TOPIC: South Bend Common Council Committee Meetings
7/24/17 County City Building 3:30 pm
Councilpersons Present: All
PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE: John Voorde Chairperson
* Bill 41-17 Frank Zinerello Alley Vacation
* Bar owner of Frank's wants to close the alley and make outdoor seating
* Neighbors stated the following: People are peeing on their property, noise,
constant police calls, fights, people passed out, condoms, needles, trash
* Neighbors had to build fences at their own expense
* Neighbors need access to the alley for their garages
* Chapin Park Neighborhood Association identified this as a problem area
* Gavin Ferlic recommend "Unfavorable" and all voted in agreement to that
NOTE: In these instances, every time the Citizens are only given a couple days notice which means they do not have adequate time to get off work and organize other neighbors to come to defend their neighborhood from unwanted changes.
Also, Citizens have noted they only seem to notify people within about 150' or so instead of 3 full city blocks, and with noise and nuisance, it affects a wider area.
SUGGESTION: Change the requirements to full 30 Days in advance notice and to a 3 block area. This short notice and short distance puts BUSINESS ahead of long time residents who should come first.
PERSONNEL & FINANCE COMMITTEE: Karen L. White Chairperson
* Bill 42-17 Use of $5M of Regional Cities Funds Grant for Howard Park
* This part of the "Blue Ways" initiative
* Jo Broden brought up $5M from Pokagon Band noting this would be
$10M Total for Howard Park
* For more information on the plans:
* Recommended at "Favorable" and all voted in agreement to that
Bill 44-17 Housing Study Appropriation
* Originally $100K and now $70K is being recommended
* Money will come out of the Operating Fund (Not TIF)
* James Mueller of Community Investment answered questions
* He noted the downtown study moved more $ to downtown from Westside
* Jo Broden asked about the 2014 Zimmerman study and how this ties in
* There was a meeting in June with the "100 Houses for 500 Families" group in June
* Target areas in the Westside corridor were discussed
* Consultant being used is from NEW JERSEY
* Mention was made that ALL Areas of the City need to be evaluated since there are also concerns about needs on the Southeast Side
* Oliver Davis expressed the need to consider income levels in the study
* Jo Broden expressed the need to repurpose existing buildings
* Regina Preston-Williams expressed concerns about Gentrification and to do "Development without Displacement"
* Voting was 2 For, 2 Against and Tim Scott broke the tie with a "Favorable"
* Use Consultants from OUR Region that understand our culture, business, weather and to keep $ spent in our Region
* Add in Environmental concerns such as sewers, water and utility use into the study
* Require new builders to incorporate solar, low flow water and other eco-friendly aspects
* Adhere to strict Zoning that requires they be "Owner Occupied" since too many rentals diminishes a neighborhood
UTILITIES COMMITTEE: David Varner Chairperson
* Bill 17-40 Solarize South Bend - (See previous post for details on this program)
* Voted "Favorable" on this Resolution
Light Up South Bend - Presentation by Eric Horvath, Executive Director of Public Works
* Approximately 70 new lights are being put up by the City every year
* They have a joint program with AEP
* Citizens can request Alley and Residential lighting
* Jo Broden mentioned neighbors can go in together to get Alley lighting and be billed by AEP monthly
* Maps were passed out to the Council Members.
* Oliver Davis noted on Pairie Avenue near the Fire Station it is too dark.
* There is still a lamp post program by the City, but 3 of the choices are NOT eco-friendly. Mr. Horvath stated design was more important.
* Lights need to be "Dark Sky" Friendly
* Light wavelength needs to be out of the range that causes people to not sleep
* More energy efficient lights need to be used
* Take into account the nocternal animals/wildlife that need to co-exist with us
* Set in motion replacing older lighting that is not eco-friendly
* If you find this important, please contact Mr. Eric Horvath in the Public Works Office
NOTE: In many cases, meetings, agendas and support materials are barely posted online before the meetings which means Citizens are not able to respond.
Transparency needs to be TIMELY.
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Citizens attending community events to inform other Citizens.