Thursday, November 30, 2006

Public Information and Input Meeting
2030 Regional Transportation Plan
Thursday, Nov 30


Do you have an opinion on traffic in and around Morgantown or a concern for how it will affect future growth? Express your concerns at the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meeting this Thursday, November 30th. Make your voice heard.

The Greater Morgantown Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and its member organizations will be hosting the fourth in a series of public input meetings for the update of the multimodal long range transportation plan.

What:Public Information and Input Meeting for the 2030 Regional Transportation Plan

When: Thursday, November 30, 2006 6:30 PM
Where: Durrett Hall, Erickson Alumni Center, Fine Arts Drive (close to the WVU Rec Center on Evansdale Campus)

Topics to be covered as part of the meeting include:

• revisions to the preliminary recommendations provided at the October 4, 2006 Public Information Meeting
• review of the key recommendations for the roadway, bike and pedestrian and transit systems
• next steps in the plan update process

For More information call: Chet Parsons, MPO Executive Director, at 291-9571

Thank you,
Bill Troe
URS Corporation
(866) 671-5309 (Toll Free)
www.plantogether.org

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Meeting on the development of the downtown area of Morgantown, WV - November 13

The City is hosting a meeting on the development of the Downtown area at the Hotel Morgan on Monday November 13 at 5:30. The City Manager sent a open invitation which follows, to all interested parties.

As we have discovered, development of the Downtown area can have a significant impact on the quality of life in our neighborhood. I encourage you to attend. Please respond to my e-mail address at Bill.Kawecki@NETL.DOE.GOV so I can give the City manage a count.

Yours Truly,

Bill Kawecki - SPAN President

From Dan Boroff:

As you know, this past summer significant interest was expressed in the future development of Downtown Morgantown.

Many different concerns expressed firm opinions about the scope and scale of potential projects. To help organizes these perspectives and establish a general consensus to guide the future development of the Downtown, City Council will be hosting an important meeting on November 1 3, 2006 at the Hotel Morgan. The meeting will have the following features:

  • 1. To provide a common base of information, short presentations will be made about the City's Comprehensive Plan; existing zoning laws; status of infrastructure to include parking; and WVU plans that may have an impact on the Downtown.

  • 2. Participants will be organized into small groups to develop goals, aspirations, suggested projects, visions for the Downtown.

  • 3. The attendees will reconvene and all the groups' ideas will be presented, discussed, and explored for a potential consensus of opinion.

  • 4. Results will be reported to the City's Planning Commission and City Council.


Given the importance of this meeting, the City asks that you help publicize it and encourage interested members of your organization to attend. The City is also hopeful that you will be able to report how many people from your group will plan to attend so that the appropriate logistical support for the meeting can be arranged.

Thank you for your consideration of the request and I look forward to you hopefully being able to attend the meeting. During the interim, if you should have any questions or need additional information, please call upon me at once.

Respectfully,

Dan Boroff - City Manager

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Woodburn Meeting on Sunday, Oct. 22

Dear Neighbors:
Our next Neighborhood meeting is this Sunday, Oct. 22 at 4 pm. I am making up the agenda now. Please let me know if you want to add something prior to the meeting. Our last meeting a speaker was invited and I was not aware of it and it really overloaded our meeting!

So far the agenda is as follows:
1. Final Presentation of "Neighborhood Guidelines" for approval- Anne Miller and Betsy Miller
(If approved, appoint a group to develop a slate of officers for the election.)
2. Comments on School Levy- Tamara Riegel
3. Neighborhood Watch info distributed- Susan Eason
4. Sign Update- Jamie Lester
5. Street Issues
- Blue Line Parking- Is there interest?
- Werner St.
- James St. drainage?
- Mirror on Monongalia?
- Other
6. Clean-up day?
7. Social Event?

Here are the minutes from our last meeting.
Meeting Minutes from September 17, 2006

The meeting was called to order by Susan Eason at 4:10 pm

Susan introduced Morgantown Police Officer Scott Carl who acts as a liason between the city police department and local Neighborhood Watch (NW) groups. “One of the oldest and best known crime prevention concepts in history, Neighborhood Watch was created to unite law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens in a massive effort to reduce residential crime.”

Officer Carl provided an overview of the potential benefits of Neighborhood Watch for our community and explained how we might establish a Neighborhood Watch in our area.
He said that basically all we need are people willing to participate. Once a geographic region for the watch is defined, “block captains” and “Neighborhood Watch captains” are identified. These folks then attend city-wide organizational/training meetings and bring back to us strategies that we may implement to decrease crime in our neighborhood. Time commitments for block captains and NW captains range from 2 – 4 hours per month.
A Neighborhood Watch captain from Suncrest who was also in attendance spoke firsthand about the positive impact NW has had on that area. He emphasized that success depends upon neighbors taking an active role in looking out for one another and in calling the police “when something just doesn’t seem right.”

Attendees identified theft, vandalism, speeding, and drug-related activities as possible targets for a Woodburn Neighborhood Watch.

Also attending the meeting was Chet Parsons, Executive Director of the Morgantown Metropolitan Planning Organization. He presented an overview of the research that has gone into developing the 2030 regional transportation plan which was presented to the public on October 4, 2006.

Basically the plan recommends long-term improvements for roadway, transit and non-motorized systems in the greater Morgantown area. Details may be found at www.plantogether.org.

Finally, careful attention was focused upon prior drafts of proposed bylaws for our neighborhood association, and the bylaws were finalized.

By majority vote, “Woodburn Association of Neighbors” was chosen to be our official title.
- Dues will be $5 per person per year.
- Our business year will run from February 1st though January 31st.
- A final draft of the bylaws will be submitted for approval at the next meeting.

A date for the next meeting was set for Sunday, October 22, 2006, at 4pm at Crosleys.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Betsy Miller.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Neighborhood Associations Meeting - Wed. Oct 18

In an effort to try to get the area neighborhood associations together to see how we might cooperate for the benefit of all-- a meeting has been planned for Wed., October 18 at 7:00 pm. The time and place is yet to be confirmed, and a summary is on the way. If you are interested in attending or have any questions e-mail Bill Kawecki.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Next Woodburn Meeting, Sunday October 22

Dear Neighbors,

Our next meeting will be at Crosley's, Sunday October 22 at 4:00 PM. Please mark your calendars!

Thanks to Ron Justice: You may have noticed construction on Werner Street between James and Richwood. On the agenda from our last meeting was to try to get a curb put in. Thank you Ron for facilitating this! Maybe in the future we could get some trees planted there to help cut down on the heat from the concrete parking lot.

Tree and Schrub Cutting: Thanks to calls from Woodburn folks to the City Street Department overgrown schrubs and trees on Monongalia have been cut and trimmed as well as the trees on an empty lot on Monongalia. Remember, you can submit requests by email, it works!

• We hope to get a flyer out: It's be great to create a flyer/newspage to distribute throughout the Woodburn Neighborhood with meeting minutes and a notice about our next meeting on it. Please help to spread the word and get involved. The more the merrier. Questions about this matter can be addressed to Julie Black.

• Also, listed below is an e-mail received from a local merchant on October 11th.

The downtown Morgantown businesses would like to do some advertising that is specific to customer testimonials. We need people who shop, dine and love downtown. I was hoping you could use your email list to put a request out. Throughout the Riverview/Kane Core stuff there were so many folks that wanted to save the qualities of our downtown. If we could get some of them to be a part of this testimonial campaign, we'd really appreciate it. Please have any interested parties contact Leisha at (304) 292-4699 or leisha@downtownmorgantown.com.

If anyone can connect me with other neighborhood associations, that would be great.
We'd like to make an attempt to connect with the neighborhoods.

Thanks.

Jan

Jan Kiger, Owner - Adventure's Edge
"Outfitting Your Dreams" - Morgantown, WV
Phone: (304) 296-9007 & e-mail:info@adventuresedge.org

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Meeting for Area Neighborhood Associations
Monday, October 2, 7:00 PM

In an effort to try to get the area neighborhood associations together to see how we might cooperate for the benefit of all-- a meeting has been planned for Monday, October 2 at 7:00 pm at the First Christian Church.

The church is on the corner of Cobun Ave. and Grand Street (parking is available on the Morgantown High School side.) If you are interested in attending, please call Bill Kawecki at home: (304) 292-5154 or at work: (304) 285-4749 or e-mail him at Bill.Kawecki@pr.netl.doe.gov.

Reps from Wiles Hill, South Park, and R1 Evansdale will be there. Hope that you or a representative can make the meeting.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

SPAN Block Party

SPAN would like to extend an invitation to our block party to our Woodburn neighbors. Please join us if you can.

The SPAN Block Party is a chance to meet your neighbor, renew old friendships, and enjoy good food. Dinner will be served on Friday, September 15, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, on Park Street, between Morris and Hagan. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on and a covered dish to share. SPAN will provide hot dogs, soft drinks, condiments, plates, napkins and cutlery. Contributions to the party are suggested at $1.00 per person; children under 6 years old are free.

Questions? E-mail Bill Kawecki at Bill.Kawecki@pr.netl.doe.gov

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Next Meeting Date Set

Our next meeting is Sunday, Sept. 17 at 4:00 p.m. at Crosley's on Richwood Avenue. If you agreed to help distribute flyers to folks in the neighborhood, please let Julie Black know by e-mail.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Updated: Minutes from the August 13, 2006 meeting of the Woodburn Association of Neighbors

Those present were: Susan Eason, Julie Black, Anne Miller, Chris Christopher, Cheryl Torsney, Ron Justice, Paul Atkins, Paul Miller, Jamie Lester, John Krouse, Bob Merow, Marion Ohlinger, Tamara Riegel, Beth Welsh, Sieglinde McGinnis, Mary Lou Lawrence, Betty Graham, Sonda Cheesebrough, Joseph Scotti-Einstein, Christopher Brown, Joel Halverson, Buff Vehse, Ted Vehse, Nathan Vehse, Karen Woodfork

Susan Eason convened the meeting. Anne Miller agreed to take minutes for the meeting. Minutes from the prior meeting were distributed and reviewed. The minutes were adopted with one change. The letter in support of Mark Furfari’s appeal for sent to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

1. Trash: Guest Officer Troy Ball was introduced. Troy is an officer with the Morgantown Police Department and was present to address concerns about trash in the neighborhood. Discussion was held concerning trash in streets, trash at certain houses, abandoned houses, overgrown brush, the Woodburn Elementary playground, the noise ordinance and leash laws.

- Trash concerns would be best handled by Troy. He should be contacted for any violation of garbage ordinance, failure to maintain litter free property or stockpiling of garbage. Troy can also be contacted concerning missed garbage pickups and then he will contact Allied Waste. Woodburn’s trash pickup has been changed in several locations to an afternoon pickup. Troy’s work hours are M-F 7-3. Phone number 284-7505.

- Overgrown brush and abandoned house issues are best handled through code enforcement and can be addressed with Mike Stone.

- Discussion was also held concerning issues at Woodburn Elementary playground. It was noted that it is illegal to have alcohol on school property and if anyone was there after hours drinking on school property that the police should be notified. Also, if there is an ongoing concern, the school officials could file a report.

- Discussion was held on the city’s noise ordinance. The noise ordinance is in effect beginning at 10 pm on weekdays and 11 pm on weekends. If you call in a disturbance, the person that you have reported can ask for the name of the reporter.

- Dogs not on leases should be reported as a general call to the police department.

2. Neighborhood Watch: John Krouse reported on his attendance at the city’s Neighborhood Watch group meeting. He discussed that it was critical that the neighborhood watch captains were persons that would get involved and stay involved, otherwise the enthusiasm wanes. John suggested that we should invite one of the other Neighborhood Watch captains to one of our meetings so that we could learn more.

3. Association Guidelines: Guidelines for the WAN were discussed. Anne Miller presented a draft of the guidelines that she and Betsy Miller prepared. They investigated by-law models and devised the draft that was handed out. The models are similar although membership stipulations differ. A definition needs to be thought about and adopted. Other issues to be considered are dues. We might adopt the model used by SPAN. Anne also discussed other organizational issues, requesting that the Association think about them, along with the meetings, elections, finance, and amendments. Paul Miller emphasized that the draft is only a starting point. Anne proposed to discuss voting rights language at the next meeting. We should consider liability issues, having a social chair and waiving student association fees.

4. Sign Update: Jamie Lester discussed the progress of the Woodburn Neighborhood signs. Jamie met with Dan Boroff. Jamie has received funds for the signs. He’s working with Terry Huff on installation. Mark and Karen Fafarri donated bricks to be used for the base of the signs. Funding of $4,300 was requested and only $3,400 was received, so the signage is being reduced from 3 locations to 2. Additional funding can be requested later. One sign will be installed at the Beauty Spot, which can be seen from Monongalia Avenue as well as Richwood Avenue. The other sign will be installed on the Mair’s property on Charles Avenue.

5. Discussion on Implications of new Zoning Laws: Julie Black started an open discussion about Zoning Ordinances. Discussion of “smart growth” was held. Julie pointed out that Charleston is promoting smart growth. She also discussed the possibility of finding grant money in the future.

Susan Eason read a letter from a young person in the neighborhood. The author remained anonymous. The letter was well thought out and voiced concerns on the zoning ordinances and the area park as well as other issues.

Ron Justice brought up several items for discussion, including Woodburn Elementary, further discussion on “smart growth”, the Board of Zoning Committee, the Planning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the BOPARC Board. It was decided that these items should be included as an agenda item on the next meeting.

6. Woodburn Elementary Centennial: Paul Atkins gave a report on the Woodburn Centennial. Linda Nakaishi is the Principal of the school and is very interested in our participation in the Centennial celebration – which is in 2009. The School Community Relations Committee is forming a Centennial Subcommittee. Please contact Paul if you would like more information on that subcommittee. There will be an Open House at the school on September 7th from 6-8.

7. Fall Social Event: There was mention of a possible Woodburn Octoberfest. It was tabled until the next meeting.

7. Letter to Newcomers to Neighborhood: Marion Ohlinger read letters that he and Allegria had prepared for persons moving in to the neighborhood. Those letters are posted below. A motion to accept the letters by the Association was made by Cheryl Torsney and seconded by Joseph Scotti-Einstein. The motion passed.

8. Distribution of minutes and notification of next meeting: A discussion was held on the mass distribution of the minutes as well as the next meeting agenda and the web address of the blog spot. Julie Black will prepare a flyer to be distributed. It was noted that the items could not be placed in mailboxes. Several folks agreed to help distribute the flyers. Those persons included: Tamara Riegel, Jamie Lester, Joseph Scotti, Susan Eason.

The next meeting date was set as Sunday, September 17th at 4pm at Crosley’s.

Friday, August 18, 2006

City Council Meeting, Aug. 29 includes Riverview

Dear Neighbors,

The next meeting of the City Council Meeting of the Whole will be on August 29 at 7:00 pm at the City Council chambers on the corner of Fayette and Spruce Streets.

At this meeting, they will consider/discuss The Riverview Project (the 19 story building proposed for downtown on Chestnut Street). If you have feelings and/or opinions about this project, I encourage you to make them known to all members of City Council and the City Manager, Dan Boroff. E-mail Dan Boroff at citymanager@morgantown.com or call (304) 284-7405.

You can also e-mail the City Council at their e-mail addresses located here on the City of Morgantown website or call Mayor, Ron Justice at (304) 296-0622.

At the public meetings that I have attended, there have been representatives from downtown businesses, developers, Bill Kawecki, President of Span and a few members of the South Park and Chancery Hill neighborhoods. It is very important that the Council hear from more local residents about how they feel about the project and any concerns or reservations that they may have.

The meeting on August 29 is the last one before they are scheduled to vote on whether to authorize the issue of bonds to build the project. The vote on the bonds will most likely be on their agenda for the September 5 City Council meeting.

Please take 15 minutes out of your busy schedules and let our elected representatives know how you feel about this project. Also, ask your friends and relatives who live in other parts of the city to also send their thoughts. This building will not only affect South Park and Chancery Hill but will have a lasting impact and set a precedent for the future of our city.

Thank-you for your consideration,
Millie Karlin
41 Wilson Ave

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Thanks to all who Attended the August Meeting

Thank you neighbors for attending our last meeting! There were many new faces.

The next meeting will be on Sunday, September 17, at the same location, Crosley's Banquet Center on Richwood Ave. The time is to be announced, but the meetings are usally held during the afternoon. They last about an hour and a half and you are welcome to bring your children. Please let your neighbors know to save that date. The fine folks of Crosley's provide the meeting space, light refreshments, and beverages for free. Thank you Mark and Karen Furfari for your very generous donations to the association.

Please feel free to e-mail me, Julie Black, if you'd like to post something on the Woodburn Blog, or e-mail Susan Eason if you have questions or other concerns about the association, etc.

Stay Tuned For: The minutes from the last meeting will be posted here along with printable Woodburn welcome letters for the new WVU students, the by-laws, and more.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Meeting this Sunday, August 13 at 4:00 p.m

Dear Neighbors:
You’re invited to the next Woodburn Association meeting this Sunday, August 13 at 4:00 p.m. at Crosley's Banquet Center on Richwood Avenue.

Proposed Agenda
1. Report on proposed Guidelines for Woodburn Neighborhood Association.
2. Report on Neighborhood Watch
3. Trash - Proposed Clean-up days? (Maybe with Hirky Bender from the Police Dept.)
4. Open Discussion about Zoning Ordinance interpretation and implications for neighborhoods.
5. Update on Woodburn signs
6. Report on Woodburn School Centennial
7. Woodburn Social Event?
8. Whitemoore Park
9. Develop a plan to do another mass distribution to homes about next meeting.

Thanks. Hope to see you on Sunday. Please help out by letting your neighbor know about this meeting. If you have any items you would like to put on the agenda, please e-mail me or let me know.

Susan Eason

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Boon or Bust-Two Public Meetings

Submitted by Bill Kawecki, President, South Park Association of Neighbors

The Riverview project is a 19 story dormitory that will house 1000 students to be built in downtown Morgantown between University Avenue and Chestnut Street. The city manager calls the project a better mousetrap. The project is tax exempted, but the city is promised income from surplus funds with a bond issuance. Main Street Morgantown sees 1000 captive customers for downtown business, and WVU benefits from the additional student housing and the option, after a period of time, of buying the building for $1.00.

On the other side, will the project turn downtown into the next Sunnyside, High Street into the next Grant Avenue, the Riverfront Park into Lair Plaza II, and South Park and Chancery Hill into long-term parking? Riverview is not required to provide parking. What kind of development will follow? Will downtown be a community center or is Morgantown the mouse for that better trap?

Share your thought on this subject with us and City Council at: spanwv@yahoo.com, baner@rcbhsc.wvu.edu, bill@byrnehedges.com, cityclerk@morgantown.com,
dboroff@cityofmorgantown.org, dlspencer@adelphia.net, fas4@verizon.net, jmanilla@earthlink.net, rjustice@wvu.edu, tkm4@adelphia.net.

There are two public meetings scheduled to discuss the Riverview building:

  • 7:00 pm, Thursday, August 3, at the Morgantown High School
  • 10:00 am, Friday, August 4, at the Mercury Tapas Bar and Bakery, 250 High Street

Friday, July 28, 2006

Neighborhood Watch Meeting



Dear Woodburn Friends:

As requested at our last meeting, I looked into having an Officer from the police department come to our next meeting. Officer Karl is eager to come, just not available for our next meeting on Sunday, Aug. 13.

He suggested that we have 3-4 people from our neighborhood come to the city-wide monthly meeting of Neighborhood Watch leaders on Wed., Aug. 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Building downtown. He mentioned they could receive the information packets, participate in the meeting and then share that with our group on Sunday. (This would not preclude Officer Karl coming to our next meeting.)

I was wondering if anyone would be able and willing to attend that meeting on our Neighborhood's behalf? It would be great if a few folks could go (I won't be able as I have another meeting that night). Thanks. And remember to mark your calendars and PLEASE tell/remind your neighbors about our next meeting!

Susan Eason

Monday, June 26, 2006

Administrative Appeal - Tuesday, July 11

The administrative appeal made by Mark Furfari has been scheduled for review by the Board of Zoning Appeals for Tuesday July 11, 2006 at 6:30 PM in city Council Chambers. Mike Castle has presented some plans for improvements of Whitemore Park at his expense to appease our neighborhood concerns. Mark F. will get a clarification of these improvements and will communicate what he is offering. Interested? Please attend the July 11th meeting. PS - more about this will be discussed at the July 9th monthly Woodburn meeting.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Meeting Minutes from June 4, 2006


Present: Cheryl Torsney, Patrick Kirby, Julie Zuercher and Patrick, Karen Woodfork, Shelia Voorhees, Ann Wiley, Tamara Riegel, Landon Carrell, Louise Taft, Susan Eason, Paul Atkins, Michelle Lester, Jamie Lester, Dave McClure, Lori Halverson, Joel Halvorsen, Anne Miller, Chris Haddox, Buffy and Nathan Vehse

Susan Eason convened the meeting at 4:05 and presented a simple procedure for conducting business with motions made, seconded, discussed, and voted upon. Jamie Lester moved acceptance of the procedure. Karen Woodford seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

A handout was distributed delineating the boundaries of the Woodburn neighborhood. Jamie Lester moved to accept the boundaries, noting that they can be changed in the future. Michelle Lester seconded. Discussion occurred about engaging in discussion landlords with property in areas adjacent to the marked boundaries of Woodburn. The motion passed unanimously.

Signage marking the boundaries of the Woodburn neighborhood was discussed. Ron Justice noted that there is $25,000 available through City Council for neighborhood signs; that most signs cost about $2,500 each. An idea to use small flags on street signs was presented. Also noted were the following: 1) there are many entrances to Woodburn; 2) the signs should have an antique flavor to reflect the age of the neighborhood; and 3) a concern that the signs would be vandalized.

Five designs were voted upon, and Design 1 carried the day. Karen Woodfork moved acceptance of Design 1. Chris Haddox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Chris Haddox said that he will work with Jamie Lester on getting the signs made.

Discussion regarding placement of the signs proceeded. Three locations were nominated: the Beauty Spot at the bottom on Monongalia Ave., where it meets Richwood Ave.; on Richwood Avenue on the Woodburn School property; and at the intersection of Charles and Willey Streets. A fourth location, at the intersection of Willey Street and Monongalia Ave., was also mentioned. Jamie Lester said that he will talk with Bill Mayer, the owner of the High Street Dairy Queen, about locating a sign on his property at the intersection of Charles and Willey Streets.

Karen Woodfork made a motion to consider the first three locations for Woodburn Neighborhood signage. Anne Miller seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Ron Justice addressed a question about the Morgantown Housing Authority and its effort to engage realtors in selling property with a covenant to single families. A weblink to the Housing Authority will be placed on the Woodburn Neighborhood blog.

Cheryl Torsney presented a letter she and Karen Woodfork wrote encouraging the Morgantown Board of Realtors to represent our neighborhood as a diverse neighborhood with many families, not as a student neighborhood. Jamie Lester moved to send the letter. Anne Miller seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The next agenda item was deciding how to structure our association. Ron Justice suggested keeping the organization and operation simple, and working like the associations in South Park and Wiles Hill. The City can help fund brochures and other sorts of publicity.

Anne Miller and Ron Justice will talk to the members of the South Park group to see how they are organized.

Susan Eason read a letter from Mark and Karen Furfari regarding the four-story apartment complex planned for across the street from the Fishbowl. Mark and Karen seek the advice of the Neighborhood Association on the possibility of appealing the builder’s plans. While the plans seem to meet the minimum for parking, the members of the Association are nonetheless worried about density and parking. Five people will form a subcommittee to pursue this issue.

The Fourth of July block party on McKinley Ave. is on! The Lester family will provide meats, and everyone else should bring lawn chairs, side dishes, and some cash for the kitty to fund the drinks and paper goods.

June 24, 2006, is the date of the Fishbowl’s block party. The Woodburn Neighborhood Association will hold yard sales that morning. Julie Zirkle, Betsy Miller, and Tamara Riegel will handle details.

The next meeting is scheduled for July 9 at 4:30 at Crosley’s.

Respectfully submitted,
Cheryl Torsney

Apartments across from Marios Fishbowl

Hi all,
I'm posting this to let people know about he potential parking problem for the planned apartments across from Mario's Fishbowl. The apartments actually meet the city's requirements for parking for a mixed use dwelling (the city planner told Joel Halverson this too), so the building cannot be appealed on the basis of parking. Please see the information at the end of this email if you are interested in how they determined this - it is, um, interesting...

However, it IS possible to appeal the permit on the basis of the the proposed building's height. A building in a B1 district can be no more than 3 stories or 45 feet. The proposed building is 4 stories.

Paperwork has been filled to appeal this permit, but it's undecided whether the individuals who filled it out are going to go through with filing the appeal. The proposed building is very nice looking, and other projects (e.g. condos on the waterfront) are very upscale and well maintained. However, Mr. Castle seems unconcerned about the parking issue.

He stated that he thinks most customers will walk to the business on the ground floor of his building so it will not need much parking. He is from the urban northeast and is convinced that this is going to be a "pedestrian development" and that most apartment tenants are going to rent parking spaces in the lot by the downtown Dairy Mart and leave their cars there and walk to and from them.

I suspect Mr. Castle has never tried carrying up groceries up the Richwood Avenue hill, or even just walking up that hill in the snow or rain or summer heat!

The logical solution would be for Mr. Castle to decrease the building to three stories, thus staying in line with the zoning ordinance, decreasing the number of units, and easing the parking problem in the neighborhood.

However, Mr. Castle has said that it would not be worth it to him financially to build a structure smaller than four stories and he would not build on that site at all if he could not have the structure he proposed (with the implication that the land would be sold to the highest bidder and who knows what will be put there instead).

So - it is not yet decided whether to file the appeal, as it is uncertain whether it would be worse to have the extra cars or the unknown alternative. I have let them know that a lot of people in our neighborhood are concerned about the parking issue.

Anyone can file the appeal - it is about 3 pages of forms to fill in but Friday is the deadline.

If they do decide to file the appeal, anyone who would like to sign on with them would be appreciated and welcome and can sign the form. So that's where it stands. Please let me know how you would like to proceed.

e-mail: susanchris@verizon.net

More on the parking issue:
TRhe city's zoning ordinance and a "mixed use dwelling" requires 1 space per residential unit plus 25% of the spaces required for commercial use. And, to top it off, a B1 business can legally have only 75% of the required parking. A business such as a bakery of professional services business requires 3 spaces per 1000 square feet plus 1 space per employee.

Let's say there are 2 employees - with the proposed 1200 square foot business, that would require 5 spaces, but since it is mixed use, it would only require 25% of 5, or 1 space!! The apartments are planned to contain 6 1-bedroom + 15 2-bedroom apartments, so they would require 21 spaces. That's a total of 22 spaces, but, since it is zoned B1, it can legally get by with only 75% of that, or 17 spaces.

In contrast, a regular apartment building with 6 1-bedroom + 15 2-bedroom apartments and no business underneath would require 29 spaces.

The "mixed use dwelling" designation appears to have been designed for a mom and pop business with mom and pop's house on top of it - not for a multi-unit apartment building with a major business underneath. We need to work with City Council to change this outdated regulation! It will not affect this building, but it will affect the next mega-plex that comes in and replaces a smaller structure.