Princess Anne Hills Civic League

2016 Annual Meeting Minutes


February 22, 2016 at the Princess Anne Country Club

Meeting started at 3pm, called to order at 3:17pm by Erik Zimmerman


Erik opened with how nice it is to live in our neighborhood and how much we appreciate its natural beauty.


He mentioned a few items we would be discussing today such as budget, landscaping, flooding, an amendment to the by-laws to expand the size of the board, and to elect a new board.


Molly Ford Treasurer reported that we have over $15,701.28 in our account.


We discussed a proposed budget for the year, which included snow removal, and oyster roast, dues of $30 to be collected for 2016 and other administrative expenses.

We passed the budget, but later in the meeting, when speaking about landscaping we amended the budget to remove $400 for snow removal and $200 net for the oyster roast to increase the landscaping budget from $400 to $1,000. The amendments were motioned, seconded and passed.


There was a brief discussion of security issues.

1. Speeding: It was mentioned that a couple signs neighbors had purchased seemed to help the speeding by their houses and the issue seems better. It was noted to keep reminding your landscapers, especially along Susan Constant.

2. Foxes and coyotes: Please don’t feed the wildlife. While foxes may or may not seek out small pets, coyotes will and they have been seen in the neighborhood.

3. Fishing equipment was taken out of Stephan Michaels garage.

4. Michelle mentioned that you just have to call the crime department to get a report by neighborhood, but I think the definition of what they do now is broader than our streets.


Flooding:


Several areas of primary issue were noted.


1. the cul de sac of Goodspeed where water comes through the drain and over the bulkhead at 500 Goodspeed.

2. 468 Goodspeed the water will come over the bulkhead even in medium high tide events

3. The area near 425 Discovery

4. The area near 432 Susan Constant

5. Susan Constant by the lake by the park, the water comes over from the lakeside as well now. 557 Susan Constant raised this issue.


Erik as president reached out to Jim Wood and while he has voiced our concerns to the city, we are a small drop in a bigger problem and they aren’t actively looking to do anything to help us.


If we were to seek an official study of the problem, it would allow the city to take actions. It has been suggested that a variety of options might help:

1.block the drains the water comes up through

2.devices to help with the street flooding in a less than catastrophic event

3.change the grading at 468 Goodspeed

4.raise the road. Cate Parker, who has lived on the street a long time, commented that the road has been raised a couple times and it hasn’t helped enough and only means more water in her yard.


When Erik met with the city, they shot down all the options he put out there, but Joan says that Ghent and some other neighborhoods with flooding issues have had success with low cost options.


The concern about how we would evacuate Goodspeed or get an emergency vehicle down the street in the case of flooding was voiced. Scott mentioned that he talked to the EMS folks and they said they station a vehicle at the cul de sac. It was noted that this had happened in the last major event. Scott also said the city has a fire truck that will go through 17 feet of water, so they can get through if they need to.


** After further discussion with EMS representatives, these actions would not occur in the city’s emergency planning. Additional information is provided in the President’s letter.




It was suggested that a floodgate at the Lesner Bridge might solve many more issues. However, the finding of the study done is that the sandy soil and water saturation levels would mean the water would find its way in even with a gate and that a gate might not be effective in our case.


The board expects to continue to work with the city on the flooding issues.


Landscaping


There has been some debate about whether taking care of the beds by the split of Goodspeed and Discovery and the entrance of Susan Constant should be the responsibility of the Garden Club or the Civic League. For years, Bob Carter took care of the Goodspeed bed himself. The Civic League has been trying to help for the past couple years and has found it challenging on a few fronts. The Garden Club is not in a position to help – they do not have many members and so do not have the funds needed, several members are older and not in a position to help regularly maintain the beds.


Discussion led to two primary issues:

1.Cost – Bob says it costs about $1,000 a year to keep the bed at Goodspeed looking nice.

2.Muscle – especially in the summer, the bed at Goodspeed requires regular water and maintenance, but year round, one must attend to weeds, pine cones etc.


Bob, Kate, Michelle L, Lori, Betsy, and a few others are willing to make a landscaping plan. Perhaps some of the kids at bus stops could be recruited to help as community service one day. Tina also has a person we can pay who is quite reasonable that Kate will follow up with. Beth will ask if anyone else is willing to help maintain the beds, both in occasional planting and in regular weeding and watering. Beth will follow up with the Orfini’s to see if a hose could be left at their property to use to help water.


The civic league had allocated $400 for landscaping. We voted to amend the budget that was handed out to take out $400 for snow removal and to have the oyster roast be revenue neutral, rather than be subsidized by the civic league for $200 and we used those increases to budget $1,000 for landscaping. The motion was made, seconded and passed, but not unanimously. Having some money allocated to deal with snow and ice was more important to some neighbors.


A point was made that we should have a greater understanding of our liability if we as a civic league formally take on responsibility for snow and ice removal on certain sections of the road. We know the city does not do this. The curve on Goodspeed is very shady and a clear risk. There are a few other spots in the neighborhood that were mentioned:

1.Susan Constant where you can go into the water if you miss the turn

2.The hill between Discovery and Susan Constant

3.The other hill/corner on Goodspeed by the Carters.


A question was asked about having a Capital Improvements Budget as well as an annual budget that would allow us to spend down from the $15,000+ we have in the account currently before dues are collected from this year.


A question was asked about having an interest bearing account if we were going to keep a sizable “rainy day” fund such as $15,000. Jeff Robinson offered to follow up with the board to provide more information on such an account.


A motion was made to set about the process the board needs to follow to raise dues by $20 to $50 for 2017. That way we can have landscaping and snow removal, an oyster roast, an attorney to look over the covenants and hopefully money left over to save in case we ever need to go to court over an issue or do anything else big in the neighborhood. By show of hands, the majority of neighbors would support such a change and 7 were opposed.


Proxies were distributed to vote on the proposed amendment to the by-laws that would allow up to 4 at large members on the Princess Anne Hills Civic League board. Those votes and the email votes received totaled over 50% of the civic league membership and the motion passed.


The members attending the meeting then voted to elect the slate proposed by the nominating committee.


Erik then opened the floor for new business. Scott Bleakly expressed concern that the covenants are not valid because we haven’t enforced every aspect of them consistently. For instance there are sheds and fences higher than 8 ft in the neighborhood that have not been contested. There are architectural review committee members in the covenants who have long since passed away.


Several other comments were made:

One pointed out the North End has had issues with subdividing lots

One thought we should know the city codes and incorporate them to the by-laws

One requested that we not micromanage what homeowners can do

Scott requested there be a time frame for the board to look into this and asked for quarterly updates.


The board stated the issue would be raised at its next meeting.


Kate then spoke as new president and mentioned there is a calendar for the year and that the next board meeting we expect to take place in March. Board meetings are held quarterly. Please contact your street captain if you have issues you would like the board to address.  Minutes of this meeting and an electronic newsletter will be distributed soon.


Meeting adjourned.