CCOW meeting minutes 3-17-2011

Concerned Citizens of Woodberry community meeting
Wednesday, March 16, 2011                       7:00-8:46 pm

Recap of 2010 Highlights:
-Defeated attempt for zoning variance at 3600 Parkdale (RCI Communications) for carry-out liquor license
-Participated in meetings for Northwest Truck Route and defeated proposed local truck route along Clipper Rd & Druid Park Drive. Informed Ms Lacour, City Planner, that Mumaw Industrial park was not an industrial zone but primarily artesian space, which she had not known
-Developed working relationships with other neighborhood associations including Medfield, Hampden and
-Facilitated Zoning Variance Q & A for Clipper Road residents
-Participated in fact finding session with Northern District Police regarding Nuisance property(s)
-Hosted Meet & Greet at Woodberry Park w/guest tables from Tree Baltimore, Parks & People and Baltimore
City Recreation & Parks
-Repaired and painted the Woodberry Sign
– Hosted various city officials for fact finding sessions including Belinda Conaway, Councilwoman and Christiaan Blake, Legislative Liaison with MD Mass Transit Authority
– Tripled our email list
-Re-launched our Webpage, started a Facebook and Blog- thank you Tracey Brown
Facebook:   Concerned Citizens of Woodberry Association
Blog: http://aboutwoodberry.wordpress

We are working with Belinda Conaway and Director of MTA on creating a Quiet Zone for the Light Rail-Woodberry Crossing.  The code allows for this and there are numerous other Quiet Zones on the line.  With the urging of Ms. Conaway, the Baltimore City MTA has agreed to fund a feasibility study and assign an engineer in the next two weeks.

The Seawall development at Union Mills continues to move forward at a very fast past.
Half of the complex will be subsidized apartments for teachers.  Anyone can rent but only the teachers qualify for subsidy.      Units will be completed in August with 50% already rented.
The other half of the complex will be non-profit office space.  80% has been rented with November as completion on that portion
There will be a Café at the complex.  At this time Seawall has narrowed their prime choices to two lease applications and will be making a decision shortly.  Both organizations are well known Baltimore operators, so the addition to the unit will be a definite plus for our neighborhood as well as lower Hampden.
Seawall will be re-paving Buena Vista to 41st.

CCoW President, Jim Bomgardner is communicating with the Director of Transportation regarding the appalling state of the 41st & Falls Rd intersection.  Previously the intersection was to be re-paved as part of the redevelopment of the Rotunda.  However, since those plans fell apart during the recession, that intersection is no longer in the current budget.

Renovations at Woodberry Park are now 20% complete.  The demolition is done and we will soon see the staking for the walkways, pavement and walls for the engineer’s approval.  Once this phase is complete, rough grading will begin.

Sign Garden – $600 worth of native, draught tolerant plants and soil prep were purchased in the Fall and winter banked for protection.  We will need to get them into their permanent placements in the Spring.

Jones Falls Bike Path- there was some confusion regarding the Clipper Rd section and what appeared to be construction of the path north to Cold Spring Rd.  Update from Sheri -After talking with Kennedy Schwartz’s office and Will Andersen at Recreation & Parks points were clarified as follows:
–          The entire section from Clipper to Cold Spring is at standstill while easements to cross MTA and BG & E properties are secured.  It will be some months, possibly a year before the project can move forward
–          The work observed north of our section is the removal of invasive plantings and insertion of trees as previously outline and reviewed in the neighborhood presentations.

To make membership payments and/or leave notes or photos for the CCoW Board, we now have a dedicated drop box at Sheri’s house: 2063 Druid Park Drive.
We also have a post office box at Hampden post office:  PO Box 50141

New Nuisance Law guidelines are geared to property owners- due to length of explanation, that news will be shared via a separate email bulletin.

The CCoW treasury is $980.79 which is a small amount should we need money for a community event or matching grant monies.
Membership is ANNUAL.  Unless you renewed at the September 2010 Woodberry Park event, your membership expired December 2010 (or even longer ago).
Memberships are $10 for Individual and $15 for family membership

Tracey Brown has set up PayPal for CCoW memberships.  Watch for that addition to our website within the next week or so.

The CCoW Board is stretched, manpower wise, and will share additional news as projects come to fruition.
We need volunteers to get involved in an interest/concern of their choice.  The Board has many requests and suggestions, but no volunteers to work on them.  If you are willing to volunteer even 5 hours a year, you could help move something forward.  We are looking for a Grant Writer or several to help; a Volunteer Coordinator; a Police Liaison; a Garden/Landscape Coordinator; an Event Coordinator; a Youth Activity Coordinator-or coordinate your own community interest.

Report from Charlie Cronheim – Gutierrez Memorial Bonfire
The fundraising including the 2010 Memorial Walk, was a huge success raising $38,000. With excess funds from the bonfire costs, a scholarship fund will be established for the benefit of artist apprenticeships at the Mill.  A non-profit status is being applied for.  As the Walk was so successful in 2010, the decision has been made to raise funds annually for the scholarship fund, by sponsoring a Walk the 3rd Saturday of every October.
This Saturday, March 19 6-8 pm will be the Donor’s Reception and dedication of the bonfire with open celebration at 8:30 pm. The bonfire will be used weekly on Friday and Saturday evenings.

MAJOR PUBLICITY EVENT:  The Convention of City Mayors will be hosted in Baltimore this year with Clipper Mill designated for the 1200 person Gala.  This will be on June 19, 2010.   The pool, the Condo’s back lawn, as well as the bonfire area will all be used.  Tours of the complex and the artist’s studios will on-going throughout the Gala.

Building at Overlook is moving again.  The bank will release money for one duplex at a time.
There are four new neighbors including the sale of the original model home.  One of the lots at the top of the circle has been sold.  At this time Schaffer Drive is not slated for completion.

In related news- there will be a small townhouse community starting on property behind Super Fresh at 41st.

Over the winter, several emails were received by the Board, as well as word sent for this meeting, requesting Board action.  Issues such as residents not picking up after their dog, not shoveling their sidewalks, vehicles parked on the sidewalk, and/or not maintaining their property, are examples.  The Concerned Citizens of Woodberry Association has no enforcement capabilities.  Unlike the Clipper Mill Campus, which has an HOA legally recorded and enforced by the Bank, the TV Hill section has no legal recourse.  Please use and document your 3ll or 911 calls.  If you have exhausted all means available to you, we may be able to assist by forwarding your documentation to our City contact(s).

Other Business:
A request was made for a community picnic – If you would be willing to coordinate this event, please contact CCoW

Seawall contacted CCoW to offer assistance with the petition for speed humps (not bumps) along Druid Park Drive.  As CCoW offered assistance in 2009, to the organizers of this petition and was declined by the organizers, CCoW will follow-up.

The mid-March arrival of the City Calendar was viewed as a waste of taxpayer money.  CCoW will comment to Councilwoman Conaway

Several commented on Clipper Road at the Light Rail being used as a bus downtime location.  Comments include the bus(s) left running for extended periods of time (up to an hour), with the driver outside the vehicle.
CCoW will forward this comment to MTA

Your CCoW Board
Jim Bomgardner, President
Tracey Brown, VP
Elvon Lloyd, Treasure
Sheri Higgins, Secretary