Monday, June 14, 2010

PC tonight! /VC Last week AMP solar power, Historic Pres., Demolition, PUD ordinance/affordable housing, Friends Care expansion

Argh! Once again, I'm realizing that I'm slipping on posting after I email. My apologies. I have put both last week's Village Council email and this week's PC email in this posting.

Dear People--Rain!
Everything is fecund and growing, and my CSA bundles are bulging, but I have gotten caught with my dogs twice in the past few weeks in some booming thunderstorms and sheeting rain. Ah, Ohio in the summer!

Good SUNNY news from AMP, our municipal energy co-op: AMP has signed a 30-year agreement with Standard Energy LLC (an afiliate of Standard Solar) to purchase up to 300 Megawatts of new solar energy generation capacity--making it one of the largest groups of solar electric facility development in the country. Construction will begin this year and be completed within 5 years. (You can read more about the plans here.) I am hopeful that we'll be able to purchase some of this energy, but I expect we may briefly discuss this at Planning Comm and at Village Council.

Planning Commission meets on Monday, 7 pm, Bryan Center. We'll discuss:


1) Historic Preservation: Mark has revised our earlier proposal which we hope is now simply saying that 1) we will create an inventory of historic properties and neighborhoods in Yellow Springs, and 2) any building within the historic area of Yellow Springs cannot be demolished without notification of the Planning Commission that no other course of action is feasible. BUT...see next item (which I've marked as item 3, because it comes after the PUD discussion on our

3) Demolition Forms: During our earlier discussions of historic preservation we realized/were made aware by Mark that currently there are no demolition forms that property owners have needed to fill out in Yellow Springs notifying the village of their plans, getting a demolition permit, AND, most importantly, ensuring that all utilities--water, sewer, electricity and natural gas--have been turned off prior to demolition. The permit form also asks the owner whether the building is within a historic district.

I am going to propose that we discuss this item prior to returning to the discussion of historic preservation, because our goals with historic preservation seem to be contingent on the existence of a demolition form, which we have not had, and because the issue of not being notified of someone's intention to demolish a building, as a utility provider, seems most pressing to me.

2) PUD Ordinance Review / Affordable Housing: Planning Commission has been working with Wolpert's for some time on revising our Planned Unit Development Ordinance. This is the one we use when any major new building project (with multiple housing units) is being proposed. The current draft has density bonuses for 1) increasing the open space over the required 20%, 2) for the inclusion of affordable housing, and 3) a comprehensive storm water management plan.

Given the discussion of affordable housing by John Davis last week, I have asked a few people who are focused on affordable housing to review this plan and give me their input. My understanding from some discussions with people interested in "smart growth" principals is that having a requirement for a variety of housing options, rather than a bonus for including them, is generally a good thing.

The ordinance will, of course, go to Council for approval and possible editing at that time, once approved by Planning Commission.


4) Friends Care Community (FCC) Expansion: Mark informs planning comm. that the FCC is planning to renovate and build an addition which would create 16 private rooms and an attached rehabilitation center. However, while this change will increase the footprint of the FCC, it will not actually increase the number of beds, because other existing rooms are being combined and remodeled to make them private and include bathrooms, which will reduce the number of existing rooms. Additionally, the proposed location of the new unit does not pose any setback or other zoning concern issues.

It's not clear from our current zoning code if an expansion of an existing approved conditional use triggers the need for conditional use approval again, so we are being asked to decide if we need a new Conditional Use approval or if staff can simply administratively review and approve plans if they are in compliance with Village ordinances.


July: 5-year Capital Improvement Plan presentation by Mark--this is basically the same plan presented last Spring to Council, on the plans to regularly improve our infrastructure--water, sewer, streets, etc.


Community Blood Drive: Bryan Center . Thursday, June 17 3-6:30 pm. Must be 17 or older (or 16 with CBC parental consent form), weigh at least 110 lbs. and be in generally good health. Bring a photo ID and donor ID card if you have one. Appointments can be made in advance! or 1800-388-4483. Free golf towel and register to win one of two $500 Dick's Sporting Goods gift cards.


Live Teleconference with Michael Hardt . Thursday, June 17 - 7:00 p.m. Nonstop Institute — 305 N. Walnut St, Yellow Springs Free admission - Donations Welcome

Internationally acclaimed political philosopher Michael Hardt (Professor of Literature at Duke and author, with Antonio Negri, of Empire, Multitude, Commonwealth and other books) joins Nonstop for a live teleconference discussion drawing upon key insights from his work concerning the contemporary social, cultural and political fields of possibility.


The Morgan Fellows Present: The Gegner Barbershop Incident: Fighting for Civil Rights in Yellow Springs Friday, June 18 . 12:00-1:00 Herndon Gallery . One Morgan Place, Antioch College

Stories From Activists Who Fought to Desegregate Yellow Springs

In 1961 Yellow Springs residents filed a lawsuit against local barber Lewis Gegner for his refusal to cut the hair of black townspeople and students. Gegner's continued intransigence, and the consistent lack of action on the part of the Greene County Court of Appeals, led to years of litigation, protests, and sit-ins, culminating in the dramatic civil rights demonstration of 1964 that resulted in over 100 arrests and national media coverage. While Lewis Gegner ultimately closed his barbershop rather than desegregate his business, the demonstration and its aftermath marked the end of de facto segregation in Yellow Springs.


Prexy Nesbitt, Antioch College Class of 1967; Board of Trustees, Antioch College

Paul Graham, Antioch College Class of 1952; Former Chemist, Vernay Laboratories

Hardy Trolander, Antioch College Class of 1947; Co-Founder and Former President, Yellow Springs Instruments; Former Trustee, Antioch College

Joni Rabinowitz, Antioch College Class of 1964; Founder and Former Director, Just Harvest

For more information, contact anne bohlen (937) 286-8455 or



Dear People: Thanks to all who came out for my band's relatively impromptu concert and burrito giveaway last night! The Village Manager tells us that the pool is opening today, so, enjoy, and hope for some sun this afternoon. As the subject says, the village Council is meeting on Monday and then retreating on Tuesday.

Tuesday's retreating will mostly be about process, managing our/ our staff's workloads, and issues with moving to an electronic packet.

Monday's meeting will focus on these major issues:
* Streets Sealing,
* Affordable Housing,
* Economic Development Committee,
* RFP for the Village property, North Hwy 68 (formerly Stutzman's)
* Fireworks in Gaunt Park

LEGISLATION: 2 resolutions
1) approving the contract for this summer's street seal coating,
which will be awarded to Pavement Technology, Inc. (of Westlake, Ohio) if this resolution is successful. They propose to seal sections of 8 village streets for $50,625. The sealant should help preserve the newly re-done streets, and the particular product they propose using, Reclamite (trademark) is available for purchase from the state of Ohio's cooperative purchasing program, which makes it less expensive than it would be at market rates.

2) approving the release for sale of surplus property (mostly equipment) and using Internet auction to do so. I did not find the list of items for sale, but I will ask for it--it's possible mine was misplaced in my packet and I just couldn't find it in all the paperwork.


John Davis is coming to our meeting to present on Affordable Housing.
Davis is a national expert in permanently affordable housing and community land stewardship. At the forum, he will discuss the history of the Community Land Trust model and its historic connections with the Village of Yellow Springs. He will also discuss his new book, The Community Land Trust Reader, which was published on May 17. For more information about The Community Land Trust Reader, visit:


Economic Sustainability Committee.
I am very excited by the names that have come forward for the new Economic Sustainability Committee. They are all excellent people from a variety of backgrounds:

Ex-officio: from Council, Judith H. & Karen W., and Sarah Wildman, our econ. sustainability coordinator.

Ellen Hoover
Roy Qualls (Comm Resources Board)
Jacki Mayer (pres. of Chamber of Commerce)
Cynthia Sanford (YSCU manager)
Tom Brookey (CFO Antioch College)
Megan Bachman
Susan Stiles (Greene Met Housing)
Enshane Nomoto
Lisa Hunt (arts community)

Plan for Stutzman's property: We're hoping to issue a "request for proposals" to use the former Stutzman property on north highway 68. We have a draft proposal that we'll be discussing, with our village solicitor present (as he drafted the document).

We will need to discuss / decide:
--A proposed committee/task force to review proposals (including 2 residents--you?)
--The exact amount of land we plan to rent and the deadline for responses
--What to do with all the "stuff" left on the property (possibly encourage a "walk through" for prospective buyers, some of whom may want some of that stuff.)

Villagers will be glad to know that all the feral animals have been removed to sanctuaries, with the exception of two pigs, with health problems that precluded moving them (i.e., they were dangerously obese), and some impossible to catch feral cats.


Authorizing the use of the Gaunt Park for July 4th (July 5th as rain date) fireworks by Lion's Club

includes a CBE update, info about gypsy moth traps that are up around town (the green cartons you see on trees), senior staff evaluations having been completed, looking into a housing needs assessment by Wright State, AMP hydro plant groundbreaking on 29th June to which Council / Staff are invited as investors, temporary community garden fencing, and

Community Blood Drive! June 17th, 3-6:30 pm. Bryan Center. Appointments strongly encouraged!

Also, Mark will be out of office on 6/11, 6/25 (morning), afternoon 7/1, 7/2, afternoon 7/9.


P.S. ok A poem about swimming...from The Poetry Foundation website, a treasure trove...

Learning to swim

by Bob Hicok

At forty-eight, to be given water,
which is most of the world, given life
in water, which is most of me, given ease,

which is most of what I lack, here, where walls
don’t part to my hands, is to be born
as of three weeks ago. Taking nothing

from you, mother, or you, sky, or you,
mountain, that you wouldn’t take
if offered by the sea, any sea, or river,

any river, or the pool, beside which
a woman sits who would save me
if I needed saving, in a red suit, as if flame

is the color of emergency, as I do,
need saving, from solid things,
most of all, their dissolve.



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