MINUTES (PDF Version)
The meeting convened at 7:40 PM, chaired by President Wayne Hunt
Attending: Wayne Hunt, President; Stephen Billings, 1st V.P.; Lorraine Jones, Treasurer; Jane Carton, Secretary; Ercem Attilsoy, Tash Duff, George McFarland, Anne Mezey, Andy Orr, Karen Shapiro, Tony Vale, Tom Wilkinson
Commissioners: Cheryl Gelber, Scott Zelov
Excused: Kirsten Humann, Steven Lindner, Lee Tabas
No Response: Shelly Brietling, Elizabeth Kuensell, Stephen Lee, Francis Leto, Cary McClain, Steven Mezrow, Carol Rando, Polly Richman, Paul Simpson, Vinnie West
1. Approval of Minutes of the May 10, 2011 meeting – The minutes were approved as written, motioned by Andy Orr.
2. Treasurer’s Report – Lorraine Jones read a letter from Ruth Sperber, the Executive Director of ElderNet, thanking the HCA for the donation of $100 in support of the “Let’s All Meet for a Picnic in the Park” May 1, 2011 fundraiser. Lorraine reported that available funds amount to $5,176.57.
3. Unscheduled Guest – Wayne Hunt invited a Haverford resident, Francesco D’Arro, to address the board regarding his long standing concerns with the neglect and disrepair of his neighbor’s property at 421 Lancaster Avenue. Mr. D’Arro thanked Commissioner Lindner and HCA for their help in working with the township to enforce codes, requiring the owner to remove trash and debris; however, he believes there still remains much work to be done to improve the unsightly condition. It was noted that the Lower Merion Building and Planning Dept. was aware of this matter and has been actively involved for some time.
Mr. D’Arro went on to express his concern and displeasure with his view of the Haverford School’s lack of timely response to the development of and alteration to the baseball field adjacent to Lancaster Avenue and across from his home. Mr. D’Arro and certain neighbors feel that trees removed during the initial installation of the baseball field should be replaced and that the safety netting along Lancaster Avenue is unsightly and may have been initially installed without regard to township code. As such, the current replacement of the initial safety netting is also in question. Commissioner Zelov noted that Mr. D’Arro and Bob Duncan, head of the Lower Merion Township Building and Planning Dept. have been in e-mail discussions of this matter. It was noted that Mr. Duncan was on vacation this week, so a response would likely be received by Mr. D’Arro next week, upon Mr. Duncan’s return. Commissioner Gelber suggested that he and his neighbors contact Commissioner Lindner to set up a meeting between the school, the township and the neighbors. Mr. D’Arro and two of his neighbors, who accompanied him to the meeting, thanked Wayne, the Commissioners and the HCA board for their attention to the two items brought forth.
4. Art in Sharpe Park – Jane Carton reported that in spite of the iffy weather on Saturday, May 14, the event was a success and will be repeated next May. The vendors were well pleased with their sales and agreed to return for the 2nd annual affair. Attendees varied widely in ages and included entire families with their dogs.
5. Commissioners’ Reports –
Scott Zelov (Ward 10)
- The Finance Committee, in an 8-5 vote, recommended posting the township’s checkbook register on line, making records open to the public. Commissioner Zelov stated that the vote is expected to be finalized at the June 15 board meeting.
- Aged gas lines on North Rose Lane are being replaced and improved by converting from low to medium pressure.
- The township has removed a large tree that was in decline at the corner of Glyn Wynne and Grays Lane.
- The design for the Pennswood Road bridge improvement project, 95% of which is paid by the State, is just about complete with the possibility of construction getting underway by 2012.
- The Bala Cynwyd rezoning issue will be on the agenda for the June 15th Commissioners’ meeting.
Cheryl Gelber (Ward 5)
- As of the May 25th Commissioner’s meeting, The Ardmore Transit Center project will not include housing. There is discussion of locating the plan for residences on Cricket Avenue behind the existing Partyland store. A large funding gap still remains, which directly impacts the design of the parking garage and whether it will be an open or closed construction.
- Ms.Gelber noted that the proposed rezoning of City Avenue districts needs time for the neighboring communities to weight in; therefore, the project is not yet ready for the Commissioner’s action. (See Federation of Civics report).
- The Clover Market has tripled its number of vendors since opening last year, necessitating a waiting list for new dealers and vendors wishing to participate. Ms. Gelber reported that neighboring businesses have benefited with walk-ins from customers who shop the market, including many from out of town. A request for approval to expand the market into Cricket Terrace for the scheduled Sundays in September, October and November will be on the agenda at the June 15th meeting.
6. Federation of Civics Report – Stephen Billings, reported on the June 13th meeting.
- The following slate of officers were elected: President, Hugh Gordon, First V.P, Teri Simon, Second V.P., Joan Hindin, Treasurer, Greg Strickland, Asst. Treasurer, Anne Mezey, Secretary, Perry Hamilton, Asst. Secretary, Frances Quinn.
- Liz Rogan, President of the Lower Merion Twp. Board of Commissioners, addressed questions and concerns from the attendees in regards to the proposed rezoning of the City Avenue districts, including traffic, costs and funding for road improvements, design standards, building heights, setbacks. Many in the audience expressed their concern that there has not been enough opportunities for discussion and community input and urged all civics boards and citizens to implore Commissioners not to rush for adoption until the issues have been voiced and further revisions and rationales have been circulated.
- “National Night Out” (for Community Watch) will take place on Tuesday, August 2nd from 6-9 pm in the “Ruby’s Lot” on Anderson Avenue in Suburban Square.
7. Wells Fargo Signage – Wayne handed out photos of the new signage at the Haverford branch of Wells Fargo, which are code compliant. Wayne and perhaps others will meet with the local branch manager to see if a sign or two could be removed or reduced in size.
8. Fifth Annual “Neighbors Night Out” – Jane announced that the event will take place on Tuesday, September 13th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. in Sharpe Park. Lorraine stated that, once again, there will be entertainment for the entire family. The Ardmore Fire Company and the K9 Corps will be invited to attend. And back by popular demand will also be the Hot Dog Man and Miss Linda, the fortune teller. Wayne displayed and read the Garden Club of America’s Civic Commendation Award presented to Jane on June 14th, in recognition of her Inspired Leadership that instituted “Twilight in the Park” in Sharpe Park and beautified it for Lower Merion Residents.
9. HCA Remaining Schedule for 2011 – Wayne announced that the remaining board meetings will be held on the second Tuesday of October, November and December at 7:30 pm. at the Merion Cricket Club (Meetings are not held in July or August). A guest speaker is sought for the Oct or Nov meeting; the Dec meeting will focus on the elections and the LMT 2012 budget.
10. New Business – Jane commented on the unsightly weed filled frontage of the “Sleepy’s” retail store on Lancaster Avenue and asked Wayne to contact the owner of the property to make him aware of the community’s displeasure with the unacceptable landscaping maintenance of the building.
11. Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Next board meeting – Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 7:30 p.m at the Merion Cricket Club.
All Haverford residents are welcome!
Jane Carton, Secretary
June 16, 2011