PRESENT: Matt Ruben, President; Barbara Mulckhuyse, Vice-President; Steve Richman, Treasurer; Michael Coyne; Ira Upin; Monika Kreidie; Ben Mann; Joe Mikuliak; Don Phillips; Chris Somers;
ABSENT: Janet Finegar, Secretary; Donald Hoegg; Jeremy Lindemann; Barbara Saverino; Anne Waginger.
The meeting was called to order by the President at 7 p.m.
Motion: By Steve Richman, seconded by Don Phillips:“To approve the minutes of the April Board meeting as presented.” Passed 8-0-0
Motion: By Steve Richman, seconded by Don Phillips: “To fill the empty seat created by the resignation of Board Member Roneil Jackson by suspending the rules and seating the next highest vote getter at last week’s election, Michael Coyne, to the Board” Passed 8-0-0
Ryan from Atnos presented a new app and WiFi opportunity: to be able to market NLNA on local business’ WiFi as a “banner” ad. Option to also have a router in NLNA community center for new WiFi, or to be a Sponsor. Voted on under new business
President’s Report: Matt Ruben: written report attached and reviewed.
President’s Report, June 2017
- PLANNING, DEVELOPMENT, AND POLICY
- Construction Impacts – A few stubborn issues, most notably a small section of sidewalk on 3rd between Green and Fairmount that’s blocked on both sides.
- Festival Pier Site (Delaware & Spring Garden) – DRWC and the developer are still not ready to make the proposal public. I believe there will be a go/no-go decision made in August.
- Business Improvement District (BID) – The BID’s committees continue to meet. Bylaws have been drafted, a needs survey has been done, boundaries are coming into focus, and the assessment and other key financial pieces are coming together.
- FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
- Board Retreat – Our April 29 board retreat was a great success. This month’s board meeting agenda carves out time to continue the discussion, with the plan to have this discussion every 1-3 board meetings from here on out.
- EVENTS AND OUTREACH
- Board Meet-n-Greet June 15 – These casual events, where neighbors and others can meet board members and each other in a casual setting with free food and drink, always are successful, and over the years have resulted in many high-quality contacts – several current board members first made contact with the NLNA at one of these events. Board members are strongly encouraged to attend, particularly since these events informally take the place of some of the monthly general membership meetings we used to have in the past. 6-8PM, Community Center.
- General Membership Meetings – The May election meeting was well-attended and the Sanctuary City presentation by City officials was extremely informative.
- Town Watch – I believe Jeremy and Mark Maltby should make a public push to restart Town Watch patrols, to see if there’s neighbor interest.
- COMMUNICATION AND PUBLICITY
- Marketing/PR – A team of graduate students from Temple’s Fox School of Business is working with Don, Barbara, and Michael to help us with marketing and PR issues this summer. Neighbor Lori Schuster does similar marketing and is helping out as well. Thanks to Don for making the connection.
- The Facebook Group continues to grow quickly, with more than 3,600 members.
- OTHER ITEMS
- Board Polls – Ratification of any online or online board polls since last month’s board meeting.
In addition, follow up from the Board Retreat. Much discussion about a need for a mission statement and brand before deciding on tactical aspects such as a Marketing Campaign. Matt sent out the various iterations of the mission statement; all centered around being the center of the community (voice of, engine of), building community and increasing quality of life. The opening of the community center yard in Aug/Sept provides a great opportunity to rebrand or at least re-communicate. All agree that we need to find a way to communicate with a clear purpose and find ways to get more active members involved. Discussion about potentially hiring a person to help with engagement and social media. Discussed the need for a CRM database. Decided that Fox Business students would add this to their presentation (Michael to handle).
Discussed the need for a more dedicated effort around fundraising; particularly seeking and applying for grants. Discussion about hiring a PT person/company to dedicate to this. Decided that for now, ideally this person would come from the community.
Discussed the need for a fundraising calendar: Michael to spearhead.
NLNA community center with upcoming yard completion provides the opportunity to drive revenue through Special Events. Discussed the potential need for a PT person to help out with booking as well as running events. Monika/Lara to present needs at next board meeting.
Steve raised the idea of potentially using the reserve fund to put back into community and get a resource to help in various efforts. To be reviewed by Finance Committee.
Treasurer’s Report: Steve Richman: written report distributed and reviewed. Discussion about the anticipated $7-8K short fall on Clean Streets – need for Larry to make calls to developers. Also decided that further discussion was needed by Finance Committee to decided how to fund this as part of the General Fund or let it be on its own.
TREASURER’S REPORT – JUNE 2017
- 2016-17 Budget: May Financials – tables attached
- For the six months ended on May 31st all funds income was $208,143; this was $26,200 more than projected. Expenses totaled $101,574, which was about $67,300 less than anticipated. Net income was $106,569 – $93,500 more than projected. These amounts include about $84,000 in grant income and $6,400 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): $124,300 — $25,800 more than anticipated.
- GF & LL Expenses (rounded): $95,200 — $1,100 less than anticipated.
- GF & LL Net Income: $29,100 — $26,800 more than anticipated.
- Significant variations from budgeted projections through May included:
- Income from fundraising activities – which totaled about $38,600. This was $2,500 higher than anticipated. Most significantly, the Annual Appeal surpassed its goal of $17,600 (by $600), the Winterfest took in nearly $9,000, almost $1,500 more than projected, and the plant sale brought in almost $7,200, nearly $700 more than anticipated. 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 $2,000.
- Higher than anticipated general donations totaling $14,600. This was $11,500 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 $1,500.
- Rental income, which totaled nearly $52,900. This exceeded expectations by nearly $7,200, although almost $2,000 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 (-$7,000). This difference is almost entirely due to timing and seasonality.
- Higher than anticipated spending for legal services (+$1,600) and equipment ($4,100). 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 stated previously in this report, revenue to support the Clean Streets program is running far behind expectations; it is nearly $5,000 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. It is important, therefore for the Board to consider a fundraising strategy to address the current shortfall.
- Capital Grant from PTSSD: Yard Improvements – About a week ago we finally received plan approval and our building permit from the City. On Tuesday of this week we are scheduled to begin excavation of the site. While we were awaiting action by the City we successfully negotiated and executed several agreements with contractors for the construction of the pavilion, landscaping and required inspections. We also hope to conclude negotiations shortly with a contractor for an irrigation system. 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.
Motion: By Monika Kreidie, seconded by Joe Mikuliak. “To accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.” Passed 9-0-0
Liberty Lands Committee Report: Written report attached.
Liberty Lands Report – June 2017
- We are still in the process of adapting to the changeover in Garden Coordinator(s): our new coordinators Laura and Brian are finding their feet, though! Paul Cherashore is going to take over the job of supervising Chico, our trash and small-chore employee.
- At Matt’s suggestion, I will start a social-media blast in mid-June to remind people not to set off fireworks at the park, and we’ll put up a big sign in the middle of the field on July 2nd or 3rd saying “no fireworks”
- In the upcoming weeks there are rehearsals by our fire dancing troupe (Lux Arati) on several Sunday evenings, and rehearsals/performances by a group doing Midsummer Night’s Dream on the stage in mid-June. They should all be low-impact, but expect to see them.
- The farmer’s market has been going very well, bringing in at least $60/week as well as being a really nice community addition. There are two farmers now, and some great things like homemade ice cream. . .
- Flea Market/Music Fest/Angel Picnic was Saturday. It seems to have gone nicely (I wasn’t there – report from Don?), but the trash leftovers were nuts, probably from the Flea Market. We need to make a better plan for that so it isn’t just dumped onto volunteers on Sunday.
- The community relations/crime prevention officers from the 26th District found me the other day at the park, and they want to hold a family-friendly festival for National Night Out on August 1st. This should be a great partnership for the park (as well as a nice event), since a strong relationship with the District ought to help with enforcement on fireworks/night parties, etc.
- On that theme, we called the cops on a rowdy evening party over Memorial Day weekend and got a pretty quick and effective response: hurrah.
- The Plant Sale – which is an NLNA fundraiser but a big chunk of the park’s yearly budget (and many of the plants are grown at Liberty Lands) was the biggest success yet: $4,500 profit.
- The scheduled May 13 Love Your Park workday was dramatically rained out. However, small workdays on the 20th and 27th got a lot of the tasks on our list completed.
- Finally, both City Harvest and the GardenHub projects are underway and going well.
Zoning Committee Report: Ira Upin; written report attached and reviewed.
Motion: By Joe Mikuliak, seconded by Monika Kreidie.“To ratify the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 928 N. Leithgow St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. We oppose the variance for a front side garage at this location on a lot that is only 15’ wide. We feel a functional garage door, utility meters and a front door will not fit. As designed the new house will have no eyes on the street. A small home with a living area on the first floor will be much better on this small lot.’” Passed 7-2-0
Motion: By Monika Kreidie, seconded by Joe Mikuliak. “To ratify the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 138-46 W. Wildey St., i.e.: ‘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.’” Passed 9-0-0
Motion: By Joe Mikuliak, seconded by Barb Mulckhuyse. “To ratify the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 832-34 N. Orkney St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. We cannot support the plan as drawn. The bike rack will not permanently prevent parking. We request that you bring both houses to the property line. This will further increase the open space toward compliance and prevent parking in front of the house.’” Passed 9-0-0
Motion: By Steve Richman, seconded by Ira Upin. “To ratify the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 326 St. John Newman Way, i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. We support the plan as presented including materials as long as the refusals match those presented.’”Passed 9-0-0
Motion: By Monika Kredie, seconded by Ben Mann. “To ratify the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 614 N. Front St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. We cannot support this project. There is no hardship not to build by right at this location.’” Passed 9-0-0
The Yard- meeting at 9am Tuesday a.m.; estimated time for completion realistically end of August/beginning of Sept. Question was raised about being able to use space partially prior to completion; the answer; likely not, but let’s determine as the project gets underway.
Billy Goat is up and running
Orianna ZBA legal dispute heads to Aug 7 court date.
Announcements: Janet’s party on Saturday, and June 21 Fundraising event for Orkney Park.
Atnos presentation: discussion about potential conflict with Bamboo (existing WiFi provider) – concluded none present as it does not work reliably. Monica to get back to Ryan to be a sponsor/ ad on other WiFi locations.
The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at 9 p.m.
Zoning Committee Meeting – Monday 5/22/17
Members Present: Larry Freedman (chair), Kenny Grono, Joe Mikuliak, Jonathan Sher, Abbey Spector, Ira Upin, Charlie Abdo Members Absent: Michael Simon, Melissa Magness, Chris Issacson, Sharon Richman
928 N. Leithgow St. – RSA5 – Joe Beller – A return visit with a proposal for a single family dwelling – refused for front side garage. Motion from 5.24.16: 5-0 We reject the proposal as presented. A better house would be built on this small lot if it were built by right. They went to the ZBA and were approved for a house without the garage. The rest of the house is by right. Neighbors are concerned about the 15’ width of the garage, and the ability to have a functional front façade with a garage at that width.
Motion (Joe) – 2nd (Jon): Vote: 5-1 Thank you for your presentation. We oppose the variance for a front side garage at this location on a lot that is only 15’ wide. We feel a functional garage door, utility meters and a front door will not fit. As designed the new house will have no eyes on the street. A small home with a living area on the first floor will be much better on this small lot.
138-46 W. Wildey St. – RSA5 – Max Silver – A return visit with a proposal for 8 townhomes. 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. They returned with a plan that includes a change to the pilot house. It is larger. Over 100 sf larger than a compliant pilot house.
Motion (group): 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
832-34 N. Orkney St. – RSA5 – Jonathan Adler – A return visit with a proposal for two single family dwellings. Motion from 4/24/17 – (Joe) – 2nd ( Melissa): Vote 7-0-0 We cannot support the plan as presented. Please return with plan that: prevents illegal parking in front of the homes on Orkney, and provides a larger open space on the smaller lot. They moved the small house 2’ forward and added a bike rack in front of the smaller house to prevent parking there.
Motion (Ira) 2nd (Abbey): 6-0 Thank you for your presentation. We cannot support the plan as drawn. The bike rack will not permanently prevent parking. We request that you bring both houses to the property line. This will further increase the open space toward compliance and prevent parking in front of the house.
326 St. John Newman Way – RSA5 – Ted Singer – A proposal for a single family dwelling with parking. No refusals have been issued, but expected refusals are for: rear yard depth, rear yard parking, possibly curb cut
Motion (Ira) 2nd (Jon): 6-0 Thank you for your presentation. We support the plan as presented including materials as long as the refusals match those presented.
614 N. Front St. – CMX2 – Zhen Jin – A proposal for a residential building with 27 units, 61’ high, with 17 parking spots. Refusals include: Number of bike spaces, 90 degree Parking, 0% open space, proposed height of 61’ where 38’ is permitted.
Motion (group): 6-0 Thank you for your presentation. We cannot support this project. There is no hardship not to build by right at this location.