Project Oversite Committee Meeting #4

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PROJECT: 5TH AVENUE NORTH CORRIDOR FEASIBILITY STUDY/20055
MEETING DATE: Thursday, September 17, 2020
TIME: 10 -11:00 a.m.
LOCATION: via Zoom

  1. Introductions
    a. Check-in
  2. Update/Discussion on Recent Work
    a. Review of Recent Stakeholder Outreach
    Summary of Meeting with David Ward, Boyer Group (Dept of Interior Building). Review discussion with David regarding the project. They have been disappointed in the lack of investment in the EBURD. They invested there based on EBURD plan and hoped other properties would redevelop. They are supportive of the project and additional investment in the area.
    b. Montana Rail Link
    Met with Ross Lane, Joe Gentri and Nick Bailey from MRL. They confirmed that BNSF is underlying owner, so both entities would need to approve any proposals for use of the r/w area. They said they would be open to discussion, but they are generally averse to adding pedestrians to rail corridors.
    Before they can provide us a response, they would need to review 30% plans, and would need to approve and get to 90% before taking it to BNSF.
    They are obligated by law to serve rail customers, so cannot not stop service.
    Zach noted that a new owner in the BIRD will be a new rail service customer within the next year.
    c. Update on Virtual Open House
    Just starting to get feedback.
    James mentioned that they will eblast in the monthly newsletter next week and send out separate email.
    North Park task force indicated that they will send it out.
    d. Review of Preliminary Project Vision
    Zack – commented that a road diet on 13th more bike and ped friendly (Dowl is working on this)
    Elyse – what about connecting to Swords trail? – likely to be done via 6th to 13th, or via Main to 3rd. Maybe both
    Zack – hasn’t heard any negative about this. If the rail is staying intact, then there’s general support for the project.
    He has been focused on the North Park neighborhood and how to improve connection. This would increase a Live-work connection between North Park and the EBURD, so the 20th Street connection would be important in that effort.
    e. Review of Feasibility Study document outline
    As part of the document, it will include what criteria were used in discussing feasibility. General discussion included the following items as important:
    Railroad agreement and support
    Property owners agreement and support
    Right-of-way availability
    Significant public opposition
    Extraordinary costs
    Phasing
    In identifying populations, include west of Division and Downtown residential and key residential constituencies.
  3. Next Steps
    The next steps in the project were reviewed
    a. Stakeholder/Owner outreach along spur connection to MT Avenue
    b. Further develop corridor vision
    c. Land Use/Re-development analysis
    d. Begin writing plan document
  4. Next POC Meeting
    a. Project Oversight Committee Meeting – Thursday, October 15, 10:00 a.m
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