Just a reminder that there will be a General Membership Meeting of the RNA Board at the Rountree Library. The meeting will be at 7 pm October 21st so come one come all.
Rountree Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Minutes
Date: September 16, 2014
Matt Stevens, President – present
Katie Claxton, Vice President – present
Diana Day, Secretary – present
Connie Schneider, Treasurer – present
John Melton, Neighborhood Watch Captain – present
Jeff Barber, Member at Large – present
Nancy Evans, Member at Large – present
Tim Midyett, Member at Large – not present
General Members in Attendance:
See attached Sign-In Sheet
Call to Order
Approval of August 19 Board Meeting Minutes
Update on the National Avenue Corridor Meeting: With the current interest in development in our area, it is great that we continue to look at this and remain interested in the activity here. The Rountree Neighborhood is the front door of MSU with its welcome center and we need to work to make a smooth separation of uses for both the residents and MSU. Our next meeting is in conjunction with the Housing Diversity Study that the RNA is co-sponsoring. The purpose of the study is to promote diversity of housing types of development and redevelopment. The meeting will be on October 9, from 6-9 at the Hammons School of Architecture.
Update on 836 Pickwick: We have been in contact with the City and ultimately, the owner has an active building permit. The permit is for an accessory structure. Should the owners of the property allow anyone to reside within this accessory structure, we are then able to contact the city to take further action.
Announcement: New Neighborhood Officer
Our previous neighborhood officer, Officer Coyan, has resigned from the Police Department to pursue other ventures. Our new officer’s information is as listed below:
Officer Jason Copley
Community Services Section
Springfield Police Department
Discussion: Cherry Street Flats and Cherry Street Development
Blighting of the Property at 1235 E. Cherry for the development of the Cherry Street Flats Student Housing Facility: The board is going to oppose the blighting of this property at the next city council meeting.
We are opposing the blighting of these properties due to the following reasons: We feel that the area in question is not blighted and no other properties in this area have been considered for blighting. The RNA feels that blighting this portion of cherry would “open the flood gates” to other developers doing the same thing. The RNA also feels that it is wrong to reward a property owner for allowing a property to run down further over the course of ten years to then ask for it to be blighted and get tax credits. We feel that it is setting a precedent in the neighborhood that would allow other owners and developers to do the same with their properties and receive incentives to let their buildings go into disrepair. Furthermore, in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, it states: “The City of Springfield and Greene County should protect the best aspects of established areas from negative effects such as excessive auto traffic or incompatible, unbuffered land uses. Conversely, blighted, deteriorating or obsolete activities should be phased out and those sites improved according to an established plan. Guided by the planning and community physical image principles of Vision 20/20, private and public investments should aim to enhance or strengthen a sense of neighborhood in all established areas. When working toward housing variety within an established neighborhood, recognize and maintain the original residential character of the neighborhood.
The City and County should review zoning patterns to assure that current zoning regulations are consistent with the predominant existing residential use in those areas where preservation of that housing is intended. Zoning should protect existing neighborhoods by buffering businesses from residential uses and by buffering single-family and higher density housing. Also, new housing should “fit” into the neighborhood in terms of density, housing value and style. Where possible, the original use or intent of each structure should be retained.”
We encourage our neighbors to email our city council representatives to oppose the blighting of this property and join us at the city council meeting as well.
Regarding the Setback at the proposed development at 1235 East Cherry Street: The Board will be at the next Planning and Zoning Meeting, as well as the subsequent City Council Meeting to oppose the allowance of a reduction of set back at this proposed development.
We are opposing the reduction of the setback for the following reasons: Our Neighborhood guidelines are put in place to maintain the look of our neighborhood and seamlessly integrate business, single family residential and multifamily residential areas. The set back is further necessary for the safety of our pedestrians, the subconscious tendency for cars to slow down in residential neighborhoods and on streets where people live and to alleviate stormwater runoff into already easily flooded streets and basements. We further feel that allowing this setback to be reduced sets a precedent for other developers to do the same and ruin the original intent for the design and development of our neighborhood.
We encourage our neighbors to email our planning and zoning department at email@example.com and our city council representatives to oppose the allowance for the setback reduction at this proposed property and join us at the planning and zoning and city council meetings as well.
Regarding the Proposed Development at 1235 East Cherry Street, the Cherry Street Flats:
The board opposes the development of the Cherry Street Flats as the design shows now.
We oppose the development as it is currently designed for the following reasons:
The board feels that there are many things to take into consideration. The main things are the “fit” on Cherry Street, the stormwater solutions and the parking issues.
The “fit”. This proposed development is the first of its kind to begin to encroach on the neighborhood itself and not reside with a National Avenue address. The setback, the height of the building and the limited parking are all problematic and not telling of what the Rountree neighborhood actually is. The board feels that the proposed development is not indicative of the UCD, the RNA or the City’s comprehensive plan guidelines. The Comprehensive Plan states: “The City of Springfield and Greene County should protect the best aspects of established areas from negative effects such as excessive auto traffic or incompatible, unbuffered land uses. Conversely, blighted, deteriorating or obsolete activities should be phased out and those sites improved according to an established plan. Guided by the planning and community physical image principles of Vision 20/20, private and public investments should aim to enhance or strengthen a sense of neighborhood in all established areas. When working toward housing variety within an established neighborhood, recognize and maintain the original residential character of the neighborhood.
The City and County should review zoning patterns to assure that current zoning regulations are consistent with the predominant existing residential use in those areas where preservation of that housing is intended. Zoning should protect existing neighborhoods by buffering businesses from residential uses and by buffering single-family and higher density housing. Also, new housing should “fit” into the neighborhood in terms of density, housing value and style. Where possible, the original use or intent of each structure should be retained.” It also states within the Neighborhood Section of the plan as one of its action items to “Ensure appropriate buffering between developments to reduce the impact of conflicting uses”.
The board feels that our neighborhood needs to be review for zoning and will propose that the city implement a form based overlay to protect our residents, while developing our neighborhood into a cohabit-able, profitable, and showable portion of the City. The Rountree neighborhood is the front door for MSU, downtown and Drury and should be treated and developed as such, with the collaboration of all vested parties.
The board will further look at the UCD and RNA guidelines and determine if these need to be revised to additionally foster and promote the true feel of the Rountree area for its residents and businesses.
The stormwater: The RNA knows the hardships of residents and the current stormwater run off. Our streets, as well as our basements, are easily flooded with a decent rain. We want to know what the City’s and Developer’s plans are to address this issue and keep from adding any additional drainage problems to our neighborhood. We further proposed to request an audit of the City Engineers Buy Out funds in our neighborhood to see what regional solutions the City is making in our area and who is benefitting from stormwater buyouts.
The Parking: The parking code for residential high density assumes that the units are multifamily, meaning 2 adults and two children. While this is probable for multifamily, there is not a viable code for student housing parking, in which the units hold four adults, all of which, presumably, have a car. We oppose the idea that there will be 96 people and only need parking for half of them. The developer states that he currently is marketing to international students who do not bring their cars or buy cars while they are here, but there is no guarantee that this is who his tenants will ultimately be or will be in five years. We are looking towards the future of this development and how it can affect our neighborhood for years to come. Rountree and our surrounding area has a regional parking problem and this development would not help the current issue.
Ultimately, this development is setting a precedent with all of the issues that are going before the planning and zoning and the City Council. The blighting, the setback, and the development, as it stands now, are all opposed by the RNA and we wish to not set this precedent for developers before we can review our zoning and come to a collaborative and comprehensive Rountree Neighborhood and Urban Conservation District Plan. We further want to specify that we are not anti-development, we very much want a planned and well thought out development of our area and welcome students, non-traditional and traditional families, offices and businesses. We also very much like Mr. Meck and have been glad to get to know him and his wife and hear some of his business practices.
The RNA is also going to make some flyers and distribute some information regarding the proposed development and encourage the neighbors to voice any concerns with the both planning and zoning and the City Council for the neighbors who are not active within our Facebook Group.
We encourage our neighbors to email our planning and zoning department at firstname.lastname@example.org and our city council representatives to oppose the proposed property as it is currently designed and join us at the planning and zoning and city council meetings as well.
Discussion Permit Parking on Belmont: A situation was brought to the attention of a board member that when a resident was selling a home on Belmont, the realtor was ticketed while showing the home. It was determined that there is visitor parking passes provided to these residents and we encourage residents to give these visitor parking passes to visitors. In the example of a realtor, leave the visitor pass in the lock box or in a location in the home that is easily accessible for the realtor to use while in showing the home.
With the regional parking issue, we encourage residents to use the parking passes and the visitor parking passes to avoid being ticketed.
Bass Pro-Marathon: We are going to propose to work with Rountree Elementary to establish a Neighborhood Cheer Section during the marathon. Bass Pro will be giving away $2000 to the best neighborhood cheer section and several other monetary prizes for the neighborhoods. Should we win anything, we will donate it to the School. The marathon is on the morning of November 2.
Community Partnership Task Force on Gangs: The Community Partnership has invited us to attend a task force on gangs in Springfield. Meeting details are below. The meeting is the fourth Thursday of every month, at 9:00 am, at the Community Partnership Main office, located at 330 North Jefferson Avenue.
Right-of-Way Beautification Training: The City is conducting a training for neighborhoods and how to legally maintain the right-of-ways. The meeting is on October 16, starting at 6:30 in room L40 of the Busch Building, located at 840 North Boonville.
Neighborhood Spring Clean-Up and Neighborhood Garage Sales: We are on track for the Neighborhood Clean-up and will work to get a neighborhood garage sale organized for shortly after the clean-up.
Homes on Fairway and the Pink Cadillac Situation: The business on Glenstone, The Pink Cadillac, has been dumping trash at the far back of the lot and leaving it there where homeowners have to see, and smell. The neighbors have contact the city many times and have filed complaints. John is going to follow up with the property owner as well, now that we are aware of the situation.
We encourage neighbors to contact property owners and the RNA Board to help resolve these types of issues.
Upcoming Dates of Interest:
September 22, 2014 at 6:30 the City Council will hear about the blighting of the properties at 1235 E. Cherry.
October 2, 2014 at 6:30 the Planning and Zoning commission will hear about the Conditional Use permit and the adjustment of the required setback for the proposed property.
October 9, 2014 from 6-9 will be the next National Avenue Corridor Study meeting.
October 21, 2014 at 6:30 in the Rountree Library is the next Rountree Neighborhood Association General Meeting
October 27, 2014 the City Council will hear about the Conditional Use Permit and the adjustment of the required setback for the proposed property.
November 2, 2014 will be the Bass Pro Marathon in our neighborhood and we will be out to cheer.