OGCA Annual Meeting – Nov 2014

OGCA Annual Meeting – Mon Nov 24

Lovely Lane Church

Called to order: 7:18pm

Dues Payments and Voting for 2015 Executive Board

Presentation: Historic Lamp Reconstruction

Alex Torpak, Univ. of Maryland School of Historic Preservation

Looking to reconstruct historic (gas) lamps in the neighborhood

Two still standing outside Geological Survey but bases were changed over time

Looking to identify a now non-existent ornamental post/base unique to historic Baltimore

Alex is joining the OGCA Land Use Committee (welcome, Alex!)

Presentation by Jill, Baltimore Tree Trust: Final Tree Inventory

Presented a map of Old Goucher from the tree inventory with lots of useful details

1000 trees with room for an additional 300-400 trees

Still looking to certify 25 “Treekeepers” for OG

Next Treekeeper course is December 6th — sign up at the Baltimore Tree Trust website!

Treekeepers get a card granting them the right to prune and otherwise care for city trees.

Other good news: A grant from the Abell foundation for a 1000 gallon water truck (for the trees Baltimore Tree Trust plants)! OG has already received a 300 gallon watering vessel for our existing trees.

We’ve got a maintenance plan for every one of these trees, now we’ve just gotta stick to it and care for our beautiful new canopy!

Presentation: Eric Holcomb, Executive Director of CHAP

Just wants to introduce himself and get the process moving to build consensus for making Old Goucher a CHAP neighborhood

How to become CHAP:

Long arduous process starting at CHAP office and ends with a city council bill

3 or 4 public hearings, 2 a CHAP, one at Planning Committee and one at city council

CHAP works with community associations to provide info and process and then we go out and figure out if the neighborhood wants it

Then CHAP determines whether there’s enough history in Old Goucher to merit the designation (spoiler alert: We’ve got plenty!)

Then CHAP mails a postcard to every resident and business owner in the neighborhood asking if they support the designation

If enough do they push forward with the process (the aforementioned hearings)

What does “Local Historic District Designation” mean?:

CHAP office reviews and approves new construction and exterior changes to buildings in the neighborhood, assuring that they meet the criteria of the historic nature of Old Goucher (this protects OG from cheap, unwanted development!). That’s basically it. New construction allows for new styles (not “museumizing” the neighborhood), but will make sure it fits with the character of OG.

Guidelines can be found by googling “CHAP preservation guidelines”

They ask communities to create architectural review committees to have a first line of defense against bad development and an open channel to communicate with CHAP

Kelly: One of the reasons we reached out was because we started to notice our URP (Urban Renewal Plan) was failing to protect us from cheap development and b/c the city seems to be looking to phase URP’s out. We’ve got some beautiful architectural treasures here in OG and there isn’t much protecting it from the wrecking ball. Part of the reason we’ve been a magnet for slumlords of bad development is not having the city behind us and no other way to protect our heritage.

Some Other Historic Districts: Fell’s Point, Bolton Hill, Mt Vernon

There are tax credits available for historic preservation/restoration projects (these are already available to us as OG is a federally designated historic neighborhood)

Updates: 

Citywide Streetcar System:

Kelly and Phil Lacombe met with Congressman Cummings (and Earl) about pursuing alternatives to the Red Line. They presented a proposal to create a citywide street car system for less money than the Red Line would have cost. Congressman Cummings is very excited about this idea

Working to get a meeting with the Mayor about this

Lines would be Charles Street, North Ave e/w, Broaded South to Fells, Fulton ave South to where the Red Line would have gone and then the entire Red Line above ground as a street car

Park at 24th & St Paul:

Still looking to purchase the land on 24th and St Paul currently surrounded by barbed wire fence so we can create a new park/civic space here in OG

2-way Street Committee:

We will be setting up a committee to look at the 2-way street initiative. Lots of strong opinions on this, many negative. The committee will examine this further and provide a recommendation to the OGCA executive committee

Crime & Safety Task Force:

Jeanne asks that more people be involved in the crime and safety task force. Reach out to Jeanne Knight to learn more.

Parole and Probation is relocating!:

They’ve released an RFP and it will take some time but they have begun. In the meantime they have agreed to become better neighbors, including cleaning their grounds regularly.

Telesis project:

Telesis has started building at 20th street with new homes and a green space

Charles Street Development Corporation:

We’ve (finally!) received a seat on the board

Crime Statistics Update: Office Gibson

7-8% reduction in total crime

commercial robberies have been an issue over the past month

Street robberies often uptrend at this time of year, be careful out there!

Additional forces deployed to address robbery problem

Car break-ins still common in the area. Down from last year but spikes happen.

Supplemental officer still working Charles St 20th-24th St 7 days a week. Often in a vehicle, sometimes foot patrol or combination of the two

Election Results:

Pres: Kelly Cross

VP: Damien Nichols

Secretary: Brian Adams

Treasurer: Theresa Murphy

 

Meeting Adjourned at 8:21 

Next Meeting is in January. See you then!