RNA Meeting Minutes – March 2017

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

Others present: Bob Keyes, Jennifer Falter, Robert & Colette Walden, Loyce Rushen, Allen & Jennie Manes, Gary Strunk, Jenny Sledge, Lisa Lewellen, Nancy Evans, David Payne (visitor), Fred Ellison (visitor), Carl Herd (visitor)

Call to Order – 7 p.m.

Review of Minutes – Nick Harper, Jeff Barber, approved.

Treasurer’s Report – Peggy Wise gave the report. We added two new households this month and one more is coming. The balance stands at $1898.79.

PAR Officer – Officer Schlup was on a stake out and not able to attend. Jeff Barber mentioned 1535 E. Grand where many cars are often parked in the yard.

Two residents said the area around the intersection of Catalpa and Kentwood has very high-speed traffic because so many people use Kentwood as an outer road of sorts for Glenstone. The large azalea on the southwest corner also prevents drivers on Catalpa from seeing northbound cars on Kentwood. Traffic calming ideas were discussed. Another resident said there’s speeding on Delaware lately. A house on Fairway was broken into during the daytime hours.

Discussion of dues (voting item) – Per discussion from the February meeting, a proposal has been made to keep requested RNA dues at the current level ($25 per household) but to allow for a hardship exception, to be heard and granted by the board on a case-by-case basis. A $10 individual/$25 family suggested rate was also discussed last month. Paid dues are tied to voting privileges.

Use of the funds was discussed: Donations to Rountree PTA, neighborhood cleanups, greenery at Pickwick & Cherry, etc. Are we shutting people out of the voting process by asking people to pay before they vote? Several agreed that we need to do a drive to remind people about the dues and the benefits of membership.

Jeff Barber motioned that current structure stands and add a $10 individual option, as well as an option for hardship exceptions. Mike Brothers seconded, and added that the issue be revisited again in the next six months to a year. The motion was approved.

Bylaws update – Tabled.

Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) update – Jeff Barber said the NAC recently had a lunch meeting with City Council. The group’s top 2017 recommendation is neighborhood planning. He said there is a now a great need for more capacity for the city to engage in this type of planning. It’s been 15 years since most neighborhood plans were updated and development pressures are increasing. The City has just hired one new planner specifically for neighborhoods. This City Council lunch discussion is posted on the City’s website.

NAC has also released a study document about the SPS bond issue on the April 4 ballot. Ultimately, the group did not take a “pro” or “con” position. The document has been posted to the Facebook page.

Neighborhood Cleanup update – Peggy inquired about having a shredder on site. That is something that is not provided by CPO. We could have shredding at a second event but that would mean not having a fall cleanup. We agreed that having two cleanups is best. May 6 is the next scheduled spring cleanup date and it will be much the same as in the past. Curbside pickup is available to dues paying members.

Zoning updates – The Planning & Zoning Commission approved a text amendment to the UCD for the Tie & Timber Brewing Co. microbrewery and tap room on Cherry in the former tanning salon. P&Z also approved the planned development for Boomer Town Lofts in the 800 block of S. National Ave. Both items now go to City Council on Monday, April 3. Jeff Bentley volunteered to read the PD and report back to the board. There is concern about the increased traffic in that block. We might need to show up the April 3 meeting to ask City Council to consider making changes to the PD. This might also be a good opportunity to once again point out that the UCD needs to be updated – we have R-HD and R-SF abutting each other within the same half-block along National.

Cherry Street development & UCD request update – Discussion taken up with next item below.

Re-cap March 8 discussion with Pickwick Place developer Kelly Byrne – Kelly approached the board in September with this initial idea and was surprised to find the RNA board was not very receptive to his ideas. He has revised the ideas and plans in the months since. The current proposal is a mixed-use development with three stories facing Cherry and four stories on the north side of the building and a parking lot along the existing alley. He posted his concepts and a survey on the Facebook page today. The developer met with the RNA board in early March in an effort to continue to get neighborhood input.

Laurel suggested we have a neighborhood meeting related to this development in particular. Jeff Bentley suggested we widen we discussion to a general vision for the Cherry corridor. This could even be considered some advance neighborhood planning work ahead of the UCD revision, when that occurs. Tentatively planned for Thursday, March 30.

Other Business – David Payne with A-Mega Homes spoke. He and his partner buy and rehab homes in and around Springfield. They are residents of the area. They generally buy and hold; they do not flip houses for the most part. He passed out their contact information.

Fred Ellison and Carl Herd from the Save R-12 Schools committee spoke about the proposed bond issue on the April 4 ballot. The group is concerned about the master plan that SPS has put forth. They are not opposed to spending money on schools and the school system. But they are concerned about inequity. Closure of a school is irreversible and can have devastating effects on a neighborhood. They are urging a NO vote on the issue. More info is at www.SaveR12Schools.org.

Adjournment – Meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

About Mike Brothers

Mike is a Pickwick Person; husband to Maureen and dad to Vivian and Dorothy. He has lived in the neighborhood since 2011 and has lived in Springfield for over 20 years. He the PR director for Drury University. He was previously a communications specialist with the City of Springfield and the Springfield-Greene County Health Dept, and before that a features writer and music columnist with the News-Leader.
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