Charlotte Community Association
General Membership Meeting Minutes
April 6, 2015, 7 PM
Robach Community Center
To build a stronger community and to enhance the lives of our residents by providing a forum for sharing information, connecting neighbors and stakeholders, and fostering civic engagement while preserving and promoting the heritage of the Village of Charlotte.
Call to Order / Attendance
Meeting called to order by President Clare Stortini at 7:07 pm. In Attendance: Clare Stortini, president; Matt Juda, vice president; Susan Miller, treasurer; Sue Roethel, secretary; Brian Labigan, director; Patti O’Brien, director; Pat O’Neill, director; Pam Postgate, director
This is the full board, minus one vacant director seat. We have a quorum to conduct business. There were approximately 30 people in attendance (plus 8 board members).
Mr. Jack Foy led the Pledge of Allegiance. Ms. Joy Bergfalk of the new Cannonball Café received thanks for donating delicious coffee refreshments.
Approval of Minutes
Minutes from the General Meeting on 3/2 are deferred for approval until the members have had a chance to review them on CCA web page. Deferment allows time for minutes to be posted on the website for members’ viewing prior to the 5/4 General Meeting when members will be asked to approve them.
Rochester Police Department (RPD) Update
CPO Kelly O’Hare said that the crime stats for 3/23-‐3/29 look good. Robberies were down 75%; burglaries were down 28%; larcenies were down 15%. There is currently a home improvement scam to be aware of; Kelly shared an example of a bogus flyer. PAC-‐TAC needs volunteers. To join, see the flyer on the resource table or find it on the web. The next PCIC meeting is 4/21.
Capt. Dearcop gave an update on the department reorganization. The scheduled start date was 3/30; it has been pushed back to 4/20 through an agreement between the City and Locust Club. The delay is good, as it allows more time for the transition. Police cars have been renumbered; numbers ending in 1 indicates the Lake Section. After 4/20, supervisors will come to a CCA meeting to introduce themselves. The firm list of supervisors’ names will be available soon.
Sgt. Henry Favor, Capt. Dearcop’s Executive Officer, was introduced. He is a 14-‐year veteran of the RPD with experience working in Charlotte, at night, in the parks, and Lyell Ave. section. He said we will be seeing more patrol officers. Some will be new. When the weather improves, Capt. Dearcop, Lt. Koehn and Sgt. Favor will spend time on bicycles in Charlotte. Four-‐wheelers will be used for the patrol officers as well.
Captain Dearcop said the City is looking at sites for a police station for the Lake Section. It will take time to ensure there’s room at one location for 109 officers of the Lake Section. He asked that we be patient during the transition.
Lt. Koehn and Capt. Dearcop will meet with Clare next week along with Sue Miller, Board Liasion to Safety & Security Committee. They will discuss Memorial Day plans and welcome our feedback.
- Pathways to Peace: Presentation has been rescheduled (by them) for June. This is a City program that works with youth. They are undergoing some programmatic changes and requested to present at a future meeting when new mission is solidified.
- Welcome new board members: Introduction of Matt Juda, appointed as Vice President; and Pat O’Neill, appointed as a Director. Both will serve the remainder of the term, which ends December 31, 2015.
- Meeting expectations and standards: The board will adhere to the agenda and time frame for meetings. To stay on track, everyone is asked to respect their allotted time and be brief and concise.
- Letter to City: Matt read a letter that the board proposes to send to the City immediately. The letter states that the CCA board is examining ways to address concerns and questions expressed by the community regarding planning and development in Charlotte, including the Port. It states that the community remains dissatisfied with the current building proposal by Edgewater and requests that the City provide an updated project timeline and clarification regarding the status of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed last year and its associated 8-‐month negotiation period. The letter also discusses the City’s upcoming rollout of its Comprehensive Plan and the associated 12-‐month process to allow neighborhood groups and other stakeholders to provide input towards their future. It advises the City that the CCA has engaged the Community Design Center Rochester (CDCR) in discussions about a vision plan for our neighborhood. The letter asks that the City allow the board more time to engage the community in discussions about Charlotte’s future.With the community’s support, this letter will be mailed to the Mayor, members of the City Council, various other offices within the City, the Ontario Beach Park Planning Commission (OBPPC), the Charlotte-‐Genesee Lighthouse Historical Society, the Port of Charlotte Merchants Association (POCMA), the Charlotte Community Development Corporation (CCDC), and the CHARLOTTE Strong Core Team.This letter, which will be posted on the CCA website, demonstrates the board’s commitment to establishing a line of regular, two-‐way communication with the City.Feedback from the audience included these comments:
- Question to the board: Do you see the City’s 2025 Comprehensive Plan leaping ahead of our Vision Plan? Answer from the board: The City’s plan is a 12-‐month process. Our Vision Plan would detail what we want that would inform the Comprehensive Plan. Timing is an issue, of course, so we need to start immediately. We have a gap and we want to close it with our plans.
- Maureen Staves: What is the difference between the Vision Plan versus the Comprehensive Plan. Answer from the board: The Vision Plan would be created by and be specific to Charlotte. It is targeted to only one neighborhood—ours. Whereas, the Comprehensive Plan is a city-‐wide endeavor with the goal of having all neighborhoods sectored into quadrants. Charlotte is one of the neighborhoods in the Northwest Quadrant
- Carla Palumbo, City Council representative for Charlotte: Be more specific in your letter to the City so that the charrette/vision plan for Charlotte is part of the Comprehensive We should be able to do both at the same time. For example, the Dewey Avenue Neighborhood did a charrette separate from the Comprehensive Plan but one feeds the other. Carla thinks it is wise to let the City know that we want more time to do the charrette/vision plan. We should get the letter out to the City before 4/14, when the Comprehensive Plan will come before City Council to approve. She suggested that we add the new director of Neighborhood Business Development to the cc list.If the community decides not to do a charrette, we still have an opportunity to provide input to the City’s Comprehensive Plan, with or without a charrette.
- Sue Miller, CCA board member: Does the City support charrettes (in general)? Answer: Carla thinks the City would support the charrette/vision plan; now is a good opportunity to do one.
- Pat O’Neill: Regarding the concerns about doing a vision plan separate from the Comprehensive Plan, we are finally ready to develop a cohesive vision of what we want our whole neighborhood to look like. Each group—the Lighthouse Society, the Merchants Association, the Greater Rochester community, etc.—can finally come together as stakeholders in our future. This is appropriate timing for a charrette and vision plan.
- Joe Hinchman, former CCA board member: He likes the concept of engaging with CDCR but in concerned how we will pay for it and whether it will slow down the development process (at the port in particular). He wants to see more concrete timelines and where the money will come Answer from the board: CDCR is currently working on other charrettes. We’ve been told that they could begin working with us by early summer 2015 and that we can pay in parcels. There will be a grant available in 2016 to assist us with a vision plan. If the community decides to move forward with this, the next steps involve a scoping meeting then identify a steering committee.
- Carla Palumbo: Is CCA intending to ask the City for funding? She thinks the City has contributed funding to other neighborhood groups. There’s no guarantee that there’s funding available, but if we do want to request, we should do it now because the budget is released in mid-‐May. She suggested working with Ron Penders on this. Clare noted she has spoken with Ron in the past about CDBG funding for this and will revisit this with him again.
- Maureen Staves: If we go ahead with a charrette, would we include the Edgewater plans? Answer from the board: The vision plan we’re suggesting encompasses the whole neighborhood and is not specific to the Port of Rochester. The board is suggesting in this letter that we want the City to work with us, not do things to The letter puts on record that there is a concern by the community with the height of the buildings and the current development plan in general. We are providing a unified voice that we don’t like the current plans. This is not a tool to stop development. We’re just asking the City to work with us. This will hopefully help our case. It’s been very clear about concerns with Edgewater’s plans. We may not be able to stop anything, but it’s our hope that our vision can be included.
- Shirley Taccone: When people ask, “What do you want in Charlotte?” we need to know what to tell them!
- Clare Stortini: The board had a concern that many individuals have told the City what Charlotte doesn’t want, but it’s time to bring all of us together to decide that we do want.
- Brian Labigan: With the stalled progress of the marina and mixed-‐use development plans, this natural break in the action gives us perfect timing to introduce our plans to take a stand for our future.
After this rich discussion, the board asked if there was any opposition to sending this letter to the City. No one disagreed with it or provided any changes to the language.
Clare to add new Director of Business Development to cc list on letter to City and send it out before 4/14.
Clare to follow up with Ron Penders regarding the possibility of City funding for the charrette.
Communications Committee will prepare a ballot for a vote to support the charrette/vision plan.
Community/Neighborhood Updates & Concerns
- Northwest Quadrant Neighborhood Service Center (NWNSC): Ron Penders, NWNSC Administrator, gave a report including the following:
- Clean Sweep on Saturday, 5/2: Supporting 5 associations + 5 projects each = 25 for NW He sent Clare a list of possible projects which was forwarded to Patti O who is leading this year’s efforts; for example, identify specific spots to clean up, like Turning Point Park. NWNSC will provide tools and materials, etc. The Program & Fundraising Committee needs to organize volunteers ASAP; projects are due to Ron by April 10.Board member Pat O’Neill asked Ron what government agency is responsible for regularly cleaning up spaces that are neglected, such as the Pattonwood/Lake Ave. area. Can Ron help coordinate efforts between the NYS, City of Rochester, and Monroe County?
- Roofing Grants: The NW Quad received 18 grants—lowest number of all quadrants. Of those 18, 6 were granted to Charlotte. There are 75 more grants to be given away city-‐wide. The application deadline is 5/19, and the drawing is 6/19. Eligibility is based on owner occupancy and low income criteria (i.e. single family income of $23,450 or less). Clare left has eligibility information and application details if anyone is interested on sign in table
- “Uplift” Event on 7/28: This is a new idea to bring the community together and has never been offered before. NWNSC will bring free public services to the Charlotte neighborhood in one specified location on one specific day—July 28, 2015, 4:00-‐7:00 pm. Services will include mounted police patrol, K-‐9 unit, other police officers, “rec on the move” (mobile recreation unit, fire safety, Pathways to Peace (youth outreach), fingerprinting , book giveaway, and possibly others.The CCA can help by recruiting other non-‐profit organizations that can offer free services, such as churches and health and dental agencies. The event can be as big as Charlotte wants it to be.The event needs an easily accessible location (perhaps a vacant lot) that is in a densely populated area of the neighborhood so people can easily walk to and participate. The location needs a shelter close by in case of inclement weather. The target number of people to serve is 200. Suggestions from the audience were School 42 and Charlotte High School. Vendors are needed who can donate food, such as food pantries. Foodlink was suggested as a possibility.The CCA is asked to provide publicity once the details are confirmed.
2. ROC City Clam Co. Update: Owners unable to attend this evening.
3. Debrief of Mitch Rowe’s 3/2/15 Zoning presentation: Discussion primarily focused on Charrette
4. Debrief of Community Design Center Rochester’s 3/30/15 Charrette & Vision Plan presentation: Details of the meeting can be found in the Special Meeting Minutes of 3/30/15 posted on the CCA
5. Open Forum:
- Wooter’s Lock Company, LLC: Charles Wooter, owner presented examples of deadbolt installations that aren’t correct and techiniques to do things yourself (DIY). He provides installation services and also sells locks for homeowners to install themselves
- Legacy Independent Senior Living: Teresa Capuano presented on the Greece location at Mt. Read and Maiden Lane. All Legacy locations around Rochester are local family-‐owned. The Greece location is owned by the DeMarzo family. She brought brochures and free lunch coupons. They have a flower show scheduled on 5/1 and an open house on 5/9. Teresa said that the three most important issues for seniors that Legacy addresses are safety, isolation and nutrition
- Cannonball Café: Joy Bergfalk presented that the café is open for business. Coffee Connections, which operates the café as a non-‐profit organization working with women in recovery from addiction, uses only fair-‐trade coffee that is organic and sustainable. The café serves a small menu of food items as we This is the third location for Coffee Connections, with other locations on South Ave. and the Greenhouse on East Main St. Eighteen jobs were created for the Cannonball Café. The Grand Opening is 4/17-‐19.
- Charlotte-‐Genesee Lighthouse Historical Society: Tom Brewer presented that the lighthouse opens for the season on 5/1, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On 4/8 at 10am they will be showing marine videos from 1913-‐1967. CCA member Joe Genova traveled on one of the ships in the videos.
- Charlotte Youth Athletic Association (CYAA): Brian Labigan presented that the organization has been supporting youth baseball since 1953. This year they have 170 kids registered in 7 different age groups. The season runs from the third week of April through July 1st. Games are played Monday through Thursday, 6:30-‐8pm. There is funding available for families who can’t afford the registration fee. No child is turned away.
- Concerns about safety for the elderly: Sue Miller said that there was a fire on Camden St. two weeks ago in which a 95-‐year-‐old woman was rescued. She couldn’t hear the smoke alarm. Sue reminded everyone to help the elderly who can’t hear and said that the Rochester Fire Dept. will assist with smoke detector apparatus for people who are deaf. Brian noted RFD could help with installing smoke detectors.
- City of Rochester: Carla Palumbo said there is new legislation in City Council committee right now about outdoor storage and the hours that bars can stay open. She’s holding these in committee until she’s satisfied with them.
- New York State Senate: Senator Joe Robach presented that the state budget is done and on time. It contains $1.4 billion for K-‐12 education, $1 billion for Upstate NY roads and bridges, and $500 million to fix other infrastructures. Rochester will receive $2 million more and is the only city to get additional funding. Rochester is working to get more funding for revitalization. Sen. Robach was asked if Charlotte can receive some of the infrastructure funding earmarked for Upstate NY. He said that Gov. Cuomo is determined to support transformational projects that enhance businesses and communities. He has appointed a Regulatory Team for Economic Development to oversee the funding, but specific criteria to distribute it is unknown at this point.
- Monroe County Legislature: Legislator Tony Miccicche encouraged everyone to use Eco Park for waste disposal & recycling. The County is hiring LaBella Associates to study 2,400 lights on county roads, and has a prescription card available to help citizens with medication costs. He also reminded everyone that the annual ROC City Rib Fest is coming up Memorial Day weekend at Genesee Valley Park.
- Clare/Patti to send a list of Clean Sweep volunteers to Ron Penders by 4/10.
Sue M. reported on activity between 3/10/15 and 4/6/15. Total income was $977; total expenses were $432.95; ending balance is $28,510.25.
A few former advertisers and members have renewed their subscriptions/memberships.
The 2015 Budget that has been approved by the board. The current projections show a small deficit between what we have and what we want to spend. The board’s aggressive agenda this year includes expenditures for many new initiatives. We need our members to help with balancing the budget through fundraising and membership recruitment.
Standing and Special Committee Reports
Beautification Committee: No written report submitted. Linda Paruta reported that there is a kick-‐off meeting on Saturday, 4/11 at the Robach Center, Ontario Beach Park Planning Committee meeting room. Volunteers are needed.
Communications Committee: Report submitted. Donna also prepared a spreadsheet of design elements that the web design sub-‐team proposes to include on the new site. It was only sent to the sub-‐team and Clare, but Clare asked that the rest of the board have a chance to view this document.
Membership Committee: No written report. Pam reported that the committee is looking for more members. They are planning a campaign to reach out to former members and advertisers who haven’t renewed. They are looking at ways to get people exciting about joining.
Nominating Committee: No report.
Not-‐for-‐Profit Status (NPS) Committee: Report submitted. Clare reported that she and Sue Miller have met with the attorney and accountant. Clare, Matt, Sue M. and Sue R. plan to meet in April to revise the by-‐laws for compliance with the new Not-‐for-‐Profit Laws. The Certificate of Incorporation of 1963 needs to be updated as well.
Planning & Zoning Committee: No written report submitted. Clare reported that the traffic evaluation of the Dunkin’ Donuts proposal for Lake Ave./Denise Rd. is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission in May. The Farmer’s Market application goes before City Council on 4/20. The Cannonball Café application to have live acoustic entertainment also goes before City Council on 4/20. The public hearing begins at 6:30 for those to speak before the City Planning Commission (CPC).
Program & Fundraising: No written report. Patti has only one volunteer helping her so far. She has fundraising ideas but needs a committee to help. Volunteers are needed for Clean Sweep on 5/2 and Kite Flight on 5/3. The Library has asked to be added as a Clean Sweep project. Patti also gave an update on the Food Handling Safety Course. It’s scheduled on Saturday, 4/18, 9:30-‐12:30 at the Webster-‐ Penfield Elks Club on Jackson Rd. Patti and Pam will both attend for certification. We received a discounted rate of $95 instead of $150 per person.
Safety & Security Committee: No written report. Sue M. is organizing an initial meeting with this group next week. The committee has been asked to investigate zombie homes, and zoning code violations such as the recent reports of “adult humor” advertisements appearing in a local business’ store window. They also will attend PCIC meetings and begin a plan for PAC TAC (Police and Citizen Interaction Committee).
Scholarship Committee: No written report. Brian reported that two $1,000 scholarships are available to college-‐bound Charlotte residents. The award criteria are based on community service and academics. The application and qualifications have been posted in the CCA newsletter and website.
- Sue R. to send Donna’s spreadsheet of web design elements to the full board.
- Pam to send Membership Committee report to Clare for 4/14 board packets.
- Printer/Copier: Brian purchased the machine, one box of paper and two toner cartridges for $305. The machine and supplies will be located at the secretary’s home to be used for CCA work.
- Gift cards/certificates of appreciation for former board members: Dan Brothers, Joe Hinchman and Marie Poinan have been presented with their gift card and certificate at a General Meeting. The remaining ones that we have not been able to present at a meeting should now be hand-‐delivered to Mike Parker, Christine Ridarsky, Sean Schiano and Julia Tedesco.
- Brian to hand-‐deliver the remaining gift cards and certificates to former board members in honor of their service.
There was no new business.
Upcoming Events and Meetings
BOD Meeting – 4/14, 7pm, Port Terminal Building, 2nd floor City Council Meeting – 4/14, 6:30 pm, City Hall, 3rd floor
Farmer’s Market Proposal goes before the City Planning Commission – 4/20, 6:30 pm, City Hall Clean Sweep – 5/2 http://www.cityofrochester.gov/cleansweep/
Kite Flight – 5/3
CCA General Meeting – 5/4, 7pm, The Robach Community Center
Meeting adjourned at 9:04 pm.
Minutes submitted by Sue Roethel, CCA secretary.