BOD Meeting 4/4/23

Directors Present: Niel Allen (moderator), Lorraine Armstrong, Carol Gruszka, Mandy Hand, Liz Marcucci, Cathy Parks, Cheri Riley, and Stacy Vermette

Directors Absent: Kent Carroll, Alex Ellis, Ide Gagalis

Opening:  Niel Allen, moderator and meeting host, opened the Board of Directors (BOD) meeting at 6:10 pm. He thanked all attendees for their efforts to forestall City Council’s vote to open Lake Pasadena Estates (and other city neighborhoods) to the new Neighborhood Traditional Mixed (NTM)-1 zoning, which would allow multi-family housing on 1st Avenue North between 61th and 63rd Avenues, and along major street corridors 1st and 5th Avenues upon future request. Unfortunately, City Council members approved the rezoning on March 23. The approved zoning changes also permit Auxiliary Dwelling Units (ADUs) in our other single-family zones (NT-2 and NT-3). We will be alert to future proposed changes that negatively affect our neighborhood.

Treasurer’s Report: Alex Ellis, treasurer, was not present for the meeting.

Old Business:

  1. Meeting Dates: Following discussion, the board unanimously approved the following meeting dates for the remainder of 2023:
    • BOD meetings: May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, October 10, November 7, and December 12, to be held at 6:00 pm in directors’ homes, as announced.
    • General meetings: May 16, August 15, and November 14, to be held at 6:00 pm at Menorah Life, pending confirmation of availability.
  2. Fall Harvest Festival: The second annual Fall Harvest Festival will be held on November 11 at Lake Disston (“little lake”). This will be the single large social event in 2023. No further details were discussed at this time.
  3. Other Events:
    • Following the intensive efforts expended during the city rezoning push, directors decided not to initiate the monthly Yard of the Month contest at this time.
    • Wednesday Wine Walks are suspended due to lack of participation.
    • Book Club meetings are suspended until future notice, due to other commitments by the host (Cathy Parks).

New Business:

  1. Neighborhood “Yard” Sale: Social Committee chairperson Stacy Vermette suggested that LPENA hold a neighborhood “yard” sale at Lake Pasadena (“big lake”) on May 13 (Mothers’ Day weekend) as a way of increasing membership and interest in the association. Each participating neighbor household would pay $25 (annual dues) and sell items out of their car trunks or set up tables around the lake. Street closures will be in effect for the hours of the sale (10:00 am to 2:00 pm). All attendees would also be able to join the association via cash, check, or a new Venmo account linked to our Achieva Credit Union account. Communication and Marketing chairperson Liz Marcucci agreed to set up the Venmo account. Carol Gruszka will provide her with the Achieva Credit Union routing number and account number. Following motion and second, the yard sale was unanimously approved.
  2. LPENA Historical Efforts: History Committee chairperson Cheri Riley provided reports of their efforts to date regarding gathering the histories of homes and other historical interest in the Lake Pasadena Estates (LPE) neighborhood:
    • Cheri visited Jessy Breckenridge, Head Archivist with the St. Pete History Center, and contracted with her to do a base study of historic homes in LPE. It will be ready by the end of April, after which we will need to fill in our own stories and provide pictures to document the original structures built in the 1920s, as well as twenty years later when the neighborhood began to fill with many new homes. The goal of the LPENA History Committee is to have a document as detailed as some of those in the Northeast neighborhoods, notably Crescent Heights!
    • The website St. Pete Wiki (click here) provides a wealth of information on local history. One of our neighborhood houses has some historical data listed on this site. St. Pete Wiki already has two homes that have been added from the community, thanks to Howard Knapp. Only 12 more century-old homes to go!
    • Neighborhood volunteers are needed to conduct a Tree Inventory in Pasadena Lake Estates. The Urban Forestry Committee, subcommittee of the St. Petersburg Beautification Committee, meets at City Hall on the second Monday of the month, regarding cataloging (and protecting) some of the city’s older trees (e.g., banyan, oak, laurel). The city offers a “tree matching grant” of up to $10,000 to neighborhood associations for the purpose of preserving and cataloging such trees. NOTE: A citizens’ training session will be held at Boyd Hill Park on Thursday, April 20,⋅from 9:00 to 11:00 am to teach volunteers how to use the TreeSpotter App to make entries for their communities. (To view currently mapped trees, click here. To read more about getting started on this effort, click here.)
    • The city is currently in process of rezoning storm drainages across the city.
    • Finally, Cheri informed the BOD of the city’s “Water-wise Program,” whereby, upon request, the city will send an independent professional to evaluate your irrigation system and install a rain sensor, and then send you a report on how to maximize your coverage and provide a map of your system as well as information on how to fix and maintain your system. Sign-up information may be found here.
  3. Lake Disston Fountain: Upon learning that Duke Energy has been assessing ways to route electricity into the little lake, directors decided to actively seek city assistance in obtaining a floating (but anchored) fountain for the little lake, perhaps with nighttime LED illumination. Niel will initiate communication with the city concerning this new LPENA goal.

Closing: The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Carol Gruszka, LPENA Secretary