Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Citizens of St. Paul,
The City of St Paul is moving full speed ahead TO SELL OUR PARKLAND WITHOUT DUE PROCESS.
Here is the timeline presented at the May 3rd city sponsored Pedro Park planning meeting which if successful, will reduce city-designated parkland:
1) from the north half of the block as designated by City resolution and
2) and from the full block park recommended by the Planning Commission and in our Comprehensive Plan.
We can STOP this only if we pool our $$$.
We need to save St. Paul from itself. It has an excellent community involved plan in place since 2006. It's insane we have to sue to enforce it. But here we are.
Future generations are counting on our bravery, patience, and determined vision.
$2,500 is needed to retain a lawyer. $50,000 has been estimated should there be a full trial.
God willing the cost will be less and extra funds can go directly into Pedro Park.
Imagine all this as a green beautiful park!
Two great parks bookmark downtown - Mears Park and Rice Park - creating vibrant residential and commercial neighborhoods. A neighborhood to the north, our own Fitzgerald Park , has grown around the promise of a third great park to be located across from the new Penfield Apartments and Lund's Grocery Store. Every planning document for over 20 years has supported the park.
The first step toward realizing the park came as a donation from the Pedro family - given on the promise their property would be part of a larger park. The second step was to tear down the Annex Building after the Police moved out. $18,000,000 was given to build a new Police Training Facility so that the city could "tear down the building and continue the city plan of a park." (Log. No. CF-6603207)
NOW THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL HAVE TURNED THEIR BACKS ON YEARS OF CITIZEN PLANNING AND THIS GENEROUS GIFT.
On November 2017, without any public hearing or public comment period, Developer Status was granted to the Ackerberg Group for the Annex Building (part of the officially-named Pedro Park in 2015) by the City of Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Ackerberg will make their final presentation to the City Council this summer.
(We came with our signs, but only one person was allowed to speak.)
Marilyn Pitera, the surviving Pedro family donor, said this before the vote on the Annex Building:
"I’m sick to hear the City would act contrary to what my brothers & I were told long ago; which was to demolish the building so a large park... can be installed. I pray the City will honor it’s word. The dream of a large Pedro Park cannot become a reality if that building remains."
Three Council Members voted against the developer status. Four voted for it.
Documents supporting Pedro Park as larger than the pocket park:
Fitzgerald Park Precinct Plan , Addendum to the Comprehensive Plan for Saint Paul which shows a full block park.
Recommended by the Planning Commission on July 28, 2006.
Adopted by the City Council on August 16, 2006.
Amended by the City Council on August 4, 2010.
Resolution 14-1861 - Authorizing the naming of the downtown city park, on the half block on the north bounded by Robert Street, Tenth Street East, and Minnesota Street, as Pedro Park. Passed unanimously by City Council 1/7/2015
Resolution - 09-1271 - Authorizing the Department of Parks and Recreation to enter into a donation agreement with the Pedro family for land that would be used for a future park. Passed unanimously by City Council 11/9/2009
We will regret our inaction, as will generations to come, if we do not have the courage to "Seize opportunities to add additional urban parks in the downtown area, especially around areas of residential growth. Where site size permits, consider adding facilities such as a basketball court or additional playgrounds." From Saint Paul’s Park and Recreation System Plan Overview , December 2010.
Donate online OR send a check to:
Friends of Pedro Park Expansion
66 9th Street East #1312
St. Paul, MN 55101
We are a registered non-profit with the State of MN (presently 317A not 501c3 for tax purposes).
Read more at our website: www.savepedropark.com
Here's a video from 2011 when the Pedros' Buildings were torn down. We must fulfill the promise!
Photo Credit of City Council Chambers: copyright 2017 Bob Conroy Communication Links
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