The board of directors of the Downtown Neighborhood Association met at 7 pm, August 11, in the public room at the Florencia condominium.
Present were president Marilyn Olsen, treasurer Peter Stanhope, secretary Timothy J. Baker; and directors Allan Brockway, Marlys Meckler, Tim Clemmons, Gary Grooms, Peter Belmont and Joe Pugliano.
The meeting was called to order at 7:04.
The minutes of the previous meeting, as posted on the DNA web site, were approved on motion by Mr. Belmont and a second by Ms. Meckler.
The treasurer’s report, also as posted, was received.
Tim Clemmons reported on a proposal by the Cassis restaurant to create, in partnership with the city, a petanque court in Straub Park, adjacent to the Big Max sculpture. The court would be composed of gravel, and would be open to the public. There was a discussion of the pros and cons of direct business involvement in operating a portion of a public park.
Mr. Baker moved to support the motion. Mr. Stanhope seconded. After some more discussion, Mr. Brockway moved to call the motion. That failed.
Ms. Meckler moved to table, with a second by Mr. Grooms. The tabling motion passed.
Mr. Clemmons also reported on an effort by City Council member Leslie Curran to reinvigorate the Friends of Williams Park committee. DNA was a participant in that effort, which has been dormant for the past two years.
Mr. Belmont reported on a propsal by the city to change the rules that govern demoliton permits for buildings in the Downtown area. Mr. Belmont believes the prposals would make it easier to tear down buildings, possibly to the detriment of the historic fabric of the neighborhood. Mr. Clemmons moved that DNA oppose the new rules. Mr. Baker seconded. The motion passed.
Mr. Belmont also reported on city proposals to change the Historic Preservation Ordinance. He said that three issues had arisen that concenred St. Petersburg Preservation. Tim Clemmons moved that DNA oppose two of the changes. Mr. Baker seconded. The motion passed. One of the proposals would remove the requirement that the city itself initiate the historic designation of at least three buildings each year. The second would make it more difficult to designate a historic landmark over the owner’s objection. The third issue, which was not addressed by the motion, concerned how votes to create historic districts are conducted.
The meeting adjourned at about 8:30 p.m.
Timothy J. Baker