Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meeting Minutes

Old Dundalk Neighborhood Association
Meeting Minutes
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Quarterly Meeting and Annual Picnic
Heritage Park

Vice President Glenn Shaffer called the meeting to order at 11am. There were over 30 members in attendance. (See Attached Agenda for Opening Items and Remarks)

Yorkway Update:
• Glenn reported on the planning board meeting held in Towson on June 4, 2009
• The next hearing will be on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at which time there will be more discussion of the plan and most likely a vote on the plan by the Board.
• Once approved the plan will then be subject to further review by the County. If you have any questions, please contact Glenn Shaffer.
• Concerns about the loss of the alley originally mentioned at the Community Input Meeting in April were again voiced by the membership.

Treasurers Report:
• Treasurer Debbie Martin reported that ODNA currently has a balance of about $2700, $1000 of which is earmarked for the COP grant, leaving us $1700.
• Debbie encouraged those in attendance to renew their memberships for the 2009 – 2010 year.
• Debbie also reported on the status of our non-profit designation. We are making progress on the application. We will need to amend our by-laws to include the disbursement of funds to another chartable organization should ODNA dissolve in the future. We will prepare the changes over the summer, so that there can be a vote by the September meeting.

Clean Committee:
• Debbie announced that the next Dumpster Day has been set for April 2010, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. We hope to make this a bigger community event. We need a Chairperson for this committee.
• Glenn spoke briefly about the code sweep conducted earlier. The County does understand the ODNA footprint, and did inspect the entire area. However they were only able to spend 10 -15 seconds on each home and where trying to flag the most egregious violations. We can request more inspections from the County. Glenn suggested that this may also be a task for the clean committee – helping with enforcement and acting as a liaison with County Code Enforcement.
• Glenn also addressed the Gazebo renovation by the Yorkway Developer. There was a meeting on June 9, 2009 to develop a “wish list” of items including: removal of the flowerbeds, better electrical service and lighting, a higher roof, and perhaps a movie screen. The Developer has promised a rendering of the proposed changes in time for the Heritage Fair. It was learned that the County has plans to renovate the structure as well. There is a need for coordination of the two plans, and more importantly involvement of ODNA with the County and developer to be sure our input is incorporated into the design as much as possible.
• There were comments about the loss of park space in the area, particularly the park on Yorkway that will be changed to provide for more parking. There was a quite a bit of discussion on this topic.

At this point, Glenn and Jordan Hadfield made a point of saying that we needed this energy. We need folks to communicate things to us all the time, not just at meetings.

Membership / Social Committee:
• Debbie made an appeal for a volunteer to chair this committee.
• Also, that we would like to organize a membership drive.

Green Committee:
• Rick Ferguson reported that the committee has been busy this spring, planting trees along the parade route and at the Ateaze Senior center, planting trees and creating several new gardens.
• The committee plans to link the DRC to work on greening inside the house. Rick then introduced Robert Logston, a Home Energy Auditor. During today’s picnic, Bob is available to answer questions and explain more about the service he offers.
• Coming from the green committee will be a list of tips on the DRC website (www.dundalkusa.org) for greening inside the home and ways to save energy.

At this time, Jennifer Funn, the new Main Street Manager, introduced herself. She also provided a schedule of summer events being planned by the DRC. For a complete list visit www.dundalkusa.org.

COP / Safety Committee:
• Jordan Hadfield reported that the committee met on June 10th. The group discussed partnering with the COP groups for Dunlogan and St. Helena. Given the proximity of all three neighborhoods, the three groups expect to have much better results by coordinating their patrols.
• The COP will begin patrolling on June 26, 2009 from 10 pm until midnight. The group hopes to patrol every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer and into the fall.
• The Safety Committee will also be producing a flyer with things that each homeowner can do to make a safer neighborhood. One example, turn your porch light on. And if you don’t have porch light install one. The committee is working with Home Depot to obtain porch lights at a lower cost.
• It was brought up that you can also contact BGE to have a large light installed. There is no cost for the light, just the monthly service fee – which can be shared among neighbors. Jordan will include the BGE contact information on flyer.
• Jordan also announced that if you see something wrong going on, call 911 to report it. Don’t call the North Point Precinct. You can also call 410-284-TIPS (8477) to report drug activity.

This concluded the meeting. Glenn announced that ODNA wanted to thank everyone for their support over this last year. Specifically, Rick Ferguson was named Volunteer of the Year for his tireless work on the Green Committee. In addition, ODNA recognized Chris Ames, Jordan Hadfield, Brenda Shepherd, Alice Fogle, Jane Duffy, and the Patapsco Masonic Lodge for their hard work and support of the association.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009.

Respectfully submitted,
Becky Terjung

Monday, June 15, 2009

ODNA Comments to Planning Board for the Yorkway Development

June 3, 2009

Arnold “Pat” Keller, Director
Office of Planning &
Members of the Planning Board
105 W. Chesapeake Ave
Towson, MD 21204

RE: Planning Board Hearing for the Yorkway Redevelopment

Dear County Officials:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this proposed development, which is an important step to the revitalization of Old Dundalk. The Old Dundalk Neighborhood Association, or O.D.N.A., is generally in favor of this proposal and would like to thank the developer and his team who have been so accessible and cooperative throughout this process. We recognize that we cannot have everything requested of the development due to market forces and design constraints, but feel that Mr. Vontran has been willing to work with us to get as close to that as possible while still providing a marketable product.

In particular, we favor the single family detached dwellings. Although we would have preferred slightly lesser density, we believe not having multi-family dwelling units is worth the trade-off. Furthermore, the use of as much brick as possible will allow the new in-fill development to better blend with the existing community as will the option for more aesthetic garage door styles (e.g. bi-folds as opposed to stark, entirely white doors). Also, we applaud the development team for proposing houses with a moderately high price range of $250,000 -$300,000+ to hopefully attract hardworking families to move in and create a stable community in Old Dundalk.

The proposed pedestrian trail from Yorkway across the railroad to Delvale Ave (with a possible ultimate connection to Dundalk High, the community college, and points beyond) is a key neighborhood benefit as is the beautification of existing Fairway Park, installation of a planted buffer between the houses and the railroad, improved lighting and landscaping. We would ask however, that the improved lighting along Yorkway and in the remaining alleys be required as a condition of development plan approval since it does not appear to be proposed on the current plan.

Regarding environmental and energy efficiency concerns, the use of low E windows, thicker/better insulation, HVAC units, and appliances is supported by O.D.N.A. Along the same lines, the use of rain gardens and reduction of impervious surfaces where feasible to help address water quality management is encouraged.

The few remaining issues we have with the plan at this point are as follows:

• In spite of the traffic report, which apparently neglected the fact that many of the residents of the pre-existing apartments did not have cars, the parking and traffic situation on Yorkway has the potential to get worse with the 66 proposed dwellings. However, steps such as the creation of parking spaces around the park at Fairway, use of rear loaded garage/and or parking pads units where the traffic “pinch point” exists at the intersection of Fairway and Keyway (which the development team proposed as the Community Input Meeting was ending) as well as the use of traffic calming devices such as recently constructed along Dundalk Ave will mitigate this impact.

• The use of rear-loaded garages or parking pads is much favored over the front-loaded garage style proposed on most of the 66 units. The builder has indicated that rear-loaded units are difficult to sell. Therefore, I would like to stress that O.D.N.A. is not asking the builder to construct more rear-loaded units than proposed on the concept plan and subsequently during the Community Input Meeting. We simply request that the Planning Board and/or Office of Planning require that whatever rear-loaded units are proposed beyond the 2 on Fairway be constructed in the block between Kentway and Leeway (i.e. lots 19-38) to not create parking and traffic problems across from those existing residents, and to better blend with the character of that block. We would also ask that the rear-loaded garages or parking pads be offered as an option on all lots backing to alleys.

• The development team has drafted a declaration of covenants governing the use of the lots and common areas. O.D.N.A. has reviewed these and generally approves them, although we would like it explicitly stated that there be no parking of vehicles on lawns, only on parking pads and in garages.

Again, O.D.N.A. would like to formally support this development plan with the conditions above. Thank you for considering these concerns and comments and for all the assistance your department and other County officials have provided throughout this process. We look forward to a development that blends with the surrounding community while improving property values and the quality of life in Old Dundalk.

Sincerely yours,

Glen Shaffer, Vice President

c. Mr. John Vontran, Developer
Hon. John Olzewski, County Council
Ms. Mary Harvey, Office of Community Conservation
Ms. Amy Menzer, Dundalk Renaissance Corporation
O.D.N.A Website

Yorkway Planning Bd Pres 6.4.09