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Minutes from Sunday’s Special Meeting - Voting on the Parking Lot Offer

At Sunday’s Special Meeting, on September 17, 2017, 65 members voted, more than twice the required quorum, and several additional non-members attended. But since not everyone could attend please see the Minutes as recorded by Dani Skrzypek and edited and approved by board members.

The link to the document is below and it is also avaialable in our Documents section of the UUSP website (uustpete.org) under Get Involved.

 Parking Lot Vote Minutes

 

Paul Burnore, President

Board of Trustees

 

Posted on September 21, 2017, at 2:20pm

IMPORTANT UUSP Congregational Vote - Results and Next Steps:

UUSP held a Special Meeting on Sept. 17, 2017, to vote on the parking lot question: 

“Does the Congregation approve the Board of Directors accepting WJA's Letter of Intent, and proceed with formal negotiations to enter into a contract, consistent with the Letter of Intent, for the Church to sell Lot 1 to WJA for development, and have WJA create an appropriate paved parking lot on Lots 2 and 3?”

The 65 people who voted in person were more than double the quorum required by our bylaws.  It resulted in 58 for, 6 against, 1 abstention – about 90% in support of the sale.  This result tracks closely with the straw poll results in the weeks before, from members inside and outside the Tampa Bay area: 55 for, 6 against, 2 undecided – about 87%.  The Board’s straw poll in August was 4 for, 1 against, 2 abstentions. This consensus puts the Board in a very strong position as we negotiate a contract.

During the past year the Board tried to use an open and inclusive process with the congregation, and to publish whatever was discovered in our search for relevant information, whether by board members or others. Most members feel that they were included and their concerns heard.

Next steps: The Board and UUSP lawyer Chuck Hinton will be working out the exact terms of the contract with WJA in the coming month and will keep the congregation informed as completely as possible. In contract negotiations we will include the concerns expressed by those opposed to the sale. WJA has previously been very responsive.

I want to acknowledge that grappling with this lengthy, complicated issue has often been confusing, difficult and emotional for all of us.  We’ve argued and debated for over a year. However, this congregation has been impressive in respecting others’ opinions in Town Halls and Google group posts and roundtable discussions.  I’m proud of all of us for adhering to our UU principles of respect for the individual and using the democratic process.   

Thank you UUSP! This bodes well for continuing to grow in our covenant with each other.

Board of Trustees

Contact: Paul Burnore
Posted on September 18, 2017, at 8:39pm

Parking Lot Vote Delayed until September 17 - What Else Can Happen!?

Because of the approach of Hurricane Irma and the fact that many of our members are leaving town, I’ve asked WJA if they’d agree to another delay in our church vote. They said of course they agree.  So in order to comply with our bylaws which state that a 10-day notice is required for a special meeting, which I confirmed with our attorney Chuck Hinton, I’m announcing this today: our new vote date is Sunday, September 17. I’m assuming that more of our members will be present for the vote.

 

Paul Burnore, President

Board of Trustees

Posted on September 6, 2017, at 11:46pm

PARKING LOT UPDATE – NEW INFORMATION AND OUR STRAW POLL


PARKING LOT UPDATE – NEW INFORMATION AND OUR STRAW POLL (September 4, 2017)

 As most of you know, during the last year we have regularly updated and published any new information regarding the parking lot and the proposal to sell one of its three subsections. This was the case last week when we learned and immediately published some new information on September 1 in our InfoNet, FAQs and Pros/Cons. 

The straw poll that the Board has been running was scheduled to end on August 31, which was just before the September 1 updates. We’ve received around 50 responses. The Board promised to share the results and all the comments of the straw poll so that as many voices as possible could be heard before the September 10 vote. We want to honor that promise. However the straw poll voters didn’t have the latest information when they voted in good faith, and the new information could influence those on the fence or change some votes either way.

 Here’s our proposed solution:  

(1) We encourage everyone to read the new information (provided previously on InfoNet, FAQs and Pros/Cons - and again below). 

(2) Any member who has already submitted their straw vote and comments can change their vote and comments by end of day Thursday, September 7 if they want to. Just call or send an email to any board member.

(3) Those who don’t wish to change their vote will not have to do anything.

(4) We’ll publish the results and comments from the straw poll, as promised, on Friday, September 8, before Sunday’s Special Meeting.

Here’s the new information announced September 1:

The new news is that Reggie and Paul, having received new information from UUSP member Jan Jee Bean about City code requirements for parking lots such as ours, went to the City Compliance Office and met with Elizabeth Abernethy and Corey Malyszka with a number of questions. Also, Laurie Clement investigated alternatives to asphalt paving with Carlos Frey of the City Environmental Department and Jason Jensen of WJA. We learned about additional options for treating our parking lot. 

Here’s a summary of what we learned:
Parking will be allowed on the current grass lots after April 2, 2019 if the lots are brought up to code, meaning: perimeter hedge, shade trees along the sides, wheel stops and handicapped spaces. Paving is not required.  Reggie estimates the cost would be about $10,000 to meet the code and $40,000-50,000 to make the parking area as safe and secure as we would want for UUSP members and anyone else parking in the lot.

City code allows paving with permeable block or pavers rather than asphalt.  WJA agrees to use one of those preferred options. Such permeable paving does not require a vault retention system (underground filtering system) and is understood to drain the surface better than our grass and gravel lot does now. Environmentally friendly ground drainage is required for parcels # 2 & 3, our current parking area, if a building is built on Parcel 1 as WJA proposes. The cost of upgrading the parking area in this way is estimated to be $150,000-180,000 and will be paid for by WJA as part of its proposal.

UUSP’s current parking lot has 3 parcels which measure about 21,000 SF, with parcel # 1 fronting Mirror Lake Drive at about 7,000 SF and parcels # 2 & 3, where most of our current parking is, at about 14,000 SF.  If UUSP does not sell parcel #1 to WJA, city code allows paving up to 3,000 SF and two required handicap parking spaces without environmental drainage. Code requires that paving over 3,000 SF must be designed by a civil engineer to handle storm water, which is standard procedure, with permeable pavers understood to be the best option.

Also as new information has been gathered, the Board has added an additional Pro and Con regarding urban-redevelopment: 

Pro: Infill development (filling in gaps on a street’s frontage with shops, offices, and residences) attracts more people, increases the appeal, safety and vitality of the neighborhood, reduces pressure for urban sprawl, and reduces the need for transportation, water/sewer, and police.

 

Con: It reduces the opportunity to establish and maintain a natural landscape with its benefits for air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and personal rejuvenation.

 

Please see our newly updated FAQs and Pros/Cons Documents.  Clickable links are noted below, and they are also on our website under the “Get Involved” tab, then "Documents."

Frequently Asked Questions v8

Parking Lots Pros/Cons v3

 

Posted on September 4, 2017, at 6:55pm

Parking Lot Update for September 1, 2017


We are a little more than a week away from our September 10 vote. Parking Lot Central will be open as usual after the Sunday service for questions and your thoughts. 

 

Our UU pro bono attorney Chuck Hinton is making certain that we strictly follow our UUSP bylaws, that we follow Robert’s Rules of order, and that known legal issues have or will be addressed to get the best possible solution for UUSP. Mr. Hinton is carefully drafting the vote question, which will read something like this:

 

"Does the Congregation approve the Board of Directors accepting WJA's Letter of Intent, and proceed with formal negotiations to enter into a contract, consistent with the Letter of Intent, for the Church to sell Lot 1 to WJA for development, and have WJA create an appropriate paved parking lot on Lots 2 and 3."

 

The Letter of Intent (LOI) has been available in our website’s “documents” since June 11.  The LOI is not a contract, is non-binding, and a general offer with details to be negotiated.

Here’s the link to the LOI:  Letter of Intent 6/7/2017

 

The new news is that Reggie and Paul went to the City compliance office and met with Elizabeth Abernethy and Corey Malyszka with a number of questions. Laurie Clement investigated alternatives to asphalt paving with Carlos Frey of the city environmental department and Jason Jensen. We learned about additional options for treating our parking lot. Here’s a summary of what we learned:
 

Preferable options to asphalt paving are permeable block or pavers.  Permeable pavers with bio swale would be a much more attractive and environmentally sensitive way to go.  Also they do not require a vault retention system.  They actually will drain the surface better than our grass and gravel lot does now.

 

Environmentally friendly ground drainage is required for Parcels 2 & 3 if a building is built on Parcel 1. This requirement would apply to the WJA offer, which they have offered to provide to UUSP for free. 
 

Parking will be allowed on the current grass lots after April 2, 2019 if the lots are brought up to code, meaning: perimeter hedge, shade trees along the sides, wheel stops and handicapped spaces. Paving is not required.

Paving of less than 3,000 SF does not require expensive environmental drainage. 3,000 SF would be 1/7 of the total 21,000 SF area. Two required handicap spaces are exempt from being included in the 3,000 SF area. Paving over 3,000 sq. ft. must be designed to handle storm water by a civil engineer, which is standard procedure. Permeable pavers are the best option.

 

The Board has provided an additional Pro and Con regarding urban-redevelopment: 

Pro: Infill development (filling in gaps on a street's frontage with shops, offices, and residences) attracts more people, increases the appeal, safety and vitality of the neighborhood, reduces pressure for urban sprawl, and reduces the need for transportation, water/sewer, and police.
 

Con: It reduces the opportunity to establish and maintain a natural landscape with its benefits for air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and personal rejuvenation.

 

Please see our newly updated FAQs and Pros/Cons Documents.  Clickable links are noted below and they are out on the website under the Get Involved tab, then Documents 

Frequently Asked Questions v8

Parking Lot Pros/Cons v3

 

The Board of Trustees
 

 

Posted on September 1, 2017, at 4:43pm

Board of Trustees Meeting

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Conway Middle Room

BoT meetings on the second Thursday of every month. 

Contact: Paul Burnore
Posted on July 29, 2017, at 9:51am

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