January 10, 2017 HRB Monthly Meeting Minutes

Attendance. HRB: Steve Cauffman (Chair), Richard Haier, Sabine Kunrath, Sandrine Scherson, Bill Schmitendorf, Hobart Taylor. ICHA: Andrew Herndon.  Two other residents attended part of the meeting.  Jane Laning (ICHA President), Greg Jue (ICHA Board Chair), and Victor Van Zandt (ICHA VP of Plannining and Construction) attended part of the meeting.

4:00pm:  Architectural application review

A proposed one-story room extension was considered.  A board member who would be directly affected recused him/herself from the discussion.  Neighbors on one side of the applicant’s property objected to the proposed addition, and attended the meeting for discussion of their concerns. The HRB considered these concerns but found them insufficient to warrant rejection of the proposed addition, which falls within all established guidelines and precedents regarding setbacks, aesthetics, and impact.  Following additional review and discussion of materials submitted by the objecting neighbor, the application was approved.   

4:30pm: Community Forum Planning Discussion

Jane Laning, Greg Jue, and Victor Van Zandt attended this portion of the meeting to discuss and develop plans for an ICHA-organized community outreach forum to be held in the Spring, with HRB participation.  April 10th was chosen as the date.  Potential topics and format were discussed.  ICHA will prepare a draft agenda based on this discussion.   [1/18/2017 UPDATE: The date has been changed to May 3.] 

5:30pm: Logo Contest

Twelve logos (some of which were variations on similar themes) were submitted by 4 families.  The HRB selected four promising concepts to be submitted to a graphic design team for further development.

5:45pm: Upcoming HRB Election

A call for candidates will go out soon.  The deadline for candidate statements will be 1/31.  Candidates will be invited to attend the February 7 HRB meeting.  The election will be conducted electronically (with a paper ballot alternative), and will be “live” from February 10th through 17th.  New members will begin their terms at the March meeting.  Four seats are at the end of their terms (Steve, Bill, Hobart, Sandrine). Steve and Bill indicated that they do not intend to run for re-election.

5:55pm: Other Items

Website overhaul: programmers are testing various possible reservation system solutions.

Transportation task force:  the wikimap survey generated several hundred comments.  A set of walking audits will soon be announced for late January.  The traffic engineering firm has identified locations for speed and count studies. [See www.uhills.org/uhttf]

Entertainment Committee Report:  The Holiday Bazaar was well attended.  The raptor exhibition solved the usual “afternoon lull”. The entertainment committee is currently working on an annual calendar of events and will soon send out a survey on the listserv about events in 2017. Residents can suggest events and sign-up to lead an event or to join the Uhills events volunteers database. The fiscal year ends at 6/30; Andrew will provide an entertainment budget statement to help us plan the next six months.

Following HRB’s recommendation last month, ICHA has approved the resident-led effort to establish a University Hills ISL summer youth swim team.  Team organizers will work directly with ICHA on finalizing logistics, based on HRB’s proposed conditions. (https://uhills.org/news/2016/12/swim-team-survey-hrb-recommendation)

ICHA has engaged Mary Watson-Bruce to conduct a “customer satisfaction” study, and she is in the process of conducting various focus groups, starting with ICHA staff and board, HRB, and then the community at large. 

Residents’ interest in locking mailboxes remains hampered by Post Office refusal to pre-approve changes short of street-by-street conversion to CBUs.  (The relevant excerpt from the February 2016 HRB minutes still reflects the current status: “[Per the USPS] Retrofits of existing mailboxes must conform to height requirements, and must maintain or increase the number of any group. All mailboxes on a given street must be of the same class, i.e. no mixing of cluster box units (CBUs) and individual boxes on the same street. Unfortunately, the supporting structures in phases 1-8 are too small for most individual locking mailboxes, so significant modifications to the support posts would typically be involved. We hope to get at least one locking mailbox style pre-approved by the post office, but personnel there need to see and examine a prototype before agreeing. No architectural applications for mailbox modifications have been received.”)   The 2015 mailbox survey indicated a preference for smaller-scale solutions, rather than conversion of entire streets to CBUs.  (See: https://uhills.org/news/2015/10/mailbox-survey-results)  To break the current deadlock, it would be helpful for at least one set of neighbors who share a mailbox post to submit an architectural application that could serve as a concrete test case in petitioning for USPS approval.