Ghent Neighborhood League Minutes
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Chrysler Museum of Art
Board members present: Emily Birknes, Ben Crumpler, Joan McEnery, Susanne Ott, Karen Reynes, Paige Rose
-Minutes from July approved
-Officer Medley reported 4 robberies, Mowbray Arch robbery was online setup, another robbery on Manteo and Princess Anne stolen phone, question from member concerning what is considered loitering and concerns about transient community using going to the bathroom in neighborhood/in front of New Life church, suspicious package located in front of Blair bomb squad cleared it
-President’s report: August 11th flooding presentation had approx. 50 attendees reports will be provided, Ghent Task Force meeting big topic was transient community, introduction of Christine Morris, Chief Resilience officer, city of Norfolk
-Ms. Morris discussed neighborhood specific grants applied for two other areas of the City for regarding long term goal of resilience to flooding, decisions expected January 2016 from the National disaster resilience competition
-Mr. Howard Gordon presented plans for new development on the River at 151 Riverview avenue “Tarrants Bay development” (near Harbors Edge on Colley) it will be a minimum of a year before construction after rezoning occurs. Several members expressed need for public access to development and waterfront use
-Treasurer report Karen Reynes budget submitted and approved by Board as a planning document at pre meeting, Treasurers report attached submitted and approved, will shop for better rate for CD, Ghent Masquerade $100 approved.
-Membership Ben Crumpler, there has been discussion of a mock up for a postcard for membership drive as well as suggestion of a directory.
-Community Improvement Paige Rose focus on Street light repair and the Committee’s discovery that under the VAPGRO contract, City gets receives credit/refund from Dominion if repairs are not completed within a specific timeframe , advise residents to call Norfolk Cares so calls can be logged, member asked status of Colonial avenue traffic calming measures as that project per John Stephenson at Ghent task force meeting, project has been first on the list (after lengthy traffic study confirmed 80% speeding on Colonial) for several years, deaths, and serious incidents and injured individials keep occurring at 600/700 block prior to Olney, noted storm drains are being repaired on Colonial avenue, several questions concerning extended outage of street lights and safety, member suggested GNL be given funds for non repaired lights, President to follow up on that possibility.
-Residential project review Karen Reynes there were 26 in 2013 and 41 in 2014 significant increase, ARB reviewed 2 projects in August there is 1 GNL property being reviewed for a fence in September and on Monday 2 more reviews, members asked about process, report attached
-Commercial project review Ben Crumpler craft brewery application in progress will be presenting, member suggested a general member vote vs. board only vote, member suggested most consideration be given to members/neighbors in immediate zones of impact, Board members suggested and it was agreed that in addition to sending to Board members , ARB and planning commission application will be posted on website when the GNL receives the application. 2 benches to be located per business owner request in front of Bonbonierre on 21st street, board member requested application be sent to board members. There was a bench removed in front of 711 on Colley avenue
-Ghent Kayak launch Matt Haggerty is setting up meeting to be posted on website.
-GBA Improvements being made on 21st street, trash cans, gateway signage considered, heart of Ghent 10K September 26 possible expansion of pedestrian corridor overlay, member addressed rezoning impacting residents because business under 2000 square feet will not be required to provide designated parking further negatively impacting residential parking and already heavy congestion
-Ghent Homeless task force Ed Joyce and Karen Bailey presentation statement attached and member discussion concerning the fair share model and requested NEST report. Ghent Homeless task force Ed Joyce and Karen Bailey presentation statement attached. Member discussion on Task Force’s proposed solutions to lessen impact on Ghent. Office to End Homelessness focus is permanent housing, not services during period of homelessness Task Force asking for City to fund study for day center. Task Force is putting together updated information as to the locations of homeless services in Norfolk and Task Force want to promote information sharing within the service provider community. Another Task Force proposal is to have “navigators” in Ghent – like the ambassadors DNC has. Members asked about bus service provided by Downtown to the Union Mission. President will contact DNC. Member requested NEST data that was promised over a year ago including list of locations and numbers. Ed Royce said NEST is using HMIS. Member said we need to have a “fair share” model. Member proposed adopting a “Five Ward Solution”, starting with having NEST sites evenly divided this year and shared among the City’s Five Wards; a proposal which Ed Joyce will present to the Task Force as an action item and report back at the next GNL meeting. Member suggested that the Task Force make contact with “The Healing Place”. Task Force co-chair said task force is not proposing increasing services in Ghent.
submitted by Susanne Ott