March 2023 Community Meeting
Kim Lane – Pigtown Main St
Julia and Michael
- Baltimore Fire Department presentation by Captain Whitehead – Truck company 23 – firehouse in pigtown – this is the closest ladder truck
a. Closest unit to the neighborhood is next to bromo seltzer tower
b. Regularly offer free smoke detectors. Dial 311 if you need one, recommended to have one on every floor including the basement. Basement is important for early detection! BFD only provides smoke detectors, but recommend you purchase a CO detector – preventable accident!
c.Good to have a rescue plan – discuss with your family how to get out of the house in the case of an emergency. Studies show having a rescue plan in place increases chances of survival in a fire. Have a rally place where everyone goes to meet. Important to avoid someone going back into a burning building unnecessarily.
Question – do you need a CO detector even if your house is all electric? Yes, CO can come in from the outside.
Question – what do you do if you live on the second floor without a fire escape? Get down on the floor and stay low to the ground to avoid smoke inhalation. No recommended ladder or escape device.
Question – how do you know if the staircases in your house comply to fire code? Houses only have to comply with the code at the time it’s built. There are some alterations that can be made to your house to help stop fire spreading and smoke. Closing doors on staircases and bedrooms helps slow the spread of fire.
- Presentation about Pigtown by Kim Lane – executive direction of Pigtown Main Street
a. This November is 100th anniversary of firehouse in pigtown – there will be a block party!!
b. Commercial corridor is Washington Blvd. Pigtown main street was originally started as a development organization. Now the organization is looking at the whole neighborhood including promoting housing in residential areas. Pigtown suffers from investors/speculators buying housing stock and sitting on it rather than getting home owners in homes. There are now grants available to promote home ownership.
c. PIgtown now has a brewery district. Checkerspot is moving to pigtown soon also already have Wico Street, Pickett, and Suspended. Trying to get tax credit from City to promote breweries, distilleries, restaurants, and other businesses to move into warehouse spaces in Camden-Carroll industrial area.
d. There was a fire on Washington Blvd last week. One business gutted and another damaged. Buildings are not condemned so we’ll see what happens to those buildings.
e. New nail salon on 700 block, sandwich shop opening on 800 block and new gelato place opening by Suspended this summer.
f. Mobtown Ballroom is not renewing their lease in September. Issue with commercial properties staying vacant when owners don’t want to rent or sell. Councilwoman Porter has introduced legislation to limit how long commercial properties can remain vacant. Mobtown Ballroom is actively looking for a new space.
g. The library on Washington blvd is being demolished and a new one twice the size of the existing library will be built with apartments on top of it. Pigtown main street raised $500k to be part of the project so that community space will be available for pigtown in the new library building. Not sure yet if library will be temporarily relocated or if there will just be a mobile library truck during construction.
h. Pigtown has a real interest in working on the gateway between Washington and MLK. The City is supposed to be working on it, but not much progress. Looking for partners and volunteers to work on it. Contact Kim Lane if you are interested in participating.
- Safety Committee update
• Met last Wednesday. Discussed updates from BPD southern district. David shared crime data, summarized below.
• Last 5 years have had very flat numbers in terms of number of crime incidents in the neighborhood.
• 80% of crime is property crime, and 5% is violent crime. Only 2 shootings in the last 10 years.
• Got a map of crime incidents – crimes happen more often on the north side of the neighborhood.
Safety committee looking for areas in the neighborhood where we can do crime deterrent projects such as improving lighting. If you want to join, email email@example.com
- No formal ARC report – Bobby saw some requests for new doors and windows – all approved
- Treasurer’s report – have still only purchased AV equipment.
- First dumpster of the year is this Saturday, March 4th on Conway street – sometime in the morning. Bobby will be at the Burgundy lot shed to get supplies to pick up trash around the neighborhood. Please come!
- Gala Planning is starting – if you want to join the committee, email Bobby. Last year, the association held a fun and successful Gala that celebrated the neighborhood and raised funds for the RDA.
• RDA was formed in 1973 – this year is the 50th anniversary!!
- New Business:
• David brought up starting a parks committee to buy dog waste stations for Conway park. Looking for people to join.
• Gail is interested in replacing trees that were taken down around the neighborhood. Will be connected with Rachel Abbotts who is the tree czar of the neighborhood – went through Baltimore City training and has been in touch with the City for how to replace the trees that were removed on Washington Blvd.