Meeting Minutes

August 6, 2012 Meeting Minutes

Bonnie Anderson, Presiding for Amberley Pyles, 6:30 PM, Preservation Station

Board Member Attendance:

Term ending August 2012


Term ending August 2013


Anderson, Bonnie


Bloom, Greg


Donaldson, David


Bromberg, Ryan


Gonzalez, Moisés


Elaine McGivern


Grant, Steve


Carson, Ann


Pyles, Amberley


Forrester, Phoenix


Spittler, Lee


Grassel, Kathy




Thornton, Karla



Minutes from the July meeting were approved.

Historic buildings—Artist Judy Chicago and spouse photographer Donald Woodman, accompanied by architect Chuck McGuire and their contractor Gregg Flynn, attended the meeting to present their plans for an extensive rehab and remodel of their future residence on Arno SE. Chicago and Woodman moved from the East to New Mexico and have lived in Belen since 1972, having renovated an early 20th century Victorian hotel to serve as their primary residence. They are in the process of getting necessary permits for the Arno house and will be going before Landmarks seeking approval for an addition and setbacks. They showed the board historic photos from 1918 along with prospectives and plans. They are still in the preliminary design phase, so wish any issues to surface before construction begins. Their intention is to restore the house to its original façade while adding elements that will be aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the original structure.

Lead/Coal—Bonnie Anderson, on behalf of the Board, filed a written request to Mike Riordan to release the $500,000 allocated to the Lead/Coal project covering the Huning Highlands from Elm to Broadway. For now, the redesign will be limited to intersection bulb-outs.

Neighborhood block party—Event chair Elaine McGivern reported that two face painters and two unicyclers would be on hand to provide entertainment at the neighborhood picnic being held on August 19. Steve Grant announced that the band was on board to provide live music. Steve also agreed to help organize kids to make posters prior to the event. Lee Spittler will set up for the corn hole game.

Redistricting—The Board discussed a letter from Councilor Isaac Benton mailed to residents requesting neighborhood support for attendance at two public hearings to explore expanding the number of city districts from 9 to 13. It is thought that the consolidation of our historic districts with a west side district dilutes our representation. A final decision now rests with the court.

Arson fire at abandoned structure at Edith and Coal—The Board discussed any action the neighborhood might take to encourage owners and/or City authorities to do something about abandoned buildings, which, by all accounts, tend to remain abandoned for an untoward amount of time. Owner of the structures, local contractor Jose Martinez, had made improvements last year, but no discernible progress was made since then. Some cleanup has taken place since the fire, and the City has posted the buildings for unsafe occupancy. City regulations require a permit to maintain abandoned buildings, which must be renewed every two years, with no corresponding mandate to renovate or raze said buildings within a designated period of time.

Tree planting project—Greg Bloom, along with Elaine McGivern and David Day, are carrying the project forward. A report is in the making for the first week of September. They are visiting with merchants and drafting a letter to get their endorsements. The merchants will be expected to care for the trees, thus their buy-in is critical.

Crime and public safety—Greg Bloom talked about what he suspects is drug dealing in front of his house at Iron and Arno and described their MO. Calls to the police have not noticeably resulted in increased presence of police cruisers. Kathy Grassel has observed the same MO on her block.

Adjourned: 7:30 pm


Salley Trefethen