The most important subject for the meeting was the Baffert Project at 6th Avenue and 18th Street. Both APNA and APHZAB (historic board) have sent letters to the zoning examiner for entry into the record of the hearing to happen at the Mayor & Council chambers Thursday (12 April) at 6:00 PM. Both boards will also make presentation of their concerns at the hearing. Neither board is pleased with the proposed building height of 48 feet, much taller than any structure nearby. However, the most important issue is retaining the property in the historic zone so that the APHZAB will have some voice in how the project proceeds and to avoid a new precedent which could destroy our Historic Preservation Zone and others. The board asked for maximum resident attendance at the hearing to show that the community was very concerned about developments. There was consensus that if this rezoning is approved, there will be a succession of such actions going north along 6th Avenue (Wanslee Motors, Philbaum Gallery, Roy’s Market and more). Imagine what 6th Avenue will look like lined with buildings 48 feet tall or taller. The most public face of Armory Park will be disfigured and the western part isolated from the rest.
There was also an audit report presented by Ethermarie Hillman. President Anne Cooper had requested an audit of APNA financial records and procedures in an effort to improve the association’s financial management. Esthermarie has thoroughly examined APNA records and had a number of suggestions for improving clarity and accountability. The board was appreciative of her work and accepted a motion by outgoing treasurer David Bachman-Williams that an audit of the first quarter of this year be done to follow up on implementation of her suggestions. Further, he asked that she work with incoming treasurer, Tod Santee to facilitate his transition and further improve association financial management. Esthermarie agreed to do these things.
Follow up of last month’s item about Community Bridges offered mixed results. As a matter of policy, they will not hire security guards for their facilities, however they are looking at options for putting motion lights in areas where darkness may encourage bad behavior. On examination, parking along 3rd Avenue is likely to be cars not associated with Community Bridges.
Concern about poor police responses has been a subject of discussion on the listserv as it was at this meeting. Unless funding for the Police Department improves, this situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. Our neighborhood seems to get better responses than most but still less than acceptable. In the future it is likely that neighborhoods will need to work together to pressure M&C for higher priority for police funding. Until then, individual security measures (fences, cameras, lighting, etc.) seem like the only options.
Cleanliness of traffic circles was also a point of discussion. Primavera Works has been hired to do some cleanup but there were question as to how effective that has been. They are not very expensive but the results seemed poor to some. Follow up with Primavera may improve the situation or other landscapers may be considered. It was suggested that the APdS crew might be a good option.
Except for the Baffert issue, the agenda of the meeting may not have been exciting but these are the matters that add up to a pleasant neighborhood, or not. If you care about the community you should attend when you can and participate in committee work that fits your skills and interests. The work will always be done by a relatively small group of people but you can join in and make a difference with a small effort.