WARDS 4 & 7 NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING ASSEMBLY
Heineberg Community Center, 14 Heineberg Road
Facilitators: Phil LaVigne, Ward 7
6:45 Greetings and Sign-In
7:00 Introductions, Announcements, Ground Rules, Agenda
Anyone who would like to make an announcement can do so at this time.
7:15 NPA Business – Minutes, May mtg.; election of Atiya Harris, ward 7; resolutions, endorsements
7:20 Reports from Elected and Appointed Officials (Councilors, Legislators, Commissioners, Board Members, Steering Committee sub-committee, etc. )
7:30 Open Forum for Residents - Brief statements of neighborhood/city interest or concern.
8:00 Program: Local Motion’s Chapin Spencer, and Steve Norman from Geometrics will present the latest bike news, inventions and events, followed by Lt. Bruce Bovat reporting on a grant the City has received, followed by discussion of community policing issues* that have been raised by residents.
8:50 Reflections: Statements of thoughts that came up during the meeting.
*Community Policing Issues:
~ Fears about drug dealing in Leddy Park. Neighbors fear there is drug dealing in the parking lot by the tennis courts when they see graffiti behind the theater, and they keep their children away from the park. Abby Knapp and crew -- including our NPA -- removed the graffiti last weekend, we're hoping some local graffiti artists will do community service, and we'd appreciate it if the police would keep an eye on the area in the future to discourage vandalism and reassure parents. We've asked the Parks Dept to clear brush away from the fence behind the theater at the shopping center to make the area more visible
~ Speeding on our neighborhood streets is an ongoing problem. People want the speed bumps REMOVED, and find it much more effective to calm traffic by parking cars on the streets. It definitely slows drivers down, which speed bumps did not do. We'll address the safety of parking on the street.
~ Car break-ins and bikes stolen from porch in our area.
~ Symbols have been spray painted on trees in the woods behind Flynn School. People who live in the area feel uncomfortable, and consider it a hate crime . People are also dumping yard waste there, which kills the understory in a forest and ultimately creates conditions for erosion. Property owner needs to clean the area up and provide regular maintenance.
~ There is continuing concern about vacant buildings, and the city's enforcement of Vacant Building Permits that require regular inspections and monitoring. Vacant buildings are known to invite criminal activity --arson, and drug use -- and they are a blight on a neighborhood – like graffiti, only worse! A felon was found hiding in a vacant building downtown that did not have a permit. Residents want our vacant buildings inspected and monitored, and have requested that the city post them with something like the red/green Zoning, and we'd like the police to have a list of vacant buildings so when they are patrolling the area they can stop and check the building regularly.
~ Similarly, encampments on vacant lands that are not cared for is an ongoing issue for the North End. It is tolerated, and the city looks the other way. Walking from Rock Point Conference Center to the bikepath, here is a camp full of trash and bedding. We would like the issue to be addressed compassionately as a community need, creating a plan to deal with it that includes both property owner stewardship, enforcement by the city, and options for homeless people. We would like to begin this discussion now.