Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

Resolution
2016-247

Resolution Approving Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement Between the Federal Transportation Administration and the Minnesota Historic Preservation Office, for Which the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board is Identified as a Consulting Party, Related to Adverse Impacts on Historic Resources Within the Grand Rounds Historic District and the Kenilworth Lagoon Caused by the Southwest Light Rail Transit Project

Information

Department:Strategic PlanningSponsors:
Category:Contract

Item Discussion

Whereas, The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is the steward of the Minneapolis park system;

 

Whereas, The Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) project is proposed by the Metropolitan Council to provide light rail transit between downtown Minneapolis and communities southwest of Minneapolis;

 

Whereas, The Metropolitan Council proposes an alignment for the SWLRT project that utilizes MPRB parklands identified by the Metropolitan Council as containing historic resources, including the Grand Rounds Historic District and the Kenilworth Lagoon;

 

Whereas, The Federal Transit Administration has identified adverse impacts of the SWLRT project on MPRB historic resources within the Grand Rounds Historic District and the Kenilworth Lagoon;

 

Whereas, The Metropolitan Council, in pursuing the proposed alignment for its SWLRT project, is obligated to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse impacts on historic resources;

 

Whereas, MPRB staff has been involved extensively with the process of identifying necessary and appropriate mitigation for the adverse impacts on historic resources within the Grand Rounds Historic District and the Kenilworth Lagoon caused by the SWLRT project;

 

Whereas, Measures that mitigate the identified adverse impacts on historic resources within the Grand Rounds Historic District and the Kenilworth Lagoon are documented in a Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement between the Federal Transportation Administration and the Minnesota Historic Preservation Office, an agreement that has been executed with additional signatories including the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation;

 

Whereas, The MPRB has been asked to sign the Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement as a Consulting Party;

 

Whereas, The MPRB, upon its execution of the Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement, will continue to be involved in defining key aspects of the Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement; and

 

Whereas, This resolution is supported by the MPRB 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan, which envisions “Dynamic parks that shape city character and meet diverse community needs;”

 

RESOLVED, That the Board of Commissioners approve the Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement between the Federal Transportation Administration and the Minnesota Historic Preservation Office, for which the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board is identified as a Consulting Party, related to adverse impacts on historic resources within the Grand Rounds Historic District and the Kenilworth Lagoon Caused by the Southwest Light Rail Transit project; and

 

RESOLVED, That the President of the Board and Secretary to the Board are authorized to take all necessary administrative actions to implement this resolution.

Body

BACKGROUND

 

This action considers a Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) related to the findings of adverse impacts on the Grand Rounds Historic District and the Kenilworth Lagoon, both of which are under the jurisdiction of the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB), as a result of the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) project (also referred to as the METRO Green Line Extension project). The MOA describes measures the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) has determined to be necessary and appropriate mitigation for the adverse impacts and commits the Metropolitan Council to implementing as mitigation measures in conjunction with the SWLRT project. For the MPRB, the MOA focuses on aspects of the design of bridges crossing the Kenilworth Lagoon, the restoration of WPA-era walls along portions of the Kenilworth Lagoon, and the preparation of a preservation plan for an area extending from Cedar Lake to Lake Calhoun and including Lake of the Isles Park.

 

The MOA is an agreement between the FTA and the Minnesota Historic Preservation Office (MnHPO). The Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation are invited signatories. For the MPRB, there is no formal approval process required and if the Board of Commissioners does not approve the MOA, the FTA would still require implementation of its directives as a result of the SWRLT project. Execution of the MOA by the MPRB is desired as a result of ownership of the adversely impacted resources and, as the mitigation framed by the MOA occurs on MPRB parkland, approval by the Board of Commissioners seems a logical step to ensure work is aligned as closely as practicable with MPRB policy.

 

Through the several iterations of review of the SWLRT project, including the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the SWLRT project, and based on 60 percent plans prepared for the SWLRT project, impacts on historic resources within MPRB parklands have been identified. The FTA characterizes several of those impacts as adverse relative to historic properties, thereby requiring the SWLRT project to take steps to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the adverse effects on those historic resources. The SWLRT project, according to the MOA, must be designed to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties in areas found to contain historic resources. For the MPRB, this includes an area designated as Grand Rounds Historic District: Chain of Lakes Segment, which focuses on an area along the SWLRT project alignment near Cedar Lake Parkway and the Kenilworth Lagoon.

 

The MOA specifies a Construction Protection Plan for areas containing historic resources. For the MPRB, Construction Protection Plan:

 

·         requires management and remediation of damage caused by vibration from construction operations to the retaining walls along the Kenilworth Lagoon beyond the SWLRT projects construction limits; and

·         limits periods of closure of the Grand Rounds Historic District: Kenilworth Lagoon especially related to times of peak park use and mandates that any closure be eliminated if there is no construction activity in excess of 14 days at any point during the SWLRT project.

 

The MOA recognizes specifically adverse impacts to the Kenilworth Lagoon and identifies the following mitigation measures:

 

Adverse impact identified in MOA

 

Mitigation required by MOA

·         Noise impacts to the Kenilworth Lagoon resulting from the operation of light rail vehicles over a bridge spanning the lagoon

 

Specifies the use of parapet walls at the LRT bridge and rail damping on the bridge and extending some distance either side of the bridge, with noise impacts mitigated to a level of no residual noise impact

·         Disruption of WPA-era retaining walls along the Kenilworth Lagoon within the SWLRT project’s construction limits

 

Requires the reconstruction or rehabilitation of walls in specified areas using stone from the walls in reconstructed work or reclaimed stone (from areas in or below the water) for rehabilitation work

·         General impacts on historic resources resulting from the project in the area of the Kenilworth Lagoon

 

Requires the preparation of a preservation plan for the Grand Rounds Historic District: Canal System which extends from the north end of Lake Calhoun to the east end of Cedar Lake and including Lake of the Isles Park in its entirety and the Kenilworth Lagoon, and the preparation of a treatment plan to guide preservation activities for key historic features; preparation of these plans must follow the MPRB’s community engagement ordinance and must seek approval of the MPRB’s Board of Commissioners (although such approval is not necessary to fulfill the mitigation requirement)

 

The MOA specifies continued consultation related to the SWLRT project’s impacts on historic resources and identifies the MPRB as a Consulting Party. An earlier Memorandum of Understanding between the MPRB and the Metropolitan Council also specified continued coordination related to the design of the bridges crossing the channel. As such, it is envisioned that MPRB staff will be extensively involved in activities related to the mitigation for the SWLRT project’s adverse impacts on historic resources. Funding for staff time will be covered by an existing separate agreement with the Metropolitan Council.

 

It is important for the Board of Commissioners to understand that the MOA is an agreement between parties other than the MPRB. The interest for the MPRB lies in the need for continued involvement to assure the identified historic resources are protected through mitigation measures in the best interests of the MPRB. To this point, staff has been extensively involved in framing mitigation measures, including:

 

·         defining a process for the design of bridges spanning the Kenilworth Lagoon and participating in design reviews to the point of concept development and approval by the Board of Commissioners; the MOU between the Metropolitan Council and the MPRB mandates continued involvement in design reviews through the final design of the bridges;

·         reviewing conditions related to the extant WPA-era walls along the Kenilworth Lagoon and plans for either rehabilitation or reconstruction of those walls;

·         establishing the need for alternatives to more expansive reconstruction of retaining walls along the Kenilworth Lagoon that would pose the potential for loss of vegetation or disruption to other environmental features; and

·         assisting in the definition of a process that would result in a plan for preserving historic resources along canal areas between Cedar Lake and Lake Calhoun and including Lake of the Isles Park.

 

             

RECOMMENDATION

 

Staff recommends that the Board of Commissioners approve the Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement between the Federal Transportation Administration and the Minnesota Historic Preservation Office, for which the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board is identified as a Consulting Party, related to adverse impacts on historic resources within the Grand Rounds Historic District and the Kenilworth Lagoon caused by the Southwest Light Rail Transit project.

 

This action is supported by the following vision and goal statements in the MPRB 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan:

 

Vision Theme 3:              Dynamic parks that shape city character and meet diverse community needs.

Goal:                                          Parks shape and evolving city.

Goal:              Park facility renewal and development that respects history and focuses on sustainability, accessibility, flexibility, and beauty.

Meeting History

Aug 3, 2016 5:20 PM  Administration & Finance Committee Committee Meeting
RESULT:ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Annie Young, Commissioner At Large
AYES:Scott Vreeland, Liz Wielinski, Jon Olson, Annie Young, John Erwin
ABSENT:Steffanie Musich
Aug 17, 2016 5:00 PM  Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Regular Meeting
RESULT:ADOPTED [7 TO 1]
MOVER:Scott Vreeland, Commissioner District 3
SECONDER:Liz Wielinski, Commissioner District 1
AYES:John Erwin, Brad Bourn, Steffanie Musich, Jon Olson, Scott Vreeland, Liz Wielinski, Annie Young
NAYS:Meg Forney
ABSTAIN:Anita Tabb