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Ward 3, Councilmember Chris Tolbert
Contact
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Chris Tolbert, Councilmember  Email
Libby Kantner, Legislative Aide  Email
Pattie Kelley, Executive Assistant  Email

For general inquiries email: 

310-C City Hall
15 Kellogg Blvd., West
Saint Paul, MN  55102

Ph: (651) 266-8630  Fx: (651) 266-8574

We try to respond to all inquiries within one business day. If you have emailed us and haven't heard back in a couple of days, please call our office. We want to hear from you.

  • Click here to stay connected with Chris Tolbert by signing up for Ward 3 news.

About Ward 3
Ward map - Ward 3 highlighted
Ward 3: Historical and vibrant
Ward 3 covers the southwest corner of the city, extending from the West End to Fort Snelling.  The ward includes the neighborhoods of Highland Park and most of Macalester-Groveland. It is the home to Macalester College and the College of Saint Catherine. Our neighborhood has many local businesses, and restaurants throughout many of our great streets like: Grand Ave, Ford Parkway, West 7th Street, among others.

Stay Connected to the Neighborhood

Councilmember Tolbert's Ward 3 Newsletters:

March 2015

January 2015
September 2014
June 2014


District Councils:

Local Business Associations:

Highland Park Library


Volunteer Opportunities in Ward 3

Ford Site Planning


Ward 3 Residential Construction Standards Released for Public Hearing
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Last August I requested that the City’s Planning and Economic Development Department study the new, large homes being built in Highland Park and Mac-Groveland. While these homes fit the specifications spelled out in the City’s zoning code, many neighbors felt they were out of character with the surrounding homes and blocked crucial air and light access. City Planner Mike Richardson spent several months investigating these new homes and what exactly was causing the “out of character” feeling.

What Mike found was what neighbors had been speculating; the new homes are significantly larger than the current housing stock in the neighborhood. At the end of 2013 the average square footage of a single-family home in Macalester Groveland and Highland Park was 1,590 square feet. Homes built between 2005 and 2013 in the same area had an average square footage of 2,673 feet, an increase of 68%. This increase in square footage impacted things such as lot coverage, sidewall height, overall building height and side-yard setbacks. To reign in these large overbearing homes, Mike recommended eight changes to the Zoning Code, including a lower maximum height, a maximum lot coverage for all residential structures (homes and accessory buildings) and required sidewall articulation.

This February his findings and proposed zoning changes were brought to the Neighborhood Planning Committee of the Planning Commission.  Both the Neighborhood Planning Committee and the full Planning Commission had reservations about recommending changes to the zoning code just for Ward 3. On Friday, March 27th, the Planning Commission released the recommendations applied citywide for public review. A public hearing will be held on Friday, May 8th at 8:30AM in the basement (Room 40) of City Hall (15 Kellogg Blvd W.). Please come and weigh in on these recommendations. You can read more about Mike’s findings and the most updated recommendations here.

Helpful Documents:
-Current Zoning and Construction Ordinances
-Construction Management Agreement
-Resolution directing PED to study new homes




Right Track Applications Set New Record
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Interviewing an applicant at the 2015 Right Track Job Fair.

Saint Paul’s Right Track Program has once again flown past their previous records. This year the City’s youth jobs program received 2,193 applications, up from 1,725 in 2014. Through additional funding I secured from the Saint Paul Children’s Collaborative we’ve been able to expand and are looking forward to providing more Saint Paul students with their first professional experience. If you know a business or company that would be interested in learning more about partnering with Right Track, please contact Trenton Henspeter, the City of Saint Paul’s Right Track Manager.


2015 Construction Updates

Summer, aka the season of rerouted and backed up traffic, is right around the corner. This year we are fortunate to see a huge amount of infrastructure investment across the ward with portions of Saint Clair Avenue, Randolph Avenue and Ford Parkway being reconstructed. I am thrilled that so many streets are being improved, but realize it will cause many headaches and long wait times. Again, please call my office with concerns or suggestions. We are always open to ideas and input.

St. Clair Avenue

St. Clair from Snelling to Victoria was originally planned for a mill and overlay this year, however in talks with Saint Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS) the City found that there are lead services that need to be replaced. To maximize the work and minimize costs the City and SPRWS will be working together on a full reconstruction where those lead services are (about 1/3 of the project area), the rest of the project will remain a mill and overlay. We realize there will be significant traffic disruption with Randolph closed, but the City has planned it out so that the intersections of Lexington and Hamline are only closed for a couple of days. Also, to minimize disruption, the project won’t start until after Grand Old Day. As part of the Saint Paul Bike Plan that was passed last week an enhanced shared bike lane will be added on St. Clair from Hamline to Victoria. This will not require any parking removal or road expansion.

Randolph Avenue

Ramsey County will complete Phase One of the Randolph Avenue Reconstruction from Brimhall to Syndicate this summer. The project will be divided into 3-block areas to minimize road closures and disruption to neighbors and businesses. This reconstruction will repair water mains, sanitary and storm sewers, and update curbs and sidewalks. New, lantern-style lighting will also be installed along the avenue to improve pedestrian safety.

Ford Parkway

Ramsey County is also reconstructing Ford Parkway from Howell Street to Snelling Avenue this summer. Based on feedback from the community and input from the City of Saint Paul, a road layout including seven-foot parking lanes, six-foot bike lanes, twelve-foot driving lanes and an eight-foot planted median was created. This lane configuration will increase the road width one foot on each side. The majority of existing boulevard trees will remain.

A-Line Bus Rapid Transit

Metro Transit will spend this summer constructing the 20 planned stops for the new A-Line Bus Rapid Transit Line that runs down Snelling Avenue from Rosedale Mall to Ford Parkway and ends at the 46th Street Station which connects to the Blue Line. In the Village you may have noticed a few spots where new sidewalks were not constructed- that is where the A-Line stops will be. The City has worked closely with Metro Transit to match materials and designs to the new sidewalks. The rest of the remaining stops along Ford Parkway will be constructed in tandem with the County’s reconstruction project. For updates on construction, sign up for the A-LineNewsletter.


Special Event Road Closures
Visit http://stpaul.gov/eventclosures to open a spreadsheet of upcoming events across Saint Paul and road closures associated with those events.

Saint Paul, MN News
Video: Minnesota Children's Museum Expansion
The Minnesota Children's Museum in downtown Saint Paul is gearing up for an exciting expansion project. Learn more from the museum's Bob Ingrassia and hear how the city is helping from Council Member Chris Tolbert. WATCH THE VIDEO
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