April 2021’s meeting included planning for social events, hearing updates from Park Central Development (PCD), and discussion of whether FPSENA should accept a seat on PCD’s Development Committee.

20 April 2021 / 6:45 PM / Zoom

MINUTES 

Timestamps correspond to the audio recording available on our podcast.

0:00 Meeting Called to order (Dan Doelling)

  • Groundrules review

FPSE Neighborhood Business

0:00 Announcements (Community)

  • Brian Adler: We have a new alderperson and a new mayor
  • Sarah Kogan: Could Kings Oak join the FPSE Neighborhood Association?
    • Brian Adler agreed to draft a proposal to change bylaws.

05:14 Treasurer’s Report 

  • Dan Doelling: Please pay your 2021 dues! ($10 or pay what you can)
  • Steve Chodes:  $2619.33 in FPSENA budget, no changes this month

10:45 Crime and Safety Report (Officer Walker)

  • 5 total crimes in the last week: a couple cars broken into, license plates stolen, 1 domestic dispute
  • FPSE has lower crime than surrounding neighborhoods
  • Catalytic converters are still a city-wide theft concern
  • More patrols in FPSE; hours may coordinate with nightclub activity
  • Officer Walker confirmed: 10:30pm last night multiple neighbors reported 4-5 gunshots near Taylor and Oakland; no source located

19:20 Neighborhood Improvement Specialist Update (Ron Coleman)

  • FEMA is seeking volunteers for COVID-19 clinic
  • City trying to identify new dumping sites, may get new cameras
  • Trees planted at Chouteau park & Norfolk (mostly 4200 block)
    • Ask to request a street tree or get permit to plant your own
  • Please report any abandoned vehicles or nuisance properties

24:41 Park Central Development Updates (Alayna Graham)

  • PCD Program Updates:
    • Golden Access Program http://parkcentraldevelopment.org/golden-access/
    • Grove Assault Prevention (GAP) Initiative launched for businesses
  • New businesses opened: SWADE Dispensary & Takashima (new concept/owners)
  • Development Committee: no updates
  • Infrastructure Committee:  City funded 16 ramps to be replaced
  • Grove CID
    • Iconic “Grove” signs to be replaced in May
    • May add a bench near bus stop, may add a trash pickup
    • Seeking input on winter holiday street decor and/or event(s)
    • Feedback collected about proposed banners (see last page, below)

Guest Speakers and Discussion

33:40 Planning Social Events for FPSENA in 2021 (Adam Kepka)

  • Brainstormed ideas: Scavenger Hunt (using Goosechase app), National Night Out in August, Spring Clean Up event, Ice Cream Social, Garage Sale, Tree Planting, Outdoor Movie Night, Drinks in the Park.  Board will review and bring ideas back next month.
  • Seeking volunteers to help plan future social events

39:50 Introducing 17th Ward Alderperson (Sweet-T Pihl)

  • Sworn in today.  Campaigned on principles: Accountability, Community and Equity.  Hopes to bridge neighborhoods and ensure neighbors are aware of future developments.  Board of Alderman to increase opportunity for public comment.
  • Tower Grove Neighborhood Connector https://www.towergroveconnector.com/ is 30% done with design.  Several meetings for public comment will be held.
  • Plans to review PCD & Development Committee 

54:07 Discussion: Proposed amendments to the FPSENA bylaws (Dan Doelling)

  • Review of process by which FPSENA bylaws are changed
    • Quorum and general body discussion, Board vote
  • Review of proposed bylaw amendment re: PCD Development Committee:

http://www.forestparksoutheast.com/proposed-amendments-to-the-bylaws/

  • Discussion
    • Should FPSENA change bylaws to create a new position, a representative on the PCD Development Committee? 
    • Should PCD return to the practice of having a staff member share the Development Committee agenda at the FPSENA general meeting?
  • 1:00:35  Sweet-T discussed possibility of having  PCD and/or Developers attend FPSENA meetings to share information about proposals on Development Committee agenda

Concerns about Park Central Development / Development Committee

  • 1:03:31  Sarah Kogan discussed difficulties with PCD not consistently informing neighbors of upcoming developments, even prior to the committee voting in favor of “neighborhood approval”  (example: Union at the Grove, https://www.union-stl.com)
  • 1:04:57 Adam Kepka discussed the value of having a PCD staff member (rather than a Development Committee member/volunteer) present info to neighborhood, due to staff knowledge/context.   Historically, FPSENA meeting was coordinated to be 1 week before the PCD Development Committee meetings so PCD staff could share the Development Committee agenda items with residents
  • 1:07:07  Sarah Kogan discussed the importance of info being shared with neighbors, especially given the size/scale of some developments, and when developments receive tax incentives
  • 1:08:40  Ron Coleman stated that when Alderman Joe Roddy started using the PCD Development Committee, the FPSE Neighborhood Association did not exist (there were several smaller groups that met irregularly).  Ron stated that Joe Roddy helped create the PCD nonprofit.  PCD may be able to improve timing, as developments begin to occur more frequently.  Some FPSENA members may be on the PCD Development Committee now (not as representatives of FPSENA)
  • 1:10:54 Michael Browning reported that PCD is not transparent about how members of the PCD board/committees are chosen, how long they serve, or when/why applicants are ignored/denied
  • 1:11:51 Regarding conflicts of interest at PCD, Adam Kepka discussed the example of https://www.union-stl.com, in which 
    • WUSTL (board president of PCD) sold land to Green Street (another PCD Board member) and the Development Committee took a behind-closed-door vote, without transcripts, without having first informed neighbors
    • It’s unclear whether PCD Board Members whose orgs profit from the https://www.union-stl.com transaction recused themselves from committee deliberations, or what role those individuals play in selecting/dismissing committee members
    • Unclear whether PCD Board Members serving as Committee members can vote to approve their own for-profit projects
    • The value of transparency and the rationale for Alderwoman Sweet-T to advocate for PCD to post the bylaws for both the PCD committee and PCD board on their website
  • 1:15:30 Alderwoman Sweet-T discussed her desire to be an advocate and a resource for residents. Requested help with social media and proposed “civic dinner” events to discuss the 17th Ward’s future.
  • 1:15:30 Adjournment and Closing Comments (Dan Doelling)

You can listen to an audio recording of this month’s meeting on Anchor or most other podcast platforms.

You can download a PDF of this month’s minutes below.

April 2021 Minutes