Present: Michael Brezin, Tom Vickers, Melissa Jacoby, Margie McInnes, Mary Kay Falconer, Casey McLaughlin, and Mario Taylor.
Special Guest: Gil Ziffer, City Commissioner
Our usual meeting structure was suspended to conduct a wide-ranging meeting with Comm. Ziffer.
Comm. Ziffer first addressed the plan to put 5 Sandy Proctor sculptures in McCord Park. He said that since Sandy Proctor was a renowned local artist, it would be good to have a public space to display some of his works. The cost for the sculptures will come from private sources with pledges currently being sought. Ziffer said the intent was to be a nice amenity for the park without changing its natural character. He wasn’t looking to draw a lot of people to the park. He saw no reason to increase parking spaces unless the BHNA was in favor of doing so. Those would be along Armistead. The board responded that no additional parking would be requested at this time.
It’s anticipated that a few of the sculptures will go in in March or April, the remainder by the end of the year. Comm. Ziffer expressed that he hoped someone from BHNA would assist with final site placement and we said that would happen.
Next, we discussed Arbor Day and the planned planting along the border of McCord Park by Thomasville Road and the new house in that area. Comm. Ziffer gave his support for that effort.
We also discussed how the BHNA could work more closely with park staff, especially on invasives removal. He indicated he would assist in that effort, particularly with mowing schedules, park maintenance assisting with invasives removal, and qualified volunteers perhaps being able to use chainsaws in the park.
TMH Generating Station
We expressed that we were very disappointed with the noticing process for the natural gas generating station to be built by the substation on Medical Drive. Ziffer agreed that the noticing process did not work as it should in that case. He mentioned the difficulty of getting the noticing right when various factors, technical requirements in this case, need to be defined first. We argued that was taking the process too far; by the time the city staff get the technical requirements “right” they are wedded to a particular approach and site. Ziffer responded that we should call him when we need help and he would respond quickly. We agreed that may help in some situations but what is really needed is a set noticing process that gets neighborhoods involved early enough in the development process to have some influence or input into that process. Ziffer suggested we meet with Reese Goad, Deputy Mayor to work on a process for better noticing to neighborhoods.
Myers Park Comp Plan/Rezoning
The board expressed to Comm. Ziffer that the proposed comp plan amendment and rezoning of a Myers Park parcel was a mistake due to the loss of park land involved. The board also expressed a fear of a precedent being set for the city to sell additional park land in the city. The board also expressed its opposition to the imposition of a high density housing project on an established neighborhood. Ziffer expressed that he didn’t think the Planning Department’s proposal would survive, but that some sort of compromise development in the area may be good. His main concern was that the parties involved, the surrounding neighborhoods and the city staff be able to sit down and work out some sort of compromise.
Following the discussion with Comm. Ziffer, we finalized plans for Arbor Day and discussed how to better integrate our technology-based communication programs. Tom Vickers, Mario Taylor, Casey McLaughlin, and Mike Brezin will meet to further that discussion.
The meeting concluded at 9:00.
We met at Ashford Club Apartments Meeting Room ().