BOD Meeting 1/26/21

Lake Pasadena Estates Neighborhood Association

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

January 26, 2021

Opening:  Cathy Parks, moderator and meeting host, opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Old Business: Jill Coots announced receipt of an Honorable Mention plaque at the City of St. Petersburg Mayor’s Awards Banquet in March 2020 in recognition of the Pasadena Avenue Cul-de-Sac fence project in 2019. The plaque will be brought to the next LPENA general meeting for all to enjoy viewing it.

New Business:

  1. Request of Waiver of Driveway at 6540 Dartmouth Avenue: Directors briefly reviewed the request made by Joe Shmukler and Paulina Jordan, owners of the residence at 6540 Dartmouth Avenue, for neighborhood association approval to build a concrete driveway in the front of their house. Both property owners were invited to attend this BOD meeting, but neither was in attendance. Two board members offered their own experiences in seeking waivers to code requirements in the Lake Pasadena neighborhood, noting that in each case the City required approval by all “affected” neighbors (proximity or line of sight), but not neighborhood association approval. It was also noted that LPENA has maintained a history of not becoming involved in individual requests such as this, only in larger projects that affect a wider group of neighbors, such as the cul-de-sac fence and changing directions of stop signs to slow traffic flow. Following discussion and on a motion by Cathy Parks, seconded by Jeff Smith, the Board unanimously agreed that we could not take a position on Mr. Shmukler’s request without additional details. Rather, the Board deferred to the analysis and decision that city engineers will make on this request.
  2. “Armstrong Memorial Bench” at Lake Pasadena:  The Board discussed Lake Shore Drive neighbors’ complaints about the city’s placement of a bench at Lake Pasadena memorializing the long-term residence and support of Mr. Armstrong. Although the city had already set the bench feet in concrete, it was subsequently removed upon receipt of neighbor complaints about it being an “attractive nuisance.” Since the city had both placed the bench on city property and then removed it, no BOD action was required.
  3. Urn Circle Request for Trash Can:  Neighbor Carol Mauger, a volunteer who helps maintain the city property known as the Urn Circle at the intersection of 65th Street North with Lake Shore Drive/Pasadena Avenue, had requested that a trash can be made available on adjacent city property to facilitate removal of weeds and debris from that area. Discussion revealed that nearby trash cans often attract even more trash in its vicinity, not all of it placed within the trash can (as evidenced at bus stops throughout the City), Board members felt that requesting the city to place a trash can here was not optimal. As a alternative, it was suggested that if Carol would notify us of her schedule for maintaining that area, LPENA could solicit volunteers to help remove the trash to city dumpsters in nearby alleys.
  4. Sidewalks Blocked by Vehicles: Cathy Parks noted a problem with vehicles parked in front driveways that extend across the sidewalk in front of residences in the neighborhood. The consensus was that this should be reported, with photos, via the website since blocking sidewalks is not permitted by code.
  5. Concern about 108-Unit Apartment Planned on Central Avenue:  The Board briefly discussed email concerns expressed by a few neighbors about the proposed 108-unit apartment complex to be built on the south side of Central Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets. Concerns expressed are relative to increased traffic, potential drug usage, etc. Since the apartments will be built in compliance with zoning regulations already in place for that area, and since the proposed building site is not within the boundaries of Lake Pasadena Development, the Board took no action except that it will inform residents that it is not within our jurisdiction.
  6. Financial Report: Jeff Smith reported the status of LPENA financials, noting that we have sufficient funds to meet immediate needs in filing for continuing tax-exempt status with the state. The association falls below the requirements for filing federal income taxes again this year.
  7. Class Creator Website: The LPENA website developed by Class Creator and set up by the association in 2018 must either be renewed by mid-February (annual cost $220, with significant discounts applicable for multi-year renewals), the Board decided that the renewal cost was too high, considering the fact that we do not use most of the complexity provided by the site. Generally, the association needs only a web page or two to post announcements and a way to send email “blasts” to neighbors who have signed up to receive these notifications. Lisa Mackaness gathered the few website requirements mentioned and will discuss with her family (husband and sons) whether they can build something simple to meet our requirements, after which we can price-shop to find a server to host our simpler new site.
  8. Next General Meeting and Proposed 2021 Officers: Since the association did not hold a general meeting in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board decided to hold its 2021 annual meeting outside at Bear Creek Park at 10:00 a.m. on February 20, 2021. Attendees will bring their own chairs, wear masks, and ensure social distancing and other safe practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Jill Coots will check city requirements for our use of this area at the specified time. Since LPENA was basically inactive in 2020, the current slate of officers and directors will be recommended to carry forward their duties into 2021. Nominations will also be taken from the “floor” (or should I say lawn?).
  9. Block Ambassadors: Jill  Coots suggested that because our neighborhood is too extensive to get to know one another easily, it might be a good idea to divide the neighborhood into smaller components, consisting of perhaps three or four blocks each, and an “LPENA Ambassador” be appointed to represent the association to neighbors in each respective component. New neighbors, births and death could more easily be noticed and communicated by someone living nearby. This will be discussed at the general meeting.
  10. Neighborhood Cleanup Events. It was also proposed that LPENA schedule neighborhood clean-up events as the pandemic releases its grip, not only building neighborhood camaraderie but also neighborhood pride. This will also be discussed at the general meeting.