PRESENT: Matt Ruben, President; Michael Coyne, Vice-President; Steve Richman, Treasurer; Troy Crichton; Donald Hoegg; Ira Upin; Jeremy Lindemann; Don Phillips;
ABSENT: Janet Finegar, Secretary; Roneil Jackson; Monika Kreidie; Joe Mikuliak; Barbara Saverino; Chris Somers; Anne Waginger.
The meeting was called to order by the President at 7:09 p.m.
Motion by Troy Chrichton, seconded by Donald Hoegg, “To approve the minutes of the July Board meeting as presented.” Passed with a minor amendment proposed by Steve Richman.
We had a presentation by Lara Kelly regarding the acquisition of a “billy goat machine” used to vacuum trash from the sidewalk. It was proposed that the use of this machine would make litter clean up more thorough and efficient. It was agreed that any acquired machine would should have the capacity to handle the type of litter which the neighborhood is known to experience.
Motion by Donald Hoegg, seconded by Steve Richman. “To authorize an expenditure of up to $2,600.00 to acquire a street/sidewalk cleaning machine with the expectation that this will increase our cleaning capacity and such a machine should have a sufficient warranty. Funds for the acquisition will come from the reserve fund.” Unanimously passed.
President’s Report: Matt Ruben
In addition to the items noted in the report, the idea was proposed to have a “pop-up” beer garden at the 2nd Street festival next year.
- PLANNING, DEVELOPMENT, AND POLICY
- Schmidts Commons/Liberties Walk – Tower Investments evicted Westminster and Schmidts Commons residents from its surface parking lots. The Piazza continues to ramp up events and screenings in a positive way.
- Construction Impacts – Nothing out of the ordinary this month.
- Spring Garden – The DRWC ceremony to formally turn on the lights on the completed underpass installation is slated for later this month. The Festival Pier site will have one more Live Nation concert season next summer; after that, the site will go offline as DRWC’s selected developer will begin a 4-year construction process on a major project on the site.
- Business Improvement District (BID) – We’ve created a steering committee for the BID and plan to interview planning consultants in the next 2-4 weeks. The BID planning process, funded by the 2nd St. Festival, should begin in the fall and likely will last 12-18 months.
- Madison Memorial Park –Transport Workers Local 234 generously donated $2,500 to the effort. We also are pursuing potential funding from a veterans’ group early next month, and will be reaching out to Bob Brady now that the DNC is over.
- FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
- Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Group – Monika, Steve, Michael, Roneil, Don Hoegg, and Lara will have our second meeting this week or next. We will report out the full board whenever the group comes up with a proposal or policy recommendation.
- EVENTS AND OUTREACH
- 2nd St. Fest – Appears to have been a huge success, perhaps the biggest ever, no major incidents that I am aware of. Steve will have a total on the NLNA’s revenue.
- General Membership Meetings – Our next meeting will be in late September or early October.
- COMMUNICATION AND PUBLICITY
- Internet – All seems to be well, and growing. Katrina has started putting the word out on Facebook that we intend to shut down the northernliberties.org web forums in the next couple of months. The plan is initially to make that domain into nothing but a redirect page that will automatically take people to our home page at nlna.org – and then at a later date to develop it into a revenue-generating neighborhood-gateway site (which would of course include prominent links to our site).
- OTHER ITEMS
- Board Polls – Ratification of any online or online board polls since last month’s board meeting.
Treasurer’s Report: Steve Richman
2015-16 Budget: July Financials – tables attached
For the ten months ended on July 31st all funds income was $231,878; this was $115,570 more than projected, due mostly to the receipt of $100,000 from Penn Treaty SSD. Expenses totaled $159,026, which was $45,581 more than anticipated – again, largely due to grant-related expenses. Net income was $72,852 – $69,989 more than projected. These amounts include nearly $107,000 in income from grants and about $56,000 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, our financial position after the first nine months of the fiscal year is as follows:
- GF & LL Income: $126,103 — $14,800 more than anticipated.
- GF & LL Expenses: $102,980 — $3,260 less than anticipated.
- GF & LL Net Income: $23,123 — $18,050 more than anticipated.
Significant variations from budgeted projections through June include: Net income from fundraising activities was about even with budgeted levels. The Annual Appeal has brought in $3,800 more than projected, and the Winterfest netted $1,400 more. Separately, corporate donations have totaled $19,400, $8,900 from PTSSD for Operation Santa, Krampuslauf, the Fall Fest, Winterfest, the Spring Music Fest and the 2nd Street Festival, and $10,500 from developers for Operation Clean Streets. Thus far, expenses for the events funded by PTSSD have totaled approximately $4,940. Any remaining unspent funds (about $865 thru June 30) will have to be returned to PTSSD. A shortfall totaling about $5,800 in individual donations, candy machine income, the Fall Fest and the Spring Music Fest partially offset the higher revenues reported above. In addition, while a $1,000 Activities Grant for Liberty Lands was received from the City, the budget anticipated that the grant would total $1,500. Spending was lower than anticipated for repair and maintenance (-$2,850.) The difference is almost entirely due to slow billing and seasonality. Spending was also lower than anticipated for legal services ($1,940) and professional services ($1,900). These and other savings were partially offset by higher spending for equipment, fundraising and communications.
- Capital Grant from PTSSD – As reported previously, PTSSD has awarded us a capital improvement grant of $178,000. Funding was approved to repair the exterior of the community center, renovate the basement and portions of the first floor, make substantial improvements to the yard and purchase new furnishings for the office, the basement and the main room on the first floor. In February we received $100,000. The balance – $78,000 – will be made available in November. To date, we have spent approximately $51,700 for renovations and improvements to the basement and the first floor, and repairs to the exterior of the building. This spending has generally been in line with expectations.
- 2nd Street Festival Corporation – We entered into an MOU with the 2nd Street Festival Corporation to act as a fiscal conduit for them in their efforts to develop a BID in Northern Liberties. Towards this end, we accepted checks totaling $40,000, which we deposited into a restricted funds account.
- 2016-17 Budget – Preparation of next year’s budget is underway. As in past years draft budget recommendations will be presented to the board at the September meeting. Adoption of the budget would occur at the October meeting.
Motion: By Troy Chrichton, seconded by Donald Hoegg,. “To accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.” Unanimously Passed, 7-0-0
Liberty Lands Committee Report: Janet Finegar
- No Janet in July! I understand from the committee that things were pretty quiet (and hot). There were parties and events, all of which went smoothly, and other than a tree that was broken, no new damage.
- Saturday’s Farmer’s Market was the victim of a snatch-and-run robbery. The Liberty Pizza driver behind the thief’s car seems to have gotten video of the theft, though, and has turned that over to the police, so we hope that there might actually be an arrest. The farmer lost about $200 in cash, his keys, and his wallet with credit card and license. Matt generously and publicly offered that the NLNA would cover the cash loss (I’m hoping NLNA might have gotten a few donations from the community to help cover that), and Paul Hubert immediately began working on building a regular vendor event out of Saturdays to make it safer and higher foot-traffic for all. If successful, this could be a nice (and easy) new funding stream for the park. We’re doing $10 spaces for this year to build it quickly, but will go to $20 or even $40 in the future.
- Steve and I met to do a first round of discussion for the coming year’s budget and have a good solid draft.
- No other major news.
Zoning Committee Report: Ira Upin
Motion: By Donald Hoegg , seconded by Steve Richman. “To approve the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 941 N. 6th St., i.e.: ‘We are in non-opposition to this proposal based on the longevity of its existence and use as 6 units.’” Passed unanimously
Motion: By Donald Hoegg , seconded by Steve Richman. “To approve the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 958 N. American St., i.e.: ‘We support this proposal with the following provisos: 1)move the carport to the south side of the property to minimize impact on neighbor; 2) keep the size of the carport footprint the same size as the parking pad; and 3) maintain the green roof on the carport.’” Passed unanimously
Motion: By Donald Hoegg , seconded by Jeremy Lindemann. “To approve the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 301 Spring Garden St., i.e.: ‘We support this proposal with the following provisos: 1) A trash receptacle will be located outside the restaurant only during hours of operation. It will be brought inside when the establishment is closed. 2) Hours of operation will be no earlier than 7 a.m. and no later than 11 p.m., and 3) The lot housing the trash dumpster will be fenced, gated and locked at all times except for when the trash will be picked from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. A letter of support will be issued after the Zoning Committee receives a signed and dated site plan that clearly shows the location of the fence, gate and dumpster.’” Passed unanimously
Motion: By Donald Hoegg , seconded by Michael Coyne. “To approve the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 215 W. Wildey St., i.e.: ‘We cannot support this project as proposed for the following reasons: street-side garage with a curb cut; no roof deck set back; and no open space.’” Passed unanimously
Steve Richman proposed that we should have an event to commemorate the ground-breaking of the outdoor renovation at the community center and suggested that a committee be set up to organize the event. Michael Coyne suggested that the Membership committee handle the task with some extra assistance.
There was a discussion regarding the status of the DeSimone car dealership lot located at 626 N. Delaware Ave. It was noted that it is presently operating as an illegal surface car lot.
The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at 8:10 p.m.
Zoning Committee Meeting Monday 7/25/16
Members present: Larry Freedman (chair), Kenny Grono, Chris Isaacson, Melissa Magness, Joe Mikuliak, Sharon Richman, Abbey Spector, Ira Upin Members absent: Charlie Abdo, Anthony Bottenfield, Jonathan Sher, Michael Simons
981 N. 6th St. – RSA5 – Peter Kendzierski: A proposal to legalize a 4 unit building to a 6 unit building. February 2015 Motion: We are in non-opposition to this proposal based on the longevity of its existence and use as 6 units.
Motion (Kenny) – 2nd ( Abbey): Vote – 6-0 We are in non-opposition to this proposal based on the longevity of its existence and use as 6 units.
958 N. American St. – RSA5 – Matt Monroe: A return visit with a proposal for a single family dwelling. Refusals for carport parking, open space, rear yard setback. “Change from last meeting” – The updated refusal now allows for a storage of imported spirits and wholesale sales (considered a home business). May 2016 Motion: We cannot support the request for a variance for the carport as presented. There were serious concerns that the wholesale liquor storage use at this residential property could become a problem for nearby neighbors and extremely difficult to control if expanded. Therefore, we oppose this use request. Owner and wife will be making high end sake in their home. There is supposed to be no commercial activity visible to neighbors. The curb cut is the entire frontage on Bodine Street (22’11”). The car port is proposed with a green roof. This design is short on open space by 6%, does not meet the minimum standards required for setbacks. Discussion: A neighbor (also representing two other neighbors) thought that the carport was too high (18” higher than adjacent neighbor’s fence) and too large.
Motion (Kenny) – 2nd (Joe): Vote 7-0 We support this proposal with the following provisos: move the carport to the south side of the property to minimize impact on neighbor; keep the size of the carport footprint the same size as the parking pad; maintain the green roof on the carport.
301 Spring Garden St. – CMX2 – Galley Lee: A proposal for a restaurant “Kale Yeah” – salads, soups, shakes – take out. They propose a healthy food restaurant that will primarily be takeout. Only a few tables would be inside. Hours are 7-7, 7 days/week. Signage will be on the face of the building. Trash will be placed in the yard (now used as parking) next to the day care center. The restaurant owner plans to erect a fence with a locked gate that will be for the dumpster only – no more parking area.
Motion (Sharon) – 2nd ( Abbey): Vote 7-0 We support this proposal with the following provisos: A trash receptacle will be located outside the restaurant only during hours of operation. It will be brought inside when the establishment is closed. Hours of operation will be no earlier than 7 a.m. and no later than 11 p.m. The lot housing the trash dumpster will be fenced, gated and locked at all times except for when the trash will be picked from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. A letter of support will be issued after the Zoning Committee receives a signed and dated site plan that clearly shows the location of the fence, gate and dumpster.
215 W. Wildey St. – CMX2.5 – Kevin O’Neil: A proposal for a single family dwelling. There is a refusal for single family home (not commercial), parking garage, occupying 100% of the lot (not 75%) and open space. The 4-story building would be erected on a lot 21’11” x 20’. There is no setback on the roof deck. The current home is more than 100 years old. The garage requires a curb cut on a street with no other garages.
Motion (Group): Vote 5-0 We cannot support this project as proposed for the following reasons: street-side garage with a curb cut; no roof deck set back; and, no open space.