MINUTES (PDF Version)
Wayne Hunt convened the meeting at 7:31 pm and welcomed new board members, Dr. George (“Ged”) Boudreau and Hala Imms.
Attending: Wayne Hunt, President; Tom Wilkinson, 1st Vice President; Andy Orr, 2nd Vice President, Jane Carton, Secretary; Ged Boudreau, Kerstin Humann, Hala Imms, George McFarland, Karen Shapiro, Lee Tabas
Commissioners: Cheryl Gelber, Scott Zelov
Excused: Linda Aversa-Caldwell, Stephen Billings, Tash Duff, Lorraine Jones, Steve Lindner
No Response: Shelly Brietling, Andrew Bruckner, Stephen Lee, Frank Leto, Cary McClain, Steven Mezrow, Carol Rando, Chris Robinson, Paul Simpson, Andrea Straub
Guest: Nelly Berman, propietor of the Nelly Berman Music School
Approval of the Minutes of the November 1, 2011 and December 13, 2011 Meetings – Wayne motioned that the minutes be approved, seconded by George McFarland and approved.
Treasurer’s Report – Wayne reported for Lorraine Jones. As of January 9, 2012, there is approximately $3,000 in the treasury.
Guest Visitor – Nelly Berman, owner of The Nelly Berman School of Music, located on North Buck Lane, reported to the board that she is seeking usage approval from the Township zoning board to convert an unused garage on her property for use as her personal office, to include a piano for providing private piano lessons, on occasion. Ms. Berman noted that she is willing to sound proof the building in order to prevent any noise complaints from neighbors.
Action: Wayne will draft a letter on Ms. Berman’s behalf to be sent to the Zoning Hearing Board, stating that the HCA board is entirely supportive of her proposal. Several board members’ children have, and are, attending classes at the school and appreciate the fact that the school exists in our neighborhood.
Art in Sharpe Park – Jane Carton reported that she is seeking permission from artist Joe Barker to use his 2011 watercolor print of Sharpe Park as the HCA event “brand” on posters and print materials. The 2012 event date will be announced at the February board meeting, at which time a working committee will be formed.
Action: All HCA board members will receive an overview detailing the event specifics at that meeting.
Commissioners’ Reports –
Scott Zelov (Ward 10)
- The 2012 budget passed at year’s end with no tax increase. The School tax will increase by 4%. The Montgomery County 2012/13 tax increased by 17%. A one time tax revenue settlement in the amount of just under $7,000,000 has yet to be allocated. Several options remain open including a property tax rebate, debt reduction and replenishing monies to the equipment and capital reserve funds for future projects. The public is invited to attend the upcoming finance workshops scheduled for January 25th and February 22nd at the Township building at 6:00 pm.
- Lower Merion will join Philadelphia in the new redistricting plan. The Township will now be in the 2nd congressional district of Chaka Fattah.
Cheryl Gelber (Ward 5)
- The BOC approved a rezoning plan for the City Avenue Corridor project. The board will make the ordinance effective April 30, in order to give time to the development of an official map identifying any new roads, open space, public gathering places and a public pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists. Public meetings are set for January 21 at the GSB building at 10:00 am and on January 30 at the Township building at 6:30 pm.
- The deadline to apply for Comprehensive Plan committees has been extended to January 31. There is a need for volunteers to serve on subcommittees, working with the Township staff and chaired by members of the planning committee. Township residents are encouraged to participate. Information and applications for improved land use, housing, energy and water conservation, housing, community facilities and circulation can be downloaded on the Township web site.
- The North Ardmore Civic has made a recommendation to reduce the speed limit from 35 to 25 mph on Montgomery Avenue between Lower Merion High School and Suburban Square, due to recent accidents occurring in that area. The proposal was tabled and will be an item on the January 18th police committee agenda.
Federation of Civics Report – Lee Tabas and FC liaison, Ann Mezey, attended the January 9th meeting. Lee reported that there was a lengthy discussion concerning the proposal for Sunoco’s electronic signage, which was not approved by the Zoning Hearing Board.
On a personal note, Lee reported that he and his family have enjoyed walking the Cynwyd trail recently and that it is always very busy with dog walkers, runners and bikers. He wondered why the comfort stations were unavailable for use. Scott explained that they must be closed during the winter season because of the potential for freezing water and will reopen in mid April.
Old Business – Andy Orr suggested that we revisit the possibility of setting up PayPal on our web site for the purpose of obtaining and renewing membership in HCA.
Action: Wayne will include this item on the February agenda.
New Business – Ged Boudreau suggested that HCA develop and put in place a budget plan for the continued financial support for Sharpe Park. All present were in favor of the suggestion.
Action: Wayne will contact Ginny Williams, our liaison for the Garden Workers, and invite her to the February board meeting to update us on their plan for this year’s planting and maintenance.
Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 8:57 p.m.
Next board meeting – Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 7:30 p.m at the Merion Cricket Club 2nd Floor Board Room.
Jane Carton, Secretary