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St. Paul eliminates minimum parking requirements for new real estate developments

Plus: dozens of Minnesota waterways at their lowest levels since 1988; former staffers accuse Minnesota GOP Chair Carnahan of running “morally bankrupt” office; a bison is on the loose in northwest Minnesota; and more.

photo of st paul sky line
St. Paul, Minnesota

Frederick Melo writes for the Pioneer Press: “Real estate developers looking to build new housing, retail or office buildings in St. Paul will no longer have to read the fine print of city zoning ordinances to determine how much off-street parking to provide. The answer is none. St. Paul on Wednesday became one of the first cities in the country to completely eliminate minimum off-street parking requirements as a zoning restriction. Many other cities have reduced or eliminated parking minimums in specific neighborhoods, such as their downtowns, or relaxed them for certain property types such as affordable housing, but few have gone quite as far as St. Paul in lifting them entirely. Buffalo, New York did so in 2017, followed by San Francisco in 2018, and Minneapolis, Sacramento and Berkeley, Calif. in 2021.”

Says Greg Stanley for the Star Tribune, “Entire channels of the Mississippi River are caked dry. Rocks, riverbeds and islands of the St. Croix and Minnesota rivers are visible for the first time in decades. Dozens of streams are at their lowest recorded levels since at least 1988, or even the Dust Bowl. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) put much of the state in a ‘restricted phase’ as the drought continues to get worse. That means water utilities and suppliers will need to cut down the total amount of water used to no more than 25% above what they used in January. Parts of Minnesota have even slipped into the most severe level — ‘exceptional drought’ — for the first time since the U.S. Drought Monitor began ranking droughts by four levels of intensity.”

An AP story says, “Four former top staffers from the Republican Party of Minnesota on Wednesday accused embattled Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan of running a ‘morally bankrupt’ operation that’s rife with verbal abuse, intimidation and sexual harassment. All four formerly served as executive director of the state party organization under Carnahan. They issued an open letter calling on Carnahan to resign or be removed when the state party’s Executive Committee meets Thursday night.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “Gunfire erupted Wednesday afternoon near a popular Minneapolis water park. Police say officers were dispatched to North Commons Park just before 2 p.m. after witnesses say a shootout occurred between a group of people in the park’s parking lot and another group on a nearby street. Community activist Lisa Clemons, founder and director of the group A Mother’s Love, wrote on Facebook that her children were at the park at the time of the shooting. She also says 18 shots were fired.”

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Rebecca Omastiak reports for KSTP-TV: “Many Minnesotans look forward to the changing colors of leaves as the fall season approaches. However, certain factors this year could affect the way fall color appears in the state. … Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Health Program Coordinator Val Cervenka said dry conditions throughout the state are ‘absolutely’ going to affect leaves’ seasonal color changes, though Cervenka said it’s difficult to predict exactly in what ways yet. Cervenka noted many trees are already dropping their leaves due to stress amid extended drought conditions. She added drought also tends to wash out leaf colors. Even if more rain moved through the state, Cervenka said it might not be enough to help trees recover to be able to produce full fall colors. It’s also difficult to predict when peak fall color will take place this year, given factors like drought conditions.”

At BringMeTheNews Melissa Turtinen writes, “A bison is roaming the White Earth area in northwestern Minnesota, and people are being asked not to approach it.  A post on the White Earth Nation Facebook page on Tuesday asks people not to ‘approach or interact with a roaming buffalo,’ which was reported in the area. If someone spots the bison, they’re asked to call their local law enforcement agency and report the location where they saw the animal. ‘They are doing their best to make sure the buffalo is returned safely to its home’, the post said.”

A CNBC story by Hugh Son says, “Wells Fargo is reversing an unpopular decision to shutter personal lines of credit for its customers. Last month, CNBC reported that the bank had informed customers that the revolving credit lines would be closed after a product review. In a six-page letter, the bank warned that the actions could impact users’ credit scores, a possibility that agitated some people.”

Michael Rand of the Star Tribune says, “Jack Morris, the former Twins great and ex-Twins broadcaster now working as a Tigers TV analyst, drew sharp rebukes Tuesday for describing an impending Shohei Ohtani at bat with what sounded to many like an Asian accent. A clip of the broadcast made the rounds on social media, and Morris issued an on-air apology later in the game. He was suspended indefinitely from Tigers broadcasts on Wednesday with the team saying, ‘We are deeply disappointed by the comments made by Jack Morris during the broadcast last night.’ Bally Sports, which broadcasts the Tigers games on television, said Morris will undergo bias training to learn how he can ‘be a positive influence in a diverse community.’”

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