PALM SPRINGS NEIGHBORHOOD INVOLVEMENT
13 MARCH 2008
Chair John Williams called the meeting to order at 8:39am. The following were noted present or absent.
Araby Cove Movie Colony
Patrick Jordan (Rep) - Present Dick Mandell (Rep) - Present
Linda Ragin (Alt) - Absent Arlene Battishill (Alt) - Absent
Baristo Old Las Palmas
David Carden (Rep) - Present John Williams (Rep) - Present
Gary Wilson (Alt) - Absent Doug Donenfeld (Alt) - Present
Chino Canyon Racquet Club West
Dean Carlson (Rep) - Present Joy Smith (Rep) - Present
Open (Alt)- Don Soja (Alt) - Present
Deepwell Estates Ruth Hardy Park
James Lundin (Rep) - Present Jim Franklin (Rep) - Absent
Diane Ross (Alt) - Present Bill Markley (Alt) - Present
Desert Highlands Estates Sunmor
Angie Patrick (Rep)- Absent Bob Mahlowitz (Rep) - Present
Open (Alt)- Ernie Etheridge (Alt) - Present
Desert Park Estates Sunrise Vista Chino
Dave Shelep (Rep)- Present Paula Auburn (Rep) - Absent
Dana Stewart (Alt)- Absent Thomas Van Etten (Alt) - Present
El Mirador Tahquitz River Estates
Ron Siegel (Rep) - Present Paul Crippan (Rep) - Present
Roxann Ploss (Alt) - Present Jay Gustafson (Alt) - Absent
Historic Tennis Club Vista Las Palmas
Gene Dippel (Rep)- Present Sheila Cobrin (Rep) - Present
Sven Holm (Alt)- Present Mike Marler (Alt) - Absent
The Mesa Warm Sands
Tom DeWitt (Rep) - Present Catherine Marcy (Rep) - Absent
Rosemarie Vacano (Alt) - Absent Bill Post (Alt) - Present
DeMuth Park The City of Palm Springs
Robert Stone - Present Lee Husfeldt - Present
Carol Haskell - Present
Escena Others Present in the Audience
Daryl Zacharko - Absent Cora Crawford - Desert Highlands
Mountain Gate Joe Ann Crawford - Desert Highlands
Richard Gieson - Absent Nick Chicola - Deepwell Estates
Racquet Club Estates Armando Rancano - Deepwell Estates
Timm Fryman - Absent Manny Montoya - Racquet Club West
Diane McMillan - Absent G.P. Gerber - Racquet Club West
Racquet Club South April Hildner - Warm Sands
Aileen Fields - Absent Freda Jorgensen - Araby Cove
HOA Presidents' Council Barbara Marshall - Sunmor
Sharon Lock (Rep) - Absent Pamela Hayes - The Mesa
Vic Gainer (Alt) - Present Kurt Haggstrom - Plaza Racquet Club
Stefanie Frith - The Desert Sun
1. Welcome Tammy Perezchica, Palm Springs Downtown Administrator
John welcomed Tammy Perezchica, Palm Springs Downtown Administrator. Tammy has lived here 35 years and in 6 different neighborhoods. She has a 30 page plan to revitalize downtown.
One of Tammy's goals is to get to know the neighborhoods better. Better communication with the neighborhoods will get residents downtown. She would like to achieve this by September.
She is an advocate for entertainment downtown. She says, "It's the experience that brings people downtown." Entertainment will be available on Saturdays from 10am - 2pm.
John Williams suggested NOrgs could help support downtown by sharing upcoming events with their members via email. He said, "PSNIC does represent some 6,000 plus residences."
Joy Smith asked about negative television reports of "closed businesses" downtown. Tammy will counter this with her own press releases. The recent article about Saturday entertainment downtown was used as an example.
Doug Donenfeld asked if Tammy would go around personally and meet the merchants? She said she has a plan to go door to door and meet them. A postcard with her contact information has already been sent to each merchant.
Bob Mahlowitz asked if there would be a study to determine if the rent in our downtown was higher than in the rest of the valley? Yes, Tammy will study this.
The plan will be available online and at City Hall.
2. Public Comments - 2 Minutes Each
Kurt Haggstrom - Tennis Director, Plaza Racquet Club. Kurt spoke in favor of renewing a two-year lease for the Plaza Racquet Club. Kurt said they have over 300 members, host 6,000 visitors and are the only facility in Palm Springs to allow hotel guests. Sheila Cobrin also spoke in favor of extending or renewing the lease.
Nick Chicola - Nick spoke about his approach in assessing the need for a second Vice Chair position before the PSNIC election in December. He was also in favor of equal voting privileges for Alternates at PSNIC meetings. In January, the President of the DENO board replaced him. The email he sent to committee members is included for the record (Addendum A). He will continue to support the ONI effort as a committee volunteer, as well as represent his neighborhood as an advocate for the personal and property rights of people living in open neighborhoods.
Vic Gainer - Thanked John Williams and Sheila Cobrin for speaking at the last HOA Presidents' Council meeting. He also thanked PSNIC for supporting his efforts with the Desert Water Authority and water conservation.
3. Review and Approval of February Minutes
Sheila made a motion to approve the minutes of our February 14th meeting. Dick Mandell seconded it. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
4. Welcome - ARABY COVE NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION
John welcomed Patrick Jordan and Freda Jorgensen from Araby Cove, our 16th Neighborhood Organization. Patrick is the neighborhood's representative and Linda Ragin, not in attendance, is the alternate.
5. Report from Lee Husfeldt
Lee introduced Tom DeWitt and Pamela Hays from the Mesa. Their proposed boundary map was distributed (Addendum B).
John made and David Carden seconded a motion to approve these boundaries. The motion passed with a unanimous vote. PSNIC has gained its 17th Neighborhood Organization.
Lee also reported progress with DeMuth Park, Racquet Club West and South. She said, "We are working toward our goal of 22 Neighborhood Organizations."
6. Presentation of Crime and Safety Survey - Nick
This is a two-year study that has been completed by Nick. His first goal was to identify primary concerns in the neighborhood.
In first year the primary concern was burglary, traffic and lighting. In the second year traffic become the top concern followed by burglary and then lighting.
Nick says Palm Spring has the highest incidence of burglary in the valley. He feels neighborhood watch needs to be revamped.
Nick passed out the PSNIC/Neighborhood Crime and Safety Survey (Addendum C).
The first question asks about voter registration. Nick explained that he would like to present this to elected officials and let them know voters are responding to his survey.
Ron Siegel wanted more specific information about crime.
Roxann Ploss asked how car break-ins could be included in this survey. The primary focus of this survey is burglary. Nick suggested that people use the "biggest threat" section of the survey to describe non-burglary related crime.
Bob didn't like rating Law Enforcement with only three choices. Roxann explained a Thompson's scale was not better because people will flip the meaning of the high or low value.
Some didn't like the idea of the address being included on the survey. Nick said it's optional. He was only looking for the street name. Having this information would make it easier to identify the two or three problem streets in your neighborhood.
Sven likes the idea of getting this information and suggested we support it. John suggested the crime survey go to the Crime and Safety subcommittee for their comments.
7. Code Enforcement Committee Report - Ron
-Vacation Rental Ordinance
The subcommittee met after the last PSNIC meeting to review the latest version of the Vacation Rental Ordinance (VRO). The subcommittee's view of the ordinance was evenly split between "extremely disappointed" and "acceptable." They decided to accept the VRO with minor changes. One changed noted by Ron was the notification of neighbors. They would like the word "promptly" be replaced with "within one hour."
There was some disagreement about the rental agencies support of this ordinance. Ron reported the agencies still don't like VRO and are meeting with Doug Holland, City Attorney. Ron felt the opinion at the meeting was that they didn't want to add anything that would loose agency support.
Fines were discussed. The VRO would attach fines to the owner not the agency. The idea is if the owner gets fined several times they may push the agency to find better tenants. The owner might also change agencies.
One important part is transparency of the citations. Ron doesn't want the city to keep violations a secret because PSNIC wouldn't know if the ordinance was working.
There was some disagreement on "event" or "party houses." They are technically not permitted by current law now and will be taken out of VRO. Dick is concerned about taking "event houses" out of the ordinance. Ron reports the plan is to make an addendum to the VRO that would address "event houses."
The immediate goal is to get this ordinance on the books. John wants a final draft by our April meeting.
8. Outreach and Education Committee - Catherine and Bob
-Bylaw changes to establish second Vice Chair position
Bylaws changes, draft of March 7, 2008, were emailed to the group prior to the meeting (Addendum D). Bob discussed the proposed bylaw changes. "ONI" was changed to "PSNIC" throughout the document.
These proposed changes will also specify two Vice Chair positions and exclude the "meeting with department heads" section.
There was some discussion about the tasks each Vice Chair would complete. Jim Lundin saw little difference between the Vice Chair positions. April Hildner felt we needed one Vice Chair for support of established NOrgs and one Vice Chair for growth into new neighborhoods. Roxann didn't think we needed a seconded vice chair rather more work on committees was needed.
Bob and Jim both agreed the Organization Building Task Force should fall under Neighborhood Support. There was agreement on this.
Bob moved and Sheila seconded a motion to adopt the proposed bylaws. The motion passed with more than 2/3 of all eligible NOrgs voting in favor. There were 12 yeas, 3 nays, and 2 abstentions.
-PSNIC Picnic - Sheila
Sheila distributed the invitation to the PSNIC Picnic (Addendum E). Sheila reported that Council member Ginny Foat would be attending. There will be animal chipping available for a fee. Roxann has been working with Desert Water Agency for participation. Manny Montoya has been working with Fire and Police Departments. The Police Chief, David Dominguez and his family will be there. Palm Springs Disposal Services will be explaining single stream re-cycling. The Library will be issuing library cards and will hold a book sale. There will also be a bake sale and committee members enjoyed some samples of baked goods made with dates. The picnic will begin at 11:00am and end at 2:00pm.
There was some discussion about how much of the budget will be used for this event.
The estimate is that half of our remaining budget will be spent.
Notification of this event will be shared through the web site, the Palm Springs Sun newspaper, and through the NOrgs. The committee is expecting 300 people.
Roxann complimented Joe Ann Crawford and Cora Crawford of Desert Highlands for their picnic held over the Spring/Summer 2007. The Picnic Committee took several good ideas from that event.
John motioned and Paul Crippan seconded a motion to approve $4,000 for the picnic. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
-Website development and changes
The City is investigating a web site and design that will wrap all of its web sites into one. Lee will report on the City's plans once they are realized. PSNIC would then decide whether to go with the City's website or stand-alone.
Bob has been working on a free online communication and archive application.
9. Neighborhood Character Committee - Roxann
-Neighborhood blade signs update
The committee came up with parameters for neighborhoods when designing their blade signs (Addendum F). Some neighborhoods will be adding the word "neighborhood" to differentiate between the street name and the neighborhood name.
Nine neighborhoods have already signed on to the idea and are working on their blades.
The template will be the same for every neighborhood. Color, font and logo are up to the neighborhood organizations.
A color choice and cost sheet was distributed (Addendum G).
We were also reminded to include a map of our neighborhood to show where the signs are to be placed.
The blade sign idea has to be approved by City Council. John said we've selected El Mirador because they are most prepared to get this through council. Let's see how council reacts and then use the approved model for the rest of the NOrgs.
-Sunmor monument sign update
Roxann felt the City has been responsive to the Sunmor monument sign.
10. Crime and Safety Committee - Sven and Jim
Crime and Safety minutes from the January meeting will be sent to Lee to distribute.
11. Financial Committee Report - Jim
No one showed up for the last meeting. The next meeting will be the first Monday in April.
12. Ecology Committee Report
This committee will have a presence at the picnic. Sheila contacted Southern California Edison and The Gas Company for giveaways and handouts. Dana Stewart will get a solar company involved. Roxann will meet with Desert Water Agency for participation.
13. Organization Building Task Force (formerly Sustainability Task Force) - Gene
Gene handed out notes from their last meeting (Addendum H). The next meeting will be Wednesday, March 19th, 10am at City Hall. Gene agrees that this task force will evolve into a more permanent thing since many NOrgs are having sustainability issues.
14. Other Items
-The Palm Springs Sun - Sheila
Sheila commented on the delivery of the Palm Springs Sun. She has been calling them since Nov. 2007 in an effort to stop delivery of this free paper. Vista Las Palmas does not want them in their neighborhood. It signals to people, "we're not home," when the newspaper remains in front of a vacant house. She has talked with Editor William Dean, Greg Castro and City Council.
It was suggested PSNIC invite the circulation manager to the next meeting. It was also suggested by Dave Shelep to collect unwanted Sun newspapers and have them at the next meeting as a visual display.
-March 23rd - Vista Las Palmas Garden Walk - Sheila - Six homes will participate. 11am - 2pm. They will meet at first house and get a map of the others.
-March 29th - Deepwell "Behind the Walls" walk - Six homes will participate.
The first house is on the invitation (Addendum I). This is the 6th Annual Garden Walk for Deepwell Estates.
-April 19th - PSNIC Garden Walk - John and Lee. Horticultural Society has been hosting garden walks for three years. Their next walk will be April 20th. Their homes will be open and they have notices of what plants are featured.
The committee thought it might be a good idea to team up with the Horticultural Society on this. The committee also suggested we have Lush & Efficient gardening books available as gifts or prizes at the end of the walk.
-May10th - PSNIC Picnic at Ruth Hardy Park - Lee
-Stadium Youth Concerts - David
David passed out the Baristo Neighborhood Organization's position paper regarding Youth Concerts at the Palm Springs Stadium (Addendum J). There was discussion about whether or not to support this. At the last meeting PSNIC members supported the idea however we were concerned about overflow parking, noise, trash and litter. It was also important to have a trial period for 6 months. A suggestion was made to invite Sharon Heider, Director of Park and Recreation back once this proposal had more detail.
-Plaza Tennis Club Lease - David
Baristo's position paper on the Plaza Tennis Club lease was distributed (Addendum K).
Suggestion was made to invite John Raymond, Director of Community and Economic Development, to discuss this issue.
Baristo has concerns because this property was in "ill repair" when the building was vacant. David reports the current tenant does a good job taking care of the property.
-CERT Training, Civilian Police Academy, COP Volunteers - Dick - not discussed.
-Liability Issues - PSNIC - Dick - not discussed.
-Ruth Hardy Park lighting - Dick - not discussed.
Gene made and Joy seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting. All voted to adjourn at 11:02am.
Summary of Action Items
Email Lee January minutes of the Crime and Safety Subcommittee meeting.
Crime and Safety Committee
Review new Crime Survey.
Next meeting will be Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 8:30am in the Large Conference Room at City Hall.