Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes, November 5, 2014

Preservation Station, Bonnie Anderson, presiding.  Start Time:  6:30 PM

Board Member Attendance:

Term ending August 2016


Term ending August 2015


Anderson, Bonnie


Karafonda, Mary


Boyd, Joe


Carson, Ann


Ben Sturge


Grassel, Kathy


Gonzalez, Moisés


McGivern, Elaine


Grant, Steve


 Sam Kochansky


Spittler, Lee


Thornton, Karla




Trefethen, Salley



October minutes were read and approved.

Guests:  Zoey, Mark, Larry, René, Audra, Amy

Filling Board vacancies—It was unanimously agreed that Sam Kochansky will fill Greg and Joni Neutra’s position and that Ben Sturge will fill that held by Jackie Smee.

Update on Dickens—Ann Carson let us know she succeeded in getting the required number of houses for the annual Dickens event. She passed around a volunteer sheet and “ordered” us all to sign up. We complied.

Review of July support letter for BRT—Bonnie Anderson re-read the letter she wrote in July on behalf of the board to Mayor Berry in support of Option A. That option provides for three lanes, with the turning lane to be used by the BRT at the intersection with the loading platform, allowing enough room for two bicycle lanes. Moisés Gonzalez brought up that a Complete Streets decision could be imminent and stressed the importance for us to attend those meetings.  A motion was made for Bonnie to update the letter and present it again at the upcoming meeting with the City.

Update from DiGregory brothers on development plans for the Arno block—Vince DiGregory, accompanied by his architects, promoted his development plans for blocks Gold, Arno, Broadway and Central. He passed around schematics of what the development would ideally look like once built out. It includes a 40,000-sq.ft. building with condos over a parking garage. The plan is to expand parking from 80 to 200 spaces, most of which will be out of sight. He noted that the design pulls from all styles, bridging from past to future. Sam Kochansky spoke up that he didn’t like the looks of it, that it was economic development, not Huning Highlands, and had no cultural resemblance to the neighborhood. Vince countered that no developer would come in and build three houses. His vision is to maximize residential with commercial. He added that without a lot more parking, the entire city block “will go down the tubes.” Karla Thornton and Amy Sturge expressed their agreement with the plan. Mary Karafonda said she wouldn’t want to stop it, but at first glance was shocking to her. Joe Boyd said, yes, it’s contemporary, but it works. Vince then proposed that for now he would like to allow parking in the vacant lot for potential residents who are reluctant to move in without it. He will put a fence and gravel on the lot in advance of parking. He emphasized that it would be temporary while he and his associates are pulling together financing. Karla made a motion to support temporary parking at the lot for the interim until the project gets going.

Update on the yard wall proposed by Brittney Turnbough—Ms. Turnbough, who lives at 608 Coal SE across from Preservation Station, wants to build a six-foot wall for noise reduction and, because of zoning that limits fence height to three feet, would need a variance. Ann Carson said she was working with her to agree on a compromise height of more than three but less than six, along with use of certain materials that would be agreeable to all. Ms. Turnbough had planned to attend the meeting with a proposal, and may do so at a later date.

Request for funds for tree project flyers/banners—Bonnie Anderson brought the tree flyer and tree-care agreement on its reverse side that will be signed by recipients wishing to adopt a tree. David Day also wants to put two banners at auspicious locations on Central. David got bids from Kinko’s and Staples for color printing of the flyers. Kathy agreed to seek a lower bid for same from Valliant Printing, which prints the newsletter. Sam Kochansky volunteered his studio to pay for the banners.

Miscellaneous—Ann announced her powerpoint presentation about the neighborhood to take place at the Special Collections library on Sat, Nov. 8, and invited all to come.

Meeting adjourned at 7:40. Next meeting is Wed., Dec. 3, 2014.