Association Meeting Minutes

June 4, 2002

The association meeting began at 7:10 pm at the Tise House.

2002 Board members attending:   Ann Doherty, George Bryan, Lee Ann Manning, Steve Joiner, Amy Lindsay, Bill Gibson, Kathleen Ramich, Alex Flowers, Linda Kirby, David Poythress, Susan Hutson.

Announcements:  George Bryan opened the meeting by asking those attending their first WEA meeting to introduce themselves:  Denise Hartsfield, candidate for district court judge.  George reminded the attendees that Eric Elliott is ready to present his “West End – Front Porch of Winston-Salem” presentation if anyone has a group they’d like to see the presentation.

Approval of Minutes from May Meeting:  Lee Ann Manning gave highlights of the minutes from the May meeting; asked if there were any corrections.  A motion was made to approve the minutes as submitted; then seconded.  Vote was unanimous to approve minutes.

Treasurer’s Report:  Steve Joiner distributed copies of the current finance report.  He noted that there has not been much activity since his last written report two months ago.  Membership currently stands at 135 residential members and 51 business members.  George noted that the copies of the West End historic nomination registers are sold out.  There were no questions about the treasurer’s report.  George pointed out that with the current balance in the WEA account, the membership may want to think of ways that we can spend some funds for neighborhood beautification.  Major expenditures so far have been newsletters, socials.

Social Committee:  Alex Flowers reported that per the WEA board suggestion, she is researching the possibility of WEA setting up a tent or table at a Fourth Street Jazz festival.  It would provide a way for West End residents to meet at the event and would market the West End to the rest of Winston-Salem. 

Alex announced that the WEA Fourth of July event will be held July 4th, 11:00 am – 3:00pm.  It will take place at the Tise House front porch and Grace Court Park.  There will be a parade in which children can participate, a potluck lunch with hotdogs and drinks provided by WEA, and music.  Alex asked that anyone who would like to volunteer to help with plans contact Ann Doherty.  Also, remember that this is a community event – invite others, encourage kids to participate, decorate your house.

Police Report:  George passed out copies of the last month’s police report of incidents and locations.  In the past month, there has been concern because of the increase of burglaries, many on Summit St.  During the discussion, many attendees reported other incidences that were not reported to police (ex. Thefts from cars that were unlocked).  Discussion followed about what can WEA do as a neighborhood association.  George will talk with the police about providing more driving patrols in neighborhood.  He noted that it is important that thefts are reported to police so the police will know what is happening.  Also, please e-mail incidents to Ann and George so they can pass information to other WEA residents.

More discussion about possibility of WEA offering a reward  and questions about West End neighborhood watch program.  Right now, the WEA meetings and e-mail messages are the West End’s way of reminding neighbors and residents to watch out for each other and these situations.  Attendees reported that a man is still going to houses, asking for help with his car as a way to gain entrance to homes. 

House Tour:  Nora Garver reported that Kilpatrick Stockton law offices have agreed to put the newly-renovated Hanes mansion on the tour.  One more house is still needed for tour, so the committee would appreciate any suggestions.  The committee also needs volunteers to help with publicity and advertising.  David Poythress is designing the posters and brochures. 

Historic District Commission:  George announced that the HDC meeting will be held tomorrow.  Robbie King is no longer with planning committee.  George asked the HDC their plans for filling that position, as

this position is one that works closely with West End.  Currently, the duties are being shared between existing employees.  One of these employees has some experience working with West End. 

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Lisa Elam reported the HDC agenda tomorrow will include vinyl siding and a swimming pool.  She will attend the meeting.

David and Marilyn Poorbaugh reported they are working on variance to turn Thomas-Welch House back into a bed and breakfast, which is was previously before previous owners.  They will live in the house, which will offer three bed and breakfast rooms.

Lisa noted that the vinyl siding issue before HDC tomorrow is similar to an issue approved a couple of meetings ago.  There was discussion about the fact that if the HDC approves wood for front of house, then vinyl on other three sides again, are they setting a precedent?  Discussion about what is right for historic district.  Do we want the houses to look good (vinyl siding) or do what’s best for houses (vinyl is not good for wood under houses).  Overlay guidelines are pretty specific that vinyl is not to be used. 

Lisa asked if the WEA wants her to make a statement about WEA’s stand on the siding issue. 

There was some discussion about idea of pooling individual, unused tax credits and reinvesting in places that WEA would like to self-fund projects for homeowners where such funds are needed but not available.  Lisa will see if there’s any precedent.  Such arrangements would be contractual with homeowners.

It was noted that the issue of cement board siding has not been challenged as vinyl siding has been.

Kathleen Ramich suggested that the WEA statement show our concern about precedent being set going against the current overlay guidelines.  If there’s a change, we’d like them to head in the way of real wood siding on all sides of building.  Kathleen made a motion following the wording she suggested.  The motion was seconded.  A vote in favor of the motion was unanimous.

First Street Rezoning:  George reported that the rezoning issue for First Street at Runnymeade was soundly defeated at Alderman’s meeting last night.  Many thanks to Wanda Merschel and Steve Calloway, who were great community advocates.

South Central Area Plan:  George opened issue that SCAP includes guidelines that might allow additional housing areas (apartments, etc) to be made on existing properties without a variance.  Amy Lindsey clarified two points on this issue:  1)  The proposal would expand the frequency with which one could add dwellings.  Currently, these can be added only for elderly or handicapped family members; and 2)  It would allow rezoning of single family residences into duplex, triplex, etc. in certain circumstances, not all, and only when certain conditions are met (parking, etc).  Because the planning staff and committee members did not agree on this proposal, this part will be included as an addendum to the SCAP.  Amy noted that the rationale is to provide more housing.  The Legacy plan outlines more density of housing where the infrastructure is already in place.  Such uses might save houses that may not be used otherwise.   Question was asked if this proposal would apply citywide.  This auxiliary housing proposal is only proposed for the South Central Planning area. 

George reminded the attendees that the community meetings sponsored by the city county planning board are the places to voice concerns about these proposals and plans, as well as the Board of Alderman meetings.  The meeting for West End/Holly Ave/First-Burke area will be Tuesday, June 11 at 7:00pm at the YMCA.

At the request of attendees, Amy read actual wording of proposal. Many questions followed for her about clarification of points in proposal.  Bill Gibson recommended that WEA members show up at meeting; listen to the presentation.  Nora agrees that significant numbers of people are important at this meeting.

George noted that West End board members voted not to encourage such housing; that board members wanted to bring this issue to association members to get their feelings on what WEA stand should be.  Board members did include note in their resolution that owner-occupied auxiliary dwellings would be more acceptable.  Need to note that WEA is against absentee landlords, not necessarily anti-affordable housing.  We’re not looking for suburban housing.  Variety of dwellings adds to richness of neighborhood.  Bill Wise noted that we’ve come almost full cycle since it started after WWII when houses were turned into apartments.  WEA was formed to break cycle of keeping people from turning houses into apartments.

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Bill asked if the WEA main concern is that there is not a process.  Lisa noted that concern is already answered; West End is already a mixed-use community.  Attendees agreed that specific issues (owner-occupied, etc) are not as important as that the WEA stand should focus on the process and substance.  Important that WEA stand notes that West End already has strength in providing affordable housing. Much discussion about important diversity of housing in area; what does West End support?

Kathleen made motion that WEA position be that our neighborhood strength is abundant, affordable housing in West End; that the WEA oppose such a proposal for auxiliary housing in neighborhood in that we believe it will upset balance in neighborhood.  Bill seconded motion.  In discussion, Warren Sparrow suggested that it may be better not to give reasons, that reasons tend to limit, and that there are usually no benefits to justifying such positions. More discussion followed about increased tax rates, etc.

Bill made the motion that as presently written, this proposal is opposed by the WEA.  Kathleen seconded.  There was more discussion.  Dave Poorbaugh made a call for the question.  In the vote for the call for the question, the verbal vote was too close for a majority.  Bill withdrew his motion.

Linda Kirby suggested that wording read that the West End Association opposes the proposal because it goes against principles of WEA.  Kathleen revised her original motion to follow Linda’s wording. Steve seconded the motion.  No discussion.  Vote was majority in favor of motion, with 3 abstentions.

Credit Union Membership:  George reported that due to the discussion and questions about the credit union membership issue, the WEA board members have decided to look at WEA’s general policy of all benefits and endorsements, which would include credit union membership.  They will prepare a general policy that will be brought back to the association at a later time. 

Special Presentation:  Highlights of Bill Wise regarding “Do It Yourself” Plaster Repair

·         With plaster problems on ceilings, you usually have to get it right the first time.  If you aren’t comfortable with plaster repair, it’s probably better to call professionals for ceiling repairs.

·         Small projects on walls are good places to learn to “do it yourself”

·         Plaster used to made of sand, lime, cement.  Today, this combination would be considered mortar mix.  Problem that it continues to absorb water.  It becomes dry inside house.  If leak around window, toilet, etc. plaster is permanently damaged.  If water inside plaster freezes, plaster becomes sand.

·         Advantage of plaster walls is that walls are “dead silent,” with no echo.  Perlited gypsum (Structolite) walls are more dead with sound.  Insulation is better with plaster walls.

·         Bill showed tools to use with repairing plaster walls and demonstrated technique of repairing plasters. 

·         On ceilings, it’s important to “lock” plaster into “keys” so plaster doesn’t fall back down. Ceiling damage usually happens from pressure on floor above that separated plaster from keys between laths. 

·         In late 20s, 30s, a product called Sanitus (cloth-based material with lots of sizing) was often papered to ceilings to hold plaster on ceiling.  If still in place, Sanitus usually holds up pretty well unless it’s very wrinkled.  You can repair by cutting out bubbled area.  Always have to rebuild keys.

·         Sidewall plaster damage usually comes from water damage or framing failed.  Usually don’t see Sanitus on sidewalls because wallpaper was often used. 

·         Regular play sand cannot be used because it contains salt; need river sand which does not have salt.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00pm

Respectfully submitted,

Lee Ann Manning