Board members present: Laurel Bryant, Jeff Bentley, Paden Chambers, Jim Lohmeyer, Mike Brothers, Peggy Wise, Jeff Barber, John Melton
Other present: SPD Officer Chris Laughlin, Curtis Marshall, Kevin and Nancy Williams from Delaware Neighborhood Association
Treasurer’s Report – Reimbursed John Melton for $185.98 for bulbs and mulch. Deposits from new or renewed memberships equaling $150. Current balance stands at $2,166.14.
PAR Officer Report – Front yard parking issues have been touched on. Still happening but multiple citations have been issued. Also noted 801 S. Weller now has ‘No Trespassing’ signs posted. Gives SPD greater leverage to address vagrants or squatters rather than just asking them to leave. House on Delaware with multiple cars is still an issue. Speeding on Cherry was noted and some additional presence for enforcement was requested there.
Neighborhood cleanup – Rountree is not on the list to have a cleanup at all this year (neither spring nor fall). Neighborhood Advisory Council has recommended that more funding be allocated by the city to pay for cleanups. Phelps Grove is raising money to hold their own. Cost is about $1,700 plus tipping fees for each dumpster. Should we consider doing the same? Can we partner with Phelps Grove and Delaware to hold a combined event? Kevin and Nancy from Delaware said it was worth exploring. Peggy will contact Eric Pauly with the Phelps Grove neighborhood board.
Utilities project update – Going as planned. Some replanting of landscaping will occur in the spring. Project is now about to turn north up Fremont. Homeowners are always welcome to contact Tyler Wayt with City Utilities at 831-8761 or Casey Agne with CU at 633-0261. Landscaping at one residence at Pickwick and Madison was saved to some extent by the contractor, who dug up, bagged and set aside the plants. Will replant after project is complete when spring weather is right. Nancy Evans is our RNA liaison with this project.
801 S. Weller house – Dangerous building. Now past the point of appeal. It will be torn down by the city. City will notify owner of intent to abate. Jeff Barber, who has been following the issue, believes it could be torn down in the next 30 days or so.
SPS master plan discussion – School board is taking another look at its facilities master plan following the failure of the school bond issue last year. Overall, the new direction appears to be more mindful of preserving the neighborhood schools. For example, Delaware Elementary is no longer being consider for closure. There is likely to be some redistricting going forward, and there is discussion of expanding Rountree via renovation, to 300 students. Current enrollment is 234. (Link to Feb. 8 News-Leader coverage.) Peggy has been attending the Delaware neighborhood meetings and said she was struck by the fact that the Delaware Elementary principal was in attendance and there was great communication between the school and the neighbors. Could we re-engage our school? Laurel said she will reach out to the principal and school staff at Rountree to do so.
Neighborhood Plan steering committee update – Administrative delay expires March 23 after nine months on the books. Consultant is just now gearing up, however. Jeff Bentley expects it will take another six to eight months before the consultant has any results to speak of. The steering committee continues to work diligently. Hopes for new and innovative zoning ideas are not as high as they were at the beginning of the process, but the group is pressing for positive change. Jeff Barber emphasized that traffic concerns must be included as part of the neighborhood plan. Paden noted that it’s a little disconcerting not to have any draft language from the city for a plan yet. Seems the momentum is slowing. Once the delay expires, we will be back to dealing with every project one-by-one rather than having a holistic concept solution, which was the rationale for requesting the delay from City Council. Should we ask Council for an extension? Jim noted that there should be another steering committee meeting soon, with the consultant. No date has been set at this time, however. Laurel will email the steering committee and city staff to address next steps. We would also like to see the results of the recent neighborhood survey conducted by the city.
Laurel has spoken with the site foreman at the Boomertown Lofts project about trucks traveling through the neighborhood. Trusses are being delivered at this time. The trucks making these deliveries cannot make some turns out onto National because of the median, so they can only go through the neighborhood. It’s a turning radius issue. RNA has requested the deliveries not happen during the times just before or just after school sessions. The truss deliveries should be finished by Friday, March 2.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.