Minutes POA Executive Board Meeting January 4th, 2021 (Approved)

Executive Board of the Pine Orchard Association

January 4, 2021

At the call of the President, the meeting of the Executive Board of the Pine Orchard Association was conducted via the Zoom videoconferencing Application.

Board members present:  Robin Sandler, Robert Dahill, Dick Greenalch, Peggy Haering,  Linda Sachs, Len Farber, Seth Hershman, Bruce Calderone, Peg Taylor, Mark Law, Ray Seligson.

Absent:  Joe Thomas

Agenda Item 1.      The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

Agenda Item 2.       Upon motion and second the of Minutes of the Sept 14, 2020 Executive Board Meeting were approved.

Agenda Item 3.     Communications:

A. Branford Police Chief Jonathan Mulhern and Deputy Chief John Alves attended the meeting update the community on vehicle security.  Chief Mulhern said that Connecticut leads the Northeast on the number of cars stolen.  Branford is not an outlier.  Last year 36 vehicles were stolen, and it is anticipated that 69-70 will be stolen this year.  Most of the thefts occur in the overnight hours, and 98% of the vehicles stolen had keys in them.  Chief Mulhern warned that people need to change their ways.  He characterized the vehicle thefts as crimes of opportunity, with low probability of arrest.  Many of the perpetrators are juveniles.  The police arrested one juvenile who was found to have at least 25 stolen car cases.  Police are prohibited from chasing stolen vehicles.  Chief Mulhern warned that if you see someone entering your car call the police; do not confront them.  

B. RTM member Tom Brockett updated the POA on pending projects before the Branford RTM.  These include working on a blight ordinance and addressing environmental concerns about the Atlantic Wharf project at Meadow and Montowese Streets.  The RTM has directed the property owner to cover the debris piles on the site.  There is pending litigation and the court has given the parties additional time to settle their disputes. Otherwise, the case will go to trial in July.  Tom stated that the Limewood Avenue sea wall repairs will be delayed due to a requirement to update the design.  The State has allocated some funding for review and planning of State Route 146 as it runs through Branford and Guilford. The Route 146 study will not address sidewalks or cross walks.    

Agenda Item 4.     There is a vacancy for an alternate position on the ZBA.  Vining Bigelow has volunteered to serve.  Upon motion and second, the Board voted to approve Vining’s appointment as an Alternate.

Agenda Item 5    Treasurer’s Report Linda Sachs presented her report.  Tax collections are at 100%, and the number of building permits for the year has increased. The POA’s budget for the year is on track.  There are no new bills for shorefront or maintenance. Robin Sandler asked whether Linda had any concerns about the office budget; Linda responded that there had been expenditures for new computer equipment, but said she had no concerns.  Bob Dahill asked all committee heads to submit information about projected expenses so that we could work on a long-term budget for the Association.

Agenda Item 6.    Committee reports:

  1. By-Laws (M. Law, R Seligson) Mark said that he and Ray had reviewed the By-Laws and have proposed modifications on a process for breaking tie votes and addressing conflicts of interest.

B.    Nominating (R Sandler) Robin reported that there will be 4 vacancies on the Board at the next Annual Meeting. Robin will be leaving the board due to term limits.  He will research what effect a Board member’s serving a partial term will have on term limits.  At the March meeting we will form a committee to review nominations.

C.    Municipal /Community Liaison (B. Calderone, S. Hersham) Bruce reported that the cost of moving ahead with the sidewalk project would be substantial and we need to get some commitment from the Town of Branford for support.  The cost of the project is too high for us to go it alone.  Bruce and Seth will work on a game plan. We also need to decide what the next step would be if we installed a first section of sidewalk from Triangle Park to Mirror Lake.

D.    Long Range Planning (L. Sachs) The goal is to provide a cushion in the event that costs increase.  Linda and the President encouraged the committee chairs to provide input.

E.    Waterfront: Maintenance & Access (R Sandler) Robin reported that repairs were made to the access point on Island View Avenue.  The stairs on Spring Rock Road are finished and the railing will be installed this weekend.  We are still attempting to resolve the Crescent Bluff litigation.

F.     Building Maintenance (J Thomas, S Hersham) Seth reported that the driveway status will be reassessed in the spring.  We have a quote for outdoor lighting at the front of the headquarters building.  The installation of lighting for the parking lot will take place in the spring.

G.    Zoning / Chapel Liaison (D. Greenalch) Dick reported that the Board decided to move ahead with consideration of an amendment of the Zoning Ordinance to be presented at the March meeting.  Barbara Colley updated the Board on the progress of the Pine Orchard Chapel restoration.  She said that the concrete has been poured and all excavation has been completed.  The structure will be lowered onto its new supports by January 15. 

H.    Tax Collector (L. Farber) Len reported that all taxes had been collected with the exception of about $300 outstanding.

  1. Beautification (P. Taylor, B. Dahill) -Bob Dahill reported that the Art in the Park project is still under review.  We have approval to work with BACA; however, there are special insurance requirements for such installations, and we need to find affordable coverage.

J.     Municipal Liaison – Bruce Caldarone and Seth Hershman discussed the Route 146 Corridor Study SCRCOG and sidewalks

Agenda Item 7.     To receive and schedule for public hearing a proposed amendment to the Pine Orchard Association Zoning Ordinance to allow patios within the property set back lines.  Public hearing to be held on March 1, 2021.

Agenda Item 8. New Business: POA Boat Mooring Discussion.  Bob Dahill reviewed the history of the POA’s moorings near the breakwater at the end of Island View Avenue.  He said that the area had not been dredged for years and it is difficult to use the breakwater to get to the moorings.  Bob recommended that the Association cease offering moorings.

Agenda Item 9.  Office Manager’s Report – Peter Robinson reported that he has been arranging for installation of the lights on the front of the Headquarters Building.  In the past month he delivered documents responsive to a Freedom of Information request from Rich Colbert concerning last year’s election during the Annual Meeting.  He has been working  on the Budget analysis, creating a procedures manual, and assisting the ZBA update.

Agenda Item 10. Adjournment.  Upon motion and second the meeting was adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

Note: Remaining Meetings  –

Monday, March 1, 2021,

Monday, May 3, 2021,

POA Annual Meeting, Monday July 5, 2021

All future meetings will be held at 7:00 PM at the Pine Orchard Association office,

180 Pine Orchard Rd or by the ZOOM application

Documents received:

Treasurer’s Report

Office Manager’s Report

Respectfully submitted

Margaret E. Haering, Clerk