BOARD OF DIRECTORS MINUTES – Meeting of July 10, 2017

PRESENT:  Matt Ruben, President; Barbara Mulckhuyse, Vice-President; Steve Richman, Treasurer; Michael Coyne; Donald Hoegg; Monika Kreidie; Jeremy Lindemann; Ben Mann; Don Phillips; Barbara Saverino; Chris Somers; Anne Waginger. 

ALSO PRESENT:  Melodie Carter, Kereen Franklin, John Turella, Marcel Winokur

ABSENT:  Janet Finegar, Secretary; Joe Mikuliak, Ira Upin

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

Motion: By Anne Waginger, seconded by Chris Somers: “To approve the minutes of the June Board meeting as presented.”  Passed 11-0-0

Carter et. al. presented their attached report, Market Research Report, 7:04 p.m.

 

In response to the report, Treasurer Steve Richman and President Matt Ruben questioned how the board should go about “capturing” the various groups laid out in the report, and suggested the NLNA should go beyond just recruiting volunteers. Richman in particular emphasized the importance of the higher income demographics described in the report contributing to the NLNA financially if they’re otherwise predisposed. Similarly, Richman later noted that the high proportion of homeownership should lend itself to a more engaged membership.

Responding to questioning over whether “legacy residents” were being diluted rather than displaced, Marcel Winokur explained that dilution – the influx of newer residents occupying formerly non-residential zoned areas – subsequently drives displacement as the area becomes more desirable and rents and property tax burdens increase.

The next presentation was tentatively set for August 7.

 

President’s Report: Not presented in the interest of time

 

Motion: By Don Phillips, seconded by Barbara Saverino. “To certify the online board poll certifying HVAC repairs for up to $3,000.”  Passed 11-0-0

 

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

Treasurer reported that the NLNA has a $30,000 larger than expected budget surplus, due in large part to community center rentals. Additionally, while the yard renovations are making progress, they likely won’t be ready in time for use by NLArts.

TREASURER’S REPORT – JULY 2017          

2016-17 Budget: June  Financialstables attached

For the nine months ended on June 30th           all funds income was $222,000; this was $28,300 more than projected.  Expenses totaled $140,500, which was about $40,700 less than anticipated.  Net income was $81,500 – $69,000 more than projected. These amounts include about $83,400 in grant income and $34,800 in grant expenses outside the General Fund and Liberty Lands.

  • 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:
  • GF & LL Income (rounded):   $138,100 — $27,800 more than anticipated.
    • GF & LL Expenses (rounded): $105,700 — $2,400 less than anticipated.
    • GF & LL Net Income: $32,400 — $30,200 more than anticipated.
  • Significant variations from budgeted projections through June included:

Income from fundraising activities – which totaled about $44,200. This was $3,200 higher than anticipated.  Most significantly, the Annual Appeal surpassed its goal of $17,600 (by $730), the Winterfest took in nearly $9,000, almost $1,500 more than projected, the plant sale brought in almost $7,200, nearly $700 more than anticipated and income from the Spring Music Fest was $5,240, $740 more than budgeted . In addition, income from the Fall Fest exceeded expectations by nearly $1,800.  Shortfalls in income from recycling initiatives and Clean Streets partially offset these gains by about $2,200.

Higher than anticipated general donations totaling $15,400.  This was $11,900 more than projected and accounts for nearly 40 percent of the current positive balance.    A number of large matching donations constituted most of the funds we received.  A shortfall in corporate donations, however, most notably for Clean Streets, offset this gain by a net $2,000.

Rental income, which totaled $58,700.  This exceeded expectations by $7,300, although $1,050 of this amount was pre-paid rent.

Grants totaling $12,170 received from PTSSD for Operation Santa, Parade of Spirits, the Fall Fest, Winterfest and Liberty Lands.   An additional $2,000 grant was received from the Frick Foundation for repairs at Liberty Lands.  Taken together, these grant funds exceeded budgeted expectations by $5,550.

Lower than anticipated spending for professional and program services and repair and maintenance (-$8,300). 

Higher than anticipated spending for legal services (+$1,500) and equipment ($4,200).  In legal services the additional spending was for the appeal of a recent ZBA decision.  In equipment, we spent $2,680 for the purchase of a street cleaning machine and $1,000 for a water fountain and the rental of a bobcat at Liberty Lands.

Other Items

Clean Streets – As reported previously, revenue to support the Clean Streets program is running far behind expectations; it is $5,500 short and if the current trend continues we will miss our fundraising target by almost $7,000 this year.  Given that the program is funded by a dedicated revenue stream this shortfall has serious implications for its future.  Because the program is forward-funded there are sufficient funds for the current year; however, if current trends continue Clean Streets would only have sufficient funds to operate for about 5 months next year. Following Board discussion at last month’s meeting action is contemplated to address the current shortfall.

Capital Grant from PTSSD: Yard Improvements – Following City approval of our plan approval and issuance of a building permit we commenced excavation of the site.  Foundations were subsequently poured and we are awaiting architect approval of detailed drawings by our pavilion fabricator.  All contracts required to complete the work have been executed.  Some services are being provided for no charge.  These include surveying, excavation and foundation work. In addition, Callahan Ward, a local developer is assisting in the general oversight of the project, also at no charge to us. Of course, Kieran Timberlake and its partners will continue to provide direction and assistance to us throughout the construction process.

2017-18 Budget – Budget preparation will begin in July and continue through the summer. It is anticipated that a draft budget will be presented to the Board at the September meeting and the final budget will be presented for a vote at the October meeting. Committees will be contacted as necessary for input into the process.

Motion: By Don Hoegg, seconded by Monika Kreidie. “To accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.”  Passed 11-0-0

 

Liberty Lands Board Report   July 2017

  • Apologies for the brief report. Oddly, mid-summer is a relatively quiet time at the park: also, Janet is away all month although available by text/email. If something critical is happening, getting in touch with Liz or Seth right away is the best idea, followed by TEXTING Janet (215-627-4633) so she can alert folks in Philadelphia. Emails may take a few days before she even sees them.
  • The farmer who’d been our anchor at the Farmers Market last year and this spring, 5 Acre Farms, has retired due to a series of problems at the farm. We’ll miss him – Jack is a character and a great guy – but fortunately a second farm had come on this June so the market itself is unharmed. Paul Hubert has been doing an amazing job of organizing and promoting the Market: what it most needs now is community support and purchasers. Please make a point of stopping by on Saturday mornings if you can and talk it up to your friends.
  • Use of the park otherwise continues at a normal pace for the summer: there is a steady flow of reservations and parties. July 29th will be a largish event – Jouska, by the Women’s Collective. Paul and Liz are the contact points at the park for that event.
  • The production of Midsummer Night’s Dream during late June went very well and was well received in the community. We’d work with that theater company again if possible.
  • July 4th passed without any serious fireworks issues, although Seth says he did have to chase three separate groups away from setting up explosives there. No problems with doing so, however.
  • The Garden Hub project is up and running, with a part-time worker hired and tending the City Harvest gardens for harvest to take to local food banks.
  • The lock on the potty shed was malfunctioning and we’d found it open repeatedly, so Seth had it changed. Core park volunteers have the new key.
  • Finally, the concerns about lead in the soil in Fishtown have, predictably, raised some questions about whether Liberty Lands’ soil is safe. The short answer is YES, the park’s soil has been tested twice since the mid-90s and has safe lead (and other contaminants, too) levels for park use. While there may be lead dust contamination from other construction sites in the neighborhood, it should be fairly low and the new mulch at the playground will help. I have a detailed response email about all this if anyone would like to read it, but the main answer should anyone be asked is that the park is one of the best-tested and safest sits in the neighborhood and that everyone should be super-careful about washing the hands of small people in particular. Since we’re talking about dust, hand washing and taking care to keep stuff out of babies’ mouths is by far the best protection.

Zoning Committee Report: Matt Ruben; written report attached and reviewed.

Motion: By Jeremy Lindemann, seconded by Barbara Saverino.“To ratify the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 1013 N. Leithgow St., i.e.: ‘We support this proposal as presented.’”  Passed 11-0-0

Motion: By Don Hoegg, seconded by Anne Waginger,. “To ratify the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 138-46 W. Wildey St., i.e.: ‘We support this revised plan as presented.’”  Passed 11-0-0

Motion: By Jeremy Lindemann, seconded by Don Hoegg. “To ratify the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 1050 N. Hancock St., i.e.: ‘We support the project as presented with the following provisos: 1) There will be a maximum of 150 in the venue.  2) Hours will be limited to:  Sunday – Thursday   11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. 3) No sound shall leave the premises. 4) There will be no more than 3 live music events with amplified sound each week. 5) No alcohol of any amount will be served.’”  Passed 11-0-0

Motion: By Barbara Saverino, seconded by Steve Richman. “To ratify the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 1114 N. Galloway St., i.e.: ‘We do not support the severance because the original approval was made for auxiliary parking in this location for 2 houses.’”  Passed 11-0-0

Motion: By Steve Richman, seconded by Don Hoegg. “To ratify the recommendations of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 719 N. 5th St., i.e.: ‘We can only support a plan for a multi-family building with the following provisos: 1)Eliminate the living space in the basement including the bathroom, and eliminate the stairs from the 1st floor back apartment to the basement, making the basement one continuous storage space. 2) Combine the 2 back bedrooms with the “den” on the 4th floor (eliminating the “den”). 3) Trash storage should be along the easement, not within the apartments, and there should be commercial trash pick-up with removal from the easement area. 4) Utility meters should be hidden from view.’”  Passed 11-0-0

 

Old Business

Barbara Saverino explained that Friends of the Doughboy plans to seek funding from the Mayor’s Fund after funding from PTSSD fell through due to timing technicalities.

 

New Business

Don Phillips reported that the NLNA will again be serving beer at 2nd and Brown during the Second Street festival and will put out a public posting for volunteers ASAP.

Don Phillips also reported that the fundraiser for Orkney Park Project was very successful and the next step is to reach a legal agreement. Organizers will need to retain counsel experienced in both estate and land use law.

 

The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at  8:40 p.m.

Addenda:

Zoning Committee – Monday 6/26/17

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

 

1013 N. Leithgow St. – RSA5 – Roger Perry:  A proposal for a two family dwelling.

The property was originally 2 Trinities with 2 separate entrances, 2 utility meters, 2 kitchens and 2 mortgages.  It continues to function as two separate housing units.

Motion: (Charlie) – 2nd (Melissa): Vote 6-0-0    We support this proposal as presented.

 

138-46 W. Wildey Sy. – RSA5 – Max Silver: A return visit with a proposal for 8 townhomes.

Motion from 5.22.17: Vote 6-0   Thank you for your presentation. We can support the project as presented except for the 4th floor. At that level we would like to see a compliant pilot house

Motion from 3.27.17 that follows was changed by email with ZC members to allow reduced setbacks for 4 instead of 2 houses.  Thank you for your presentation. Please return with refusals from the ZBA. Bring enlarged plans where all houses but 146 Wildey and 129 Allen have a minimum yard setback of 9’. Include contextual color drawings of neighboring houses in context with the presented homes on both streets. Include façade details for front and rear, as well as one exposed side façade.

The first 3 floors remain the same.  The 4th floor room (with a wet bar) was moved to the rear of the houses and with a minimum set back of 14’.  The rear of the building is 43’8” high and the front is 48’ high.  The full height wall that is adjacent to the neighbor’s driveway will be beige or grey. Discussion: No neighbors were at the meeting.  The site lines are improved from the previous design. 

Motion (Charlie) – 2nd (Sharon): Vote 6-0-0   We support this revised plan as presented.

 

1050 N. Hancock St. – CMX3 – Creep Records: A proposal for live music, dj’s, art shows, retail sales of t-shirts max, 150 people, as part of an existing record store and pipes shop. Entrance is through the Piazza. They claim that sound has not been a problem during musical events.  There is no alcohol or food served.  They anticipate a weekly music event.  There is only one bathroom.

Motion (Group): Vote 6-0-0  We support the project as presented with the following provisos: 1 – There will be a maximum of 150 in the venue.   2 – Hours will be limited to:  Sunday -> Thursday   11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.,  Friday and Saturday   11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. 3 – No sound shall leavethe premises. 4 – There will be no more than 3 live music events with amplified sound each week.  5 – No alcohol of any amount will be served.

 

1114 N. Galloway St. – RSA5 – David Orphanides: To sever the pre-approved use of the lot as a two parking open air parking spaces for 1128 & 1130 N. Galloway St.  Discussion: Zoning was previously approved as parking spaces for 2 homes not attached to these spaces.

Motion (Kenny) – 2nd (Jon): Vote 6-0-0   We do not support the severance because the original approval was made for auxillary parking in this location for 2 houses.

 

719 N. 5th St. – RSA5 – Michael Philips:  A return visit with a proposal for a 6 unit mutli-family building.  Motion  from 1.30.17.  Vote 6-0-1  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:  The median height does not exceed 38 ft., There are no more than 6 actual bedrooms, There is a trash plan, A roof deck with a 12’ setback from 5th St and a 5’ setback at the rear of the building, A façade and roofline that look more similar to nearby homes than the plan shown to the Committee. Houses on this block, with the exception of the adjacent house, are multi-family. The front façade was changed to align the cornice with the other homes. The pitch of the roof now matches the others on the block.  The brick will be red to match the other homes. There will be a 12’ set back from 5th Street and 5’ set back from the rear.  Only the top floor unit has access to the roof deck.  The first floor rear apartment is the only unit with yard access. The adjacent neighbor’s concerns were addressed.  The trash “plan” was to provide a trash closet within each apartment. Discussion: There are still more bedrooms than we requested (9 not 6).  The trash plan will not alleviate trash congestion on the sidewalk.

Motion (Group): Vote 6-0-0  We can only support a plan for a multi-family building with the following provisos: 1 – Eliminate the living space in the basement including the bathroom, and eliminate the stairs from the 1st floor back apartment to the basement, making the basement one continuous storage space. 2 – Combine the 2 back bedrooms with the “den” on the 4th floor (eliminating the “den”).  3 – Trash storage should be along the easement, not within the apartments, and there should be commercial trash pick-up with removal from the easement area.  4 – Utility meters should be hidden from view.