BOARD OF DIRECTORS MINUTES – Meeting of February 6, 2017

PRESENT:  Matt Ruben, President; Michael Coyne, Vice-President; Janet Finegar, Secretary; Troy Crichton; Donald Hoegg; Roneil Jackson; Monika Kreidie; Jeremy Lindemann; Joe Mikuliak; Don Phillips; Barbara Saverino; Chris Somers; Ira Upin; Anne Waginger.

ABSENT:  Steve Richman, Treasurer

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

Motion: By Jeremy Lindemann, seconded Monika Kreidie:“To approve the minutes of the January Board meeting as presented.” Passed 10-0-2

  • The Board discussed the possibility of starting the nominations period at the February 21 meeting and then continuing nominations on-line for almost two months. There was general approval of the idea, which is within the limits of our existing bylaws. A final decision will be made through board poll.
  • Donald Phillips presented to the Board the possibility that the Fox School of Business could send a team of students to do a pro-bono marketing plan for the NLNA, possibly this summer. Monika, Roneil, Matt, and probably Don Hoegg will work with him to get this going.

President’s Report, February 2017

PLANNING, DEVELOPMENT, AND POLICY

  • Construction Impacts – The usual, nothing out of the ordinary.
  • Festival Pier Site (Delaware & Spring Garden) – DRWC granted the developer a limited extension on the due diligence process, until later this month. There are indications that, contrary to previous assurances, a third and final extension might be granted. For this reason, it is not practical to plan for a general meeting on this project at this time.
  • Business Improvement District (BID) – The first open BID meeting to inform area business and commercial property owners – and to soliticit additional Steering Committee members – is this Wednesday, at 7 p.m. at the CC, basement level. Board members are welcome to attend.

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION

  • Board Retreat – My first choice for facilitator is not available. I am playing phone tag with another, and Monika also is working on finding one. We will try to resolve this ASAP and then schedule a date for the retreat.

EVENTS AND OUTREACH

  • General Membership Meetings – Janet, Lara, and I are working on a GM centered around trash and dog waste, with the focus on what neighbors can – and have to – do, since there are limits to what the city and NLNA can do or enforce when it comes to “micro”/behavior issues like this. It’s looking like February 21 or March 1.
  • Town Watch – Just a reminder that we might want to have a small spring kick-off “party” for Town Watch patrols, to kick them off again and hopefully widen the pool of folks willing to do them.

COMMUNICATION AND PUBLICITY

  • Marketing/PR – We have offers from a neighbor who’s a marketing professional, plus a team of students at the Fox School of Business (who Don mentors and works with), to help us with PR and marketing. We will be following up on this, and interested board members are strongly encouraged to connect with Don, me, and/or Janet about this.
  • The Facebook Group continues to grow quickly, with more than 3,200 members, 10% growth in just the last month.

OTHER ITEMS

  • Board Polls – Ratification of any online or online board polls since last month’s board meeting (DCED grant application).

Motion: By Roneil Jackson, Donald Hoegg: “To ratify any and all electronic polls taken since the past Board meeting.” Passed 13-0-0

 

TREASURER’S REPORT – FEBRUARY 2017

  1. 2016-17 Budget: January Financials – tables attached

For the four months ended on January 31 st all funds income was $134,412; this was $8,200 more than projected. Expenses totaled $46,811, which was about $3,600 less than anticipated. Net income was $87,600 – $11,860 more than projected. These amounts include $84,320 in grant income and $7,650 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 three months of the fiscal year is as follows:

  1. LL Income (rounded): $56,000 — $7,800 more than anticipated.
  2. LL Expenses (rounded): $44,200 — $3,700 less than anticipated.
  3. LL Net Income: $11,800 — $11,500 more than anticipated.

Significant variations from budgeted projections through December included:

  1. Income from fundraising activities – which totaled about $16,450. This was nearly $1,200 lower than anticipated. Most significantly, a shortfall in the Annual Appeal (which was $2,200 behind projections) was partially overcome by income from the Fall Fest, which surpassed expectations by nearly $1,800.
  2. Higher than anticipated general donations totaling nearly $5,700. This was $4,100 more than projected and fully offset the shortfall in fundraising. Four large donations constituted most of the amounts we received.
  3. Rental income surpassed expectations by nearly $3,900, although $1,900 of this amount was pre-paid rent.
  4. Separately, grants totaling $4,320 were received from PTSSD for Operation Santa, Parade of Spirits and the Fall Fest. An additional $2,000 grant was received from the Frick Foundation for repairs at Liberty Lands.
  5. Spending was lower than anticipated for professional and program services (-$5,100). This difference is almost entirely due to timing and seasonality.
  6. Lower spending in these categories was partially offset by higher than anticipated spending (+$2,300) in legal services. This additional spending was for the appeal of a recent ZBA decision.

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Anne Waginger. “To accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.” Passed 13-0-0

Elections Committee:

After brief conversation, Jeremy Lindemann and Anne Waginger volunteered to serve on the Committee.

Fundraising Committee: Michael Coyne:

Michael reported that there are postcards and posters for Board members to use to publicize the upcoming Winterfest.

Liberty Lands Report – February 2017

  • It’s winter, so very little is going on at the park. This is just a quick update on the stuff we talked about at the January Liberty Lands meeting:
  • Workdays we now KNOW about:
    • March 24 (probably early morning) – Playground mulch delivered. If at all possible, we’re going to close the street for ½ an hour and dump it right on the concrete pad on 3rd.
    • MARCH 25!! – playground workday. Spreading mulch, especially in the toddler area. Replacing one or two panels of the triangle playset with the ones in the shed. Offer training to parents who’d like to know how to fix playground equipment. (I’ve requested PTSSD sponsorship of the day.)
    • April 5 (Wednesday) – Janet will do cleanup work with 10-15 kid volunteers.
    • APRIL 8 – Cement and planting workday sponsored by Great Lakes Brewing Company. (Liz is organizing). We need to try to turn 50 people out for this. GLBC will give us $2,500 (!!!) to use for materials and plants. Need to discuss what to spend it on: cement, grills, sign posts, but also new trees? Maybe sour cherries? Install signs around park, put in grills, put in Little Free Library.
    • May 6 – plant sale! (at the Community Center unless renovations make it necessary to change that)
    • MAY13 – Love Your Park Spring Cleanup. Whatever is left over to do!
    • JUNE 3 – Spring Music Festival.
    • No date yet: erosion control project – needs bobcat operator for a full day – Seth and George need to coordinate. On that same day, we hope, fix the mat at northwest end. Raise mat, dig out, and earth staple it back down – need to find out what works to fasten it down.
  • The Garden Hub grant proposal is in and Jen will present it on February 15.
  • Liz has agreed to sponsor the Jouska women’s cooperative music/craft fest in the summer – they are looking at late July/early August dates and being only during daylight hours.
  • Water fountain handle is broken AGAIN. I will order a push button kind this time to see if that holds up better.

 

OPERATIONS COMMITTEE REPORT – JANUARY 25, 2017

  • TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE – We are still trying to find a skilled technical person for help with a number of different applications.
  • PHOTOS OF RENTAL SPACES – Natasha’s husband took several pictures and they will soon be added to the Community Center portion of the web page.
  • ALARM COMPANY – Research continues on alternatives to our existing alarm company, which has proved unsatisfactory.
  • INCOME – We see a continually increasing interest in renting the Community Center for all kinds of events. Currently we have a total of $250 in ongoing rental income from three separate groups — $100/weekly for Monday & Thursday use; $100/weekly for all-day Tuesday use; and $50 for Sunday morning use. There were several paid uses in January and several more, particularly weekend, requests for February and even for months after that. So far there has been little interest in using the basement. In fact, one group (who uses the space gratis) has expressed their dislike of using the basement. In the future if their meeting conflicts with another, the paying group will still be given the main room and the non-paying group will be expected to use the basement (it is suspected they may cancel their meeting for that day in the hopes of getting the main room on another day).
  • A SCREEN BARRIER – Lara suggested getting a screen that can be used when there is use of the main room and the basement. She is looking into what is available.

Quality of Life Committee:

Janet noted that the upcoming February meeting will be all about QOL issues and asked that other Board members join the committee. Donald Hoegg volunteered (good man!)

Zoning Committee Report: Joe Mikuliak; written report attached and reviewed.

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Donald Hoegg.“To accept the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 719 N. 5th St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. While we can support an apartment building at this location, we cannot support the plan as presented. Please present a revised plan to our design committee before returning to the zoning committee in which: 1) The median height does not exceed 38 ft. 2) There are no more than 6 actual bedrooms 3) There is a trash plan 4) The roof deck has at least a 12’ setback from 5th St and a 5’ setback at the rear of the building 5) A façade and roofline that look more similar to nearby homes than the plan shown to the committee.’”  Passed: 13-0-0

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Don Phillips.“To accept the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 980 North 5th St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. We cannot support a variance for a multi-family home at this location. Several near neighbors attended the meeting and felt the block was best served by 980 N 5th remaining a single family home. The plans show a new 3 story structure in place of an existing 2 story structure to be demolished. This addition is shown built out to the party line on the 2nd and 3rd floors. This would negatively impact the light and air of the adjacent neighbors as well as the occupants of the proposed apartments. We do not support the reduction of open space below the required amount. The existing density of houses and apartments on the 900 block of North Fifth already exceeds the available parking. A single family home converted to apartments would further exacerbate this problem. The conversion of this single family dwelling into an apartment building will be opposed regardless of changes to the size or number of the apartments.’”  Passed: 13-0-0

Motion: By Donald Hoegg, seconded by Ira Upin.“To accept the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 946-48 N. 2nd St., i.e.: ‘To support with the following provisos: a) There will be no sound transmission from the operation of the business to the neighbors in the adjacent apartment. b) Hours of operation will be no earlier than 7 a.m. and no later than 11 p.m. c) Trash will be stored inside and never outside. Trash will be taken outside only to be picked up within the hour.’”  Passed: 13-0-0

Motion: By Barbara Saverino, seconded by Jeremy Lindemann. “To accept the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 952 N. Lawrence St., i.e.: ‘To support the variance for this project as presented.’”  Passed: 13-0-0

Motion: By Donald Hoegg, seconded by Barbara Saverino. “To accept the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 134 W. Laurel St., i.e.: ‘To support the variance for this project as presented.’”  Passed: 13-0-0

Motion: By Monika Kreidie, seconded by Donald Hoegg. “To accept the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 1143 N. 3rd St., i.e.: ‘We will support an apartment building on this mostly residential block if it has 25% open space and keeps a parking ratio of 3 spaces per 10 apartments. Neighbors and the committee preferred the plans shown to us by this developer that had natural light and air to all bedrooms.’”  Passed: 13-0-0

Motion: By Donald Hoegg, seconded by Anne Waginger. “To accept the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 807-11 N. 3rd St., i.e.: ‘Neighbors and the committee will support a variance for an all residential apartment building if it is 5 stories high. The lobby, 7 parking spaces, and the open space should be retained in the configuration as shown in these plans.’”  Failed:4-5-2

Motion: By Ira Upin, seconded by Chris Somers. “In the matter of 807-811 N. 3rd Street, to accept the variance for this project as presented (changing the 3 second-floor units from commercial to residential).”  Passed: 8-1-

Joe reported that the NLNA’s variance for the Community Center yard was approved. He further reported that the NLNA’s appeal of the ZBA’s decision on the garage at 1009 North Orianna St. is moving forward.

 

Old Business

Matt updated the Board that the latest wrinkle with the street sweeping machine is logistical: we need find locations where the bags of trash can be dumped so that the trash doesn’t need to be hauled back to Liberty Lands.

 

New Business

Don informed the Board that a group of neighbors has joined together to try to preserve the open lots on the 800 block of Orkney Street as green space and that open meetings on the issue should be starting in March or so.

 

The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at 8:26 p.m.

 

Addenda:

Zoning Committee minutes 1/30/17

Members Present: Larry Freedman. Kenny Grono, Joe Mikuliak, Chris Issacson, Melissa Magness, Jonathen Sher, Abbey Spector

  1. 719 N. 5th St. – RSA5 – Michael Phillips – A proposal for a 6 unit mutli-family building. The following information was provided: – The same developer (Atlantic Apartments), approved for 5 apartments in the former church next door at 721 N 5th, proposed a new building at 719 N 5th with (4) 1 Bdrm apartments (1 ADA) and (2) 2 Bdrm apartments. Expected refusals are for height and use. Proposed building is 48’ high, includes a deck with a 5’ front setback and a pilot house.

Discussion: Issues included height, parking, design, density and duration of construction. Hearing date has not been set.

Motion (Joe) – 2nd (Kenny): Vote 5-0 Thank you for your presentation. While we can support an apartment building at this location, we cannot support the plan as presented. Please present a revised plan to our design committee before returning to the zoning committee in which: 1) The median height does not exceed 38 ft. 2) There are no more than 6 actual bedrooms 3) There is a trash plan 4) A roof deck with a 12’ setback from 5th St and a 5’ setback at the rear of the building 5) A façade and roofline that look more similar to nearby homes than the plan shown to the committee. Passed 6-0-1

  1. 980 N. 5th St – RSA5 – Joe Beller – A proposal for a 3 unit multi-family building. The following information was provided: – The applicant purchased the home a couple months ago and presented a plan to convert the single family home at 980 N. 5th St to a multi-family home by demolishing the rear 2/3 of the structure (currently 2 stories) and building a new 3 story addition that abuts the party line on the 2nd and 3rd floors (the current rear part of the house is setback from the party line, mirroring the neighbor’s house. The new addition will also reduce the currently compliant open house to 14% – Refusals are for open space and use. Discussion: Issues mentioned were parking, blocking the next door neighbor’s light and air, lack of light and air for proposed apartments

Motion (Kenny) – 2nd (Joe): Vote 5-0-1 Thank you for your presentation. We cannot support a variance for a multi-family home at this location. Several near neighbors attended the meeting and felt the block was best served by 980 N 5th remaining a single family home. The plans show a new 3 story structure in place of an existing 2 story structure to be demolished. This addition is shown built out to the party line on the 2nd and 3rd floors. This would negatively impact the light and air of the adjacent neighbors as well as the occupants of the proposed apartments. We do not support the reduction of open space below the required amount. The existing density of houses and apartments on the 900 block of North Fifth already exceeds the available parking. A single family home converted to apartments would further exacerbate this problem. Passed 7-0

  1. 946-48 N. 2nd St. – CMX2.5 – Betty Mon – A proposal for a prepared food use – no commercial cooking – Special Exception. Owner is moving his restaurant “Just Cravings” to this location. He will offer coffee and other cravings, no cooking to be done on premises. No outdoor tables are part of this application. Trash pickup will be twice a week.

Neighbors were concerned about noise and equipment vibration going into their apartment next door. And trash.

Motion by Kenny Grono 2nd by Melissa Magness To support with the following provisos: 1. There will be no sound transmission from the operation of the business to the neighbors in the adjacent apartment. 2. Hour of operation will be no earlier than 7 AM and no later than 11 PM. 3. Trash will be stored inside and never outside. Trash will be taken outside only to be picked up within the hour. Passed 6-0

  1. 952 N. Lawrence St. – RSA5 – Janice Woodcock – A proposal for a rear addition & balcony (balcony not permitted) The balcony is on the back of this single-family dwelling and the addition above the 1st floor rear is only to enlarge the existing living space.

Motion by Jonathan Sher 2nd by Kenny Grono To support the variance for this project as presented. Passed 6-0

  1. 134 W. Laurel St. – CMX2 – Rita Morrow – A proposal to legalize a single-family dwelling.

Last use of this property as a commercial space was as sandwich shop and this was over 30 years ago. It has been a single-family dwelling since then.

Motion by Jonathan Sher 2nd by Kenny Grono To support the variance for this project as presented. Passed 6-0

I’ll ask the board to add, “The conversion of this single family dwelling into an apartment building will be opposed regardless of changes to the size or number of the apartments.”

Zoning Committee Minutes 1/31/17

Members Present: Larry Freedman. Joe Mikuliak, Chris Issacson, Abbey Spector, Charlie Abdo

  1. 1143 N. 3rd St. – IRMX – Herc Grigos – A proposal for new construction of a mixed use building with 26 residential units, and with ground floor and basement industrial use. 8 parking spots. Using part of the ground floor and basement as an artisanal space (approx., 2700 sq ft.) allows building to exceed maximum height by one story. Height proposed is now 72 feet instead of 60. There are 26 apartments. Largest unit is 826 Sq. ft. 16 of the units will have no natural light or air to the bedroom “sleeping areas.” The open transom for air to the bedrooms are located above each apartment’s cooking area.

Only variance required will be for open space. They are building on 100% of the lot but 12.5% of the parking area is open to the sky. There are 8 parking spaces (as required) This is the 2nd visit to the ZC. Committee members felt their response to our 1st motion (light and air to all apartments, more open space) was inadequate. Many neighbors were present who felt this project would negatively affect their block. Several said they will go to the ZBA to oppose it.

Motion by Joe Mikuliak 2nd by Charlie Abdo We will support an apartment building on this mostly residential block if it has 25% open space and keeps a parking ratio of 3 spaces per 10 apartments. Neighbors and the committee preferred the plans shown to us by this developer that had natural light and air to all bedrooms. Passed 3-0-1

  1. 848 N. Leithgow St – RSA5 – Shimi Zaken – A proposal for a single-family dwelling (open space, rear yard and parking) WAS CANCELLED.
  1. 807-11 N. 3rd St. – IRMX – Shimi Zaken – A proposal to change 3 offices to 3 residential units on the 2nd floor in an already permitted project approved for 6 stories, 11 res. units, 3 offices. 7 parking spots. The project with 3 offices.needed no variance. Shimi wants to build a “High-end” all- residential apartment building 6 stories high. Would have 14 units. Location is next door to the N. 3rd Restaurant. Apartments will have light and air to all bedrooms. The open space above the garage sets the building back from other neighboring properties, an advantage for neighbors who live behind it. Height of building on four sides is 60 feet and pilot house is 10 feet higher. 13 neighbors attended who agreed with this motion:

Motion by Joe Mikuliak 2nd by Abbey Spector Neighbors and the ZC committee will support a variance for an all residential apartment building if it is 5 stories high. The lobby, 7 parking spaces, and the open space should be retained in the configuration as shown in these plans. Passed 4-0