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Minutes of the June 13th Meeting
Board members present: George Lonsdorf, Treasurer Christine Jackson, Andy Haakenson, Georgette DuBois, Secretary Jim Speer, President Deborah Lonsdorf Guests: Lynn Seng, Neil & Audrey Young Call to order 7:07 May minutes approved Treasurers report: We received check from Lankenau hospital, sponsoring for NarbEarth Day banner for $560. Final accounting for NarbEarth Day reports a $89.80 overall loss. Citizens Bank: Christine contacted Citizens. It used to be that we needed to keep a $2,000 combined balance to avoid fees, but they have changed our arrangement such that we only need to keep $1,000 in savings to avoid fees. Christine says it is very convenient for her to use Citizens, rather than a change to another bank. We can sign over the name on the account to Deborah. In light of this information board votes unanimously in favor of keeping Citizens Bank. Report of the President: We had a busy spring, we took on lots of new memberships, including Neil & Audrey Young, Lynn Seng, all present at meeting. Luncheon for new volunteers, Design Narberth project, voter id registration project, clean up narberth. We have a good focus for moving forward. Laura Jackson (Merion) mentioned she used to be a community mediator. Maybe we can offer more of that kind of thing in the future. Federation of Civics meeting report: Liz Brown is not present at the meeting, but she did send along notes and observations (attached at the end of these minutes) Georgette: moves that we table consideration of these topics until Liz can be here here. Board votes to table issues related to these Federation notes. OLD BUSINESS: NarbEarth Day thank you event: Georgette: It was a great event, with 6 or 7 guests. The event had been allocated $200 , but ended up spending a lot less. Clean sweep: went pretty well: We noted so many cigarette butts on the ground. Would like borough to address [general cleanliness] more. Probably we should do a clean
sweep at least twice a year. Boy scouts showed up at the wrong place, and didn’t join us for pizza. This seems like a lost opportunity not to connect with them. For the future, it would be good to stop in at each business to let them know we (the Narberth Civic Association) are cleaning up in front, and to ask them to continue to keep the sidewalk in front of their business clean. Engage the shop owners in the immediate vicinity. We never got into those recycle bins. No one ended up being available to open them. Still an open question what to do about labeling for recycling,trash, etc We did a walk-around and looked at things and made notes on labeling of trash and recycling receptacles. Maybe this fall we can pick that up again. WEBSITE UPDATE (Attached) Andy: can we make a 1-page primer on how to get in touch with every member of the board, and have a directory of technical stuff available? Neil: He has used mailchimp: numbers below 10,000 recipients can easily use Outlook for mass mailing Georgette: uses Constant Contact, which provides reports, etc. does Outlook do anyting like that? Neil: no, outlook does not contain many services George: how effective is our outreach? Facebook makes statistics available for how many people are reached. It would be nice to know what kind of stuff do people react to. For the same reason, considering installing Google Analytics on our website, which could be useful to help us understand what’s effective and what’s not. Georgette: It would be useful to find out who on Borough Council is on each committee, and who is on commissions [like Planning, etc] What would help the borough keep up this information on their own? [the Borough website found to be somewhat lacking in accurate and timely information] We need to know how is the website currently being managed. Is it a paid or unpaid volunteer? We think council needs to make sure that’s being taken care of. George: There seems to be a lack of competence as well as interest on the borough website. Andy: We can ask for budget line item for website maintenance. [This should show who works on the Borough website and in what capacity] Georgette: is there any conflict of interest for George to help with borough website? George could talk to borough council and find out some info. Neil: He moved to narberth 2 years ago - - His interest was sparked when he came to a zoning meeting. Interested in sustainability. Wants to look into working with or taking over Narberth Greens Deborah: interested in the NCA taking this on and giving Avi the opportunity to work with it, or
have Neil work with it through us. HARVEST RUN: Phil Heifitz could not be here tonight. He wants to do a run modeled on the CF run, to benefit food banks (Ardmore and Narberth). Lots of reasons why this is hard to organize. Let’s suggest that Phil get in contact with John & Bunny Nardi, who organize the CF run. Also it was suggested that Phil may want to look into organizing something different, as a run may prove to be too difficult. NEW BUSINESS: VOTER ID ACTION Lynn Seng and her organization VRID is partnering with the NCA to inform people about the new PA voter ID laws. We'll provide the backing of our organization, online information on our website, and support with the borough. In exchange we'll be getting visibility and doing our job. I don't think we need to write up all of the details about the law. Motion to support VRID passes 5-0: Andy, Deborah, George, Georgette, Christine. Jim abstains from vote. George: we would rely on you (Lynn) to provide updates, and we can keep them current on the website. We will try to have visibility for voter ID project at concerts, ball games, and other events. Lynn: This effort may be complicated once political party efforts start to kick in, closer to election day. BOROUGH AND SCHOOL DISTRICT SETTLEMENT Andy: Not in favor of the settlement. The agreement has lots of moving parts. In settlement agreements its always bad to “stay in bed with enemy.” This agreement keeps thr state of the building in limbo, and now it is hard to put money into it at all. For instance we ought to put an elevator in there to perhaps move the senior center in there. This settlement stopped favorable litigation in progress. If we had a good case then why do we not have a good case now? Jim: Disagrees with Andy’s opinion of the settlement. Feels this puts us a few steps closer to ultimate ownership status. FALL MEMBERSHIP MEETING: We’d like to have Dennis Montagna do his slide show presentation this fall. Sean Metrick says they’re starting writing the code, and writing will be well underway by the fall. If we do it in October, this gives us a month to publicize. Is this something we might charge people? $5 suggested donation, free for members or joining members. October 10. Wednesday. Passed unanimously LIBRARY WEST WING RENOVATION The stonework on the building needs pointing, or anything done on the interior will be moot. It’s not yet clear on how the [coffeehouse] concessions would work. The inside is dirty, acoustics bad, lighting is terrible.
Andy: there’s an issue about title and control of those rooms. Needs to be pointed out that pointing is messy and toxic, which really should be done before deck project Jim : Will contact Heidi Boise ask her for a rundown on library deck project BOARD APPOINTMENT Moved that Deborah Lonsdorf be formally appointed to serve the remainder of the Civic Association presidential term, through summer 2013. Passed unanimously. MEETING ADJOURNED 9:05 --------------------------------ATTACHMENTS: FEDERATION OF CIVIC NOTES (Submitted by Liz Brown): This is a call to action for interested and concerned Civic Association representatives. pass this information on to your civic association board. Please
The Land Use Committee for the Township’s new comprehensive plan is planning to complete work on the Institutional Land Use component soon, before moving on to the Residential Land Use and Commercial Land Use components. It appears that the committee’s recommendation will be for the adoption of an “institutional overlay” in the Township’s zoning code. The motivation for this is a perceived need for the institutions located in the Township, primarily non-profit entities such as schools, colleges, and churches located within residential zones, to be able to grow in ways that the underlying residential zoning does not permit. In other words, it is believed that institutions must be able to build with more density, relaxed parking requirements, and more height – 65 feet perhaps -than all other users in the zone so that they can expand their facilities, increase their enrollments, provide more services etc., and they should be able to do this as a matter of right. As a tradeoff, it is suggested that wider buffers from the surrounding residential neighborhoods be required than the underlying zoning requires for other properties. As representatives of civic associations whose primary constituencies are the residential neighborhoods, we need to take a hard look at the proposed recommendation because it raises concerns for neighborhood protection that may not be receiving appropriate attention from the committee. Institutional growth in residential zones imposes externalities on the surrounding neighborhoods that our zoning code does not address, except for the vague criteria of health, safety and welfare – traffic, overflow parking on neighborhood streets, noise emanating from HVAC equipment, from people coming to and leaving from events, sometimes in the later hours; light pollution from parking lots and from taller buildings. Experience with institutional behavior over many years shows that some institutions are model neighbors whereas some have no care for any but their own interests. Parking on neighborhood streets and inconsiderate behavior of students/patrons cannot be controlled after approval has been given and the use has been expanded. The call to action is for representatives of the Civic Associations to appear at the next meeting
of the Land Use Committee, Thursday, June 21, at 6:00 p.m. in the Second Floor Board Room of the Township Administration Building, to hear the discussion of the committee, and to decide if more intervention is needed for the sake of neighborhood protection. On June 25, the committees will be delivering their quarterly reports to the Planning Commission. That will provide an opportunity to comment. WEBSITE REPORT (Submitted by George Lonsdorf): NCA June 2012 website update A Clean Sweep page came and went (included a photo of Jim, Georgette and Deborah working on 10.10.10); it included a link to PDF new Recycling guide merged from two guides listed in separate places on the Borough website; the link now appears in each Recycling pickup listed in Upcoming Events on the News page Upcoming Events: If the original listing includes an event’s location, there is now a link to an accurate Google map on the listing; observation and testing continues to make sure even unusual locations are accurately mapped. Rezoning pages - Resources and FAQs - continue to grow. There is no other place for Narbs to get background on the Rezoning project. Planning Commission members Jim Cornwell and Diane Moore expressed gratitude for the Civic’s efforts and are looking for more ways to communicate the efforts; they say project will not be completed before 2014. Narberth section: Narberth Yesterday, newly re-discovered by past Civic Association president, Andy Haakenson. Written as a term paper at Temple University in 1944 by lifelong Narb Jean Staples. I contacted Joanne Behm, former Library Board Member, who has given “Nar-Trek” walking tours of Narberth. She has expressed an interest in putting her collection of vintage postcards on the NCA website. Facebook – photos from NarbEarth Day and Clean Sweep posted; stats; Google analytics for the website? Wild Apricot Jim proposed dropping it; until replaced, the “join or renew” link would lead directly to PayPal; we will manually record the info from the PayPal e-mail; We would use the free MailChimp service to send e-mails; I’m in favor after Jim and I meet to document current Wild Apricot functionality we rely on, including e–mail notifications, and the priorities for replacing it. The monthly bill is payable on the 21st of the month (one week from tomorrow); In order to adequately prepare and test the alternatives, I propose we pay for July and cancel before July 21; making July 20 the last date we would use Wild Apricot.
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