BOARD OF DIRECTORS MINUTES – Meeting of May 4, 2015

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

ABSENT:  Monika Kreidie.

The meeting was called to order by the President at 7:03 p.m.

Motion: By Steve Richman, seconded by Dolores Lyons:“To approve the minutes of the April Board meeting as presented.”  Passed 13-0-0

President’s Report: Matt Ruben

The April general meeting was a smashing success with a huge turnout of neighbors and candidates, food provided by local restaurants, and a $5,000 donation from Kieran Timberlake.

While reactions to the efforts to enforce construction codes and reclaim streets and sidewalks have been mixed, there have been a few builders who’ve been very positive in their responses.

The question of ads on northernliberties.org was raised; Katrina reported that she needs to figure out the ad system for the site but will contact other local programmers if necessary.

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

TREASURER’S REPORT – MAY 2015

  1. 2014-15 Budget: April Financials
  • For the seven months ended on April 30th all funds income was $84,200; this was nearly $4,500 more than projected. Expenses totaled $72,300, which was $8,300 less than anticipated. Net income was $11,900 – $12,800 more than projected. These amounts include $5,160 in income from grants and $6,260 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:
    • GF & LL Income: $79,000 — $4,300 more than anticipated.
    • GF & LL Expenses: $66,000 — $2,400 less than anticipated.
    • GF & LL Net Income: $13,000 — $6,700 more than anticipated.
  • Significant variations from budgeted projections through April were:
    • Lower than anticipated income of $3,600 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 $2,900 short of expectations.
    • Partially offsetting this revenue shortfall was the receipt of a large donation ($5,000) from Kieran Timberlake, 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 nearly $7,500 and netted us about $1,600 more than budgeted. Finally, revenues from recycling initiatives are running nearly $1,200 more than budgeted projections.
    • Lower than expected spending of $500 for administrative support, $1,600 for repair and maintenance and utilities, and $700 for fundraising expenses.
  1. Other Items
  • This year’s budget includes $2,000 for the installation of a “kitchen” in the community center. In accordance with the conditions specified in the budget, the Operations Committee submitted a proposal (for materials and labor) to the Finance Committee for approval. Upon completing its review the Finance Committee signed off on the project, which is proposed to be completed within the budgeted amounts.
  • I met with Jordan Rushie, the attorney representing us in the Stein litigation, to discuss the financial aspects of the settlement. I’ll report to the Board at our May meeting.

Motion: By Larry Freedman, seconded by Jennifer Baker. “To accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.”  Passed 13-0-0

New Business

There was a lengthy discussion about the late April zoning committee and the sense from some neighbors that the process had been opaque. It was reiterated that one responsibility of Board members is to represent the NLNA in the community and serve as a channel of communication between the Board and neighbors, and stressed that neighbors who are concerned about issues need to attend the meetings relevant to those issues. It was suggested that a more clear description of the zoning hearing process be written for the website.

Election Committee Report: Submitted by Paula Gansky

  • The Election Committee met on Wednesday, April 8th at the home of Dolores Lyons. Members present were Dolores, Sasi and Paula.
  • The two additional Committee members are Buck Buchanan and Jay Herskowitz, joined after the meeting.
  • Dolores emailed notices of Board termination to Don, Janet, Jennifer, Monika, Katrina, Sharon and Logan. Don informed Board members that he will run again for the Board, but not as an officer. Katrina let people know that she will not be running again.
  • Dolores re-designed the voters’ registration card for residents to fit on card stock, size 5.5×4.25. After the election, committee members will convert all
  • Nominations were taken at the General Meeting on Wednesday, April 22nd. Logan and Michael C were nominated for Vice-President, Janet was nominated as Secretary. 19 people were nominated to fill the 5 Board seats. 82 people signed into the meeting, and 16 new people were registered to vote.
  • Emails were sent to all nominees, and so far 13 have accepted, 2 have declined, 3 are undecided, and one has not responded. They were asked to submit their statements by Tuesday, May 12th so that the 2nd election letter can go out by Thursday, May 14th.
  • Matt will try to meet with nominees before next Tuesday to discuss what is expected of Board members.
  • The Election Committee will meet again on Wednesday, May 7th to compose the 2nd letter, and decide who will make the ballots, distribute the ballots (Buck has volunteered), register new voters, announce the candidates (Sasi has volunteered), etc, etc.

Liberty Lands Committee Report: by Janet Finegar

  • It’s been a busy spring already, especially as we try to finish up the projects from the PTSSD grant.
  • We had a workday in April with a very good turnout: we managed to do a lot of cleanup, to move the pile of spring compost to useful locations, and do 90% of installing the drinking water fountain. (We didn’t have all the parts due to my screw up). Seth did 5% more over the weekend, and will do the final making-it-work step in the next few days.
  • Our playground workday is Saturday (May 9) – playground mulch will be delivered on Friday morning. I’m working on getting the parking blocked and am asking Matt and Kat to help get the message out electronically as well as with signs on the street that I honest to god will have cars towed starting at midnight so that the 18-wheeler can deliver the mulch Friday morning.
  • We will also fix the horribly squeaky swings on Saturday. There has been a lot of discussion about fixing the droopy playground bridge and it may well come down to replacing the whole thing, which will be complicated. We’re investigating whether it’s under warranty right now.
  • We have the concrete molds to build 10 new benches and will start making those ends after the workday so that we can have a special bench-building day in June.
  • Lara and I discussed another big part of the PTSSD grant, which was putting out street trash cans, and concluded that it would be unsuccessful and shouldn’t be done. We are going to ask PTSSD to allow us to use some of those funds to put more trash corrals at Liberty Lands and perhaps for the playground bridge repair, if it requires us to pay for it.
  • The final element of the grant that isn’t done yet is installing the new hose valve boxes: we are still hoping that a local plumber will agree to do the job.
  • Reservations at the park are flowing in constantly, and Sunday (the first warm weekend of the year) was jam-packed.
  • Don added that the spring Music Festival will be June 6, including the flea market, which begins at 9 a.m.

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

Motion: By Katrina Mansfield, seconded by Michael Coyne.“To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 801 N. 2nd St., i.e.: ‘We support this food service/grocery with the following provisos: 1) Hours of operation: M-F 6a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; 2) There will be no more than 4 store name signs, none of which will be internally illuminated; 3) Trash removal will be Monday through Saturday after 6 a.m. and before 6 p.m; 4) A door will be installed on Brown Street exclusively for trash and recycling removal; 5) No more than 10 seats are permitted inside; 6)The make up air duct will be installed above the awning and the fan will be inside the building, not on the outside with no piping on the outside; 7) No lines will be permitted outside while patrons wait for service; 8) Sidewalk clean-up will be performed every 4 hours as promised; 9) No sounds or smells can emanate from the building; 10) You must return to the Zoning Committee for review for outside seating; and 11) Please attend a meeting of the UDC to review interim layout, signage and window treatment.’”  Passed 13-0-0

Motion: By Steve Richman, seconded by Anne Waginger. “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 537 N. 3rd St., i.e.: ‘We support this project with the following provisos: 1) Abandon the nightclub use; 2) Reduce the legal capacity of the roof deck to allow no more than 50 people at a time, allow no use of the roof deck after 10 p.m., and allow no alcohol or sound systems on the roof deck; 3) Forbid restaurant use/access to the roof deck; 4) The first floor restaurant will only utilize ½ of the floor; 5) The lay-by lane will be eliminated in favor of a 14’ wide sidewalk with a loading zone, 6) Please go to the UDC to discuss rotating the stairwell on the top floor, trash and recycling plan, materials that will be used in construction, the design of the 4 facades, the design of Bodine Street, and chamfering of the pilot houses.’”  Passed 12-1-0

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Don Phillips. “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 806 N. 2nd St., i.e.: ‘We cannot support this project as presented. Please return with revised plans that conform to code for lot coverage, open space and rear yard. These plans should include room dimensions, façade and elevations for all sides with corrected dimensions. Additionally, reduce the size of the roof deck and set back the sides of the deck away from the sides of the building, and reduce the number of units by 50% (from 8 to 4).’”  Passed 13-0-0

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Chris Somers. “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 118-20 Laurel St., i.e.: ‘We support the project as presented.’”  Passed 13-0-0

Motion: By Anne Waginger, seconded by Dolores Lyons. “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 517-33 Poplar St., i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. In order to support a residential project at this location, we would like you to return with plans that reflect the following: 1) Revisit the massing of the building and vary the elevation with 60’+ on 6th Street and less than 60’ on Randolph; 2) Contour the pointy corner; and 3) Provide more street level open space.’”  Passed 13-0-0

Motion: By Sasi Judd, seconded by Dolores Lyons. “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 329-31 Fairmount Ave., i.e.: ‘We cannot support this project as presented. The parking plan is unenforceable. The deck addition is not acceptable. This space cannot support 10 units. Please return with plans that maintain the single family structure with parking for this structure only and converts the warehouse into 3 units.’”  Passed 13-0-0

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Anne Waginger . “To ratify the suggestions of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 869-71 N. 5th St., i.e.: ‘We support the subdivision as presented, with the note that the contractor must not remove or replace the blue bricks of the historically certified street.’”  Passed 13-0-0

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Anne Waginger. “To table discussion of the Planning Commission’s proposed overlay of East Callowhill Street.” Passed 13-0-0

Old Business

Janet reported that the annual plant sale netted $4,100 this year.

The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at 9:19 p.m.

Addenda:

Zoning Committee Meeting – Monday 4/27/15

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

801 N. 2nd St. – CMX2.5 – Zhen Jin: A return visit with a proposal for a grocery store with food service. Motion (8-0) from March 31, 2015:  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. The following information was provided: – The air inlet opening can only be placed above the canopy on Brown Street. There is no fan on the wall, only a 24”x24” louver. A 1½ hp fan will be in the building. (No pipes on the outside.) A 3 hp fan will be on the roof. – A door will be constructed on the east end of the building on Brown Street to be used by the contractor to remove trash from the store. – The trash plan is to have someone clean up the outside area every 4 hours. The contractor will remove trash from the store Monday-Saturday. One trash can will be placed outside the front door and one trash can inside the store for patrons to use. – Four non-illuminated signs are planned – one for each of the front doors, one in a window and one hanging under the canopy. – There will be no other signs (items for sale, menus, etc.). – No outdoor seating is planned at this time.- No take out beer. Discussion: Issues included odors, sound, exhaust/ventilation noise, signs and merchandise blocking windows.

Motion (Joe) – 2nd (Michael): Vote 9-0  We support this food service/grocery with the following provisos: 1) Hours of operation: M-Fri 6a.-10 p., Sat 8 a.-10 p., Sun 9 a.-7 p.; 2) There will be no more than 4 store name signs that are not self illuminated. 3) Trash removal will be Monday through Saturday after 6 a.m. and before 6 p.m. 4) A door will be installed on Brown Street exclusively for trash and recycling removal. 5) No more than 10 seats are permitted inside. 6) The make up air duct will be installed above the awning and the fan will be inside the building, not on the outside with no piping on the outside. 7) No lines will be permitted outside while patrons wait for service. 8) Sidewalk clean-up will be performed every 4 hours as promised. 9) No sounds or smells can emanate from the building. 10) You must return to the Zoning Committee for review for outside seating. 11) Please attend a meeting of the UDC to review interim layout, signage and window treatment.

537 N. 3rd St. (Finnegans Wake) – CMX2 – Sam Olshin: A return visit with a proposal for office uses, additional height, roof deck and first floor Bistro. Motion (8-1-1) from March 30, 2015  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. Board’s Revised motion [April 6, 2015] 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 third floor bar and restaurant use; d) Limit roof deck use to office tenants only; e) Reconstruct Bodine Street according to the neighborhood (to be worked out); f) Replace the lay-by lane with a 14’ sidewalk and zone; g) Include dimensional drawings;
h) Include materials to be used in the renovation; and, i) Include a revised shadow study reflecting the building height.

  • The following information was provided:
  • A restaurant, or other commercial use, would only occupy ½ of the 1st floor.
  • The lay-by lane would be eliminated and the sidewalk enlarged.
  • They will add a handicap ramp, and bike and motor scooter parking on Bodine Street.
  • They will work with the next building to create a landscaped pedestrian walkway on Bodine Street with trees and greenery.
  • If there is a restaurant, the patrons and staff cannot access or use the roof top deck.
  • The ceiling heights were lowered to reduce the overall height of the building – 60’ at roof, 70.5’ at stair towers, 74’ at elevator shafts.
  • All connectors (on the roof) between the stairwells and elevator shaft are eliminated.
  • All windows currently missing on 3rd Street and on Bodine Street will be replaced.
  • A revised shadow study was provided.
  • The architect offered to work to lower the height of the pilot houses.
  • They would not go forward with the project without a roof deck.
  • The roof deck occupancy is 100 people.

Discussion: Someone suggested that the stairwell on the top floor be rotated 90 degrees towards spring Garden Street to lessen the footprint. The Planning Commission will readjust the area along Spring Garden Street to CMX3 which allows 5 stories. Jennifer Baker and tenants still objected to the building height being increased.

Motion (Melissa) – 2nd (Joe): Vote 9-0  We support this project with the following provisos:

  1. Reduce the capacity/size of the roof deck;
  2. Restrict restaurant use/access to the roof deck (only office tenants can use roof deck);
  3. The first floor restaurant will only utilize ½ of the floor;
  4. Abandon nightclub use and third floor bar and restaurant use;
  5. The lay-by lane will be eliminated in favor of a 14’ wide sidewalk with a loading zone;
  6. Reconstruct Bodine Street according to the neighborhood (to be worked out);
  7. Please go to the UDC to discuss: rotating the stairwell on the top floor, trash and recycling plan, materials that will be used in construction, the design of the 4 facades, the design of Bodine Street, chamfering of the pilot houses

806 N. 2nd St. – CMX2.5 – Dawn Tancredi: A proposal for 8 residential units. Refusals were issued for the number of proposed dwellings (8 instead of 4), occupied area (95% instead of 75%), rear yard (3’ instead of 8’). There is a basement and 4 floors, and a roof deck that covers the entire roof. Commercial space on the 1st floor is listed on the plans as a restaurant. Plans had no room dimensions and exterior elevations had incorrect heights listed that need to be corrected (total height, height to parapet, roof line). There is an easement to Brown Street behind the building. Façade material is a “higher level” metal panel. Discussion: There was concern about the use of the small outdoor area. If a restaurant is on the 1st floor, there is not adequate space for required facilities. The architecture plans were not accurate. The rear façade was not shown. The roof deck size is too large. The rear decks are too close to the property line.

Motion (Ira) – 2nd (Everybody): Vote 9-0  We cannot support this project as presented. Please return with revised plans that conform to code for lot coverage, open space and rear yard. These plans should include room dimensions, façade and elevations for all sides with corrected dimensions. Additionally, reduce the size of the roof deck and set back the sides of the deck away from the sides of the building, and reduce the number of units by 50% (from 8 to 4)

118-20 Laurel St. – RSA5 – Tom Wiedenman: A return visit with a proposal for a duplex with parking. March 30, 2015 Motion (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. The meters are now flush to the brick wall. The parking spot was eliminated. The size of the roof deck has been reduced and is now placed towards the back of property. The façade materials will include heat treated wood siding accents, pre-finished corrugated metal, brick for the first floor and tempered glass panels on the decks.

Motion (Charlie) – 2nd (Melissa): Vote 8-0  We support the projected as presented.

Zoning Committee Meeting – Tuesday 4/28/15

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

517-33 Poplar St. – I2 – Masada Builders: A proposal for a new bldg. with 40 residential units and ground floor public café. Expecting a refusal for residential use. This is a total revision to a previously submitted preliminary plan. There would be 24@1-bedroom condos and 16@2-bedroom condos (10 units per floor) with 35 parking spaces (29 of are part of a mechanical parking system). Bike storage would be provided inside and outside the building. A/C’s on the roof which would also house an enormous common roof deck set back 5’ from the building edge with a plant buffer surrounding it on all sides. Parking will be reached through one curb cut on Poplar Street. The other curb cuts will be in-filled. Exterior units will have a 30”x10’ balcony. Building is 60’ high with red brick and wood panels on all 4 facades. There is a 1300 sf commercial space on the first floor which could be used as a café or office. A trash chute on each floor sends trash to a storage area/room on the ground floor until it can be picked up by a commercial service. There were no windows in the Unit A bedroom (facing Randolph Street) on each floor. Discussion: There is no open public space. Neighbors wanted more green space. It is very dense. Neighbors wanted the lot developed instead of waiting for industrial development. Neighbors wanted the building higher on 6th Street and lower on Randolph.

Motion (Group): Vote 7-0  Thank you for your presentation. In order to support a residential project at this location, we would like you to return with plans that reflect the following: 1) Revisit the massing of the building and vary the elevation with 60’+ on 6th Street and less than 60’ on Randolph; 2) Contour the pointy corner; 3) Provide more street level open space.

329-31 Fairmount Ave. – RSA5 – Matt Monroe: A proposal for residential units. This is an adaptive reuse of an existing single family structure with an adjacent warehouse structure, turning it into a multi-family dwelling with off-street surface parking – 10 units (4@1 bedroom, 6@2 bedroom). It requires an addition of a floor (41’7”) high)and a roof deck to provide a combination of a 3-level trinity and a bi-level and other combinations. The units average between 700-795 SF. One unit is 1385 SF. The roof deck would be available for the top two units. The deck extends to the edge of the roof and overlooks the church next door. Trash would be stored on ground level in the courtyard until street pickup. To address parking issues, they propose 2 Philly Car Share spots in the driveway and the leasing of 10 parking spots off-site at Front and Fairmount Streets and maybe 6 parking spots somewhere else as a contingency. Discussion: There was concern that cars would be backing out onto Fairmount Street from a driveway that is next to an active Recreation Center busy with children. Neighbors felt the project was too dense and the parking plan was questionable. Neighbors wanted to maintain the existing structures with no additions.

Motion (Group): Vote 7-0  We cannot support this project as presented. The parking plan is unenforceable. The deck addition is not acceptable. This space cannot support 10 units. Please return with plans that maintain the single family structure with parking for this structure only and converts the warehouse into 3 units.

869-71 N. 5th St. – RSA5 – Anthony Kuhar: A proposal to subdivide one lot into two and build a single family home. There are two parcels on one deed (20’x85’ each). The new house will have a garage fronting on 5th Street. The open space for each house could be an issue. They will go to ZBA for backyard and sub-division approval after they see us. Nearest neighbor did not object to the yard situation and parking.

Motion (Joe) – 2nd (Abbey): Vote 7-0   We support the subdivision as presented.

Planning Commission – Ian Litwin: A return visit with a zoning remapping plan for Callowhill Street between 2nd & 5th Streets and up to Spring Garden Street.

Motion (Joe) – 2nd (Abbey): Vote 7-0  We support the East Callowhill Street mapping and overlay.