The Board of Directors of the Downtown Neighorhood Association met at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 11, at the Florencia on Beach Drive.
The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m. by Marilyn Olsen, president.
Present were Ms. Olsen; Timothy J. Baker, secretary; Allan Brockway, treasurer; and board members John Belovitz, Gary Grooms, Peter Belmont, Joe Pugliano and Marie Stirling. Also present were Frank Bird and Ron Stein, co chairs of the Mirror Lake area committee.
There were no minutes from the October meeting, as a quorum was not obtained.
The treasurer’s report was not ready for the meeting.
Mr. Brockway, who has been the de facto membership chair, said that the annual effort to get members to rejoin for the next year would begin soon. This consists of e-mails, a notice in the January newsletter, and a mailing. There was some discussion of ways to increase membership, although no one has yet volunteered to be the membership chair.
Mr. Brockway also noted that it is time for people to decide if they wish to be candidates for the board in 2011. He asked all current board members to notifiy him by email of their intentions. Candidates will also be sought from the membership by email, and in the newsletter.
Mr. Bird and Mr. Stein updated the board on efforts that are being undertaken to improve the water quality at Mirror Lake, and also to improve the park around the lake. A presentation will be made at City Council on November 22 by Lakewood High School teacher James Kostka. Mr. Kostka has obtained a state grant that will be used by students to improve the environmental quality of lake. The students intend to assess the water quality of the lake, and then create an improvement plan with various partners, both public and private. They will also undertake to study the history of the lake and create informational materials.
Peter Belmont, who is on the board of St. Petersburg Preservation as well as of DNA, asked the board for support of the SPP application to landmark the Blocker house on 4th Avenue NE. The building most recently was the site of a Russian restaurant, but now sits vacant and faces demolition if a redevelopment proposal goes forward. Mr. Belmont said the building is notable for its history more than its architecture. It was the home of an early St. Petersburg mayor, and late of the Shriners Club. He also noted that the redevelopment idea and landmarking are not mutually exclusive. For example, if the building is landmarked, the city might require it to be moved to another site as part of redevelopment, rather than just letting it be demolished. Approval of the request was moved by Mr. Pugliano and seconded by Mr. Brockway. The motion was approved, with nay votes by Mr. Baker and Mr. Grooms, and abstentions by Ms. Olsen and Ms. Stirling.
Various options for the January meeting were discussed. Among them are presentations on the improvements taking place at Mirror Lake and the plan for international baseball at Al Lang Field. Mayor Foster has also been invited to speak, but no date has been set.
Ms. Olsen updated the board on the ordinance regulating temporary parking lots. City Council member Jeff Danner may propose that a ban on new lots east of 6th Street be extended to ML King Street or even further west.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Timothy J. Baker,