Wednesday, April 4, 2012

March 24, 2012 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes March 24, 2012
Saturday 10 - 11 a.m.
Sherwood Oaks Christian Church rm 361

Ellen Lyon and Lisa Wrasse opened the meeting by greeting old and new attendees. We had a great turn out, 30-40 people.

We distributed copies of our Constitution that was voted in at the end of the meeting. This was necessary to be recognized as a legitimate neighborhood association by the city. Our Constitution will soon be posted on Bloomington’s Neighborhood and Housing Development website. You can also find it in past e-mails if you are on our list and on our blog as well.

We had many speakers scheduled who brought issues/projects to the group and answered questions.

David Hart has been canvassing Elliston, asking neighbors about their feelings on safety concerns for that street as it is the direct route to the neighborhood park. Currently, Elliston has no sidewalks and many are worried about all the traffic to and from the park that includes families, children and pets. There were mixed feelings about adding sidewalks and/or speed bumps. Our neighborhood could apply to the city for a sidewalk to be put in on that street. However, because traffic is low compared to other city streets needing sidewalks, our wait would be more than 2-3 years. Having speed bumps installed is another idea; this could happen more quickly. There were concerns voiced about emergency vehicles being impeded by speed bumps but the new standard is to use shapes the slow traffic but allow large vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks to straddle the bumps. A third idea was to use signage, such as speed limits and children-crossing signs, as a deterrent to speeding. As a group we came to no resolution for this issue but are gathering more information and opinion. We need to do more research and look into what has been successful in other neighborhoods.

David Hart also looked into information about sidewalk repair; homeowners share the burden with the city. Unofficially, if the homeowner will pay for materials, the city will provide the labor. Please contact the city for more information.

Seja Brumley spoke to us about a possible development going in behind her home on Sowder Square. The developer, Pendragon, who owns land that butts up to many streets in our neighborhood, has plans for building section 8 rental housing. The plan includes dense, low-cost construction. When he last applied for approval of his project, only a handful of people knew about it and showed up to protest. Next time, we can use our numbers to our advantage and to the benefit of the neighborhood in general. We will be sending out more information as we get it and also a map detailing the area.

Barb Fischer presented the City of Bloomington tree grant opportunity. She has put much time into research and planning for this grant application. The grant is a an undetermined amount of trees to be planted in the grassy right-of-way between the sidewalk and the street. The deadline is April 13th. Barb is looking for volunteers to assist with the application process and to speak to homeowners to gauge support for the project. The trees can only be planted in public areas that are large enough. Another condition of the grant is that as a neighborhood we must provide a 10% match. This can be labor to help plant and to keep the new trees watered for the first three years. If we were to be awarded this grant, homeowners can decline having a tree planted in front of their property and conversely, if a homeowner agrees to the tree planting, we as a group can request certain species of trees or let the tree commission decide. The planting would take place in the Fall of 2012. Please contact Barb Fischer for more information.

Juan Carlos Carrasquel, a realtor living in our neighborhood, is in the process of creating a Sherwood Oaks Newsletter to promote the sale of homes in our neighborhood. It will contain great information about the housing market and Sherwood Oaks. He has volunteered to add information about our association, Sherwood Oaks Neighbors, in his newsletter at no cost to the organization. Thank you Juan! I should also add that Juan is having a professionally-created video made to promote the neighborhood and is asking for neighbors who would like to be included in the video.

Ellen brought up the idea of having a neighborhood-wide garage sale weekend like many other neighborhoods have. We could share the cost of an ad in the newspaper. Some suggested that a street by street grouping of yard sales would be more successful. Anyone interested in making this a reality please contact us.

In order to foster more communication, we have created a Sherwood Oaks Neighbors Facebook page. Please check it out, “LIKE” us, and start your own neighborhood discussion there. Anyone having trouble accessing it, please contact Ellen at .

Finally, before closing the meeting at 11 am, we voted to accept the Constitution and Bylaws. We then proceeded to ask for volunteers for the Executive Committee and thus elected: Bob Boch (treasurer), Seja Brumley, Juan Carlos Carrasquel, David Hart, Ellen Lyon, Brenda Ogborn, Lisa Wrasse.

As a group we will meet to further these issues and bring that information back to the group. Please continue to talk to your neighbors and spread the word. Also, check our blog, our Facebook page and the city site for Housing and Neighborhood Development for more information. Feel free to contact us anytime at with any questions or concerns.

Our next meeting will be in late summer.

Thanks Again,

Sherwood Oaks Neighbors