RNA Meeting Minutes – May 2017

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

Others president: Jimmy & Angela Brooks, Jeremy Snow, Anissa Barber,

Call to Order

Review minutes – Jeff Bentley motioned to approve, John Melton seconded. The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s report – We have taken in $253 during cleanup — $33 in donations, and $220 in memberships. Ten new individuals memberships were taken at tonight’s meeting with the city just prior to the board meeting. Total stands at $2,412.44.

Board liability insurance policy – Laurel has explored the possibility of getting insurance for the RNA board. Ola Brink has been Laurel’s contact. It’s in the $300 range, which is not very much because we don’t have land or a pool, etc. The purpose would be to cover liability for some events. How common is this for neighborhood boards? Not sure, but we have a cleanup each year where someone could get hurt. Can we get a quote with an actual cost amount for the board, and for coverage? Peggy said we could be liable during curbside pickups. Everyone was in support of more research and information. Laurel will bring it forth.

Administrative delay – Jeff Bentley researched the possibility of asking the City Council to delay development in Rountree until the UCD is revised. He spoke to City staff. Delays could be on zoning or lot aggregation. We could ask for delay on any rezoning request. We could add a delay on lot consolidation, which would be a bit more restrictive. Consolidations are typically done administratively and not through a hearing process. But it’s a more powerful tool for us. Potential benefits to developers would be more coherent rules. A request for a stronger delay would really help everyone take a break and go through a proper and fully considered planning process. An admin delay is not taking away any rights the developers have, it’s just prohibiting a change in the meantime. We have waited to revise the UCD for two and a half years or more, eight more months is not unreasonable. What if a development that we like is presented in the meantime? It almost doesn’t matter how much we like any development, we have a responsibility to the neighborhood as a whole to go through with the process we have been requesting all this time. Perhaps we should view any proposed projects as potential opportunities – a chance to be the model project that will fit in with the new framework and the neighborhood consensus on design, scale, etc., once the UCD review process is completed.

Mike Brothers motioned that we ask City Council to place a resolution on its agenda for an administrative delay on zoning requests and lot consolidation within the Rountree UCD area until such time as the current review and update process is complete. Jeff Bentley seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Bylaws update – Peggy Wise, Sue Ekstam and Jeff Barber had a meeting to work on bylaws. More work to come. Some detailed updates are needed. Stay tuned. Laurel noted that we need to align our bylaws and Facebook approval policies.

Cleanup update – Discussion item. No hard numbers in yet from CPO but it was a success. We had some requests to come into homes. We had over 50 curbside pickup requests. We had some abuses by people who did not really live in the neighborhood – primarily landlords who have lots of properties outside of Rountree. Should we restrict these landlords? Should we have some restrictions on how much stuff we can haul away? What if we have hoarders who want to get rid of stuff? John Melton had one house where he took away two truckloads and still left more.

Traffic calming project – Jeremy Snow presented the idea. This will take place on June 2 and 3. This is part of a statewide grant looking at traffic calming in St. Louis, Kanas City and Springfield. Looking at choke point narrowing and two bump outs, or curb extensions. It’s experimental. It will look nice and be functional. There will be a crosswalk. They are looking for some help to set up the demo elements and tear down, but also need people throughout the process to give some input on what they want to see in the hood via some boards, etc. Could simply be an extension of the new review planning process. Grant provides all the materials to do this. What about doing it when college students are not in town? That’s a valid criticism, but this is when the grant money was available we need to do it before July. There will be a traffic count on May 31 for a week, and it will have count and speed. If it’s successful, then what? Then the neighborhood has info to request more such infrastructure be put in place. It may not be exactly what was done during the experiment but it will inform that design. This process brings together private citizens, traffic planners, engineers, designers, etc. The board is hoping to plan a “pop-up event” for the RNA – two purposes: increase membership and also tell people what’s going on. We are wanting to get this on the website and FB to round people up. The Jeffs are both on the committee.

UCD steering committee – Several board members plus Louise Knauer, Diana Day, Katie Kring, Erin Hudson will be on the steering committee. We are also considering asking an MSU rep to join. Also a business owner from Cherry & Pickwick. Committee will probably meet about once a month over the summer, maybe more frequently as the process nears completion.

John Melton motioned to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 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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