Minutes of Green’s Farms Association Board Meeting June 9, 2020.
Meeting held via ZOOM due to COVID-19 and need to observe social distancing.
Members participating: Art Schoeller, Lois Sussman ,Norman Kramer, Judy Swann, Matt Spiegel and MaryAnn Meyer
RTM members Karen Kramer and Dick Lowenstein also attended.
Tribute to Bob Scholl.
Art opened the meeting and reflected on the recent passing of Bob Scholl, a long time member of the Board and our legal advisor. Bob brought an historical perspective to many of our discussions and he will certainly be missed. Art remarked that Bob was associated with the Board from the beginning. He was a great coach to Art and was always available to offer his advice and added value on so many topics and issues that faced the Board.
Lois mentioned that she knew Bob since the beginning of the GF Association. He was also a good friend of her husband and family. Always a perfect gentleman, he was such a pleasure to work with.
Dick knew Bob throughout the years and commended the value Bob added to the Board. Bob always provided the back story as well as how, why and where of the changes in Green’s Farms throughout the years.
Norman and Karen Kramer added how Bob was a wealth of knowledge and how willing he was to share it with the Board. Always on point when he spoke about an issue, Bob was the perfect person to be on the GF Board.
Judy and Matt knew Bob from their participation on the Board and agreed that he always provided great advice.
MaryAnn mentioned how kind Bob was and the interest he took in reach Board member. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge and the value he contributed to the Board on difficult issues was immense. His perspective provided healthy discussions and was always welcomed.
Art briefly reviewed the Annual Meeting (conducted via ZOOM). Members commented how much they enjoyed our guest speaker ,Danielle Dobin Chairman of the P&Z. She addressed many issues regarding affordable housing and those proposed in the Green’s Farms area.
The current officers of the Board are reappointed for the following year. Art Schoeller, President, Norman Kramer, Vice President, Birthe Shwisha, Treasurer, and MaryAnn Meyer, Secretary.
Mailing postcards out to the Green Farm’s residents for our Annual Meeting this year replaced stuffing envelopes and mailing the newsletter due to the COVID-19 virus. This method provided a saving from previous mailings. Membership renewals may be lower as in past years.
The Board discussed ways to increase membership renewals by sending out and email with the minutes of the Annual meeting and request for dues.
Those without email addresses could be called (MaryAnn volunteered) and request members to mail in their dues. Follow up with mailing out a membership request to those without an email address.
Dick suggested that GF Association could consider setting up a table at the GF School on Election Day to request membership renewals.
Open space was our next topic as the Kowalsky Property has been sold and individual homes will be built. Mark Friedman RTM member is investigating open space in Westport. Art would like to invite him to our next meeting to explore the possibility of open space at the Kowalsky Property. The parcel has already gone through Conservation and wetlands have been redrawn. The Board thought it was a great idea to save some open space in that area of Green’s Farms. The wetlands are excluded from the building lots that have been proposed.
Dick brought up the latest proposal of affordable housing in Green’s Farms. He suggested that the Board consider supporting the proposed plan to use some of the land now used by the State DOT (West Parish and Route 1).
P&Z Chair Danielle Dobin and First Selectman Jim Marpe are still in discussion with the State DOT to acquire approximately 4 acres of land at the DOT Garage at West Parish and Route 1. The Town would build affordable housing on 4 acres of land with the remaining land available to the DOT to use. Dick mentioned that neighbors Lory Nurenberg and Frank Hall(#5 West Parish) and Elizabeth Rubridge (#18 West Parish) are in favor of the project. Lory Nurenberg has also filed a blight complaint with the Town regarding the condition of the area.
Discussion on the affordable housing proposal at West Parish/Route 1 by the Board brought up several concerns.
Added density for that location as well as concern about sharing the land with the DOT may not be ideal with truck traffic and lights remaining on throughout the night. The Board will have further discussion on size and design of the proposed housing once more information becomes available.
Art suggested inviting Danielle Dobin to our next meeting to learn how far along they are with the discussions with the State.
Next Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 14th via ZOOM