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.

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.
This entry was posted in RNA meeting minutes. Bookmark the permalink.