West St. Paul City Council chambers

City Council Preview: May 24, 2021

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An array of issues on the agenda for the regular West St. Paul City Council meeting, including tattoo and liquor store expansion, a provisional rental license, and Pride proclamation. Important conversations about the Renaissance Plan and ongoing COVID-19 protocols—including masks and televised meetings—will happen during the Open Council Work Session (OCWS).

COVID-19 Update: Masks & Meetings

With the state relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, City Council will consider during the OCWS whether there’s a need to implement a city-wide mask mandate and how to handle restrictions for public meetings.

The OCWS meetings themselves moved to the Council chambers and were televised for the first time during the pandemic. Council will consider whether to move back to the conference room to facilitate more of a round-table discussion and whether or not to continue broadcasting the meetings.

Reconciling Robert Street Renaissance Plan With Zoning

During OCWS the Council will also look at the Robert Street Renaissance Plan and whether or not to implement changes with the existing zoning code. Currently zoning code is enforceable put the Renaissance Plan is seen as a recommendation.

Expanding Tattoos & Liquor

We reported earlier this week about expanding where tattoo and liquor shops can locate in the city. Planning Commission unanimously approved an expansion at their meeting this week and it comes before the City Council for a first reading.

Planning Commission Chair Samantha Green put it succinctly: “If you can put a bar next to residential you should be able to have a tattoo parlor.”

Other Items on the Agenda:

  • Donate: Women of West St. Paul will be collecting tampons, pads, cups, and other period supplies at city hall during the Council meeting for their fourth annual tampon drive.
  • Pride: Watch for a resolution proclaiming June to be LGBTQIA Pride Month.
  • Sign: There will be a public hearing for Tumble Fresh laundromat’s digital display sign. Planning Commission approved the request unanimously with no one from the public speaking during that public hearing.
  • Provisional license: A rental property at 864/866 Dodd is being recommended for a provisional license, which is a way to address potential issues. In this case it appears to be primarily noise complaints.
  • Let go: A separation agreement with former Community Development Director Jim Hartshorn is in the consent agenda. No details as it’s private personnel data.
  • State of the City: The OCWS will include a conversation reflecting on the mayor’s State of the City address and giving Council members a chance to add their thoughts.
  • Habitat for Humanity: The empty lot at 1065 Gorman Avenue is slated for a Habitat for Humanity house. There will be a presentation during OCWS about Habitat’s work in West St. Paul (21 projects since 1985) and this specific project.

The public can watch the meeting live on Town Square TV or cable TV starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday (5 p.m. for the OCWS).

If you’re unable to attend in person, you can always use our coloring pages to imagine you’re there.

Keep City Council previews and recaps coming by supporting West St. Paul Reader.

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