Category Archives: Meeting Minutes

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

notes from meeting 02/23/2016

2/23/16

Special Guests Becca Fagan and John DiGiulio from PWD

Re: PWD Work Stoppage:

There was a dispute between a local Imam and the contractor. The construction was impacting the Imam’s businesses, and he was demanding money, there were scheduled protests. It delayed the time frame (scheduled for October 2015).

The original sewer was in worse condition, taking an extra month. There was also bedrock that was unaccounted for. The original work called for trench restoration (only replacing the section that has been damaged), it looked like more than 50% had been upset, so PWD decided to do curb to curb. Scheduled for completion next week. There is also scheduled a small section between Lena and Wakefield, which will be done in 2 months.

One neighbor was upset about the litter and dumping increase. Trash hasn’t been collected for months. The agreement with the contractors is that the contractors will help move the trash outside the construction zone.

Neighbor: because contractors are storing materials there, the dumping has gotten worse. They’re not picking up after themselves.

Neighbor: How far are they coming on Baynton? A: No work on Baynton St.

Cars drive down, and turn around. Are there guidelines about traffic flow? A: I will request additional signs about the traffic.

Neighbor: What condition are the streets being left in? They are filled with dirt, but not asphalt. A: There’s not a requirement to plate. Temporary asphalt is used sometimes, but that gets more complaints. Water Department is increasing their own regulations.

Neighbor: They never put up detour signs. CCT Connect and taxis won’t come down. Chestnut Hill didn’t have this problem. A: Streets does not change directions or make them two way. We have about 8 contractors, some are better than others. We are going through our own requirements for quality of life.

BHN is grateful for the proposed changes and supports an increase in standards for contractors.

Neighbor: A bus hit my car. My wife’s car is in danger. There’s no signs. The contractors are going the wrong way up the street.

Neighbor: Queen Lane used to be 2 way. Now it’s one way. A: They won’t make it two-way.

The timeline for completion: 2 months

Meeting Minutes: August 19th, 2014

Attendance: Matt & Amanda, Rick, Ross,  Chris & Helen, Jesse

WCRP – Collom St (http://wrcpphila.com)

  • 35+ townhouse development proposed, w/ parking and community center and possible community garden spot.
  • LIHTC financing will be used, which means that they homes will be rented for at least 15 years, afterwards could be sold.
  • Primary candidates for tenants are families, who go through a screening process including criminal background for 80% GMI (family of 4 ~ 45k/yr).
  • WCRP manages the properties.
  • Construction starting in late 2015 if process goes on schedule.
  • On average, tenets of 5 years or more are able to increase income by 70%
  • Currently conducting a “listening project” about peoples experiences & hopes for living in Germantown.

Betsy from Mt. Airy TimeBank (www.time4timexchange.org)

  • Meant to re-weave communities and promote social good.
  • Eventual goal is to help establish communities and sort of fade away, not associated with ‘monetary’ value,  only time spent providing services is accrued at the same rate.
  • Time 4 Time has about 200 members.
  • Might be able to become part of a larger banking system which lets you stay a local organization but spend time credits elsewhere.
  • Unlike barter system, IRS has declared time banking non-taxable.
  • Invites our members to join to see how we like the system.
  • Northwest Philly FixIt cafe is looking for volunteers.

Expanded Boundaries

  • Boundaries are expanded Church & Bringhurst to Germantown Ave

240 E Penn St / RHD

  • No Updates

234 E Penn St

  • It has been indicated to us that this is approaching a priority for L&I

5301 Germantown Ave

  • Community drafted letter was signed and sent by many local community groups.   A response was received from L&I stating that the use of a shelter is appropriate for “Safety Services”.  We feel that this is against the spirit of the zoning code and Cindy Bass was notified and claims to be introducing legislation to reword the change.

Micro Grants

  • RCO can apply for $100-1000 grants for beautification projects in Germantown.
  • 6 grants have been awarded.
  • Generate ideas to bring to the group!

Next meeting 9/9/2014

Meeting Minutes: July 08th, 2014

Attendance: Matt & Amanda, Rick & Alexa, Ross, Joe M., Kirsten,  Chris & Helen, Jesse, Jenna

240 E Penn St (RHD)

  •  Research into an address for the owner so that the city can serve court papers, no word if it has actually happened
  •  L&I remains hopeful they can process the violations

234 E Penn St

  • L&I has been denied access to inspect the property
  • Cindy Bass has been notified (again) who has forwarded complaint to L&I commissioner.
  • Brotherly Love House has restricted access to their website

5301 Germantown Ave

  • Letters to Cindy Bass are being circulated regarding our suspicion that the property has improper zoning
  • Building had a fire last week.
  • Jenna suspects the street might be closing illegally
  • Sarah’s cafe is launching a Kickstarter
  • Ross is meeting next week for a 1-on-1 with Ken W.Issues:
  • Trash location, Smoking, codes for dealing with that many people, loading dock (use of sidewalks), contact information for management offices, will they have contact with the neighborhood, safety/security from potential abusers seeking access, potential reuse of the building (apts) after the “next step” of development occurs, forcing residents to speculate rather than having dialog and addressing issues,  parking/traffic, improperly zoned as safety services rather than group living,

Extending BHN Boundaries

  • Extend our boundaries to Germantown Ave – all agree.

Waring House

  • Historic Designation: Joe does not believe it add restrictions to renovations, only that they can advise when applying for a building permit.  Will not prevent demolition, would only be used to inform the owners that they have an exceptional/important property.
  • Concern about it being impediment to rehab, if it raises the cost of materials.
  • No action will be taken as a group, but it is likely the individual members will proceed with getting the designation applied.
  • Frank, a local builder with historical renovation experience, might be consulted.
  • Rick has noticed bake sales and work groups doing landscaping.

Executive Team Update

  • Looking to expand the executive officers with more people from the neighborhood.

Rufe Meadow

  • Stalled out for now, looking for new partners to collaborate with.

Time Bank

  • Jesse attending a time bank workshop
  • A time bank exists in Mt. Airy already, no members from Germantown yet.
  • Anyone can join, an email will be distributed among the group

Mosquito Control

  • Flyers are distributed detailing instructions on placing Bt in water sources to kill mosquito larva.

Tire Rounup

  • Tires are piled up on Rufe St, the city has a program to have citizens drop them off and get paid $0.50 per tire for an RCO.
  • July 19th we will assemble to pick up the tires

Collom St Project

  • WCRP is putting up 40 twins on Wister/Collom, and looking for feedback.

Next Meeting: August 19th

 

 

Meeting Minutes: May 13th, 2014

5301 Germantown Ave – Ken W. & Sarah K.

  • Developing campus at 4811 Germantown Ave, Germantown & Roberts and 2 more on Old Stenton Rd
  • Proposed: Health food cafe & Community space in the ground floor of the renovated residential space.
  • Residential ‘Group Home’ non-profit of some sort is likely going into the building, but Ken is unwilling to make any comment.
  • Market rate apartments will make up residential portion.
  • Entire project should be completed by the end of summer 2014

New Location – Kathy

  • New meeting location at Wister Recreation Center, same time.  Address will be updated on the website when we know it.

New Officers – Ross

  • New officers needed for President.  Matt, Jim and Ross will meet as a small committee to discuss a process.

Time Bank – Jesse

  • timebank.org – do a service for somebody, receive a “time dollar” which can be redeemed for work from other time-bankers.
  • Jesse will volunteer to coordinate and canvas the neighborhood in service of it

240 E Penn St – Joe

  • Group/Service home operates without proper zoning.
  • Joe attended hearing, spoke with Assistant City Solicitor who said Municipal Court would be for assigning fines for code infractions.
  • It is unclear as to the exact nature of the organization at the property
  • We believe there is not proper zoning, and we would like to be notified when they do.  We oppose a change a variance without a presentation or hearing to the group.

234 E Penn

  • An L&I Inspector is scheduled to walk through the house.  We suspect they may be moving out furniture prior to the inspection.

Waring House – Joe

  • Researching ownership, but is a murky situation.
  • Joe would like to submit the house for Historic Certification
  • Ross is concerned that it would impose too strict a cost for future rehabilitation.

Next meeting is June 3rd @ Wister Rec Center

 

Meeting Minutes: March 11th, 2014

PWD Stormwater Project

  • Two neighborhood projects: Wister Woods and K? Park
  • Rain gardens being installed in parks to act a rainwater filtration and sequestration system to reduce CSO issues.
  • Construction will likely start around March 24th
  • Water should drain within 72 hours, quick enough to not have mosquito problems
  • Overflow systems will divert back to sewer system, so no flooding
  • Nicolas DelColal (?) is point of contact
  • Projects will be maintained as normal infrastructure, including trash/dumping cleanup.
  • phillywatersheds.org/communityinputform, Connie Chang would review.  Apply as group, with connections listed.
  • No additional amenities will be added as part of construction
  • RainCheck, program for CSO residents that help pay for stormwater reduction projects
  • maggie.wood@phila.gov

 Sarah K. Small Business Survey

  • Gauging interest types of business that people would want to spend their money on.
  • General interest in anything, including cafe, grocery store, etc.
  • Local art, night time events, booze(?), internet access

Brotherly Love @ 234 E Penn St

  • By appearance, it seems there is a rehab house operating
  • L&I has been called and issues filed
  • As an RCO, our members have expressed opposition.  They are running a website which appears to be the house in question which claims to be operating as Brotherly Love.

Waring House

  • Contacts are being made to the current owners
  • Trying to register it as a historical house, will there be a detriment to future rehab work?

Spring Cleanup

  • April 5th, we’ll be signing up for the usual area, around
  • Gtown Restoration CDC, RCO meeting wants to meet up to discuss the cleanup – March 24th

Germantown Kitchen Garden

  • Farmstand is opening in May!
  • http://germantownkitchengarden.com will have details in the future

Wakefield & Penn St House Collapse

  • Steve Porreca, Construction compliance supervisor (215) 685-2276

Actions

  • Ross will send out primer on Brotherly Love situation for use in calling L&I
  • Next meeting is May 6th

Meeting Minutes: February 11th, 2014

02/11/24

Ross, Matt, Amanda, Nikki, Michael & Melissa, Corrie, Tommy McCann, Carol, Nate & Evalyn Wells, Tom, Chris & Helen Nicholson, Chris & Kathy P., Glen B
===

SEPTA Meadow Project, Guest Tommy McCann from PSU Extension

  • Tries to get Faculty/Students from State College to work on projects in Philadelphia
  • Suggests possible partnerships with SEPTA, PWD, PSU and neighborhood groups possibly including  stormwater mitigation
  • Tommy will check with staff at PSU for interest and follow up with shared contacts from the group
  • There was general consensus that we would like to see whatever level of participation he can provide.
  • Church St Garden is working with PHS to provide similar stormwater strategies.

Website/Email

  • New Mailchimp system for email

  • Carol *may* be able to provide some graphic design support for a new logo

  • New website is needed to get timely updates from meeting

Crime/Shootings

  • NW Neighbors association held a Queen Ln Stn meeting to discuss crime situations, were turned down for a mini-station

  • We are PSA-2/14th district, the liaison of our district holds a monthly meeting and we are encouraged to post questions and follow up with the police or our state representatives who have relationships with the police.

  • NW Neighbors are tracking their emails with the police and tracking crime themselves to try and keep the police accountable.

  • Germantown Ave used to have a mini-station, but apparently the Commissioner is against deploying any new stations.

  • Philly Rising is a program for chronic crime areas and may be something we should do look into.

  • Both systematic (decriminalization & gun laws) and immediate (actual shootings) problems were discussed and there are some lukewarm feelings towards the police’s ability to address the situation.

234 & 240 E Penn St

  • Still trying to pass the petition around

  • Someone is living there now, but it still seems stalled as for the group home plans

Miscellaneous 

  • Milli’s hideout is turning into a corner store
  • RCO Application

    • Denied, but having to reapply as per new city regulation

  • Spring Cleanup Day: April 5th, 2014
  • Possible new meeting space

  • Wister Townhouses community center was suggested (Kathy)
    • GTF Meeting house (Ross)

  • Grumblethorpe Flea Market, 1st Sat April – October

  • Little Jimmy’s Coffee Co & Roasting is opening on the Maplewood Mall, Feb 14th.

  • PWD Stormwater project at Kembel Park

Actions

  1. Carol may be able to help with logo graphics

  2. Matt will look into website

  3. Tommy will consider options for the meadow

  4. Melissa, Amanda & Ross might do a PSA meeting in February or come up with actionable crime related items

  5. Meeting space (Ross, Kathy)

Meeting Minutes: January 7th, 2014

01/07/2014

Attendance: Lois V., Matt M, Amanda S., Nikki K., Ross H., Rick B., Chris N., Helen N., Joe, Garth
———–

Old Business

  • Amanda will pass the 234 E Penn Petition to contacts at the Wister Elementry school
  • Ross has not followed up with the SEPTA contact regarding the fence at Rufe St Wister Station
  • Amanda has not made much progress on the Wister Station “meadow” project, still making contacts for partners.

Mail Delivery
 Multiple people are receiving improper deliveries from the USPS, we suspect our regular mail person is away.

Waring House
Some movement on restoration, but stalled out. Wister Neighborhood council has some amount of access to the site. Joe proposed offering a partenrship with WNC, and would like involvement with the house
Joe will find additional contacts for WNC and will check with the bank to see if he can find any information

Penn St. at Germantown Ave Apartments
Ken Weinstein is starting development on apartments in the 6 story furniture building at the corner.

Meeting Minutes: October 1st, 2013

Baynton Hill Neighbors
10/1/2013

Called to order @ 7:08pm

Introductions/Misc

  • SEPTA fence art work is stockpiled at Rich’s house
  • Soliciting contact info for the surrounding apt. complexes
  • Germantown RCO Collective has invited us to a cross neighborhood group of community group.

SEPTA visits

  • Community relations representatives came to discuss Wister Station
  • Apologises for the state of the landscaping, will keep on top of it. Please let them know if it happens again.
  • Replacing damaged wrought iron fence with an ‘estate fence’, six foot high aluminum, should be up soon.
  • Kids are throwing rocks off the overpass at Belfield. If you witness, call police.
  • Police are being more responsive to SEPTA needs
  • Additional signage is being put together for the Rufe St side of the station.
  • Who should we call when there are nuisance or unsafe crowds? Notify police of time/places and they will put it on their regular patrol.
  • Could LaSalle be interested in providing security box or other security efforts
  • Q: Extend the inbound-side road from Wister Street? A: No plans at this time. Bollards are in place to prevent dumping.
  • 580-7800: messages will be sent to police.
  • Can we get organized for a group/escort for the people getting off at the station?
  • Concern about the herbacide use. SEPTA: we are mostly mandated to spray to keep things clear.
  • Q: Community adoption? Could we have access to open space for plantings? A: We are open to collaboration if certain legal requirements are met.
  • Form a commitee to discuss care of landscapable areas

234 E Penn St

  • Brotherly love house was discussed at last meeting.
  • Email was read from Cindy Bass’ office, she will not support their request.
  • Rep. Kinsey representative email was read, he will not support their request.
  • Gtown CDC (local RCO) will let us host a zoning change meeting, and they will support our stance.
  • Work seems to have stopped, have said all options are on the table.
  • A draft petition was read to state our opposition to the current plan as a residence treatment facility.
    • An updated draft will be produced based on feedback.
  • A proposal to get a zoning lawyer was pitched, without much feedback.
  • We should watch the zoning schedule to make sure we see any adjustment requests.
  • We are happy that there are no squaters living in there this summer.

Announcement/Job Opportunities

  • Penn St house was demolished, partial across the st.
  • Car breakins at the apt complex on Baynton, seems like their coming from the railroad side.