordable housing has had on property values in areas surrounding the developments. Ms. Arnold described the vision the City of Minneapolis has for Nicollet Avenue and the process that all developments must go through for building and zoning approval. Cermak Rhoades presented three design schemes for the development and sought neighborhood preference. PCNF presented the reasons for including a retail component on the corner of 37th & Nicollet. Meeting also allowed for extensive Q&A session with all presenters.
KFNA brought forward the idea of a Community Benefits Agreement and sought volunteers to serve on a CBA Work Group.
Current Crime Issues: Crime Prevention Specialist CPS Tom Thompson gave a PowerPoint presentation on Kingfield crime statistics pulling data from 2002-2007. Thompson noted that the Geomaster system (the source of the data presented tonight) was replaced in 2007 by a different technology to process crime stats. Thompson made a disclaimer that the data presented tonight is mostly accurate based on his cross checks with the other system but some of the data in 2007 may be slightly off.
Through the Uniform Crime Report the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) tracks crimes as either -
Part 1 Crimes: Homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny etc. These crimes are reported to the FBI
Part 2 Crimes: simple assault, vandalism, etc. These are offenses that affect the quality of life in a community.
CPS Thompson reported that Part 1 crimes are down in Kingfield except burglary, which is up 86% (burglaries per year: 2002-25 / 2003-15 / 2004-23 / 2005-21 / 2006-20 / 2007-39). This includes burglaries to homes, garages and businesses. Of Part 2 crimes prostitution arrest are significantly up. The prostitution arrests stats include payer and solicitor (prostitution arrests per year: 2002-0 / 2003-0 / 2004-3 / 2005-3 / 2006-12 / 2007-10). CPS Thompson noted that these arrests stats do not necessary demonstrate that prostitution in Kingfield has increased rather that the police have made more arrests.
CPS Thompson reported that there has only been one stranger rape in the last three years. Rape stats are up but they are not stranger rapes. Reported vandalism has been down since 2002 (vandalism reports per year: 2002-101 / 2003-153 / 2004-121 / 2005-64 / 2006-60 / 2007-47). CPS Thompson noted that 2003 was a peek year for Part 2 crimes expect for prostitution.
Part 1 crimes most often are reported on a Monday. The most common time of day for crime to happen (does not correlate with the day) is 10pm-12am. Part 2 crimes most often happen on a Thursday, Tuesday or Wednesday and the most common time (again not associated with a particular day) is between 12am-2am.
CPS Thomson showed a series of crime density maps that demonstrated where crime concentrations have moved or remained in Kingfield between 2002-2007. These maps help the MPD to identify focus zones for increased police presence. For Part 1 and Part 2 crimes the intersection of Nicollet and 38th has been and continues to be a focus point for multiple criminal activities.
After the PowerPoint presentation CPS Thompson shared the initial Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) assessment recommendations got Nicollet Square based on evaluating the current design concept. Another assessment can be done when the design plans are finalized.
CPS Thompson reviewed the parking lot design, the landscaping, security for bikes and cars, camera surveillance in and outside the building, external and internal lighting, eyes on the street etc. He made a recommendation to have a card system for building entry instead of key access so that building access could be limited more easily to certain parties based on the times of day they needed access (i.e. a maintenance crew). Thompson recommended that the front desk person be visible at all times to keep that person safe. He also recommended certain types of fencing to define public and private spaces.
Questions & Answers Time (responses given by CPS Thompson, PCNF and KFNA as appropriate). (Note: questions, responses and open forum discussion have been recorded and summarized as accurately as possible. No statements should be taken as direct quotes). Q. Address the arrests. Where are people coming from? A. CPS Thompson could not state definitively where offenders are coming from. He has recognized a trend of more offenders giving North Minneapolis addresses when arrested.
Q. Residents notice lots of suspicious pedestrian traffic. Young people walking late at night in groups, make noise and being disruptive. What to do?
A. Call 911 on anything that you feel is suspicious. Police will determine if the individuals are out of compliance with the law.
Q. The owner of Nicollet Hardware, in the hot zone of constant criminal activity at 38th and Nicollet, reported that she constantly has people loitering outside her store and sitting on her retaining walls. She has also witnessed drug dealing in her parking lot. When she does call the police she feels that the squad doesn’t arrive until the drug deal is over or the suspicious individuals have moved on. Why call 911? What else can she do? A. Thompson explained that it is important to call 911 whenever you see criminal activity or suspicious activity. Each 911 call is prioritized 1, 2, 3 or Super P. What is said by the caller to the 911 dispatch operator will determine the priority. Callers need to state the urgency of their case and give as detailed of a description of the person/s and vehicle as they can. Police will respond based on the priority and may be able to locate the suspicious person/vehicle even after the suspects leave the address of first reported activity. The City is broken into sections and officers’ assignments are based in part on the number of 911 calls. You need to call every time you see a criminal activity so that it can be recorded and help determine police presence. Also the City has other types of law enforcement units out on the streets that may be able to respond (CERT Team (??), Traffic Cops, Sergeants, Lieutenants, STOP units).
Q. What is the difference in crime around/in vacant sites verses developed sites? Is there proof that a new development will reduce crime? A. I (CPS Thompson) cannot make a correlation that it will or will not increase or decrease crime to get rid of vacant sites and do development.
Q. Can PCNF offer some office space for the MPD to have a satellite office that is particularly focused on fighting gang activity around 38th and Nicollet? And have a cop stationed there?
A. CPS Thompson recommended talking to Inspector Kris Arneson with this request.
Council Member Elizabeth Glidden stated that it is more a staffing issue with the police department. However, making space and a computer available to police officers so that they can stop in as needed to do off-street work may be something vary valuable to the MPD.
Q. Lyndale Neighborhood residents donate funds to have bike cops patrol their neighborhood. Can we do this?
A. Yes, LNA does do this during the summer. It is up to the neighborhoods to decide.
Q. Should I call 911 for groups of kids walking in my alley? My place has been vandalized 5 times in 4 years.
A. Don’t be afraid to call 911 for any suspicious activity.
Q. I was given a non-emergency phone number to call. I live near a drug house and I was given this number to report activity that I saw. What is this number? A. 911 is the only number you should call to report an emergency and/or criminal activity. Call 311 for City services.
Q. In the discussions of this project it doesn’t seem that we have addressed the question of whether or not this is the best placement for 42 young adults. . . given it is in the highest crime spot in the neighborhood. Has this been discussed?
A. No. PCNF is working with the police to make the facility secure by applying CPTED principals.
Q. How are these young people going to be safe, given the placement in this high crime area? A. PCNF met with the council office, Crime Prevention Specialists and neighborhoods to discuss this project early on in the planning process. PCNF was encouraged to maintain ongoing connection between the Nicollet Square residents and staff and the neighborhoods through attendance of crime prevention meetings and other neighborhood activities/meeting. PCNF was also encouraged to have a CPTED assessment done on the design plans. CPS Thompson added to this response that there is know way of telling if there will be an increase of crime around the project or not.
Q. PCNF has no experience working with youth. What will happen if this project goes bad?
A. PCNF is putting in place the infrastructure for how to move forward. The KFNA redevelopment committee is working on a Community Benefits Agreement that will be a legal way to hold PCNF accountable to developing and maintaining their site and program well. PCNF stated that they share the concerns of the community and are very committed to a safe neighborhood. They care about the safety of both residents of the neighborhood and Nicollet Square. They also stated that this project is a huge investments and they are doing everything they can to make it a success. Regarding the development itself they feel that eyes on the street will make a huge difference in monitoring neighborhood crime. Nicollet Square will have 24-hour staffing, security camera’s that will monitor the parking lot and exterior and interior of the building.
A. (response from person audience) I work at a shelter with North Minneapolis for youth. There are very limited housing resources for homeless youth. The youth I work with are not criminals. PCNF will get to pick and choose their residents.
Q. When asked “What if things don’t go well?” PCNF keeps saying that they will work on it. What if crime can be traced back to this development? Can it be shut down?
A. First, PCNF will have a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Kingfield that will be legally enforceable if items in the CBA are not upheld. PCNF needs a rental license to run this facility. The City can revoke a rental license if the property is not managed well and criminal activity and code violations persist at a property.
Q. What about crimes by juveniles that live there? How will we know?
A. The police will know and this can affect the rental license. Neighborhood residents will not have access to juvenile information. KFNA residents are encouraged to participate in the Court Watch program to track chronic offenders through the court system.
Building Design Update Lee Blons, ED of PCNF stated that the dot-mocracy votes and comments that residents submitted regarding the three building designs have been evaluated by PCNF. Based on community feedback they contemporary design has been pulled and they have decided to go with the more traditional design.
Parent introduced the open forum section of the evening. As this community engagement process ends, KFNA invites insights, further research and / or conclusions from all members of the community. Parent put a two-minute limit on each comment in the open forum to ensure that everyone who would like to speak has a chance to do so.
1. KFNA resident for 8 years: I have two small children and live at 39th and Blaisdell. I am nervous about renter and absentee landlords. I was involved in a hit and run by my neighbor (renter). I do feel good about renters that are part of a community with landlords that will manage it well.
2. Resident of LNA: I speak on behalf of kids and work with kids. I adopted my foster son. From my experience adolescent kids like and want adult attention. This is an opportunity that we can help with. Foster care does not have the bad kids.
3. Resident first of 33rd and Pillsbury now in KFNA: I moved next door to an active crack house with unsupervised kids. These kids did not get the help that this project is offering. We should welcome the pre-screened, supervised young people into the neighborhood.
4. Resident of KFNA for 8 years, former KFNA board member, current redevelopment committee member: I am excited about this project. The developer’s mission and careful process are commendable. I hope it moves forward.
5. Resident of south metro formerly living in KFNA: I am in support of this project. There is a need for this type of housing so that homeless youth can have assistance developing the skills they need to live on their own. Everyone does better when everyone does better.
6. KFNA Resident: I know people who have been homeless. It is a life changing experience. This type of support is good. I am for the project.
7. KFNA Resident of 17 years at 37th Street and 1st Ave., KFNA board member, redevelopment committee member: Eyes on the street are a big step toward controlling Part 2 crimes. I am looking forward to this project. I am confident after working with PCNF that this project will be an ongoing value to the neighborhood.
8. KFNA Resident, vista volunteer, worked at alternative school for drop outs, Special ed teacher, worked in post secondary education, and adolescent psychology: My concern is talking about the building and program but not talking about the population. I have been working with homeless special ed. kids. There is a shortage of funding for the services they need. Where is the money going to come from for this program when funding is already scarce? Are we really caring about these young people. This has not been addressed.
9. Unidentified Speaker: Is PCNF going to have youth services forever? Concerned about parking. 42 unites need 42 parking spots. Bill of rights states . . . (??) Other question – if it changes uses will it be usable and how will it be qualified as an apartment building with limited parking?
10. KFNA resident: I am concerned about parking and if it will spill on to the street.
Parent stepped in to address parking questions. He sated that parking will be addressed through the variance requests presented by PCNF to the City and the neighborhood. There will be another place and time for this item to be addressed again.
11. KFNA resident, single women: I have worked with homeless youth. I am surprised at people’s anxiety about the project. It has been a good discussion. When I have spoken to homeless youth about why they have participated in destruction behavior. They state that crimes come out of being in survival mode. I am not nervous about crime coming from residents of this project. I live on Nicollet. Also in my multi unit condo building I have one of only four off-street parking spaces.
12. KFNA resident: we are focused on the 42 people in the youth housing. We are glossing over the additional housing on the two substandard lots on 37th. We are not getting the whole story about what this one-acre will do to our neighborhood.
13. KFNA resident at 37th and Pillsbury: I worked at a boarding school for adolescent boys located out in the country. Having worked with a similar population and managed their needs I have questions about if there is someone to help with monitoring meds. I question a program that has younger persons (16) without monitoring of day-to-day skills and development. Nicollet Square no requirements to see a case manager. Who is watching if a young person is skipping their meds etc.? Also if they become desperate fro rent will there be petty crimes? Also I have noticed houses for sale around the development – it is already changing the face of the area.
14. Unidentified Speaker: I have worked with similar populations and see a need for a place to go. My concerns are around density and management. It seems too big. The idea of meeting with psychiatrist for those who need it is good, but once referred it can take months to get help. Regarding youth taking meds for mental health issues – there have been problems with this at St. Barnabus. Case management should be mandatory.
15. KFNA resident at 38th and Blaisdell: Keep hearing the term NIMBY (Not in my back yard). . . There are huge monitary contributions by the City, County, State . . . committed to this project. I also know there are budget cuts, what happens when funding is cut. I don’t mind living next to affordable housing, but I want to know what assurance I have as a homeowner that if things go bad. What is in it for me? Where is the risk? KFNA residents have risk. What is the risk of the churches if it fails. I don’t feel like the risks are really being talked about seriously. Is there something going to be give to us to help? Is there any guarantee that there will be help if the property values go down?
16. Chair of YouthLink (program provider at Nicollet Square), over 37 years of experience in corrections, juvenile detention, development of numerous youth programs, board of Behavior Health (??) with State of Minnesota: I am very excited about this project. How can I help to relieve some of the fears. Youthlink and PCNF cannot afford to have a project that fails. This is an investment in future taxpaying citizens – youth. They’re a number a youth living in this community right now that are one probation etc. We have a commitment to our young people for them not to get on probation. My reputations in this. We have the opportunity to set and example for these kids. As I say we need to “reject the behavior, not the person.” I hope you will work with us. 42 kids seems small to me. I have worked with 70 kids at one time at the YouthLink shelter and it is a safe and vibrant environment. I have a commitment to this . . . it is to help young people.
PCNF Comments: Lee Blons, ED of PCNF echoed the YouthLink Chair’s sentiments and thanked the groups for their comments and participation in this process. Blons restated that this project has not been approved yet. This is still a proposal and is still yet to go through the City review process. The community input will be carried up through this process.
Blons clarified that most of the residents at Nicollet Square will be between the ages of 18 and 22. It will be an exceptional case where a younger person (16-17) will need be living at Nicollet Square.
Blons agreed that medication monitoring is very important. If individuals need assistance monitoring their meds they would be screened out of this program. This program is for people who are capable of independent living.
Blons concluded by stating that PCNF is here for the long run. They have done a good job in other projects and will put their commitment to this project in writing as part of the CBA.
General meeting was closed. Parent invited any interested residents to participate in the redevelopment committee’s CBA discussion to be held directly following this meeting. A draft of the CBA was emailed out for committee review and feedback.
Community Benefits Agreement–
Review of draft of CBA. Issues were noted and discussed. Proposed changes will be written into the document and it will be redistributed to the CBA Team. Resolution on the language and conditions of parking lot use, street parking, and exterior trash receptacles was not reached.
General meeting minutes completed by Joanna S. Hallstrom, NRP Project Organizer Sarah Linnes-Robinson, Executive Director, was present for the CBA discussion.