Minutes January 8, 2019

Council of Neighborhood Association (CONA)
Meeting Minutes January 8, 2019, 6:35 pm
Present:John Kennedy, Spicewood; Paul Ash, Mc Doel; Marc Cornett, Bryan Park; Elizabeth Cox-Ash, McDoel; Don Granbois, Covenanter; Mary Morgan, Covenanter; Jan Sorby, Bryan Park; Sandi Clothier, Near Westside; Jon Lawrence, Bryan Park; and Nancy Shin, Bryan Park; Tim Mueller,Elm Heights; Tom Schafer, Park Ridge East; Anne Edwards, Bryan Park.
No introductions because of lack of time.
Secretary’s Report:President John Kennedy asked for approval of the secretary’s report from the December 2018 meeting.
  • Nancy moved to accept the minutes and Sandi Clothier seconded. The minutes passed by voice vote unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Elizabeth Cox-Ash reported no update as she hasn’t received the bank statement.
Announcements: John Kennedy opened discussion about changing the meeting time and day as our meeting room is already scheduled for another group. After discussion there appeared to be little enthusiasm for a night other than Tuesday. •
  • Don suggested we meet at 7:00 pm so people can eat dinner prior to meeting time.
  • Tom Schaffer recommended that the new time be convenient for Cynthia Bretheim as she is the CONA rep to the Sustainability Council.
  • Tim Muller proposed we could change the venue to Harmony School or the public library.
  • Elizabeth stated that it is handy for city officials to join CONA meeting, if they want too.
  • Sandi advised that city hall is convenient for Cynthia too because the Sustainability Council meets at city hall and she can more easily pop up to CONA after her Sustainability meeting.
  • Don moved that the meeting time is to be the 2nd Tuesday of the month, at 7:00 pm in the same room we have been meeting in. Sandi Clothier 2nd and the motion passed 13 ayes and 0 nays

Sandi announced that Maple Heights Neighborhood Association will have their first reading at the upcoming City Council to become an historic conservation district.

Elizabeth explained the process that a straw vote will take place tomorrow’s meeting (January 9th), and a week later the final vote will be taken.

Paul reported that the city’s law suit against the Stonehenge Apartments addiction center is ongoing and Mc Doel lost its fight against having another addition center in Mc Doel neighborhood.

Tim said we need to ensure that the definition of what an addictions center is clearly defined in the new UDO. Much discussion insured about addiction centers.

UDO Discussion:President John Kennedy reported that our guest editorial in the Herald Times stimulated a request to meet with Mary Catherin Carmichael from the mayor’s office to discuss CONAs ideas and concerns.

  • Sandi thought perhaps administration is seeking neighborhood input regarding the UDO.
  • Jon Lawrence suggested that residents should contact their Council representative directly to express concerns.
  • John stated that the UDO process has been from the top down and needs to include more residents.
  • Tim, Jon and Jan volunteered to accompany President John Kennedy to a meeting with Mary Catherine.

Jan said that to inform her neighbors, she sent the guest editorial to the Bryan Park listserve and got pushback from members who advocate to eliminate all single-family zoning. This inspired several articles to be sent to Council President, Dave Rollo and Council Representative Piedmont-Smith about eliminating all single-family zoning.

  • Tim suggested that the UDO is tipped toward development community who create rental properties. He expressed that the biggest single flaw of the UDO is to eliminate single-family zones. All new PUDs should include mixed use. He explained that the mixed use should include section eight housing, townhouses, fourplexes, duplexes many different types of single-family housing forms and small commercial.
  • Jan said that if multi-family occurs in single-family zones it should be infill along the edges as stated in the Comprehensive Plan and not peppered through the neighborhoods.
  • Paul said his neighborhood has fourplex housing that is grandfathered and they areoften poorly kept properties.

Tom express concern on how the changes in the proposed UDO will work with subdivision covenants.

  • Tim answered that the burden to resolve any conflict rests on the residents of the subdivision as the city does not enforce neighborhood covenants. Additionally, a precedent is set if a multi-family building is built without a challenge.
  • Marc reminds the group that all covenants are reviewed by the plan department and they might consider not granting permits for covenants that disallow multi-family.

John asks what are our next steps for the UDO? He suggests the UDO committee needs to break the chapters/pages into sections and to cull over the document before it goes to Plan Commission.

  • Tim thinks CONA should not give small changes to the Plan Commission but rather a to have many people attend and say, “don’t modify the land pattern” we might gain some traction. Urge people make big objections rather than noodle the details.
  • Jon says the details and language are too esoteric for the masses. People won’t understand the impact and importance until something happens next door to them.
  • Jan says that there are big inconsistencies in the UDO. Lot sizes don’t support multifamily on the small lots where multi-family is being proposed and we all need to read it.

Ann wonders if the rental market is saturated if rents will come down to an affordable price.

  • Marc states that only investment properties are being built and that Smallwood is under rented but that doesn’t cause rents to decrease. Developers count on paying off a high-density student building in 12 ½ years. Developers are being asked to give money to an affordable housing fund. Residents are talking about quality of life issues while developers are talking about money issues and administration is talking about getting funds for affordable housing through developers. Density is a totally different question than the above question. We should not be afraid of density, but the other games above.The “big unit” need is met but the “small unit” need is not being addressed.
  • Jon reports that his renters tell him that even badly kept one-bedroom apartments are renting for $1,500/month.
  • Sandi states that there are still affordable small units in the Near Westside neighborhood, but owners raze small 1 to 2-bedroom houses to build apartments.
  • Tom reports that the co-housing project prices are not “affordable”.•Marc explains that the co-housing is about a different type of housing option and not necessarily built to be affordable.

Transportation Plan: John asks if CONA should take a stand on the Transportation Plan as it moves from Plan Commission to City Council.

  • Sandi suggests that all neighborhoods look at the sections to examine what the plan is for the streets in their neighborhood. Look at the proposed widths and designations with the idea of redevelopment in mind. Sandi stated that she asked the city how 7th street can be designated as both a greenways and corridor they could not articulate clearly the logic. She also suggests that we read the data as related to neighborhoods as there is big brushstroke assessments made.
  • Tim states that it is only a plan and that it will be adjusted and evaluated as money is needed for projects. He suggested it is a way to make developers pay for infrastructure when they are proposing a project.
  • Ann pointed to two problems within her own neighborhood: the extension on S. Woodlawn Ave. that would necessitate going through an apartment complex and E. Grimes La. extension which would go through Carlyle factory and several houses. These goals are not sensible.
  • Paul stated that the map is not clear, such as the Hillside extension that bi-sects the B-line. In the Plan, it looks like a street, but the city explained it is only a bike and pedestrian path.
  • Tom expresses concern on how the Transportation Plan relates to the UDO. Changes that are made in the Plan will make a case to alter how streets can be developed in the UDO.
  • John remarks that no one knows the timeline for the Transportation Plan.

Hospital Site: Marc reports that one of the teams invited to build out the hospital site is a student housing developer. District 1, Councilman Sturbaum was not allowed to ask questions during the interview meeting. District 1 abuts the site. Council members didn’t know that an RFO was sent out. Marc will give a lecture to Bloomington Restorations, Inc annual meeting to discus the historic pattern at the hospital site, Part II.

Announcement: Sandi reports that the Near West Side has been working since March for historic designation. They have a large district so there are many people with questions and concerns. Therefore, they are slowing the process. The last meeting had about 60 people attendance.

Adjournment: 8:05 pm

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