January 2022 Community Meeting

Type of meeting: 
Meeting date: 
Wednesday, January 5, 2022


Bill Reuter
Bobby Goodfellow
Chad Terry
Christine Middleton
Deb O’Neal
Gerri Salley
Jeneanne Collins
Julia Lebherz
Karin Lundquist
Karissa Cullet
Kate Leitkowski
Leslie Parks
Liz Lupino
Maia Tatinclaux
Megan Moorer
Molly Goodfellow
Paul Koprowski
Paul Rubensen
Sharon Reuter
Sidas Saulynas
Susan Clayton

  1. A crime report was provided by PO Owens of BPD. Recent thieves in the neighborhood were reported as apprehended. If anyone has questions they can contact him at:

  2. The owners of 27 Gems, Karissa and Melaina, gave an introduction to the new business located on Washington Blvd. Currently, they are open daily from 12 to 5 pm as a retail store featuring wellness products made by women-owned businesses. They are also offering mobile spa services.

    • They have a hearing on January 25th for their rezoning application. The intent is to change from retail/residential to spa and retail. The parliamentarian suggested they ask for a letter of support from the RDA for the hearing. 

    • A community member asked whether they will be requesting parking spaces in front of the store be removed from the RPP program and re-designated as open parking. 27 Gems responded that they are not requesting any changes to the current parking space designation. They have considered renting from Sunoco should they need dedicated parking spaces in the future.

    • The community took a straw vote on the letter of support and no one was opposed.

    • The board will discuss and prepare the letter at the board meeting to be held January 12, 2022.

  3. The president explained his intent to run efficient meetings and doesn't want monthly reports from committees that haven’t met or had new business. It was requested that a financial report be provided at the next community meeting.

  4. ARC Update - The ARC is currently reviewing two “typical” rehab projects including:

    • Two row houses on Melvin - one of which is the total rehab at 640 Melvin that the developer just submitted a final plan to finish it

    • The property on Fremont St that had previously been part of the 2nd Pratt st project. The Fremont property is being done by a known developer who has worked on houses in the neighborhood before and is architecturally conservation-minded.

  5. Parking - There have been issues with the VPP app. Deb O’Neal has been emailing with the Parking Authority to try and rectify. The Parking Committee has also been communicating with the City about increasing ticketing per existing signs.
    The Parking Authority is moving ahead with an RFP for city-wide VPP and the Parking Committee will have a chance to suggest improvements and provide input.

  6. Board Meetings - they’re back! They will be held on a different evening of the month than the community meeting. This is to allow time to gather input from the community on hot-topic issues before the board meeting. 
    Board meetings will be held the 2nd Wednesday of the month with the intention of keeping them short, about 30 minutes. Board meetings are open to the community and the registration process will be the same as for the monthly community meeting.

  7. General RDA discussion - Several issues were brought up regarding the RDA, record keeping, and how to improve accessibility to virtual meetings

    • The Parliamentarian brought up that we need to start meeting with approval of the minutes from the last meeting each month. 

    • It was asked that the minutes be posted monthly on the website and board members be updated.

    • It was asked that minutes from the November meeting be posted to the website to serve as a record of the board election and new board members. Additionally, attendees of the November community meeting will receive credit towards being members in good standing.

    • There was a discussion on how to keep records of Zoom meeting attendees. Part of the intention of the meeting pre-registration was to have this record. It was requested that all attendees pre-register and enter their full names in Zoom once having joined the meeting. The list of meeting attendees will be included in the minutes. Kate Leitkowski reported alternative methods for recording meeting participants. The president inquired if she would be willing to assist with implementing this and she agreed.

    • Some neighbors are technology-challenged and struggle with pre-registration online and Zoom in general. It was suggested we provide a call-in number with passcode to these neighbors and they can announce themselves when joining via phone.

    • Currently, the meeting ID and passcode change for every meeting to prevent Zoom bombing. It was suggested to make meeting login info standard for every meeting and having a google form for everyone to fill out so that we have a roster at each meeting. Zoom should be able to provide a list of participants.

  8. New business - The President encourages neighbors to undertake neighborhood improvement projects and to take advantage of the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership grants. The latest grant cycle closes in February. For more information go to: .https://sbgpartnership.org/community-grants/ 

    • Molly Goodfellow suggested we form a new committee for maintaining the playground and other equipment at the tot lot (not to interfere with people already maintaining plants and herb gardens). Some examples of possible improvements include: replace cracked bucket swings, replace the spongy ground under the play structure. If interested in joining, please contact Molly.goodfellow@gmail.com

    • The Goodfellows are building a new, sturdier little library for Conway Park as the existing one was badly damaged recently. Additionally, Sandy Anderson has volunteered to refurbish the existing little and install it at the Tot Lot.

    • It was suggested that we cover the bulletin boards at the Tot Lot and Conway Park with plexiglass to protect them. The President asked Megan Moorer to lead this effort and we can discuss further at the next meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.