Berkeley Regis United Neighbors | Board Meeting | January 19 2016
BRUN Board members in attendance:
Paul Vorndran (President)
Enrico Cacciorni (Vice President)
Michelle Frankel (Secretary; chair of Zoning & Licensing Committee)
Tom LaRocque (Treasurer; chair of Membership & Communications Committee)
Mike Beasley (chair of Public Works Committee)
Osea Nelson (chair of Events Committee)
Heather Noyes Gregg
Additional meeting attendees included:
Meghan Doyle (BRUN member)
Justin Dunn (BRUN member)
Marie Edgar (BRUN member)
Tom Mobley (BRUN member)
Tara Strazdas (BRUN member)
Denise Gomez (Denver Police District 1 Community Resource Officer)
BRUN Board members not in attendance:
Christie Schwalbe (liaison to Tennyson Berkeley Business Association)
President Paul Vorndran chaired the meeting which was held in the Parish Hall at Holy Family Church, 4377 Utica St, and began at 6:00.
After introductions, the meeting was opened to the public / non-board members to ask questions and present comments:
Karen Taylor noted that the next Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (“INC”) meeting will take place in our neighborhood at Willis Case Golf Club at 8:30am on February 13th.
Diane McSheehy, representing Regis University, would like to let neighbors know that they are welcome at many public university events.
Tara Strazdas, a resident on the corner of 46th and Newton, has an upcoming hearing on March 1st with the Board of Adjustment regarding an appeal of an order to discontinue an unpermitted non-compliant fence. She asked BRUN for advice and support. This case typology is common in our neighborhood and several members of the Board involved with our Zoning Committee responded, including Michelle Frankel, Heather Noyes Gregg, and Enrico Cacciorni. BRUN’s position is to support the official processes of the Denver department of Community Planning and Development. We support the permitting process and while we sympathize we cannot support ignorance of the code as a valid reason for not obtaining a permit as that would not be fair to the rest of the law-abiding residents of our neighborhood. If the resident seeks a variance to the code, our Zoning Committee can review the merits of the variance request. Supporting variances typically requires evidence of hardship or unusual circumstances. Our committee’s task is to support the greater interests of our neighborhood, and this can mean supporting individual residents but also their nearby neighbors and we aim to be consistent. Board members expressed sympathy for the resident’s circumstances and offered additional time to answer questions outside of the meeting. It was noted that the Zoning Committee is currently working on a Design Overlay for our neighborhood which would be an opportunity to review the neighbor’s concerns with the current requirements of the Zoning Code. The Zoning Committee is also always open to neighbor’s concerns about the current Zoning Code and can bring them to the attention of representatives from Denver’s Community Planning and Development for future Code modifications.
Marie Edgar reported that the 38th Avenue business group is working with the new CVS development that will be at the southeast corner of 38th and Sheridan on a gateway sign that will signify “Welcome to Historic North Denver” (or something along those lines).
Officer Denise Gomez, one of our Neighborhood Resource Officers for Police District 1, was present and presented a police report for our neighborhood. As we have previously heard, burglary is the main crime of concern in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, burglars are often entering through open windows and doors, so Officer Gomez continues to urge residents to close and lock windows and doors. She also urges residents to call the cops if you observe suspicious people entering your neighbor’s homes; you can be the police force’s best eyes. Officer Gomez is initiating a push to develop the Neighborhood Watch program. Consider becoming a block representative; the commitment includes knocking on your neighbor’s doors and attending as little as one meeting. Contact Officer Gomez for more information.
David McMurtry spoke about his development of a Goddard School at 3914 King, known as the Steele Gymnasium. He is currently in the middle of the permitting process with the city which he hopes to wrap up by April in order to get through construction and open in the fall. The city wants to rezone the site from a PUD to U-SU-C. Addressing concerns about the historic value of the building, David said that they have no intention to change the outside of the main building other than some relatively small adjustments needed in order to increase the accessibility for children by adding a fire exit at the west side and enclosing an area of the playground. At the moment they do not know what they will do with the house on the site, it could be demolished or it could be retained. They are in the process of figuring out their parking and pick-up/drop-off traffic solutions. Operation hours are anticipated to be 6:30am-6:00pm. The school will start as a school for children in the 6-week to 6-year age range. Marie Edgar expressed a desire to seek Landmark status for the Gymnasium. Amanda Sandoval requested that David put together an information sheet to pass around to neighbors on adjacent blocks.
Ryan Todd from Walk Denver spoke about a “Wellness Walk” path. This pilot project will be placed around Regis and across Federal to the Aria development. At this point they are reviewing wayfinding signage and asked for community feedback on 3 signage designs. These designs were posted on a wall and meeting attendees noted preferences on the boards and filled out comment request cards.
Michelle Frankel reported that minutes from the 11/17/15 Board Meeting were previously reviewed and approved electronically on December 3rd by 9 Board Members.
Mike Beasley reported on the Public Works Committee.
- The next meeting will be January 27th, from 6-8. It will include a presentation from the Denver Department of Public Works on traffic, pedestrian safety, and other key topics. Representatives from Walk Denver will also be present to discuss sidewalk improvements.
- Mike has been participating in a mediated workgroup with local residents, the Councilman’s office, and the business owners of the new Gleam Car Wash on a Good Neighbor Agreement. They are still trying to figure out many details including the specific content (traffic, safety, etc), who will be the signees, and how it would be enforced. He hopes that this will create a template that BRUN can consider for other businesses in the future. Michelle Frankel suggested that this might be useful for a new doggie day care that has reached out to BRUN.
- Heather Noyes Gregg raised concerns about the streetscapes and desire for trees at the new car wash as well as the new CVS (in WHNA boundaries). Amanda Sandoval from the Councilman’s office noted that she has already been speaking with the CVS developers about this and Mike reported that this is on the agenda for the next meeting with the car wash.
Michelle Frankel reported on the Zoning & Licensing Committee:
- Brooklyn’s Finest Pizza agreed to a Good Neighbor Agreement with BRUN which the Board approved electronically on December 4th by 8 Board Members. On December 9th, Enrico Cacciorni attended their Liquor License hearing and presented BRUN’s support and the GNA.
- Axios Estiatorio also agreed to a Good Neighbor Agreement with BRUN which the Board approved electronically on January 5th by 10 Board Members. On January 5th, Enrico attended their hearing with the Board of Adjustment for expanding their patio and presented BRUN’s support and the GNA.
Tom LaRocque reported on the Communications and Membership Committee. Membership renewals are currently being automated through the Wild Apricot platform. Current members’ have a grace period for renewal through the end of February so that they can vote at the Annual Meeting.
Tom LaRocque reported that the Treasury currently has around $1,400-$1,500 and that a “Square” reader has been set up and was used successfully at the Holiday Party.
Osea Nelson presented a report on the Events Committee. The Holiday Party at Atomic Cowboy on December 10th was a success! The next scheduled event at this point is the Easter Egg Hunt which will be on Saturday March 26th. Osea is continuing to seek brainstorming for future events and hopes to present ideas at the Annual Meeting. New ideas include a “Garden Walk” and a “Meet the New Board” happy hour.
Courtney Eckert had prepared a conversation for the Board regarding back-of-house functioning using Wild Apricot and Google Apps. Due to time and priorities this was tabled for a future Monthly Meeting.
Enrico Cacciorni suggested that the Board consider reducing its size prior to the Annual Meeting at which we will be seeking new members to fill vacancies. Osea Nelson, Michelle Frankel, and Paul Vorndran raised various concerns with reducing the Board size at this time and the Board chose not to change the bylaws at this time. The board felt that Enrico’s valid concern that having inattentive Board members can impede our functioning could be addressed in other ways by sanctioning and/or removing such members after inactivity is evidenced.
The upcoming Annual Meeting was discussed. It will take place at the Oriental Theater on February 23rd (this date was selected in an electronic vote by the Board on December 10th with 7 votes in favor) and will be run by President Paul Vorndran. The agenda and meeting order was determined to be as follows:
1) President’s Report
2) Committee Reports (Treasury, Membership/Communications, Events, Zoning/Licensing)
3) Members’ Forum (open mic/ Q&A to the Board)
4) Nominations for open Board positions followed by voting
5) Speakers from the neighborhood (Police Report, Councilman Espinoza, others as approved by the Board prior to the event).
Procedures for the open mic, balloting, and nominating elements of the event were discussed and will be fleshed out more fully at the February monthly meeting.
A proposal to have a Candidates’ Forum at an upcoming Monthly Board meeting for DA candidates was positively received. The Board felt that the Annual Meeting would not be the appropriate opportunity for candidates to speak.
It was determined that the Board would hold its regular monthly meeting on February 16th to address general business as well as to address planning for the Annual Meeting the following week.
These meeting minutes were recorded by Michelle Frankel.