BOARD OF DIRECTORS MINUTES – Meeting of April 6, 2015

PRESENT:  Matt Ruben, President; Don Phillips, Vice-President; Steve Richman, Treasurer; Janet Finegar, Secretary; Jennifer Baker; Larry Freedman; Sasi Judd; Dolores Lyons; Monika Kreidie; Katrina Mansfield; Sharon Richman; Anne Waginger; Logan Welde.

ABSENT:  Michael Coyne; Chris Somers

ALSO PRESENT:  Ira Upin, Troy Larson

The meeting was called to order by the President at 7:06 p.m.

Motion: By Katrina Mansfield, seconded by Sharon Richman:“To approve the minutes of the March Board meeting as presented.”  Passed 9-0-3

Matt informed the Board about the concerns related to the renting of the Community Center to two performers presenting similar programs, and explained what has happened in the past week or so. There were several questions and comments from the Board, with a general sense of sorrow that neighbors were upset and concern about perceived oversight by the NLNA. It was suggested that the Operations Committee should revisit the rental policy and consider inserting a statement that the Community Center does not discriminate in its rental policies in any way.

Motion: By Don Phillips, seconded by Monika Kriedie: “To offer the Lara and Joe Show a waiver of rent for two days (one week) in May in recognition of their contributions to the neighborhood.”  Passed 11-1-1

Larry presented to the Board a synopsis of the Zoning Meeting discussion in regard to 537 North 3rd St (the old Finnegan’s Wake building) and reviewed the Zoning Committee’s motion. There was conversation about the process of getting the neighbors’ sense of what to do and about the zoning review meetings that Ira and Larry sometimes hold with applicants before Zoning meetings. There was significant discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of the project as presented and about the possibilities of added height on the building. Jennifer Baker presented a petition signed by nine near neighbors of the project; it was explained that petitions are not considered by the ZC because the signers are not necessarily privy to all the information about the proposal.

Motion: By Steve Richman, seconded by Monika Kriedie. “To support the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 537 N. 3rd St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. Please return with plans that: a) do not exceed the 55’ height (reflected in CMX2.5 on 2nd Street); b) limit restaurant use to 1st floor; c) replace the lay-by lane with a 14’ sidewalk and loading zone; d) include dimensional drawings; e) include materials to be used in the renovation; and f) include a revised shadow study reflecting the reduced building height.’”  Failed 1-12-0

Motion: By Don Phillips, seconded by Steve Richman. “In the matter of 537 N. 3rd St., please return with plans that: a) provide for a maximum 2 story addition with no additional height beyond that; b) limit restaurant use to one half of the 1st floor; c) include abandonment of the nightclub use and second and third floor bar and restaurant use; d) limit roof deck use to office tenants only; e) reconstruct Bodine Street according to agreements with the neighborhood (to be worked out); f) replace the lay-by lane with a 14’ sidewalk and loading zone; g) include dimensional drawings; h) include materials to be used in the renovation; and i) include a revised shadow study reflecting the reduced building height.’”  Passed 10-1-1

New Business: 

Sasi raised the issue of the NLNA’s impartiality in dealing with neighborhood businesses, suggesting that the NLNA should have a clear policy to avoid the appearance of bias. There was a general sense that making e-mail announcements about businesses opening or having events should be those which seem like “neighborhood events” and that Matt’s judgment on it seems sound. Matt asked Board members to let him know if they felt messages were stepping over the line.

President’s Report: Matt Ruben:

The Board briefly went to executive session to be updated on the settlement from the Club Aura lawsuit and the coverage by our insurance company.

Treasurer’s Report: Steve Richman: written report distributed and reviewed.

Motion: By Monika Kriedie, seconded by Dolores Lyons. “To accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.”  Passed 11-0-0

Election Committee Report: Dolores Lyons

Dolores reported that the committee needs two more non-board member participants. Matt and Steve both encouraged everyone to reach out to neighbors to encourage them to be nominated in April and run for the Board. Monika further suggested that each Board member should suggest two people for Board nomination.

Liberty Lands Committee Report: Janet Finegar: written report attached and reviewed.

Zoning Committee Report: Larry Freedman; written report attached and reviewed.

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Katrina Mansfield. “To support the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 620 N. 3rd St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. This project should maintain a 40’ height maximum with an 8’ parapet (except for the private roof decks), have no shared roof deck and no elevator access to the roof. A letter of support will be issued upon receipt of plans that reflect this motion.’”  Passed 11-0-0

Motion: By Katrina Mansfield, seconded by Monika Kriedie. “To support the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 118-20 Laurel St., i.e.: ‘Please return with plans for a duplex without a curb cut eliminating a parking spot and a smaller roof deck. Also bring color drawings that accurately reflect proposed materials (alternatives to vinyl siding) to be used and a design that will hide the utility meter.’”  Passed 11-0-0

Motion: By Monika Kriedie, seconded by Katrina Mansfield. “To support the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 1040 N. 2nd St., i.e.: ‘We are prepared to support the expansion of the restaurant/liquor license as long as this expansion is consistent with the current operation of El Camino. Please submit to the ZC a diagram with dimensions of the service boundary line on the pavement of Liberties Walk.’”  Passed 11-0-0

Motion: By Don Phillips, seconded by Janet Finegar. “To table the issue of 107 Callowhill Street.”  Passed 11-0-0

Motion: By Dolores Lyons, seconded by Katrina Mansfield. “To support the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 801 N. 2nd St., i.e.: ‘Please return with the following information: a) Trash – Provide a comprehensive trash plan that does not require that trash or recycling be placed on 2nd or Brown Street for pickup. Include a design (scaled with trash containers in the room) with dimensions for a dedicated trash room with direct access to the outside and a plan to monitor and maintain any and all private trash cans on the street for refuse. Also submit a litter clean-up plan that addresses on-site and off-site litter cleanup, the location of trash exterior trash cans, a litter clean-up schedule and a map of the off-site clean-up area. b) Ventilation – To protect the quality of life of the neighbors, there can be no mechanized air inlet along the Brown Street façade. Please provide a clearer ventilation plan with details and mechanical drawings. c) Signage – Provide specific information regarding any and all proposed signage, including the name of your establishment.’”

Passed 11-0-0

 

Old Business

Our General Meeting will be Wednesday, April 22 at Kieran Timberlake and will be a candidate’s forum for the City elections.

 

New Business

Katrina suggested that a new neighbor who runs smoking cessation programs be brought in to hold a special session for neighbors who might be interested in such a program. It was generally approved.

 

The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at 9:31 p.m.

Addenda:

TREASURER’S REPORT – APRIL 2015

2014-15 Budget: March Financialstables attached

  • For the six months ended on March 31st all funds income was $69,400; this was $600 more than projected. Expenses totaled $60,800, which was $12,250 less than anticipated. Net income was $8,600 – $12,850 more than projected. These amounts include $1,400 in income from grants and $4,700 in grant expenses.
  • Excluding grant fund activity yields a more accurate representation of our financial position. Thus, if we limit the calculation to income and expenses from the General Fund and Liberty Lands accounts the following is our financial position after the first half of the fiscal year:
  1. GF & LL Income: $68,000 — $400 more than anticipated.
  2. GF & LL Expenses: $56,100 — $5,200 less than anticipated.
  3. GF & LL Net Income: $11,900 — $5,600 more than anticipated.

Significant variations from budgeted projections through March were:

  1. Lower than anticipated income of $4,100 from fundraising activities and user fees. The Annual Appeal was $1,000 behind projections and its goal of $14,000. In addition, net income from the two festivals fell short by a net $2,100 and income for Project Clean Streets was about $1,900 short of expectations.
  2. Partially offsetting this revenue shortfall was the receipt of an unplanned grant from PTSSD, which fully covered our expenses for Operation Santa ($1,750) and a $500 donation from Yards Brewery. In addition, the Winterfest brought in $7,400 and netted us about $1,500 more than budgeted. Finally, revenue from recycling initiatives is running nearly $900 more than budgeted projections.
  3. Lower than expected spending of $900 for administrative support, $2,500 for repair and maintenance and utilities, and $1,100 for fundraising and program expenses.

 

 

Liberty Lands Report – April 2015

  • The very reliable guy who was doing trash isn’t able to any more and his nephew – who is less clearly reliable – has replaced him. Jen is working with him, but if anyone knows of someone who might be interested in this low-paying but steady job, please let us know.
  • PHS got us a delivery of 24 yards of compost a few weeks ago. It’s wonderful, but a bit more than we need, so at this point we’re encouraging people to take some if they want it and hoping to move the rest of the pile to a storage spot that isn’t right in the pathway.
  • Sadly, Kathy Vissar’s mother died recently. One result is that Kathy isn’t able to make the custom bench part molds we were going to get from her. At this point we’re planning to order standard ones to make new benches and satisfy that part of the PTSSD grant request.
  • On April 18 we are having a spring workday where we hope to install the water fountain that is another part of the PTSSD grant request. Our biggest workday will be May 9, focused on playground cleanup and re-mulching.
  • Crocuses and daffodils are starting to come up (and get picked by children. Oh well).
  • The Spring Music festival will be June 6; raindate June 13.

 

Zoning Committee Meeting – Monday 3/30/15

Members present: Larry Freedman (chair), Charlie Abdo, Anthony Bottenfield, Beth Emig, Kenny Grono, Chris Isaacson, Kyle Koenig, Joe Mikuliak, Sharon Richman, Jonathan Sher, Abbey Spector   Members absent: Melissa Magness, Michael Simons, Ira Upin

 

620 N. 3rd St. – RSA5 – Brian Phillips : A return visit with a proposal for a multi-family bldg. with addition of roof decks.   Motion from September 2014: Vote 6-1   Thank you for your presentation. We would like you to consider the following regarding developing the property at 620 N. 3rd St: Height should go down from 47 to 38 ft at the North side of the property. There should be an active 1st floor on 3rd St Single family dwellings on 3rd Street with multi-family on Galloway or all multi-family. 1:1 parking that has entrance and exit from Galloway.     Motion from November 2014: Vote 8-0 Thank you for your presentation. Please go to the UDC with alternative façade materials and then return to the Zoning Committee with additional information regarding the mechanisms proposed for the garage doors and the resulting amount of noise that will be produced and your plans for trash and recycling. Additionally, please explain what will happen if cars cannot exit onto Galloway Street and must back out on to 3rd Street. To support this project, we recommend that the height of the building be reduced to 40’. Please return with revised plans that reflect this change. There are refusals for open space and height. They have not gone to ZBA yet. The project has 8 units with 8 parking spaces on the ground floor with 3 stories above the parking. This is an elevator building. The upper 2 residences have their own decks. There is a common roof space terrace (NW corner) shared by the 6 lower units. The top of the elevator is at least 57’ (could be 60’). The overall height of the building is 40’ to the roof line (43’6” to top of the parapet). The parapet where there is no access to a deck can be lowered to 8”.   Discussion: The elevator pilot house height was problematic for some neighbors. The next door neighbor was opposed to the roof deck, the need for an elevator pilot house and the obstruction it creates.

Motion (Joe) – 2nd (Kenny): Vote 10-0   Thank you for your presentation. This project should maintain a 40’ height maximum with an 8” parapet (except for the private roof decks), have no shared roof deck and no elevator access to the roof. A letter of support will be issued upon receipt of plans that reflect this motion.

 

537 N. 3rd St. (Finnegans Wake) – CMX2 – Sam Olshin: A proposal for office use, additional height, roof deck and first floor Bistro. The plan is to renovate the building and add 2 stories with a penthouse and partial roof deck (1,000 sq. ft.). The building is 75’ high on the north side and 62’ high on Spring Garden Street. A 2,000 sq. ft. bistro (perhaps) on the ground floor is proposed. No parking is proposed. There are 2 office suites on each floor with an occupancy load of about 40 people per floor. This does not include “bistro” occupants. A shadow study was presented. They proposed removing a large section of the sidewalk to create a lay-by lane (recess) on Spring Garden Street. They intend to return to the Zoning Committee before going to the ZBA in April. The existing liquor license is being transferred. Discussion: The height limit for CMX2 is 38’, but the current building is already 40’. CMX2.5 (as on 2nd Street) allows structures up to 55’. The closest neighbor objected to the proposed height because it would obscure the view and cast a shadow on the yard and building. People not living close by did not object to the height. Lack of parking was another objection. Making the building all commercial was laudable.   The results of a straw poll are as follows: A – 17 votes for limiting the height to 55’   B – 1 vote for the proposal as presented (75’ north side, 62’ south side) C – 3 votes for maintaining the current building height (40’).

Motion (Joe) – 2nd (Jon): Vote 8-1-1 Thank you for your presentation. Please return with plans that: – do not exceed the 55’ height (reflected in CMX2.5 on 2nd Street); – only permits restaurant use on 1st floor; – replaces the lay-by lane with a 14’ sidewalk and loading zone; – include dimensional drawings; – materials to be used in the renovation; and, – a revised shadow study reflecting the reduced building height.

 

118-20 Laurel St. – RSA5 – Tom Wiedenman: A proposal for a duplex with parking.   The lot is an odd triangular shape. There is one proposed parking space adjacent to the structure requiring a curb cut. Except for the required set-backs in the front and rear, the roof deck covers the entire structure.

Motion (Joe) – 2nd (Beth): Vote 10-0 Please return with plans for a duplex without a curb cut eliminating a parking spot and a smaller roof deck. Also bring color drawings that accurately reflect proposed materials (alternatives to vinyl siding) to be used and a design that will hide the utility meter.

 

NOTE: Zoning Committee members re-elected Larry Freedman and Ira Upin for another term.

 

Zoning Committee Meeting – Tuesday 3/31/15

Members present: Larry Freedman (chair), Charlie Abdo, Beth Emig, Kenny Grono, Chris Isaacson, Melissa Magness, Joe Mikuliak, Sharon Richman, Abbey Spector   Members absent: Anthony Bottenfield, Kyle Koenig, Jonathan Sher, Michael Simons, Ira Upin

 

1040 N. 2nd St. (El Camino) – CMX3 – Owen Kamihira: A proposal to expand into adjacent space on Liberties Walk. The expansion will add 600 sq. ft. The basement of this property will provide additional bathrooms and an office. ZBA date may be by the end of April and a project completion by May/June. They will go to the LCB for expansion of the liquor license. There is a referral for change of use.

Motion (Joe) – 2nd (Sharon): Vote 10-0

We are prepared to support the expansion of the restaurant/liquor license as long as this expansion is consistent with the current operation of El Camino. Please submit to the ZC a diagram with dimensions of the service boundary line on the pavement of Liberties Walk.

 

107 Callowhill St. – RM1 – Steve Maffei: A return visit with an adjustment to a preapproved plan. Motion (Vote 7-0

Thank you for your presentation. A signed letter of support will be issued after receipt of signed and dates plans with a list of materials and a refusal that agrees with the presentation. This property is next to the hill that comes off the ramp to 676, in front of the bill board. (Lot is 16’x140’ and extends into a CMX4 area.) The previous approval was for 4 residences and 1 commercial in 55’ high building (45’ plus 10’ for the roof top access). Now it is a 5 residential condo (1600 sq ft – 2 bed/2.5 bath), with a 5th story added, 55’ high building + 10’ for rooftop access for a total of 65’.   (The Overlay allows for 65’ height.) The core of the building was increased to accommodate two stair stairwells. There is no longer any parking provided. (One was previously included.) The roof garden is still in the plan. Materials will be brick 3’-4’ above grade plane, cement fiber panels, concrete slabs, glass curtain wall on decks, Trespa wood, and stucco on the buildable wall side. There is a refusal for open area¸ height and rear yard.

Motion (Joe) – 2nd (Sharon): Vote 10-0 We support this project as presented with the proviso that consideration be given to   not making the huge stucco wall one color.

 

801 N. 2nd St. – CMX2.5 – Zhen Jin: A proposal for grocery store with food service. The food service will include hot food – fries/wings/cheesesteak/burgers. Hearing is in the beginning of May. No liquor. No bar. There will be 3-4 workers. Hours of operation: M-F 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sat 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. They did not know the allowable maximum occupancy for their 1554 sq ft business, but there is seating for 12. Venting will go out the roof. Intake will be above the first floor awning on Brown Street. Trash would be stored in a room near the refrigerated food section. The trash and recycling would be taken through the store to place on the curb (near the entry way) for pickup 3 times per week. The time/window for pickup was not known. No plan was presented for signage. Note: According to the 10/1/13 presentation for the building, trash was supposed to be stored in the basement with daily pickup. Discussion: The trash plan was not adequate for the volume that would be produced and the placement of the trash within the establishment needed further consideration.

Motion (Group): Vote 8-0   Please return with the following information: Trash – Provide a comprehensive trash plan that does not require that trash or recycling be placed on 2nd or Brown Street for pickup. Include a design (scaled with trash containers in the room) with dimensions for a dedicated trash room with direct access to the outside and a plan to monitor and maintain any and all private trash cans on the street for refuse.   Also submit a litter clean-up plan that addresses on-site and off-site litter cleanup, the location of trash exterior trash cans, a litter clean-up schedule and a map of the off-site clean-up area. Ventilation – To protect the quality of life of the neighbors, there can be no mechanized air inlet along the Brown Street façade. Please provide a clearer ventilation plan with details and mechanical drawings.

Signage – Provide specific information regarding any and all proposed signage, including the name of your establishment.