PRESENT: Matt Ruben, President; Don Phillips, Vice-President; Steve Richman, Treasurer; Janet Finegar, Secretary; Rick Angeli; Fernando Benavides; Michael Coyne; Larry Freedman; Lystra Harris; Irene Lambrou; Chris Somers; Anne Waginger.
ABSENT: Erika Goldberg, Katrina Mansfield, Josh Upin.
The meeting was called to order by the President at 7:08 p.m.
Motion: By Anne Waginger, seconded by Fernando Benavides:“To approve the minutes of the August Board meeting as presented.”
Larry presented Sharon Richman as a potential new member of the zoning committee.
Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Rick Angeli: “To approve Sharon Richman as a member of the Zoning Committee.”
President’s Report: Matt Ruben: written report attached and reviewed.
Matt provided additional information to the Board about the developing issue of the waterfront setback and the potential controversy that may arise around changes City Council has been suggesting for the setback’s administration.
Treasurer’s Report: Steve Richman: written report distributed and reviewed.
Steve reported that the Finance Committee (Steve, Michael, Fernando, and Don) have put a great deal of effort into creating the draft FY2013 budget being presented tonight. A full draft budget was distributed to the Board and Steve encouraged all Board members to look over the draft carefully and send comments or questions to any member of the Finance Committee within the next two weeks so that a final draft could be presented at the October meeting. Steve then reviewed the draft budget in some detail. Discussion at the Board meeting included what duties and number of hours might best be requested from the Quality of Life coordinator.
In addition to the draft budget, Steve distributed and briefly reviewed an 11-month update on the FY2012 fiscal status of the NLNA.
Motion: By Larry Freedman, seconded by Irene Lambrou. “To accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.”
Business Association Liaison, Casino, Clean and Green, Education, Election, Environment, Fundraising, Membership, Neighborhood Plan, Operations, Townwatch, Recycling, and Urban Design Committees: No reports.
Community Center Committee Report: Larry Freedman.
Larry reported that the garage project is 99% done and that NL Mailbox Store will be moving in in October. Final accounting for the project should be available at the next meeting and we should come in comfortably at budget. Rick suggested that the SSD Board be invited to the Mailbox Store’s moving in day and a small celebration be orchestrated, possibly in congruence with the e-waste collection day on Sept. 29.
Liberty Lands Committee Report: Janet Finegar: written report attached and reviewed.
There was some brief discussion of the playground mulch overhaul, movies, and proposed budget.
Zoning Committee Report: Larry Freedman; written report attached and reviewed.
Motion: By Don Phillips, seconded by Anne Waginger:“To approve the recommendation of the Zoning Committee on the matter of 806 & 808-20 N. Front St., i.e.: ‘We support a 5 year temporary variance for a parking lot at this location with the following provisos: 1) remove barbed wire on all fencing; 2) parking should be private parking only for Cescaphe and Tendenza. This should be for valet parking only.’”
Motion: By Steve Richman, seconded by Anne Waginger: “To amend the recommendation of the Zoning Committee on the matter of 227-31 Green St., i.e.: ‘Please return to the committee with a plan that either meets the new Zoning Code height limit of 38′ or demonstrates economic hardship for this project at that limit. These plans should be rendered perspective drawings that show all facades with materials and this development in context with the surrounding buildings. Drawings should include inside and outside dimensions. Clarify easement details for driveway, which should be 18’ and pervious. Explore the north property line building infringement onto your lot and review with us what your plans are for dealing with this issue.’”
Motion: By Rick Angeli, seconded by Fernando Benavides: “To approve the recommendation of the Zoning Committee on the matter of 542-44 N. 4th St., i.e.: ‘Our support of a basement unit is tentative. Please provide our UDC with sections and elevations of the basement unit including windows that provide light and air into this unit. We can give preliminary support to the other 8 units. Please go to our UDC to discuss the following: 1) Use of 16’ high ceilings to increase light to units 2 and 4; 2) Please provide a solid, 6’ high wall on west side of roof deck; 3) Locate all condensing units and venting on roof; 4) Eliminate loading zone on Green Street; 5) Use no clear windows in basement storage unit and unit 5 kitchen; 6) Address these parking lot/garden issues: 6a) provide new curbs, new curb cut and a new sidewalk, 6b) provide a design for green space, landscaping and fencing, 6c) relocate 4 parking spots to avoid fire hydrant, and 6d) design so cars on compact car spaces do not extend over sidewalk. A letter of support will be issued by the NLNA upon the recommendation of the UDC and showing us a refusal that agrees with your presentation.’”
Motion: By Steve Richman, seconded by Lystra Harris: “To approve the recommendation of the Zoning Committee on the matter of 1102-06 N. 3rd St. (to Galloway), i.e.: ‘To approve as presented, pending Streets Department approval and UDC approval, presentation of refusal to ZC chair, and agreement to support change to one-way on Galloway Street.’”
Motion: By Rick Angeli, seconded by Chris Somers: “To approve the recommendation of the Zoning Committee on the matter of 908 St. John Neumann Place (908 N. Orkney), i.e.: ‘We support the plan for a single family dwelling averaging 37′ high. Please go to the UDC to discuss materials (including garage door), elimination of the vestibule, and creating a flush front door. Return to ZC with refusal and UDC approval.’”
Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Fernando Benavides: “To approve the recommendation of the Zoning Committee on the matter of 441 Brown St., i.e.: ‘We cannot support this project as presented. Please return with a project that has 30% open space on the ground floor. We would consider an office on the first floor and one residential unit above. We also encourage the developer to keep the existing facade.’”
Motion: By Lystra Harris, seconded by Steve Richman: “To approve the recommendation of the Zoning Committee on the matter of 927-29 Orianna St., i.e.: ‘To support the project as presented.’”
Don reminded the Board that he has been charged with organizing a committee to re-visit the Board’s mission, and asked any Board member who would like to be involved to contact him.
Don also asked the Board to help publicize the weekend’s music fest; Rick reminded the Board that Facebook is a powerful vehicle for advertising events.
Don nominated Bill Barton of Philadelphia Brewing Company for a community service award through the Membership committee.
Rick presented the poster for the September 29th E-waste recycling event and encouraged the board to share the image electronically. Board members encouraged him to print posters if it would be helpful to publicize the event, which brings in a small amount of money and diverts chemicals from the waste stream.
The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at 9:25 p.m.
1. PLANNING AND POLICY-RELATED ISSUES
- Mission – No update; Don will be heading up this initiative over the next several months.
- Casinos – No update from last meeting.
- Central Delaware Master Plan – The August 22 meeting referenced in my previous report took place, but no representatives from the Development Workshop attended. Another meeting is being scheduled, to include them, CDAG, and reps from the Planning Commission. On August 23 and 29 I attended two working-group meetings regarding the citywide “stream
- buffer” aka waterfront setback. Details at our meeting.
- Zoning Code – The new Zoning Code went into effect August 22. Remapping – assessing each parcel in the city to see if its base zoning needs to be changed – is ongoing.
- Administration – Steve will have finance-related administration updates in the Treasurer’s report. Larry will have building-related admin updates in the Community Center report.
- Budget and Finances – Steve and the Finance Committee are planning to present a draft FY2013 budget to the board at the September meeting, with a planned final vote at, or just before, the October meeting. This will allow us to have a budget in place to coincide with the start of the new Fiscal Year on October 1.
- Events – Summer movies in the park are over. Attendance was down from previous years, but overall the movies remain a successful initiative. And the cost to put them on this year was less than in previous years. The Music Fest and Rib Cook-off are coming up Saturday the 8th.
- Spring Garden Greenway – We have received the final close-out payment from DVRPC, which is being put towards the Madison Memorial Park project. Steve can report on remaining funds for maintenance and other future work.
- I have received a draft of the still in-process RFP that DRWC is putting out for the underpass and other Spring Garden work. I have not yet had a chance to review it. I will pass it along to the board soon.
3. DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AND DEVELOPER RELATIONS
- Tower Investments – Larry and I met with Tower about our appeal of their zoning variance modification to get reduced parking. Details at our meeting.
- Finnegan’s Wake – No update.
- Club Aura – The City placed a second Cease Operations order on Aura, ordering them to shut down entirely. They appealed the order, and the judge ordered a compromise, wherein Aura would have to comply with City and PA regulations (including no live entertainment), and the court will do enforcement (e.g. shut them down) if they have ongoing violations. We have gotten a couple of neighbor complaints since the court hearing.
- Parking – with the help of neighbor Ira Upin, we continue to work with the Streets Dept. to try to get a handle on several parking related issues, primarily illegal and/or unnecessary no-parking zones on 2nd St., Germantown Ave., and Brown St. Details at our meeting.
4. OUTREACH/EVENTS/GENERAL MEETINGS
- General Meetings – The September GM is the 27th.
5. COMMUNICATION AND PUBLICITY
- Internet – The email list is around 1,875. Thanks to Chris Somers, our Twitter followers continue to multiply as well. A reminder to board members to join the NLNA’s Facebook group if they have not done so already, and to post to it.
- Web site – The new web site is working well, with few if any major problems. I believe there are two remaining issues: (1) The absence of the Liberty Lands calendar; (2) the lack of login credentials for committee chairs wanting to maintain their pages, and for me and anyone else who we feel should have authority to modify the front page. Committee chairs should be connecting with Katrina ASAP to get login access to your committee pages.
6. OTHER ITEMS
- Board Polls – Ratification of any online or online board polls since last month’s board meeting.
Finance Committee Meeting
August 21, 2012
Present: Steve Richman, Don Phillips, Michael Coyne, Fernando Benavides.
The meeting started promptly at 7:00 PM.
Steve briefed us on the status of the budget: Basically -at this time- we are still missing some feedback from a few committees, without which the budget cannot be completed. Among other things, Steve and Michael plan to get together with Barbara Saverino, to enlist her help in gathering details regarding several grants.
Steve is working very hard to consolidate the information we gather, and is fairly confident that the budget will be completed on time to be presented to the Board during the September meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 PM.
Liberty Lands Board Report
- The 2013 proposed budget for Liberty Lands, with many notes, is attached.
- The 10-movie season was run by Awesome Fest and was generally well-received by the audience. It was, however, generally disturbing to the neighbors around the park and despite efforts throughout the summer by the core committee, the sound never did get to a level that wasn’t a problem. The committee is considering reducing the number of movies significantly – we are discussing only having a month and we’d go back to programming them ourselves and hiring FunFlicks as the projectors. Last Sunday was the special showing of Wizard of Oz, funded by a grant from PHS. A small cheerful crowd enjoyed the movie (and noticed that it wasn’t nearly as loud as the others had been, since FunFlicks did the projection with their smaller speakers).
- Jen led a crew of neighbors to do a lot of work in August to get the Laurel Street annex gardens into shape – and we’ve just been given a small grant from PHS to finish out the building of the garden beds and filling them with soil. Many thanks to PHS for that much-needed boost, and to the volunteers who’ve brought it this far!
- City Harvest has had a pretty successful season and put a round of fall seedlings in the ground on Saturday.
- Weeder’s Club continued intrepidly through the heat of the summer and has done a great job keeping the park’s growth in check. The normal browning of the grass occurred in the heat of summer (this is natural and will happen every year), although we plan to meet with our mower to find a way to keep the weeds from getting insanely high once rain does fall. Right now it’s looking great!
- The committee agreed that we need to plan for an overhaul of the playground mulch (as was discussed in the spring) to happen in November of this year. That will give us some time to plan and get through the fall event season. This will involve taking out all the mulch from the upper (big-kid) playground, drilling some drainage holes in the concrete under the swings, and possibly cutting some tree pits near the playground as well. Then we will put in all new mulch in that area. We will need to find a use for the soil-like material that is dug out. We are hoping that a group of newer parents will come up with a plan for overhauling the toddler playground at the same time; if not, we will just re-fill that area with new mulch.
- September 27 (a Thursday), there will be a performance by Bread and Puppet at the park. This will be free and open to the public and entirely un-amplified.
- The music fest on Saturday the 8th, as always, could use volunteers. Contact Don.
- Board Action: Approval of budget
NLNA Zoning Committee
Present: Ricchetti, Mikuliak, McDonald, Sher, Freedman, Abdo, Issacson
1) 806 & 808-20 N. Front St. – R10B – Ron Patterson – To legalize and reconfigure private parking for Joe Volpe’s events plus erection of a fence.
Motion: We support a 5 year temporary variance for a parking lot at this location with the following provisos: 1. remove barbed wire on all fencing. 2. parking should be for PRIVATE PARKING only for Cescaphe and Tendenza. This should be for valet parking only.” Passed 5-0
2) 227-31 Green St. – CMX2 (commercial mixed-use) – David Perlman – Proposal for 10 single-family dwellings. Existing paved parking lot – C2 9CMX2 – Lot is “L” shaped. Widens at back/north end. Proposed – 10 homes w/ rear garages, 7 fronting on Bodine and 3 fronting on American at rear of lot. 18’ driveway would enter on Green and run straight back to north end of lot. 3’ walkways on each side of drive which would be pervious. Houses would be approx 1900sq’ plus garage, 4 stories (44’0 w/ 8’ pent). They would have decks and green roofs. Foot print would be 15 x 35 and 38.Presentation was short on details. Special concerns were the side of the house at Green and Bodine. Also developer claims that the building to the north, Dino’s infringes 18” to possibly 36” onto their property line.
Motion by JM: Please return with rendered perspective drawings that show all facades w/materials and this development in context w/surrounding buildings. Drawings should include inside and outside dimensions. Clarify easement details for driveway, which should be 18’& pervious. Explore the North property line building infringement onto your lot and review with us what your plans are for dealing with this issue. Passed 5 – 0
3) – 542-44 N. 4th St. (Color Reflections) – CMX2 – David Orphanides – Return visit with a proposal for 9 residential units, first floor commercial and off-street parking.
Motion: Our support of a basement unit is tentative. Please provide our UDC Committee with sections and elevations of basement unit including windows that show light and air into this unit. We can give preliminary support to the other 8 units . Please go to our UDC to discuss the following: 1.Use of 16’ high ceilings to increase light to units 2 and 4 2. Please provide a solid, 6’-0” high wall on West side of Roof deck 3. Locate all condensing units and venting on roof 4. Eliminate loading zone on Green Street 5. no clear windows in basement storage unit and unit 5 Kitchen 6. Parking lot/Garden issues to be addressed at UDC: – provide new curbs, new curb cut and new sidewalk – design for green space, landscaping and fencing – relocate 4 parking spots to avoid fire hydrant - cars on compact car spaces should not extend over sidewalk. A letter of support will be issued by the NLNA upon the recommendation of the UDC and showing us a refusal that agrees with your presentation Passed 5-0
4) – 622-26 N. 2nd St. – CMX2 – David Orphanides – Proposal for multi-residential development. No formal presentation. Some discussion with present adjacent neighbors
Present: Simons, Mikuliak, Freedman, McDonald, Ermilio, Abdo, Sher
1) – 1102-06 N. 3rd St. (to Galloway) – RSA5 – Ted Singer –Return visit with a proposal for 5 residential units with parking. Presentation: Larry: Third meeting-make or break. Tim has met with neighbors outside of committee meeting. •Tim:4th story needed for 3 units: corners and mid-garage. Have set-back 4th story to minimize impact • Neighbors worried about cars turning onto Galloway. Want to make it one-way, but don’t want to initiate. Tim does not see wisdom in change, but will investigate process for change. • Big cars cannot turn onto Galloway. •Discussed trash, fire trucks, security, trash Discussion: • Neighbors okay with project
Motion by Rene; 2nd by MS: To approve as presented pending streets department approval and UDC approval, refusal to ZC chair, and agrees to support change to one-way on Galloway ST. Passed 5-0-0
2) 908 St. John Newman Place (908 N. Orkney) – CMX2 – Ed Fink – Proposal for a single-family dwelling. Presentation: 1st meeting. Proposed single family dwelling. 50ft deep with 9ft yard. A-frame with 37 ft mean height. >3000 sq ft 900 sq ft footprint. Garage. Issue about security concerns with recessed front door. EF agrees to flush front door
Discussion: Neighbors okay with residential. ZC member: Only refusal is for residential. Otherwise, it conforms to code. ZC member: only 16% open space. ZC member: roof should be standing seam metal not shingle as proposed
Motion: 2nd by JS: to support plan for a single family dwelling 37 mean-high. Please go to the UDC to discuss materials (including garage door), elimination of the vestibule, and flush front door. Return to ZRC with refusal and UDC approval. Passed 6-0-0
3) – 441 Brown St. – RSA5 – Alex Duller – Proposal to erect two residential floors over existing garage/office. There was some support for multi use / multi unit use. Currently has a legal curb cut with parking according to the architect. Not verified by ZC. Proposing two residential units above First floor office space extends extends the entire depth of current lot. Neighbors concerns: adjacent 5th St properties will lose their light and air, deck on rear of apartments extend to the rear property line and infringe on the privacy of neighboring property.
Motion (Tim McDonald) 2nd (Mike): Cannot support as presented. Please return with project that has 30% open space on the ground floor and we would consider office on the first floor one residential unit above. We also encourage developer to keep the existing facade. Passed 5-1-0
4) 927-29 Orianna St. – RSA5 – Nino Cutrufellow – Return visit with a proposal for two single family dwellings with parking. met with the UDC. As a result the architect gave the façade some extra depth and made the façade less industrial. Also agreed to a 3 foot setback on the fourth floor deck and the concern about the front stoop was also addressed.
Motion Charlie 2nd Jonathan To support as presented Passed 6-0-0