Safety & Public Works Committee, May 3, 2019

June 4th, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

Present:  Council members Nancy Moore(chair), Tres Roeder, Anne Williams; citizen members James Brady, Jonathan Hren, Austin McGuan, James Sammon.

Others present: Mayor David Weiss; Chief Administrative Officer Jeri Chaikin; Director of Planning Joyce Braverman, Senior Planner Dan Feinstein; Director of Public Works Patricia Speese; Chief of Fire Patrick Sweeney; Police Commander John Cole, Lt. Richard Mastnardo; administrative assistant Debra Messing.

The meeting was called to order by Ms. Moore at 8 a.m. Other than approving minutes, none of the agenda items required a vote. 

Agenda:

1.  Minutes of the February 1, March 2, and April 5, 2019, meetings. Approved without amendment.

2.  Hathaway Brown School, Proposed Traffic Changes at North Park & Sherbrooke.

HB wants to construct a new soccer field along South Park, would relocate tennis courts and some parking spots, would construct new parking lot for 55 cars at North Park Boulevard & Sherbrooke Road. Proposal and drawings explained by Ms. Braverman and by HB’s architect Craig Cawrse of CT Consultants.  Committee discussion to focus on questions and comments regarding safety issues; more comprehensive review will occur at May 7 meeting of Planning Commission.  If approved, construction would begin immediately for conclusion in summer 2020.

HB proposes: (a) 55 head-in parking spots where North Park curves into Sherbrooke next to a grass traffic island, (b) reducing traffic island footprint, (c) using permeable asphalt to negate any additional water run-off issues, (d) evergreen landscaping to height of car hoods and preservation of current trees, (e ) further discussion of whether traffic should be one-way during school hours. 

Discussion ensued over drainage and permeable materials, head-on versus angled parking being easier for new drivers, use of traffic island by snow plows, speed limits and signage, placement of a cross-walk from new lot to campus.  

Neighbors were notified by the City of May 7 Planning Commission meeting.  HB has also invited neighbors to a meeting at the school on May 4.  Ms. Moore read aloud emails City had already received, suggesting adjustments to proposal. Some neighbors had come to Safety & Public Works meeting to ask questions.  One neighbor asked that HB community be required to park in provided spaces rather than on street, and asked for vehicles to bear stickers.  An HB administrator advised school wants to partner with its neighbors and the vehicle sticker would be considered; however, school is concerned about female students being “targeted” when they leave campus. A resident pointed out CT Consultants performed only a one-day study of traffic, using some data from another source.

3.  Presentation by Friends of Lower Lake/Doan Brook Watershed Partnership on the eradication of invasive species at the old Canoe Club site along South Park Boulevard.  John Barber and Peggy Spaeth will repeat the illustrated presentation May 21, 7 p.m., at the Main Library.  Volunteers have spent more than 600 hours removing invasive species and preparing to plant native species to improve the habitat for birds and insects. Excavations and species removal touched the remains of the Canoe Club building, the North Union Shakers sawmill, and a wildflower garden, as well as history about boating life on Lower Lake in the early to mid-20th century. The City has collaborated through a special activities permit and the Tree Advisory Board.  They have identified white oaks to mark Moses Cleaveland Trees that existed when he arrived in 1796.    

Ms. Moore adjourned the meeting at 9:04 a.m.

Annette Tucker Sutherland

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