RNA Board meeting agenda – Jan. 16, 2018

Rountree Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Agenda

University Heights Baptist Church

7 p.m., Jan. 16, 2018

ADDITIONAL NOTE: The Jan. 16 meeting has been postponed one week to Jan. 23 due to weather. 

NOTE: This is a quarterly general meeting with voting items on the agenda. As a reminder, neighbors who are current on dues are able to vote. Annual membership dues are $10 per individual, or $25 per family/household, and $45 per business. Dues are aligned to the calendar year and so it’s time to renew!

Call to Order

Treasurer’s report

PAR officer report

VOTE: Board members/officers for 2018

Proposed slate: Laurel Bryant, chair; Jim Lohmeyer, vice chair; Jeff Barber, former chair; Peggy Wise, treasurer; Mike Brothers, secretary; Nancy Evans, Neighborhood Advisory Council Liaison; John Melton, neighborhood watchman; and members at large Jeff Bentley, Paden Chambers, Nancy Dornan.

Southern Missouri Judicial Security Services

Neighborhood Plan process update

CU project update

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RNA Board Meeting Minutes – December 2017

Board members present: Jim Lohmeyer, Jeff Bentley, Peggy Wise, John Melton, Sue Ekstam, Mike Brothers, Jeff Barber.

Others present: Officer Zach Schlup, Nancy Evans, Paden Chambers, Kevin and Nancy Williams from the Delaware Neighborhood Association board.

Approval of November Minutes – Jeff Bentley motioned to approve, Peggy Wise seconded. The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s report – Three new household memberships joined, and we received a $20 donation, for a total increase of $80. Balance now stands at $2022.12.

PAR officer report – Officer Schlup gave an update. Package theft is happening all over the city. Good idea to have it delivered to your office or workplace if possible. Vehicle theft is also happening quite a bit right now. Large trucks such as a Ford F250 seem to be especially easy to get into and steal. This is Officer Schlup’s last meeting. Officer Laughlin will be the new PAR officer after Jan. 1.

Board members/officers for 2018 – Sue Ekstam provided an update from the nominating committee. The proposed slate would be: Laurel Bryant, chair; Jim Lohmeyer, vice chair; Jeff Barber, former chair; Peggy Wise, treasurer; Mike Brothers, secretary; Nancy Evans, Neighborhood Advisory Council Liaison; John Melton, neighborhood watchman; and members at large Jeff Bentley, Paden Chambers, Nancy Dornan.

Voting members will be asked to approve at the general meeting. We will open it up to other nominations from the neighborhood on Facebook. However, we believe that since much of the work of 2017 is carrying over to 2018 it would benefit the neighborhood to have a great deal of continuity on the board.

Neighborhood Plan review update – Jeff Bentley provided an update from the steering committee. There was a public meeting on Dec. 6 for all the property and business owners on Cherry Street. It went very well, with very good dialog among all concerned. There was another steering committee meeting last week. Jeff said the process still appears to be somewhat murky. It’s been a good and productive process and if nothing else we have raised issues in a very public manner, regardless of the eventual outcome in 2018. We need to continue to finish the process and get some revisions to the UCD. The city is still negotiating with their top-choice consultant but no one has been selected yet. The large parcel at Kickapoo and Cherry has been listed for sale for $1.3 million, much more than any recent sale on Cherry Street. Jim and Jeff Barber had a conversation with the owners last summer in order to give them some insight into the RNA’s current thinking about our vision for future development in the neighborhood. They showed the property owner several examples of quality, successful, low-density neighborhood projects from elsewhere in the country.

CU pipeline upgrade project update – Phase 1 will begin Jan. 8. There will be minimal service outages. Neighbors should be prepared for tree removals all along the south side of Madison between Delaware and Fremont. Fewer trees on Fremont will need to be taken out. Neighborwoods (City program) is working more closely with CU to replace trees, however, there aren’t many options on Madison because of the size of the street and new sidewalk. Nancy is in contact with neighbors in the area.

New Business

City Survey – It’s now live. Postcards are being mailed out at this time. The comments will be used to write the final version of the neighborhood plan, which will in turn inform revisions to the UCD. Those who want paper versions can get one. January 15 is the deadline. City will share the results when it’s done.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

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RNA Meeting Minutes – November 2017

Board members present: Laurel Bryant, Jeff Bentley, Sue Ekstam, Mike Brothers, John Melton, Jim Lohmeyer, Nancy Brown, Peggy Wise, Jeff Barber.

Others present: Ruth and Robert and Briggs, Nancy Evans, Chuck and Pat Johnson, Ginger Cook, Robert Keys, Officers Schlup and McIntyre, Brandan Braun and Tyler Wayt from City Utilities.

Approval of October Minutes – Mike Brothers motioned to approve; Sue Ekstam seconded.  The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s report – No expenses but have some deposits. More membership checks expected to come in. Now at $2,064.12.

PAR officer report – 801 S. Weller has had some complaints. It is vacant right now and Officer Schlup said they will at getting the city to board it up more securely. Vacant homes do attract homeless individuals and squatters as well as criminals. There is another house at the corner of Delaware and Cherry with many, many vehicles parked outside. City has notified them and they have about a week to get the issue remedied. Package thefts are an issue at this time of year. Laurel noted that she has been contacted by a security company about hiring for patrols. We have had this conversation before but it’s expensive, and there are liability issues if an altercation might occur. Would more lighting help? Jeff Barber explained that it might be hard to put in some due to mature trees, and the fact that some property owners simply like the darkness.

Steve Proffit of The Potter’s House – Steve was not present. Laurel said he had contacted her about holding an event in the future.

CU pipeline upgrade project questions/updates – Tyler said they could break ground as early as next week to facilitate work by the contractor. CU will be doing this work and then the contractor would take it from there. Would be at Madison and Kentwood, and this would be close for about two weeks. Another location is on north Delaware just south of Cherry under the railroad tracks in a green space, not in the roadway. This work will take about two weeks; the contractor will take over in late December. Conklin Excavating has the project. CU reps say they have a good reputation for being both diligent and quick, and responsive to CU inspectors as well. CU will try to replace things as they were, and try to respect the property. It was noted that gas lines are fairly shallow (current standards are 18 inches below the surface) and so there will be some small equipment and even a fair amount of hand digging with shovels done when replacing these lines. We will be getting more fire hydrants. Current standards are every 500 feet. Nancy has done a walk-through with the CU reps and will be trying to contact neighbors individually as well. Total trees lost will be about 15; but they will be saving a few dozen by going under sidewalks and taking the route they did on Madison. Other routes would take out even more trees.

Cherry Street update – A different ownership group is now under contract for the Spanish Mission structure and five adjacent homes. The new owners are the family that owns Hogan Land Title Company. (The previous potential buyer was Say U Can, which had proposed the Pickwick District development.) They would like to meet with RNA. Jeff Bentley wants to make sure we are focusing on the steering committee and plan review update process and not appearing to be striking deals or agreements with individual developers. Jeff Barber and Laurel believe it’s good to simply have open lines of communication. The intent would be to meet and let the new owners know where the neighborhood plan review update process stands right now and direct them to the end of the delay in March 2018.

Neighborhood Plan review update – The City is still negotiating with a consultant to help with this, but Jeff Bentley said he thinks one will probably not be able to be hired. Therefore it will probably continue to be handled entirely by city staff and the steering committee. In the meantime, we are pushing ahead quickly with the same timeline in hopes of finishing the work before the delay expires on March 23.

There will be a city-led meeting at 7 p.m., Dec. 6 at Rountree Elementary School, for homeowners and business owners along the Cherry Street corridor, including the Cherry and Pickwick node. The meeting will members include members of the steering committee and is open to anyone. The neighborhood plan update is the main deliverable. Zoning changes would draft off of that and would come later. Still, this is a huge opportunity for us as a neighborhood to have a great deal of input on a template for potential new zoning definitions that don’t currently exist in Springfield.

New Business

Board officer nominations – We need to gather a nomination committee to pull together a slate of officer candidates. Sue, Peggy and Mike will do this.

City Council – Laurel thanked three board members for attending City Council to speak in support of the rental registration bill pending.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

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RNA Meeting Minutes – October 2017

Board Members present: Laurel Bryant, Mike Brothers, Peggy Wise, John Melton, Jeff Barber, Jeff Bentley, Jim Lomeyer, Sue Ekstam.

Others present: Bruce Earnhart (candidate for Missouri 135th, Tyler Wyat and T.J. Whatley from City Utilities, Dawn Poindexter and Patti Penny from UHBC, Paden Chambers, Nancy Evans, and Megan Morris.

Approval of August minutes – Minutes were approved.

Treasure’s report – Peggy Wise reported 17 individual and/or household memberships were added this past month due in part to the cleanup. We had reimbursements for Light Up the Night flashlights and an expense for pizza for the MSU students who volunteered. We received $71 in straight donations during the cleanup. Peggy motioned that we use that money for seven new memberships for people who might otherwise not be able to afford membership. Laurel seconded. It was noted that this would be a good way to get some people involve who might otherwise not be able to do so. We will seek out these potential new members through word of mouth.

Fall Cleanup – We hauled nearly as much junk as in the spring, which was just five months ago. We would have been sunk without the help of the 15 or so MSU students. We will seek their help again in the future. Partnering with Delaware was a big success.

PAR Officer update – Officer Schlup gave an update. Not much new to report. Neighbors noted a vehicle that is driving aggressively at high speed through the neighborhood, including the school zone. We gave a photo of the vehicle and the plates to Officer Schlup. He will talk to the person who owns the car but there is not much they can do without seeing them actually driving the vehicle. Petty crime continues. There is a rash of bar burglaries going on right now. Sue asked if home video cameras helps. Schulp said it absolutely does help in identifying suspects if you can get a clear shot of them. Jeff Bentley noted that at Greene County sales tax is on the ballot Nov. 7 and it would help fund additional jail space and law enforcement support.

Utilities upgrade – T.J Whatley and Tyler Wayt from City Utilities gave an overview of some major utility upgrades happening across the neighborhood. They are updating water and natural gas lines. T.J. said for an example, they recently took out and replaced a water line near Cherry and Kimbrough that was put in place in 1892. The line along Delaware from Cherry to Grand has had 15 historic leaks in recent years. Natural gas lines are also being replaced. CU requires contractors to notify residents 24 hours in advance of any work that will take homes out of commission. If they are replacing a driveway approach, there is a 48 hour required notice. Most will be out for about a few hours. This is a very large “significant” project. It’s about two miles of pipe overall. Will be done in five phases. In old neighborhoods, there is not a lot of space to put new pipes. Ideally, it’s placed under greenspace. They generally stay out of the roadway due to cost and convenience. Next option is generally the sidewalk. Wherever there is a four-foot wide sidewalk, a five foot sidewalk will be put in; ramps will be made ADA compliant. If greenspace and sidewalk aren’t an option, then sometimes trees will have to be taken out. Sometimes they can be bored under the tree, but this is not ideal because of roots and because the lines are difficult to reach and service if needed. A few trees will be bored under during this project. Larger, older trees are more often bored under but younger trees are not often taken out. These are mostly new lines so that people will not have to be out of service for a long time and because many existing lines are under roadways, which is not ideal. Most of the area where trees will be taken out are where 16 inch lines are going along Madison between Kentwood and Fremont. Most are between Weller and Pickwick on the south side. Why not go down the road? There is a sewer line right down the middle of Madison and MDNR says water lines have to be a minimum of 10 feet from sewer lines. All trees are in the ROW and are city owned not private owned. But they will make an effort to contact nearby homeowners. They will be replacing all gas lines up to the meter. The water lines will be replaced up to the connecting line to the house.

This is about a $2 million project. The project bids on Nov. 2 and they can start 45 days after award. Contractor would likely start in January and have six months to complete this. A similar project was done on Elm between National and Kimbrough, which was torn up all summer long and pretty disruptive. However, if you drive that stretch today, the streetscape is very clean and put back together.

Bruce Earnhart, candidate for Missouri House District 135 – Mr. Earnhart spoke to the group. He complimented RNA on the organization and sense of community present in the board meeting. He spoke about the importance of the upcoming statewide vote to repeal Right To Work legislation. He also supports a higher minimum wage. He was a supporter of the Bernie Sanders campaign last year, which he says was the first time he had ever donated to a political campaign. He is running as an independent and says he would caucus with the Democrats. Contact: earnhartfor135th@gmail.com.

Neighborhood Plan steering committee update – Jeff Bentley gave an update. He said it’s still pretty slow going. The bid for the consultant is out, and five very excellent proposals were submitted. All five “really get it” according to Jeff and have good track records. But all five came in too high. City will attempt to negotiate the price down. There is a chance we may not be able to hire one. Jeff said some issues like buried utilities and changing the streetscape to a much more urban, walkable scale might not be within the scope of this project. Jeff said an adjustment to the zoning code would be the ideal outcome but it’s still not clear that this would truly be an option. Laurel suggested we write a letter of support for the “workable plan” for blight determination and tax abatements.

Cherry Street update – Jeff said Roza has completed razing two buildings on Cherry. They are using the rear alley entirely for truck access.

Halloween update –Rountree Special Events LLC has been granted the permit for the parade, and law enforcement and EMS have been secured. They anticipate having about 1,000 people once again. This event is separate and distinct from RNA activities. UHCB will provide parking for the Rountree Halloween parade. Entrance will be from Grand only, starting at about 4:30. UHBC is collecting cash donations and food donations for parking.

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RNA Board meeting agenda – Dec. 19, 2017

Rountree Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Agenda

University Heights Baptist Church

7 p.m., Dec. 19, 2017

Call to Order

Approval of November Minutes

Treasurer’s report

PAR officer report

Board members/officers for 2018

Neighborhood Plan review update

CU pipeline upgrade project update

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RNA board meeting agenda – Nov. 21, 2017

Rountree Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Agenda

University Heights Baptist Church

7 p.m., Nov. 21, 2017

Call to Order

Approval of October Minutes

Treasurer’s report

PAR officer report

Steve Proffitt of The Potter’s House

CU pipeline upgrade project questions/updates

Cherry Street update

Neighborhood Plan review update

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Major CU project to replace water, gas lines starts soon

Rountree residents need to prepare for some disruption of utility service and traffic, as well as the loss of some mature trees, as part of a major upgrade to gas and water lines in the area.

City Utilities is preparing to update natural gas and water lines that are up to a century old in some places as part of a major, $2 million project to upgrade a total of about two miles of pipes. CU representatives gave an overview of the project at last month’s RNA meeting. The project will likely start in mid-December and will take about six months to complete by an outside contractor, not CU itself. The prep work (marking, etc.) could start as early as this coming week. It will be done in five phases, and only two phases will be active at any one time. Much of the work will take place along Delaware from Cherry to Grand, and along Madison from Kentwood to Fremont, however, these are not the only areas that will be affected. Here is a breakdown of the phases from CU:

PHASE 1 – Slated to begin mid-December. Work will be done on Madison (on south side) from Kentwood to Fremont; and on Fremont, from Madison to Monroe. Details about trees along the south side of Madison:

  • Delaware, west to alley – No tree removal. Will most likely be cut back, however.
  • Alley to SE corner of Madison and Weller – All trees removed.
  • Weller, west to alley – All trees removed.
  • Alley to Pickwick – All trees removed.
  • Pickwick, west to alley – Landscaping remains. Second tree west of Pickwick remains, all others removed.
  • Alley to Fremont – All trees removed.
  • Also, on the east side of Fremont from Madison north to Monroe – All trees removed.

PHASE 2 – Madison to Cherry on Delaware, with Monroe and Monroe Terrace.

PHASE 3 ­– Madison to Grand, on Delaware.

PHASE 4 – Grand to Catalpa on Delaware as well as Catalpa, Weller to Kentwood.

PHASE 5 – Madison to Grand on Fremont.

CU requires contractors to notify residents 24 hours in advance of any work that will take home utilities out of commission. Most will be out for about a few hours at most. If they are replacing a driveway approach, there is a 48-hour required notice. They will be replacing all gas lines up to the meter. The water lines will be replaced up to the connecting line to the house.

When it comes to replacing pipes in older neighborhoods, there’s not a lot of space to place the new pipes, CU says. Ideally, it’s placed under greenspace. They generally stay out of the roadway due to the added cost and disruption of traffic. The next best option is generally the sidewalk. (Wherever there is a four-foot wide sidewalk torn up, a five-foot sidewalk will be put in; and ramps will be made ADA compliant.) If open greenspace and sidewalk aren’t an option, then at times trees have to be taken out. Sometimes the trees can be bored under the tree, but this is not ideal because of roots and because the lines are difficult to reach and service in the future if needed. A few trees will be bored under during this project. But several mature trees will be taken out are where 16-inch lines are going in along Madison, mostly between Weller and Pickwick on the south side. All trees are in the public right-of-way and are city owned, not privately owned. But CU will make an effort to contact nearby homeowners. Notices about this could start to go out any time.

In addition to cost and traffic flow, CU says there is another reason why lines cannot be laid under the roadway on Madison: there is a sewer line right down the middle of Madison and Missouri Department of Natural Resources requires water lines to be a minimum of 10 feet away from sewer lines.

It’s tough to lose to trees, but there’s an upcoming chance for new plantings coming up next year. At RNA’s September meeting, we heard from Troy Powell, who runs the City’s Neighborwoods Program. This program plants trees in the right-of-way at no cost to homeowners. Each tree must be permitted by the homeowner, however, who then signs a contract committing to water the tree for three years.

Rountree participated in this program in the past and planted about 90 trees in the neighborhood. Now the City wants to engage Rountree once again. Planting would happen starting next fall, from October through April. Neighborwoods will be looking for homeowners who want to participate next year and ideally the contracts would be firmed up by about June 1.

RNA volunteer Nancy Evans offered to be a liaison for Neighborwoods, and to work with CU on communicating their plans to the neighborhood. Nancy will be playing a crucial role, as these two issues have an obvious and critical intersection.

Nancy and the RNA board are committed to helping communicate what, when, and where the work will occur on the CU project in coming months. CU reps T.J Whatley and Tyler Wayt have said they will return to the RNA meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21 to answer questions about the project, and they will be available via phone and email as well. Stay tuned to this site and our Facebook page for more information as it becomes available.

Neighbors can contact Nancy Evans with questions via email at: n.c.evans2014@gmail.com. You can also download a brochure from CU with FAQs about the process here: Gas water 4-panel.

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RNA Meeting Minutes – September 2017

Board members present: Laurel Bryant, Mike Brothers, Jeff Bentley, Jeff Barber, Sue Ekstam, Peggy Wise, John Melton, Nancy Dornan.

Others present: Nancy Evans, Patti Penny, John and Marty Holder, Barbra Heying, Troy Powell, Joe Payne.

Approval of minutes – Jeff Bentley motioned to approve; John Melton seconded. The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report – There were two household member additions and one business member addition. We have a pending reimbursement for $43.03 for the lights using during the Light Up the Night event. The account currently stands at $1,856.85.

Safety and crime update – Officer Schlup was present. Some issues were discussed such as robbery of a liquor store, car windows shot out with a pellet gun, and a possible rental house with drug issues. Barbara Heying noted that at 1315 E. Elm, there is now a TKE frat house. This is the same group that had an unofficial house on National and caused problems for neighbors for years. The property is owned by Roza Homes, which renovated the place not long ago. Barbara has contacted City Council and Roza. Board members and neighbors suggested some additional ways to bring this to the City’s attention. John Melton said he would write a letter to Roza from the RNA board. Some college parties have also been happening in the back yard of a house in the 1300 block of Cherry.

NeighborWoods update – Troy Powell discussed the details and merits of the City’s NeighborWoods program. Trees are planted in the right-of-way and follow various rule for distance, etc. We did this program in the past and planted about 90 trees in Rountree. Troy is seeking a liaison to the neighborhood community. Nancy Evans volunteered to be the liaison. Each tree must be permitted by homeowners. We would begin participating next year, starting about one year from now. Planting happens from October through April. Neighbors sign a contract committing to water the tree for three years. Ideally contracts would be in hand by about June 1. This is a good time to re-engage with NeighborWoods. The 2007 ice storm and long drought in 2011 and 2012 were hard on our urban forest.

UHBC festival update – Patti Penny spoke about the upcoming fall festival event. Fliers are being mailed out this week. RNA and UHBC volunteers walked the neighborhood recently to hand out fliers as well. Patti is seeking a stage manager to keep tabs on the entertainment.

UCD steering committee update – Jeff Bentley led the discussion. The most recent meeting was the previous night. The conversation is moving in a more detailed direction, but some feel there is still not a clear roadmap in place. Density, height restrictions, burying utilities and more are being discussed. City staff has informed the steering committee that the committee is not writing the plan, only giving input, and the staff will write the plan. The city is hiring a consultant as well. The deadline for applications from consultants is Sept. 20 and that work should begin in October. Jeff Bentley and Jeff Barber both agreed the consultant process has the potential to truly affect change in form of new zoning districts or ideas that could be placed in City Code. Incorporating Elm Street into the UCD is also a possibility. Elm Street is currently in something of a donut hole between the Rountree boundaries and Historic Walnut Street. Steering committee will update City Council at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Laurel emphasized that the bottom line is we are trying to make changes and we don’t know how it will turn out, especially since we are the first neighborhood association to go through this process in many years.

Cherry Street update – Jeff Bentley said Roza Homes is moving ahead per their plan to put in new apartments in the 1300 block. Laurel noted that as a historic preservationist she does not want to see the green gables house demolished. This home is slated to be torn down for the upcoming Roza project if no one wants to buy it and move it. Roza has agreed to let someone have the house if they will pay to move it. It will cost $12,500 to move the house within a six-block radius. There is a lot with a garage available for about $24,000 on Fairway. Jeff added that Roza is also updating another house they own a few doors east. They are rehabbing the existing home and then adding a handful of apartments on the back, similar to what they did on Walnut Street. This is a generally well-received move because the apartments are lower profile and fir the existing area.

Fall cleanup – Will be held on Saturday Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. to noon at UHBC parking lot, in conjunction with Delaware neighborhood. Board members will volunteer. Leaves, brush, solids and bulk waste will be taken, like usual. No tires, hazardous waste, TVs, or shredding. This is a “bonus” cleanup. City funding for next year looks questionable at this point.

Halloween – Laurel gave an update on the parade, which is a separate and distinct effort from RNA activities. The parade begins at 5:30 p.m. at Weller and Delmar on Halloween evening. Neighbors can help by picking up any trash afterward and encouraging others to do so.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

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RNA board meeting agenda – Oct. 17, 2017

Rountree Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Agenda

University Heights Baptist Church

7 p.m., Oct. 17, 2017

Call to order

Approval of August minutes

Treasure’s report – Peggy Wise

PAR Officer update – Officer Schlup

Delaware utilities upgrade – Tyler Wyatt from CU

Bruce Earnhardt, candidate for Missouri House District 135

Neighborhood Plan steering committee update

Halloween

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RNA Meeting Minutes – August 2017

Board members present: Laurel Bryant, Mike Brothers, Jim Lohmeyer, Jeff Bentley, Jeff Barber, Sue Estes, Peggy Wise, John Melton, Nick Harper.

Others present: Ed Fillmer, Nancy Evans, Patti Penny.

Approval of minutes – Minutes from both June and July were presented. Jeff Bentley motioned to approve the June minutes, Peggy seconded. The minutes were approved. Jeff Bentley motioned to approve the July minutes, Jim seconded. The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report – There was a $500 expense for a sponsorship for Owlapalooza this month. There were two deposits for memberships totaling $40. The account stands at $1,761.85.

Safety and crime update – Petty crime and theft remains a problem across Springfield. Officer Schulp and Lt. McIntyre said the city crime reports show that nearly all categories have basically doubled, except for major crimes such as homicide. Laurel noted that a neighborhood watch has begun. Please continue to lock doors and cars, close garage doors, and do not leave items in cars.

UHBC update – Patti Penny gave an update on the Sunday, Oct. 1 event. It will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. in the University Heights Baptist Church parking lot. There will be a stage with a sound system for music and entertainment. Parking is available in the credit union lot as well as part of the UHBC lot. Bikes and walking are encouraged. The following Sunday is the rain date.

Fall cleanup date – We are now looking at Saturday, Oct. 7 as the date for the fall cleanup event. This will be a joint event with Delaware Neighborhood Association. All About Trees will be present this time for tree and brush waste. Same rules will apply as in past events. Peggy said the funding is looking short for next year at this time. CPO and the City want to continue to provide this service for all neighborhoods and does not want to cut any particular events, so they are looking to cut costs across the board instead.

Changes to bylaws – Discussion was tabled until next meeting. Board members will discuss changes online and then post final drafts for the neighborhood to review ahead of the next quarterly general meeting in October. The full neighborhood membership will need to vote on changes.

Steering committee update – Laurel and Jim updated the board on the progress of the Neighborhood Plan steering committee. The committee heard from employees from CU about tree trimming and from Public Works about traffic. Citywide planning and neighborhood culture were also discussed at the meeting. Jeff Bentley said the steering committee has so far focused mainly on City education and outreach, whereas many members of the group had hoped it would be a body that has a more direct effect on policies and regulations. Additionally, the city would like to move forward on hiring a consultant that will study the edges and border corridors of the UCD. This is potentially a good thing because the study will focus on development issues. However, a consultant would not be able to start until December and the administrative delay ends in March. This could create a gap where the delay would end before any new rules are in place.

Cherry Street update – Roza Homes has a request before City Council for a blight designation for properties in the 1300 block of E. Cherry. The RNA wrote a letter that questioned the use of tax abatements for this project, although it did not oppose the project itself. This letter will be posted on the RountreeNews.org website and let neighbors know they can contact Council themselves. A discussion of tax abatements ensued. Shouldn’t there be trade-offs for abatements in terms of things neighbors want? Abatements can be a good thing if used as a chip to get better developments. This doesn’t always seem to be occurring. Furthermore, it’s not a “chip” if City Council easily grants every such request.

A letter was also written to Kelly Byrne of Say U Can formally denying his request for RNA approval of an exception to the administrative delay for his Pickwick District project. In the letter, RNA committed to continuation of dialog. Board members agreed face-to-face meetings are a good idea, but the premise should not be one of negotiation on exceptions to the delay, but rather, a clear conversation about what neighbors truly want – namely, lower density. Jeff Bentley noted that planned developments were written for East Cherry Flats and the upcoming Boomertown Lofts projects, and the density was ratcheted UP not down in both cases.

Jeff Barber mentioned the request by Domino’s Pizza for an exception to the delay. As discussed last month, they are expanding their property for more for sit-down dining and knocking down two building immediately east of the restaurant. One of those is partially in the UCD and therefore subject to the delay. Most board members felt this was a reasonable request; some felt no exceptions should be granted so as not to set a precedent.

Mike motioned that the board approve an exception to the delay for Domino’s to expand its building via a formal letter to the director of planning. Jim Lohmeyer seconded. Jeff Bentley and Sue opposed; all others approved. The motion passed.

Other business – Laurel noted that she is having back surgery in late August and will be unable to fulfill some presidential duties. Jim, as VP, will run the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

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