Dean Park Historic District, Inc.

Board Meeting – January 30, 2019

7 pm, 1535 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers


Present:          Caitie Eck, Sheila Pastor, Ann Martindale, Artis Henderson, Terry Leary, Michelle Nugent

Absent:          Donna Ellswick, Brad McGrath

Guests:           Erik Schaum

  1. Call to Order & President’s Remarks (Caitie Eck).  “Welcome to the first board meeting of 2019.”
  2. Approval of Minutes – December 5, 2018.  Ann will resend these for approval at next meeting.
  3. Treasurer’s Report (Ann Martindale).  “Our money is slowly going away. If we didn’t have the house tour, we’d be crying right now.” Donations are very low. Only six at this point vs. 20 at this time last year. Our expenses have been high, especially with the holiday decorations being so pricey.
    1. Account balances to date:  Checking account – $1,524.73, savings account – $7,782.79, PayPal account – $448.63.  TOTAL CASH TODAY – $9,756.15.
    2. Fundraising results for fiscal year (Sept. 1, 2018 – Aug. 31, 2019) to date:  Six donations totaling $300 were received.
    3. Expenses for 2018-2019 fiscal year to date: $3,046.81.  “We had the lawn party in there, we had the progressive dinner in there.” (Ann).  “We were having a good time.” (Michelle).  Storage Locker – $44/month.  Alternatives to this monthly cost were discussed, including putting the holiday decorations on someone’s property? Gillian offered her attic, Caitie said maybe in her garage, Artis said maybe her shed until Caitie’s garage is ready.
    4. Adoption of 2018-2019 budget; moved by Sheila and seconded by Michelle.  The proposed budget was approved, and a copy of the approved budget is attached to these minutes.
    5. Annual filings.  Ann reported that all required annual filings have been completed, with the exception of fiing the IRS e-Postcard Form 990-N, which will be filed shortly.
  4. Report on Historic Preservation Commission (Brad McGrath)
    1. Historic District Design Guidelines – Jan. 24, 2019.  In Brad’s absence, Ann advised that the public hearing on the new guidelines is scheduled for January 31, at 4:30. New guidelines include lawns in style of the neighborhood and suggestions on historic colors. Ann and Caitie said they would speak at the public hearing.
  5. Old Business
    1. Status of Warehouse Property at 2801 Michigan Avenue (Paul Barnett-absent).  Ann said she spoke to Paul, and he said he hasn’t spoken to his usual people in the tribe. But rumor is that the tribe has gotten two offers to use the space as warehouses—one from Lee County Public Schools and the other from Lee Health, the hospital system. Once the PUD expires, the warehouses could be rezoned (Ann). Ann will check the expiration date on the PUD. “If the PUD is expired, we’d have the chance to go in and say it’s an inappropriate use for the space.”
    2. Status of Amendments to Fort Myers Land Development Code (Ann).  City Council public hearings on Downtown Smart Code are set for Jan. 22 and Feb 4.  Ann went to the first public hearing on Jan. 22, and she says people are pretty much worn out on this issue.  She said she discussed four issues at the hearing:  1) insufficient setbacks next to residential neighborhoods, 2) buildings that can be 12-15 stories in the downtown historic district, 3) new buildings downtown with no onsite parking requiring, 4) the fact that all these buildings go through administrative channels but there’s no public hearing unless there’s a PUD. Ann will go to the next meeting on Feb. 4.
    3. Status of Billie’s Creek pollution issue.  The consensus was to let Calusa Waterkeepers take the lead on this issue, and it will be removed from future Dean Park agendas.
    4. Status of website (Ann).  “Nothing to say.”
    5. Status of Nextdoor Dean Park (Caitie). “Nothing to say.”
  6.  New Business
    1. Dean Park Events for 2018-2019 (Artis Henderson).
      1. Koreshan Lecture – Feb. 15 — Ann’s house:  Artis will send out an evite on Feb. 1. Ann can seat 25 people, and she will provide cookies and lemonade.
      2. Spring Clean-up – March 16 – Barry at the Triangle Touch base with Barry to confirm.
      3. BBQ & Blues – April 13 – Donna’s House
    2. Formation of Help Squad – community maintenance issues.  The consensus is to table the Help Squad for now. Maybe on the day of the spring clean-up we can offer extra help to yards that need a little maintenance.
    3. House Tour 2020 (Sheila Pastor).  Sheila suggests an email to have an initial meeting to gather people interested in participating in the house tour—by selling ads, by having their house on the tour, by volunteering. We’ll aim for no less than six houses, perhaps seven or eight to spread out the number of people who come.
    4. 100th Anniversary Committee.  Caitie, Sheila, Michelle, Artis, Ann and Terry agreed to serve on this committee. (See House Tour notes.)
    5. Bylaw Amendment for Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer (Ann).  No action.
    6. Other community initiatives and/or fund-raising projects.  No discussion.
    7. First and Second Streets – two-way status (Michelle Nugent).  “It’s good and bad for us” (Michelle). We need to get hold of Johnny Streets and let him know that we need to be involved in this. After season, this is supposed to take place. It will involve three phases. Discussion about whether they’ll turn the dirt pit on Seaboard into a park. “This is something we should start thinking about. What do we want to do for our neighborhood?” (Michelle).
  7.  Adjournment