NMCA Newsletter (9/09)

PHOENIX CENTER BZA HEARING
THURSDAY, SEPT. 17, 4:00 PM
10TH FLOOR, CITY HALL, CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

This is just a reminder of the important hearing coming up that we are asking as many residents as possible to attend. While it may be inconvenient and a commitment of time to attend, the consequences of this facility being located on the Wade Hampton site will be far-reaching and long lasting. We wish to emphasize that we applaud the work of the Phoenix Center but we feel there are many other locations that would better serve their clients and the community. Proponents of the site will surely be out in large numbers so please make an effort to be there. The City of Greenville is also opposing this location but it will make a much bigger impression with the BZA if a large group of residents and businesses in the area show up in force. If you have not already sent letters or emails expressing your views, please do so before Sept 15.

PUBLIC MEETING

You are invited to attend a Public Meeting about the Culvert Improvements on Bennett Street, Mohawk Drive, and Chick Springs Road. The meeting will be held in the first floor conference room at City Hall from 5:30 to 7:00 pm on the 17th of September, 2009.

The City will be replacing three culvert crossings to improve stream flow and reduce flooding problems. The roads will be closed during the construction and alternate routes will be necessary. Detour routes will be marked with signs and barricades. Approximate dates of the closures will be:

Chick Springs Road – Sept. 21 through the end of November
Mohawk Drive – Dec. 2009 through Feb. 2010
Bennett Street – Feb. through May of 2010.

All schedules are approximate and could change due to weather or unforeseen conditions.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS

The annual general meeting and election of officers for NMCA for 2010 will be held Thursday, November 12 at 7:00 PM at the Bobby Pearse Center on Townes St. Ext. Nominees for all positions have stepped forward but the election is always open for anyone who is a current member and wishes to serve. If there are any who wish to have their name added to the ballot, please notify the recording secretary, Jean Martin. All nominees should submit a statement of acceptance and a paragraph detailing their qualifications no later than Oct. 1. These are the offices and nominees to date:

President Jim Gilreath
Vice President Mike Cubelo
Treasurer Tommy Stephens
Membership Secretary Joyce Murphy
Recording Secretary Phyllis Gilreath

CITY COUNCIL WORKSHOP ON STONE AVE
MONDAY, SEPT. 21 @ CITY HALL 3:00 PM

The Council Workshop on Stone Avenue will be tomorrow, Monday, Sept. 21, at 3:00 in the 9th floor conference room at City Hall. We do not officially have the right to speak, though Council can call on us to do so. It is hoped that the City will provide a more convenient time with more adequate notice in the near future for a better opportunity for information and input from the adjoining neighborhoods and Stone Avenue businesses. We will keep you posted.

NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING PROJECT
THURSDAY, SEPT 24TH, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
BOBBY PEARSE CENTER

The following email request was sent to us by Professor Barry Nocks and the city of Greenville.

“As you are aware, in the approval of the City¹s Comprehensive Plan and future land use map, neighborhood design guidelines will be needed to develop future land use measures. I have been working with Jean Pool and Wayne Leftwich, and as a result one of my planning classes is working on developing draft neighborhood design guidelines in several neighborhoods. With the support of Lillian Fleming and Amy Ryberg, we are currently working in developing draft guidelines for Greater Sullivan as well as part of the North Main area.

This process involves getting input from residents of each area on what they like and do not like in the physical layout of their neighborhoods. We then plan to take that information an develop some draft guidelines for neighborhood review and feedback at a second meeting. At the end of the semester, (early December) we expect to provide suggested guidelines for these neighborhoods for consideration by the City and neighborhoods.

This process requires local input. We would like to get some input from residents in the North Main area soon. (We have already had an initial meeting in the Greater Sullivan area.) In particular, we would explain the nature and purpose of these guidelines and get their views of what they want the neighborhood to look like in terms of scale of houses, streets,

Note for Clarification:
The boundaries of our study area include:
Townes (both sides) on east;
Croft (both sides) on south
Rutherford (one side) on west
Mountainview (both sides) on the north.
And of course, everything in between.”

Barry Nocks PhD, AICP
Professor & Program Director
Graduate Program in City & Regional Planning
143 Lee Hall
Department of Planning & Landscape Architecture
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634-0511
864-656-4094 office
864-656-7519 fax

We feel that this meeting may have important consequences for our neighborhood and strongly encourage our residents to attend.

UPDATED TRAFFIC NEWS

The connection between Mohawk and Chick Springs will be closed beginning Monday, in order to install a larger culvert. This project is expected to take about three months. It is our understanding that both Chick Springs and Mohawk will remain open during this process, there will just be no cut-through between them.

Next will come the closing of Mohawk Drive to replace the culvert there. This one will have a stone facing and should be quite attractive. This will take another two or three months. Finally, Bennett/Summit will be closed to replace the culvert there.
We will have significant disruptions to traffic flow but these projects are badly needed. I requested that they extend the sidewalk from the Elements across the first culvert for pedestrian safety.

The City staff and contractor said they would minimize tree cutting in the process.

The NMCA apologizes for the late notice on some of these items. We received very little notice on most of this information.

CITY PLANS FOR STONE AVENUE

On Monday, City Council held a workshop, at the request of Councilwomen Lillian Brock Flemming and Diane Smock, at which the state of Stone Avenue was discussed. The main topic was a Request for Proposal (RFP) to get a consultant to draft what is called a “Form-Based Code” for the Stone Avenue Corridor that the city posted in mid-August with submissions due by September 24. There was no word on what Waffle House might be planning. No application for a special exception allowing it to operate between 12 midnight and 5:00 a.m. had been filed by the September deadline for hearing on such an application in October. The topic was not really discussed by Council.

Most of the time allotted to the subject of Stone Avenue was spent on the RFP. A Form-Based Code (FBC), part of the New Urbanism trend in planning, controls the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another and to the scale and types of streets and city blocks. In its purest form, an FBC totally replaces a zoning ordinance where it applies. A pure FBC does not control uses in the buildings at all. Thus, a bookshop could be next to a disco as long as the buildings themselves fit the FBC’s guidelines as to size, street setback, height, etc.

A so-called “hybrid” FBC, which is what the city is asking for in the Request for Proposal, may contain some use restrictions, but such a Form-Based Code is thought by some experts to have serious problems in drafting and application. Depending on what is developed, assuming that it is even done, the FBC for Stone Avenue could eliminate the requirement that Waffle House has to get a special exception to operate 24/7. The Mayor emphasized that the city was “not wedded to a Form-Based Code” but might go in a different direction entirely.

What attracted surrounding neighborhoods’ attention was the fact that this is one of our major commercial corridors whose zoning and business uses are of major importance to residents. Current zoning is OD (Office) for W. Stone and C-2 (Local Commercial) for E. Stone. If planning is being done, the thought was that the neighborhoods, not to mention, all the businesses on Stone, should have been alerted ahead of posting an RFP as to what the city wanted to do and why, especially considering recent events like Waffle House. Instead, the neighborhoods found out when one resident spotted the RFP on the website in early September and asked “What is a Form-Based Code? Why are we finding out by accident? And why is the city looking for a consultant to create one for Stone Avenue?” The first meeting of the panel nominated by Council members to select the consultant is Tuesday, September 29, at 5:00 p.m., Ninth Floor Conference Room, City Hall. It is open to all interested citizens, as will all the meetings be.

The RFP can be viewed here.

NMCA Newsletter (9/09)
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