November 4 FPRA Meeting Minutes
FPRA ByLaws Changes- Changes to the existing FPRA ByLaws were discussed and sent out as a voting item.
Results of the ByLaw Changes VOTE are: majority YES for all but Article V, section 4. That is at 50% no and 45.8% yes. One of the No votes, sent a supplemental email stating "1) required rotation of President position quarterly - I think it is totally fine for the president to switch every 3 months if that is what the current president wants. Setting it in the bylaws REQUIRES this rotation which candidly, seems excessive and unnecessary. I think we should allow FOR the president position to rotate but should not REQUIRE it.”
Broadway Liquors License Transfer- Luna from 628 S Broadway. No problems at this location with regard to loitering or intoxicated people- no violations. Proposing to have a wine tasting bar of 5 seats or less next to the counter, similar to Canton Crossing or Bo Brooks Liquor. This allows them to remain open on Sundays. A petition of over 200 signatures was sent to the liquor board already. License transfer request- The only way to be open 7 days is to have a small bar/tasting table in their establishment. Liquor Board hearing on Nov 17. Request that FPRA write a letter not opposing the request (if the FPRA membership approves.) Currently Broadway Liquors is open until 12am, but wants to stay open until 1:30am. MOU recommended if agreement is written into the license.
Results of the VOTE are: 25 votes resulting in YES - 23 votes (92%), NO- 2 votes (8%) for transfer: Closing time at 12am - 15 votes (60%), at 2am - 1 vote (4%), No preference - 9 votes (36%)
New FPRA Board Members All asked to raise their hand if they were interested in becoming a Board Member. No one raised their hand. Anyone can still nominate a neighbor as a board member or nominate themselves prior to the December FPRA members meeting when voting on the 2021 FPRA Board will occur. Current Board members (minus one) will remain in place if no others nominated.
Committee Updates- Susan Singer is the lead of the new Social Committee, which will strengthen community bonds and have some fun. Ideas include monthly book group, walking group, speaker series, and a digital newsletter similar to the Fell’s Pointer and including business events and discounts for homeowners. Social Committee would also foster networking opportunities for business owners and residents. FPRASocialCommittee@gmail.com
Community Service Update- Thank you to all who contributed to PB&J Kidz Table donations. Living Classrooms asked us to assist with Thanksgiving boxes. FPRA will support 20 Thanksgiving families. Others should also contribute individually if desired- sponsorship is $50 a box and includes a turkey. Visit the Farmers Market for a list of items needed. Beans & Bread has asked us to donate desserts on Nov 25 for their Thanksgiving meal. Contact Susan Schaetzle to contribute. All donations are appreciated! Visit the FPRA Website Community Service Tab or the Farmers Market for more information.
Fundraising Committee- Nicole asked for volunteers to help with ongoing Harbor Ball fundraising and other opportunities. T-Shirt FPRA Fundraiser also an option. Please email Nicole directly.
Safety Committee update- Theresa thanks Joshua, Zeke and BPD for a well staffed and issue-free Halloween. There were no Part 1 crimes (significant) in Fell’s Point on Halloween night. Security data had been submitted to Zeke Cohen’s office and BPD prior to Halloween and we believe that made a difference in enforcement. If you see an emergency, call 311 or 911. Sara reminded that Safety Committee membership is open to everyone and email SafetyCommittee@fellspoint.org meetings are Wednesdays bi-weekly and focus on gathering data on safety concerns to share with BPD. This is an active committee.
Thames Street Park Poster- The Thames Street Billboard sign in the park has been repaired and is requesting decorating. Meeting announcements, etc...is appreciated. David Martz has the key to open the box and can add new art or notifications. Concern raised that the billboard may be currently unlocked. There are old posters still in the box that the Historical Society may want. Anyone with ideas, please contact email@example.com. Artwork is also desired.
Road Closure Q&A- Joshua Thompson; Zeke Cohen’s COS and city Council Member presented. Weekend road closures with pickup trucks continued through Halloween. Discussion with many agencies didn’t secure immediate next steps- trucks not expected to continue due to resource constraints. Residents and businesses to submit observations about how closures have helped or made a difference in keeping neighborhood safe going forward. Work ongoing to reopen Thames St for one-way traffic west-bound between S Ann St and Caroline St except for nightly closure from 9pm and 6am. This is intended to quell disruptive vehicle traffic in this area. FPRA will put together a consolidated document on comments. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your input considered.
Closing Comments- Fell’s Point parklets aren’t as cohesive as Mt. Vernon or other areas. Jeff D has met with CHAP. Downtown partnership spent $100K to make the area cohesive. Multiple violations have been issued to parklets. Most money for this has been issued to other areas in the city. Keith Mainhart is the new Executive Director of FPMS. Trying to keep the look of Fell’s Point such that people want to come here and recognize the historic aesthetic. FPMS will include the residents in the guidelines going forward but they are not the design review committee. This will be an agenda item for the December FPRA members meeting.