Sunday, August 10, 2008

PC: Historic Preservation Ordinance?

Dear People:

NOTE: I will have my office hours tomorrow LATE in the afternoon--from 4-5 pm. Also, due to the start of the school term, I will have to alter my normal office hour time. I will let you know what time slot I'm going to commit to as soon as I've figured out what will work best for my class schedule this fall--it may be a very early morning time or a weekend time. (If you have a preference, feel free to let me know.)

Planning Commission Meeting Monday 8/11, 7 pm, Bryan Center.


1. Reports
  • Council--focus will be on the Village Manager Search plan
  • Bike Enhancement Committee--Management Action Items: the BEC is working with the Village on
--getting Xenia Ave. foliage cut back,
--making street surfaces safer for bikes (repairing pot holes, assessing grates/utility access covers, etc.),
--marking the "sweet spots" that allow bikes to activate traffic lights,
--improving bike rack quality/availability,
  • Zoning Admin/Planner report
  • Miami Township Zoning Commission
2. Communication: from Xenia Township Zoning Inspector sent us a letter explaining that the Xenia Township, located on our southern border, is creating a land use plan for the northern (and southern) section of the township; their next discussion (on August 21) will include a focus on well-field protection and mineral extraction.

3. The main agenda item: Historic Preservation Ordinance: Should we adopt an historic preservation ordinance? We need to decide whether it would be valuable for us, as a village, to enact an historic preservation ordinance (which would necessitate having a historic preservation board to oversee permit processes), and also whether we should (at some point) work towards being a Certified Local Government with regard to historic preservation.

Such an ordinance could require demolition and remodeling permits for any significant changes to any buildings or lands within the historic district, which includes a significant portion of the whole village. How strictly would we want to write these rules? I have sample guidelines, from Medina and Springboro, provided by Glenn Harper of the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office.

If you are interested in this issue--pro or con!--I would like to hear from you. Is it time for Yellow Springs to more proactively protect our village's historic legacy? (Can we do so and still "keep it funky"?) This is always the line we are walking.

Please write me with your thoughts and/or attend this meeting!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

VC: Trash/Recycling rates, Village Manager search

Dear People--I'll be in the Emporium as usual from 12-1ish for my office hours tomorrow.

We have a fairly light agenda for this Monday's (8/4) Village Council Meeting (7 pm, Bryan Ctr) with the main item of business being a special report and discussion of our Village Manager search process. And I also want to use this opportunity to alert you all to the forthcoming efforts of the Environmental Commission to educate the community about the proposed tire burning at the CEMEX plant.  (Please also note my earlier posted entry today about Community Gardens in YS.)

1) Village Council Agenda

Resolutions and Ordinances:
  • First reading of an ordinance regarding changes to our Solid Waste (trash/recycling) rates, including new surcharges that are tied to increased fuel costs. Rates are rising for most customers, but will still be in line with what other communities are charged.
  • Resolutions to:  1) Renew our Rumpke solid waste (trash/recycling) contract / 2) Renew our contract with our village solicitor (our attorney, John Chambers, of Coolidge Wall law firm) / 3) Initiate a contract with Woolpert Planning services, who are assisting with the management of the Barr property and other projects related to the CBE, etc. / 4) Reimburse a village resident for a sewage backup, caused by Village sewer work, that damaged his home. 
Special Report by Don Vermillion regarding our search process for a new village manager. We will be determining what process we would like to use--especially how we will use, build on, alter or revise the work of the 2005 hiring committee. The things we'll be balancing are the need for broad community input, and also the need for the manager and Village Council to be able to work together. We need the manager to be absolutely willing and able to take direction from your elected representatives on Council as his direct employers, while providing clear professional recommendations as to how to get the work of the village done, generally on a limited budget.  

2) Environmental Commission:
  • CEMEX tire burn questions? The next issue of the Yellow Springs News will, I hope, have an ecobeat article that the Environmental Commission wrote regarding the CEMEX tire burning issue, which has been raised again because they have been given permission by the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA) to do a test burn of whole tires. At this time, CEMEX has not notified RAPCA of plans to do a test burn, which it must do at least 60 days prior to burning. The EC is planning an educational forum on the issue for August 28th, 7 pm, in the Bryan Center, at which we have confirmed the participation of representatives from the Ohio EPA, RAPCA, the Greene Environmental Commission, and Cemex who will each speak briefly and answer questions from the audience.
  • Community Gardens? see below!
Otherwise, I had a great time in New York City this past week (a quick drive with villagers, and we slept on the floor of two former YSHS graduates.) Bookstores are my personal addiction, so I spent a day wandering independent bookshops in the East Village and SoHo, and, despite many a resolution, bought an armload of new and used books. Just finished Fun Home by cartoonist Allison Bechdel, which was a fast, thought-provoking read. Now I'm trying to read mostly stuff I need to read for teaching this fall, which is fast approaching!

Community Gardens in Yellow Springs? Join a new group

The picture to the left is from The OSU Extension Service's webpage on urban services.  We can get some support from them for our community gardens!

The Environmental Commission is seeking to build interest and support for a community gardens program here in Yellow Springs.  We'll be announcing some community meetings for the fall, with the hope of being able to really get some gardens going next spring.

If you are interested, please consider joining the newly-minted Yellow Springs Community Garden forum, a yahoo-groups listserv: 

Click to join yellowspringscommunitygardens

Click to join yellowspringscommunitygardens