Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes, September 3, 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


Smee, Jackie


Grassel, Kathy


Gonzalez, Moisés


McGivern, Elaine


Grant, Steve


 Joni and Greg Neutra


Spittler, Lee


Thornton, Karla




Trefethen, Salley



July minutes were read and approved. The August meeting was superseded by the annual meeting on August 17.

Guests: Amy and Ben, Kelly, David Donaldson, Sam, Scott Siebel

Election results—All six candidates were re-elected. All officers agreed to serve again. A motion was made and seconded that the current officers serve for another year.

Tree project—Project leader David Day will attend in October to give an update. What we know at the moment is that planting will be this fall, and that the City will do the digging. Volunteers will be in charge of keeping the trees alive and growing.

Highland Park—Ben Sturge, who has been attending meetings, reported on the twists and turns of park renovation plans. A resolution is almost finalized for the Master Plan for the park. The Aug. 27th meeting with Parks and Rec yielded a design that seems to address everyone’s concerns. No action is required on the part of the Board as yet, but a very important decision in our neighborhood’s favor was that the plaza (parking lot) will not be accessible on a daily basis by cars.

Walkable Cities—Moisés Gonzalez reported on Jeff Speck’s presentation on the different ways to make Central and Downtown more walkable; e.g., more 4-way stops, three lanes with turn lanes at intersections, et al. BRT is still considering how it will go, but is leaning toward a middle lane. Moisés said he is opposed to a middle lane, but did say that to be eligible for federal dollars, a dedicated lane would be necessary. He added that lots of Central already has such lanes, such that our section might apply to get some kind of waiver to allow buses that move with the traffic.

Crime stats—Officer Scott Siebel (761-8830) attended the meeting to give the neighborhood a stats report of crime, and prevented crime, in Huning Highlands. He said neighbors are doing a good job of “displacing” crime; i.e., what would have been a crime gets pushed elsewhere, thanks to our vigilance and calling police. This is also true of “thwarted” crime. We got a heads-up of police use of bait cars to catch car thieves, so we aren’t to get inside or mess with any car that we see as “out-of-place.” If we’re concerned about home invasion, police are able do a home visit to look for ways to make our homes more secure.

Standard Diner development/expansion—Owners of the Standard Diner Matt and Vince DiGregory presented their plans for re-developing with mixed uses the entire block surrounding the diner. They’ve purchased the lots at 115-121 Arno to the south of the diner—one vacant and one with a dilapidated house that they wish to tear down. It was the ultimate fate of this house that they wanted to bring to the Board for discussion. Ann Carson brought pictures of the house in its original state, and as the neighborhood historian, would like to explore ways to restore it, even it means moving it. For now it is uninhabitable and structurally unsound, and like many abandoned properties, has become a magnet for crime, drug use, and vandalism. Matt and Vince made a strong point that they and surrounding businesses have lost untold amounts of business because of lack of parking. Much discussion ensued about where and how they would add parking in their re-development plans.

Sturge restoration—Amy and Ben Sturge are in the thick of restoring the two boarded-up houses on Silver next to Highland Park and across from the former fire station. Ben reported on a hearing taking place on Sept. 4 at which they will request that the now-single lot be split into two for purposes of separate sale when the time comes. The Board agreed to support the split.


  1. Sam, living just west across the street from Preservation Station, suggested a possible movie night outdoors. Neighbors would be invited and it would be a good way to have fun and build community. The first movie event is proposed for Halloween night, along with costumes and trick-or-treating for the kids.
  2. Joe Boyd will forge ahead on a 501c3 for Huning Highland Neighborhood Association. Sam said he would assist Joe on the details.
  3. David Donaldson as a Press Club supporter told us that a community membership costs just $85/year, and thought that we might put an informational article in the newsletter about joining.

Meeting adjourned at 7:40. Next meeting is Wed., Oct.1, 2014.