Park Board Minutes

January 23, 2006

A regular meeting of the Hopkins Park Board was held on January 23, 2006.

  1. Call To Order
    Chairperson Joshua Montgomery called the meeting to order at 6:36 pm.
  2. Roll Call
    Present were Park Board members: Kari Kyllo, Robert Edmonds, Ron Helgeson and Joshua Montgomery. Absent was Park Board member Richard Niemann. Also present was Hopkins staff liaison Steve Stadler.
  3. Approval of Minutes for November 21, 2005
    K. Kyllo moved and R. Edmunds seconded a motion to approve the minutes for the November 21, 2005 meeting. On the vote, the minutes were approved 4-0.
  4. Business
    1. Report on privately owned natural, green spaces within the city – continued from November 21, 2006 meeting
      The Board members brought up the following areas for further consideration.
        Kari Kyllo:  The area along the NE edge of the Atlas Storage site (property at SE corner of Lake Street and Blake Road).
        Josh Montgomery:  The area just west of Westbrook Patio Homes and just north of 10th Street South.
        Ron Helgeson:  The area just south of the St Joseph church parking lot (b/w 12th and 13th Avenues South). Additionally, the area bounded by 6th and 7th Street South and 11th Avenue South and Nine Mile Creek. 
        After some discussion, the Board decided to take no action and continue this item to the next meeting.
    2. Park Board Mission Statement – continued from the November 21, 2005 meeting
      The Board agreed that the mission statement is already included in the Park Board By-laws, as stated in Article III – Duties and Objectives.  After some discussion it was decided to instead adopt a vision statement for the Board.  Chairperson Montgomery suggested a short statement possible beginning with phrases such as:  “Provide, preserve and advocate for…” or “Protect, promote and enhance…”   He asked that board members come up with several possible vision statements for the next meeting.  A discussion ensued regarding the Park Board’s responsibilities pertaining to recreational, leisure or arts-related activities in city facilities, i.e., the Arts Center, Pavilion, Activity Center, Depot Coffeehouse and Skatepark.  Steve Stadler expressed what he believes is the City Council understanding regarding this issue based on the discussion held at the August 30, 2005 Joint City Council/Park Board meeting.  Steve stated that he believed the understanding is that the Park Board role is one of first becoming educated on the various activities at each location/facility and then providing input in an advisory role through himself to the Public Works Facility Director and individual facility managers.
        Ron Helgeson asked about the Minnetonka Park Board mission/vision and relationship with the Joint Recreation Board.  Steve stated he’d request that information from Dave Johnson, Minnetonka Recreation Director and provide to the Park Board members. 
        There was some question about what revenues and expenses were park-related.  Steve Stadler will get information to better characterize park-related revenues & expenses.  He stated the revenues are mainly small fees collected for park use and the park dedication funds.
        After discussion, the Board decided that to facilitate Board education on the various facilities and programs a Board member would be assigned a facility.  The Board member would then meet and discuss the facility/programs with the Facility Manager.  Steve Stadler will coordinate this through Jay Strachota, Facilities Director.
        No other action was taken.  The topic will continue as a business item for the next meeting.
    3. 2006 Valley Park Improvements – Parking Lot and Hockey rink upgrade
      Steve Stadler presented a site plan showing a new 35-stall parking lot.  The Board brought up questions on number of handicapped stalls, lighting and trail access.  Steve Stadler stated the new parking lot would be lit and he will check to confirm that a second handicap stall isn’t required.
        Kari Kyllo moved to approve the parking lot design as presented, Robert Edmonds seconded.  The motion was approved on a 4-0 vote.
    4. Three Rivers Park District – proposed Depot site improvements
      Steve Stadler updated the Board.  A site plan showing potential impact on the Depot site from a light rail transit bridge over Excelsior Boulevard was finally obtained from Hennepin County.  The site plan shows some encroachment along the south edge of the property but it doesn’t appear to significantly impact the function of the parking lot or preclude continuing to work with Three Rivers Park District on site improvements.  A meeting is being set up with Three Rivers to further refine potential improvement plans and timing.
    5. Park Hours on Independence Day holiday
        There was a request through City Council that the Park Board consider allowing extended evening park hours on this holiday to allow residents to view fireworks displays from the parks.  Steve Stadler stated that there would be no signage changes.  The city would notify residents via the Hopkins Highlights of the extended hours on this one night and the Police Dept. would not enforce the 10 pm closure time at any of the parks.  The Board decided that the closure time on the evening of July 4 would be 11:00 pm.
        Robert Edmonds moved approval for the extended hours, Kari Kyllo seconded and the motion carried on a 4-0 vote.
    6. Hopkins Dog Park
      This item originally came to the Board at the November 21, 2005 meeting as a citizen request from two residents in the Westbrook Patio Homes/Meadow Creek Condominium area. Several Board members were interested in looking into establishing a city dog park.   
        Steve Stadler presented information from an Eden Prairie dog park located at 7171 Flying Cloud Drive and a potential location adjacent and just north of the archery range in the Valley Park area. He stated the cost to fence the approximately 120’ x 300’ area is $10,000 based on several price quotes from fence contractors.   
         Kari Kyllo stated that she’s spoken to several of her neighbors and that all are in favor of a Hopkins dog park. Steve Stadler reported that he spoke with users at the Eden Prairie site and they said the dog park is very popular and it’s not unusual for there to be 20-30 dogs and owners using the park after work on weekdays.  There was some discussion on the possibility of requiring registration and charging a permit fee for dog park use. This would create some revenue and also help ensure that dogs in the park are properly licensed and vaccinated.  The City of Minneapolis runs their dog parks in this manner.  Steve Stadler thought that dog owners willing to take their dog to a park would most likely be responsible, self-policing users and perhaps a permit system and the associated administration and enforcement was not necessary. As with the Eden Prairie park, rules and etiquette could be posted on signs at the entrance. The Board felt that dog parks have become popular and are much-appreciated by residents in many cities. There was some discussion on different ways that city residents could express support for establishing a dog park, including responding via email or mail to a Hopkins Highlights and/or Sun Sailor notice.  Steve Stadler suggested and the Park Board was in favor of requesting that this item be placed on an upcoming City Council Work Session. Steve Stadler said he’d try to get it on the February 28 work session.
    7. Central Business District Trail Connection
      Chairperson Josh Montgomery requested the Park Board consider opportunities for continuing the north segment of the regional trail within the central business district and extending it to either the Cedar Lake Trail or the south segment of the SWLRT trail just south of Excelsior Boulevard. The timing is good as the MarketPlace Two redevelopment is projected to begin in late 2006 and the project borders along the south side of the HCRRA right-of-way which extends from the current trail terminus at 8th Avenue N between Mainstreet and 1st Street North. An option could be to extend the existing trail within the HCRRA ROW to the 6th Avenue/Mainstreet intersection and then continuing with on-street bike lanes to the Cedar Lake Trail just east of the Highway 169 bridge over 2nd Street NE.  The Board approved moving this trail/bikelane plan to an upcoming City Council work session for further discussion with City Council. Steve Stadler said he’d attempt to get this item on the February 28 work session along with the dog park discussion.
        Kari Kyllo had another commitment and excused herself from the meeting at 8:50 pm.   
  5. Next Scheduled Meeting
    1. March 20, 2006, 6:30 pm
      City Council Chambers
  6. Adjournment
    Robert Edmund moved and Ron Helgeson seconded a motion to adjourn. The motion carried on a 3-0 vote. The meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m.