March 19, 2007 — General Membership MeetingBoard members present:
Mason Andrews Jr.
Board members absent:
President Andrews called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.
A welcome was given by President Andrews and board introductions followed. So that specific concerns of the membership were addressed, President Andrews requested that individuals in the audience state reasons for attending.
A motion was made by Blount Hunter to approve the Feb. 19, 2007, minutes and seconded by Joe Maus; the motion carried.
Treasurer Joe Maus reported a balance of $11.998.37 in the GNL account.
– Ghent Business Association (GBA)
President Andrews announced the following:
– The First Friday program to involve an “Art Crawl” will begin the first Friday of May.
– Every third Wednesday will be Restaurant Day.
– Ghent Task Force
Mike Spencer reported that the Ghent Task Force met on March 9, 2007. Items discussed were:
– The Granby, 21St Street and Colley to Princess Anne streetscape program was discussed. The City is trying to determine where to begin with money being a factor.
– An RFP to developers will be issued to develop the “Senior Center” property on 21St Street – hopefully a mix of residential and commercial can be achieved.
– Negotiations have been completed for the vacant lot in the 800 block of Spottswood Avenue between the City and its owners. It has not been determined whether or not the lot will be complimentary or whether a nominal fee for hourly or monthly usage will be charged.
– The 201 21 project on 21st Street received City approval and construction is now slated to begin in June of 2007. The entire project should take about 18 to 24 months to complete.
– Councilmembers Whibley and Winn met with representatives from NIT to discuss increased traffic on Hampton Boulevard. NIT plans to unveil a remedy in three months.
– Crosswalks – two on Colonial Avenue and one on Washington Park — should be poured by the end of April.
The Homeless Committee met and it was determined that the GNL needs to meet with the churches and the NEST program. It was noted that at this point all of the groups have needs which require the City’s help. The City has asked all three groups for their suggestions.
The following slate of officers was presented for the 2007-2008 year including three board seats:
President: Mike Spencer
First Vice President: Sharon Plawin
Second Vice President: Allan Bull
Secretary: Blount Hunter
Treasurer: Joe Maus
Board seats: Susanne Williams, BarBara Murphy, Dennis Russell.
If you, or know of anyone that would be interested in serving on the board, please complete a nominations form, which is located on the website.
As a reminder, you must first register your name with the website to use it. If you should have any suggestions for articles, please contact Susanne Williams.
Community Improvement Committee
In addition to “keeping the street lights burning,” please read the current newsletter to see what exciting projects we are working on.
Officer J. M. Tolson, Jr., announced his transfer to K-9. Our new Community Resource Officer will be Officer W. B. Routon. Crime stats for February were:
– No violent crimes were reported
– two larcenies by kids
– two juvenile larcenies
– 14 radar tickets issued
– three abandoned autos towed
– 15 parking tickets issued
Officer Routon’s office number is (757)627-6960; his cell number is 636-3196, if you should have a concern. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. ALWAYS call 911 if you have an emergency to report. If you need to report something of a non-emergency nature, please call 441-5610 or Norfolk Cares at 664-6510.
Stanley Stein, assistant city manager, City of Norfolk, and Lenny Newcomb, zoning services manager, City of Norfolk, answered questions from the audience. It was explained to the audience that at this point commercial properties do not have to go through the design review process in Ghent unless they are in the historic district. Stein stressed the importance of writing your council representatives if you have concerns or would like to see changes. It was suggested to the board that if we would like to receive funding to expand our national and state historic designation, we should submit a request to the City Manager’s office. A submission DOES NOT guarantee a commitment.
New business and notes:
Various items were discussed:
– Christ and St. Luke’s submitted a revised plan to the City for review. It was sent back for modifications.
– One member wondered what was happening with the fence next to the renovated Kemper home which backs up to the recreational field for the Williams School. Apparently it was moved for the renovation project and has not been reset.
– The drawing project between students from Park Place and Ghent is on schedule.
– It was mentioned that JoAnn Gordon with the City of Norfolk notified the board that the Methodist Church on Colonial Avenue had contacted her to remove the large oak trees and replace them with low grower. It is the consensus of the board not to have the trees removed unless they were diseased.
– President Andrews asked Kevin Halista to chair a review of our current bylaws. He accepted.
– Ghent resident Rich Studebaker discussed the extensive renovation that he had recently undertaken on his property at 500 W. Olney Road. This four-unit structure which was originally built in 1898 required substantial structural work. Although Studebaker wanted to remain as architecturally accurate as possible to the building, he was able to be environmentally friendly with portions of the walkway/driveway and landscaping.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.