All posts by Lindsay Stolkey

Baynton Hill Neighbors Meeting – April 4, 2017

Baynton Hill Neighbors Meeting – April 4, 2017

 

Neighbors present: Kim, Carol, Rick, Joe, Lindsay

Topics:

Guest speakers at meetings

Neighborhood clean up

Forming a coalition of community groups

 

Guest speakers at meetings

  • Bring politicians to meetings
    • Senator Haywood’s staff had “reached out” recently, we will follow up
    • Sharif Street is also close but not actually our geographic area
    • Kim is ready to go to Trump!
  • We need to have clear requests/demands/issues to present so we’re not just hearing lip service, and instead we can receive actual support
    • Continue brainstorming through email, and have a meeting in May to prepare our thoughts more
    • Some issues so far that folks may want to discuss with a politician are: mystery construction on Church Lane, street trash, Boys and Girls Club, Rufe St dumping, unlicensed group homes, overgrown brush near Wister Station

Neighborhood clean up

  • Saturday, April 8 from 9-2
  • Joe and Rick are picking up supplies
  • Ross should have a contact for SEPTA who sent volunteers out previously

Forming a coalition of neighborhood groups

  • To have more power as community members
  • Idea on the table for a while, and has been discussed a bit with other groups
  • Such as… SOLO, Penn Knox, PANA, Wakefield 49ers

 

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, June 6th

Pre-meeting to prepare for attendance of a politician: tentatively Tuesday, May 2

Meeting Notes – February 7, 2017

Baynton Hill Neighbors Meeting – February 7, 2017

 

Neighbors present: Kathy, Priscilla, Rick, Joe, Lindsay

 

Topics and announcements:

Tree Philly tree giveaway event

Boys & Girls Club redevelopment proposal

Wister House and Little Wakefield House historic nominations

Unpermitted work next to community garden

Spring neighborhood clean up

Ideas for a stronger neighbors group

Coffee shop at GFS

Guest speaker at next meeting

 

Tree giveaway

  • Organizations can host tree giveaways for their neighborhoods, receive $500 and some support to coordinate the event. Might be too much work for BHN, and may not be able to distribute enough trees.
  • Wondering if they are yard trees only or street trees too? Could we plant a bunch of trees along Rufe St. to prevent dumping?

 

Boys & Girls Club

  • There is a proposal floating around to build a hockey rink at the Boys & Girls Club on the 100 block of West Penn
  • Neighbors attending a Penn Knox meeting oppose the hockey rink at this location and want to push for it to be built elsewhere
  • Neighborhood concerns are the removal of the existing field which gets used often, narrow street/access issues, the need to run a driveway through the community garden, and general improper use of a quaint neighborhood street
  • Proponents may be seeking to recreate fond childhood memories and provide an opportunity for kids
  • Developer has a demolition permit already from Zoning but not from Building, so the Historic Commission still has an opportunity to object which would halt the project

 

Wister and Little Wakefield House Historic Nominations

 

Unpermitted work next to community garden

  • Construction work happening in the lot next to the Church Ln. Community Garden, on Church between Baynton and Wakefield
  • Cleared trees, and have built onto the structure that was there
  • Possibly are mixing biodiesel? Properly? Stuff being dumped onto ground, we don’t know if it’s hazardous.
  • L & I hasn’t been helpful, said they couldn’t see that anything was happening
  • Has been difficult to reach owner

 

Spring Neighborhood Clean Up: Saturday, April 8

  • Lindsay and Priscilla will work out much of the details together, and bring to the next meeting which falls right before the clean up. Anyone else wants to organize?
  • Lindsay/Ross backyards as possible meeting spot
  • We want to make more of an event, have snacks and refreshments in meeting spot
  • Kathy will put us in touch with the Wakefield/Bringhurst neighbors group so we can potentially coordinate efforts

 

Ideas for a stronger neighborhood group

  • Create committees to disperse responsibility/power? Meet during the off months between BHN meetings
  • Vary the format and content of meetings

 

Announcements

  • The coffee shop at GFS is open to the public, just need to sign in at front desk: The Open Door (a branch of High Point), hours something like 8am-5:30pm currently, open til 7:30 maybe starting in April
  • The next meeting will have a guest speaker about saving money on taxes and water bills
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, April 4 @ 7:00, location TBD

Meeting Notes – December 6, 2016

Baynton Hill Neighbors Meeting – December 6, 2016

Neighbors present: Joe, Lindsay, Priscilla

Topics:

Waring House designation for Historic Register

Construction on Church Lane

Community Yard Sale

Redevelopment project at Cunningham Piano – petitioning City Council

Camera on Rufe St.

Waring House

  • Waring House at 48 E. Penn St. has been designated a historic building by the Philadelphia Historical Commission
  • Joe sent an application packet nominating the property for historic designation, with support from Germantown Historical Society. Joe also attended a public hearing.
  • Waring House LLC currently owns the property. The Phila Historic Commission sent letters to the address on file for the company, notifying of the application process, but they went to an empty building.
  • Historic designation requires that major work requiring permits, or intent of demolition, be approved by the Historical Commission
  • One of our neighbors, who runs the program giving out lunch to kids in the summer at Waring House, is just now learning about this and is concern to not have been notified or involved in the process.

Construction on Church Lane

  • The lot on Church between Baynton and Wakefield has construction occurring without permits posted
  • Joe called 311 and L & I should be sending out an inspector soon

Community Yard Sale

  • Priscilla’s idea to have a community yard sale in the spring
  • Maybe in front of Germantown Kitchen Garden to draw attention there, Priscilla is talking with Amanda about the idea
  • Could be used as a fundraiser for BHN if a small fee is charged to people who sell ($5)

Redevelopment project at Cunningham Piano

  • Ken Weinstein is redeveloping the building to include market rate apartments and restaurants MORE INFO HERE
  • Prior to last meeting, Joe wrote a letter to the City Planning Commission on behalf of BHN to convey disappointment about their disregard of the RCO (Registered Community Organization) process to hear and approve of developments, as well as the zoning re-mapping that was presented during the meeting without prior notice.
  • BHN will write a petition to City Council proposing alterations to the redevelopment plan, followed by a group effort to collect signatures.
  • Concerns brought up during our meeting to note in the petition:
    • Amount of parking for new additions of residential and commercial use
    • Proper trash disposal
    • Maintaining and giving new attention to historic features

Camera on Rufe St.

  • ?

Misc.

  • An idea from a local RCO to start a CDC for the local RCOs in order to acquire funding
  • An idea to join with the group on the other side of Germantown to form something like “Penn Knox Wister neighborhood”
  • Winter Market at Germantown Kitchen Garden this Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11 from 10am-3pm

Next meeting: Tuesday, February 7 @ 7:00, location TBD

Meeting Notes – August 2, 2016

Neighbors present: Joe, Evelyn, Nate, Veronica (Goldie), Al, Janice, Lindsay, Ross, Rick

 

Topics:

A deer hunting camera to catch illegal dumping on Rufe St.

Waring House nominated for historic designation

Surveys and getting more neighbors involved

Stray cat program

 

Rufe St. camera

  • Ross purchased a deer hunting camera to put on Rufe St. up near the train tracks where illegal dumping is really bad
    • Joe and Ross have since installed the camera (see attached photo!)
    • Camera is battery operated, motion-sensing, takes photos that will be stored to SIM card so someone will have to check periodically
  • Joe has contacted Cindy Bass’ office a few times without much reply so we are on our own to solve the problem
  • Idea to contact one of the news stations

 

Waring House

  • Joe completing paperwork to nominate the property for historic designation, will write a letter of support for the nomination from the neighbors group
  • Neighbors are concerned about poor and worsening condition of the property
  • Currently is used as a site to provide free meals for children and historically has been a more active community center

 

Neighbor involvement

  • Lindsay distributed and emailed surveys for interested neighbors to complete to find new ways of coming together (link is still available in the email)
  • We are again wondering where our block captains are at, who are they, how do we get them to meetings?
    • If you know who your block captain is, see if they’ll come out!
    • If anyone wants to become a block captain, Joe or Lindsay can send you the application through the city
  • Al made note that “canvassing,” getting out and talking to your neighbors is the best way to get the word out and increase the involvement
  • Would like to organize a community event for September– idea to do this on Rufe St. to make more of a statement
  • Idea to do reminder phone calls or even provide a call-in option for meetings (like conference calling)
  • Evelyn mentioned a website called everyblock.com

 

Stray cat program

  • ACCT shelter has a program where you can arrange to have stray cats picked up, taken to the shelter where they will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, flea treated, and then returned back to where they were
  • The goal is to prevent more breeding of strays, but the shelter doesn’t have room for all the cats so they bring them back to where their “friends” are
  • Call: (215) 913-6013
  • Email: philadelphiacats@bestfriends.org
  • Website: bestfriends.org/straycats
  • Lindsay has many extra door hangers with info… if you’d like to keep one let her know

 

NEXT MEETING: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4th 7PM… LOCATION TO BE DETERMINED

Meeting Notes – June 7, 2016

Neighbors present: Joe McCarthy, Evelyn Wells, Nate Wells, Dwight Suber,

Ormie Jackon, Lindsay Stolkey, Rick Bechtel

Invited guest: Steve Horton of Philadelphia Streets Department and Community Marketing Concepts. Contact info: 215-871-0900, steve@communitymarketingconcepts.com

 

Topics:

Organizing to solve streets issues, Rufe St.

Recycling

Other concerns

Getting more neighbors involved

 

This meeting was focused on how to organize as neighbors to solve problems related to the streets, special emphasis on Rufe Street.

Steve Horton of the Streets Department shared many resources:

  • Dumped tires
    • Annual Tire Round Up every July/August
      • Sign up until the end of June
      • There is a financial incentive from the City if you bring in dumped tires
    • At other times of year, you can always bring tires to Convenience Centers, 300 block of Domino Lane near Umbria St., many neighbors are already doing this frequently. Hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Saturday. (215) 685-2502
  • When there is a problem, it’s best to come at it from as many angles as possible. The more people who know about it, the more likely the problem will be solved.
  • Persistence is important, as is getting organized as neighbors, building alliances. Petitions are an option
  • Call the Streets Department at 311 to report problems. Tip: call later in the day, they’re open til 8pm and everyone else calls in the morning…
  • If you catch someone illegally dumping, call 911, try to get a picture or video, and their license plate number

 

Other notes about Rufe Street and the illegal dumping:

  • It’s been going on for yearrrrs!
  • When kids used to play around there back in the day, and when someone lived in the house there, there was regular activity, and so the dumping wasn’t happening
  • Wondering who owns the land there
  • Problem solving ideas:
    • Cameras– Who would monitor? Where does the info go? The role of SEPTA, Streets Dept., Police?
    • Add a curb or sidewalk to make it look like a street
    • Contact Cindy Bass’ office, make this a priority for their budget– Joe going to work on setting this up, will include interested folks

 

Other concerns brought up:

  • Penn Street didn’t get a fair street cleaning after all the work was done, Joe and Dwight have taken steps to try to get the city to do what they should
  • How to hold property owners accountable? When they don’t keep up their rentals responsibly, have troublesome tenants, other issues that affect their neighbors. L & I is slow to take action.
  • Some neighbors expressed feeling like nobody on their block cares about the issues or about keeping up their property.
  • Neighbors not familiar with who their block captains are. Think some may have passed. How do we track down a block captain list? Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee?

 

Steve also shared updates and important info about recycling:

  • Of note, styrofoam and plastic bags are NOT recyclable
  • Check philadelphiastreets.com for hazardous waste materials pickup dates
  • Trash and recycle gets picked up on Thursday
  • You can put your trash at the curb no earlier than 7pm the night before a pickup
  • Items like mattresses or couches need to be wrapped in plastic to prevent bug and other problems

 

Getting more neighbors involved with the group:

  • Interest in having a block party, but let’s start working on the Rufe Street issue first.
  • Lindsay shared a draft of a survey for neighbors, including a welcoming note to join in, and make note of topics they are interested in
    • Suggestions to make it available in email and in person
    • Some at the meeting offered to help distribute the surveys to their neighbors
    • Have people return survey to the next meeting
  • Evelyn suggested that we move meetings to a later time so that people have more time to get there after work. 7pm might work better.

 

NEXT MEETING: TUESDAY, AUGUST 2ND 7:00PM AT GERMANTOWN FRIENDS SCHOOL