NFB Board Meeting January 17, 2018
Present: John Andrews, Tyler Harwood, Brian Luckett, Julie Jones, Steven Jacob, Stephen Haedicke, Nancy Thacker, Anthony Eschmann, Mark Gonzalez, Michael Owings.
Meeting was called to order 7:15 PM and was held at Rhonda’s house, with Carlos graciously hosting.
Sun Yard Development: February 6th is the scheduled CPC (City Planning Commission)meeting, letters are due 8 days prior to that. The HDLC (Historic District Landmark Commission)’s decision was deferred yesterday, as well as in December as there was not enough information on the “camel back” aspect of the project.
On the 15th board members attended a walk through of the project and shared the following:
Main points of concern/opposition: Hotel instead of residences, no neighbors. Noise levels from the events, such as weddings and celebrations in the courtyard and pool area. No limit on how many events there can be, or how long parties can last. Concern of inviting a “New Country Club” dynamic. Plans to rehab a row of shacks along the back residential side to make them structurally sound and to use them as a bar for the pool.. They explained that non-guests would have access to the pool and bar by passing through the hotel reception lobby at 3020 St. Claude and paying a fee.
Reviewed the process to date of how the land use from residential to commercial happened and what exactly has been voted on or approved. According to Paul Cramer at City Planning the Future Land Use Map of the Master Plan has been amended to include commercial designations in the entirety of the lots, whereas previously the backs of the lots were designated residential and the fronts were designated commercial. The owners are now requesting a zoning change to make the back of the lots conform with the Master Plan FLUM.
Conditional use needed for the hotel as they are adding additional 8 thousand sq ft. The total square footage of the current buildings is approximately 12 square feet thousand now. The proposed 20,000 sq ft of commercial space is twice the permitted use and requires a conditional use. Additionally, the surface lot proposed for the corner of Felicity and St. Claude would require a conditional use.
Provisos attached to the conditional use may be the only option at this point to protect near neighbors from noise, overcrowding, parking issues and congestion.
The near neighbor group is well organized, and looking into the legality of the zoning changes.
If the changes doesn’t go through, the property could still be used as a series of full-time STRs on St. Claude, since the St. Claude frontage is already zoned commercial.
Neighborhood Input: Discussion shifted to improving the process of canvassing neighbors and members of NFB on these issues. Hosting a moderated forum for such large and complicated (both in time line and city reg’s) project at the Sun Yard was approved, and tentative structure on moving forward with same discussed. While BNA seems to approve of this project, the number and tone of comments on the neighborhood blog indicated something different.
A motion to send a letter requesting a deferral to the CPC recommendation was made and passed unanimously. The next NFB General Meeting falls a day after the CPC meets. We would like to take advantage of this meeting to allow both the opposition and the developers to present their points of view in a moderated forum. This would allow for the Sun Yard opposition group to present more clearly how the area wants to see plans develop. Brian will write letter to CPC, Julie will contact developer and the opposition with this request.
Info was shared about a meeting arranged by near neighbors at Spellcaster Lodge.
Also sending out surveys to membership via email will be explored.
NSA Work Force Housing: Support for workforce housing was voted on with unanimous support. This would work very well in this neighborhood and would be most welcomed.
Councilperson Committee: Ongoing work on how to, again, gather information from the neighborhood to share with our elected council person, as well as how to communicate with her to obtain her goals and objectives was discussed. Web surveys seem to the be most efficient and user friendly way to get input from Bywater residents. She does not come into office until May, so we still have some time.
Many thanks to Tyler for all of his work on the new website – a true upgrade. A tweak or two will get us current with density references.
It was agreed to send out the recent photo of the Riverfront Alliance as ongoing news of NFB and its efforts to stay connected and effective in the community.
Next general meeting is the planned moderated forum, with food being provided by a new restaurant in the area. As this meeting may be larger than regular meetings due to the Sun Yard interest, an offer to financially supplement the provisions was made by Mark.
Meeting ended at 8:15 PM.
Submitted by Nancy Thacker, co-secretary