NMCA Newsletter (7/10)

The Board of Directors meets the first Wednesday evening of each month at 6:30 PM at either the Bobby Pearse Community Center or other local venues. Please email the website if you need the location.

Brookside Hearing Rescheduled

The City of Greenville Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 5:00 PM in the 10th floor Council Chambers at City Hall for the purpose of considering the request by Douglas Development to have the stop work order revoked. As you may recall, the BZA did not have enough members for a quorum on the topic last month (Members present were Erin Culbertson, Chris Fay, Adam Marcus and Andy Sherard). We’re hoping for a better showing this time. We appreciate our neighbors who came out in support of the city’s position, but we need you to come back and show your support once more. Please note the change in time from the usual 4 PM to 5 PM.

Meet the BZA…

The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) is a quasi-judicial body made up of 7 members appointed by the City Council. Their purpose: “hears and decides where it is alleged that there is an error of law in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by the Zoning Administrator”. These 7 members serve 3-year terms. According to the City’s website, current members, business affiliations and terms are:

Erin Culbertson, Commercial Real Estate Attorney , 1/14/2008 – 12/31/2010
Chris Fay, Director of Business Dev., Harper Contractors, 2/9/2009 – 12/31/2011
Leah Funderburk, NuVox Corporation (Telecommunications), 2/9/2010 – 12/31/2011
Brad Halter, President, Coldwell Banker Caine, 11/27/2006 – 12/31/2012
Furman Jackson, Teacher, Furman University, 11/22/2004 – 12/31/2010
Adam Marcus, Vice President of Fuels, The Spinx Company, 2/9/2009 – 12/31/2011
Andy Sherard, President of Site Design, (Landscape Architecture, Land Use Planning and Surveying), 8/3/2009 – 12/31/2012

Two seats are coming up for appointment the end of this year. If you are a resident who is interested in serving on the BZA, the Planning Commission, or other boards, information on each board can be found at the City’s Website. Applications can also be found online.

The NMCA board encourages local residents who have an interest in community development to get involved. While knowledge in a particular field is good, it is also sometimes wise to have participation by those who do not have direct affiliations with the interests these boards work with.

Waffle House Trial

In case you somehow missed it, Waffle House was granted their special exception to open 24 hours a day under a couple of stipulations. They will have the exception for one year, sort of a trial period, during which there will be a 6 month review. They will also be required to have 2 security officers on duty during the overnight hours. Obviously, they will be on their best behavior during this time, and the burden is now on the adjoining neighbors to report any violations of the noise ordinance, etc. Stay tuned…..

District 1 Update

For those who may not have seen this via the website, we are reprinting an update received from Amy Ryberg Doyle on June 16. Thanks to Amy for keeping us informed.

“District 1 Neighbors: I have received a number of questions in the past few weeks on several issues affecting our neighborhood. I hope this email will provide you with some answers to questions. As always, please feel free to contact me directly for further detail.

When will repaving on East North Street begin? As you may have seen, South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has begun to work with the City on the preparation for repaving East North Street. The repaving will run from Pleasantburg to Stone Avenue. The design of the street will comply with the City’s Complete Streets policy to allow for multiple types of transportation, most notably the addition of bike lanes. East North Street will have three lanes – one lane in each direction and a continuous left hand turning lane.

Will Park Avenue be repaved? Yes it will. In anticipation of SCDOT repaving Park Avenue, the City has repaired a sanitary sewer line on East Park Avenue. East Park Avenue is now open.

What is happening with the Waffle House on Stone Avenue? The Waffle House construction is complete. The business has complied with all the design requirements for non-residential use. The City has given a Certificate of Occupancy and the Waffle House has the legal right to open for business at any time. However, should they wish to open between the hours of 12am-5am, Waffle House will be required to receive a special exception from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

As you may remember, last year City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to outlaw 24-hour businesses in Commercial 2 zoning. (This was approved prior to the Waffle House Corp purchasing their property.) Commercial 2 zoning is commonly referred to as “residential commercial”. Augusta Road and Stone Avenue are the most common corridors with Commercial 2 zoning.

The ordinance was designed to give added consideration to commercial businesses which are located adjacent to residential zoning. (Editor: As mentioned in the above article, they did get their exception on a trial basis)

What is happening with Brookside Gardens? In March, the developer began clearing the land for construction on Brookside Gardens, the three-story 55 unit (2BR) senior housing apartment building. Prior to beginning construction, the project complied with the City’s Multi-Family Design Guidelines. When the contractor removed the trees that were part of the approved plan, the City pulled the Conditional Use Permit noting it no longer complied with the guidelines. The Board of Zoning Appeals will hear arguments and vote July 15 on whether or not the City was within its right to revoke the conditional use permit. City staff is recommending the project comply with the current Multi-Family Design Guidelines process. Public notice was given and more information is at the Planning Website. (Editor: See previous article in this newsletter for more information)

What is the land being cleared on Wade Hampton? The property on Wade Hampton (located next to Majesty Music) has been cleared. The property is owned by Central Realty. There have been discussions to allow for a commercial development on the Wade Hampton portion and residential homes in the back (on Gilfilling Road). While several informal discussions have been had regarding the property, no formal plans have been brought to the City.

Where is the Stone Avenue Master Planning process? You may have attended one of the meetings during the weeklong charrette back in March. (If so, thank you for your time!) If you were unable to, but would like to offer feedback, you may go to visit the maps and suggestions and offer suggestions at the Plan Stone Avenue website. There have been initial informal meetings with City’s traffic engineering departments and SCDOT to discuss the traffic on Stone Avenue. No formal plans have been submitted. More to come on Stone Ave…..

When will the Batesview Drive sidewalks be installed? Batesview Sidewalk funding is complete and the sidewalks will be installed this summer through the City’s Nstep program. The sidewalk will extend from East North Street to Wade Hampton Boulevard.

Has the City sold property to the Hyatt Hotel downtown? On Monday June 14th, the City Council voted in first reading for a sales agreement of some public parcels to the Hyatt Corporation. (This includes the atrium and kitchen which were leased to the hotel based on the original sales agreement and financing.) The sale of the property amounts to $1Million and is a tremendous boost for the City’s General Fund. I have recommended this money be solely used for North Main area redevelopment.

What is Reedy Square? The Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau has committed to building a state of the art visitors center next to Linky Stone park. This “wow project” will be fantastic for Greenville residents and visitors to our city. The plans are not final but will include amenities such as cafes with out-door space, art galleries, bike rentals and park space. Reedy Square will also be located on the newly completed Swamp Rabbit trail. While Main Street continues to flourish, the City recognizes the importance of destination spots off Main Street allowing for further development “upriver “. City Council has pledged $3.5Million to the project based on the private money being raised. (County Council has enthusiastically supported the project with $5M which included purchasing the land and hiring the Chicago-based architect, Studio Gang.)

Subsidy for Power Line Burial May Increase

On July 12, City Council will discuss an increase in the subsidy which could cover a significant part of the cost of residential underground power line conversion. The current subsidy is $1000; however, current policy dictates that 8 contiguous residents would have to sign on. The new plan would remove that requirement which has been hampering conversions. The plan would affect areas hardest hit by the 2005 ice storm, and would hopefully include the North Main area. We’ll get you more information as it becomes available.

Neighborhood Watch Meets with Police Officer

On Wednesday, June 23, Officer Courtney Palmer, Greenville’s Crime Prevention Specialist, met with North Main residents at the North Gate Soda Shop (a unique and historic restaurant that has served our community very well) to give us some tips on crime prevention and how to build a Neighborhood Watch (NW) program.

Transient Update
This meeting was the result of recent problems with a transient who was begging for money (which is illegal) and asking for work. While it’s wonderful that people want to help, Officer Palmer strongly suggests that we donate to local charities that have the experience and resources to help in a more comprehensive way. Dealing one-on-one with people wanting quick cash is risky and tends to encourage their unexpected, late night return which is what happened to our neighbors already.
This particular transient is still around because no one has pressed charges – the only call has been as a complaint. If there are enough reports, they can charge him with harassment.

Police Phone Numbers to CallHere are the numbers to call if you see him or have any other issues: If you want to remain anonymous, just tell the officer who takes your call.

• Emergency Number: 911
• Non-emergency number:
• City Dispatch: 271-5333
• City Front Desk: 467-5258
• Greenville Tip Line: 271-4273

Your Neighbors Are the Best Alarm System
Officer Palmer noted that the best alarm systems are our neighbors which is why a NW program is so important. But for this to work there needs to be a network so that problems on your street can be quickly communicated to your neighbors; e-mails from our community website are not enough. So, every resident at the meeting has agreed to reach out to at least 5 neighbors as a start. We will then let the rest of our residents know through our website where these networks are so that they can join the one near them. We are also looking into NW signs that we can post at visible sites. If a neighbor contacts you about getting involved in the North Main Neighborhood Watch Program….PLEASE participate and help us make our neighborhood safer!

For those who were not able to make the meeting but are interested in participating, please contact Mike Cubelo or sign up online at our website. Just click on the link under Public Safety Committee. There is also a copy of the Neighborhood Watch Brochure that Officer Palmer passed out at the meeting that you can download or print. This explains more about the different components of a neighborhood watch group.

Name That Plant

Want a great site to learn more about native and naturalized plants? Check out this great treasure of information. Name That Plant is a clearinghouse of information about native and naturalized plants of the Carolinas and Georgia. (Organized by member Janie K. Marlow). Use the search tool to query by common or scientific name, by plant description, or by family. See what native plants are being recommended for landscape use, look up botanical terms, read about plants and plant communities, and discover botanically interesting places to visit. NameThatPlant.net currently features 2735 plants and 9077 photos. For 2405 plants, the website displays maps showing physiographic provinces within the Carolinas and Georgia in which the plant has been documented. For 1427 plants, the pronunciation of at least one of its scientific names is demonstrated. You’ll want to make this one of your ‘favorite’ sites to visit.

Saturday Market Live

Want to know what fresh produce is offered here during various times of the year? The Carolina First Saturday Market shows you at their website.

Humane Society Animals – Let One Rescue You Today!

Take a look at the cute faces of the kittens, cats and dogs that need some TLC and a forever home…can’t you make room for one or two? Just go to their website photo gallery.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Announcing a new community and social network where bird enthusiasts, beginning birders and experts alike can share experiences. Post your pictures and videos, learn from leading ornithologists and help protect birds from activities that harm them and their habitat. WeLoveBirds.org is a joint effort of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Watch videos and nest cams, learn how to develop an urban bird garden, see some great bird photos and submit your own. And it’s all FREE. Check it out at the We Love Birds website.

Calendar

City Council Formal Meeting and Work Session schedules can be found at The City’s Website.

June 2 – August 25 – Reedy River Nighttime Concert Series, Peace Center Amphitheater,

July 15 – BZA Hearing on Brookside Development, 5 PM, City Hall

August 13 – “Summer of Love” Benefit for the Greenville Humane Society. 8 PM at The Handlebar. Local musicians perform top hits from 1967. Tickets $10. Info: 864-232-1726.

The following classes will be held at the Bobby Pearse Community Center, 904 Townes St., on the dates indicated. For additional information or to register for programs call or email Pam Davis or call her at 864-467-4331.

July 12 – August 16 – Mondays 6:30-7:30 pm. Yoga. Instructor: Brooke Kleinfelter. Fee: $5 per class. Pre-registration NOT required. This class will be geared towards beginners, but all levels are welcomed and encouraged. The sequence of postures will be based on power vinyasa yoga, starting class with sun salutations and ending with deep relaxation. It also will include several standing and seated postures. A specific breathing technique will be taught to carry you throughout the class. This sequence of postures will combine with breath work to create results on a physical, mental and emotional level. Come flow with us.

August 28 – October 2 – Saturdays 9am – 10am. Eight Pieces of Brocade and Qigong. Fee: $30 for six week session. In this class, we will work with several basic Qigong movements, as well as learn a complete Qigong set called the Eight Pieces of Brocade. The name of this well known form refers to the eight individual movements of the set which are said to impact a quality of health of the body to be likened to fine brocade – a richly decorative fabric. The Eight Pieces of Brocade date back to the Song Dynasty (between 960 and 1279.) Register on-line at the Parks website.

August 17 – December 16 – Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-11am. Fitness Aerobics. FREE. In this class, participants will get a great cardio aerobic workout. The class will be geared to adult participants. All levels are welcome! Participants do not need to pre-register for this class. Instructor: Colleen McCullough

NMCA Newsletter (7/10)
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