POA Annual Meeting Minutes 7-12-2021

At the call of the President, the annual meeting of the Pine Orchard Association was held at the Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club.

Board members present Robert Dahill, Dick Greenalch, Peggy Haering, Linda Sachs, Bruce Calderone, Peggy Taylor, and Ray Seligson

Board members absent:  Joe Thomas, Robin Sandler, Mark Law, Len Farber, and Seth Hershman.

Agenda Item 1, the meeting was called to order by President Bob Dahill at 6:20 p.m. 

Agenda Item 2, Upon motion and second the Board approved the minutes of the previous Annual Meeting held on July 6, 2020.   

Agenda Item 3.  President’s Report.  The President thanked the members of the Association for helping the community.  He praised the efforts of those who raised money for the Branford Food Pantry and helped with vaccinations.  He also recognized the role of Peter Robinson, our office manager, who ran all the Zoom meetings, created the video that was shared in early July, and has kept us up to date on things like bobcat and bear sightings.  Bob introduced the members of the current board and thanked departing board members, Richard Greenalch and Robin Sandler, for their service. 

Bob reviewed the past year.  There has been an epidemic of car thefts in the area.  Residents are urged to lock their cars because the situation is not improving.  On Spring Rock Road, the Town of Branford has replaced the stairs leading to the beach; the Pine Orchard headquarters building has been improved with a new sign and exterior lighting.  We will be bringing up a proposal for repaving the parking lot later.  The Association updated its zoning ordinance to allow placing a patio within the setback lines.  The Association came up with a notification program to keep members informed about events that affect our community.

The Crescent Bluff litigation continues.  There is a pending appeal in the Connecticut Court of Appeals brought by Beachcroft LLC concerning the terms of the proposed settlement.  The Town of Branford stands ready to purchase the road from Beachcroft.  The issue of beach access is especially important, and the Association will be involved in this matter until it is concluded.  The Association is also involved in an appeal from enforcement of its ban on short term rentals.  The case was argued on April 28th and a decision is expected within 120 days from that date.

We will be installing a water vault in Triangle Park, which will help us maintain the trees and shrubs the association has planted there.  We are also looking into installing two sculptures in the park with the support of the Town of Branford and the Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance.  The hold-up thus far has been procuring insurance for the installation.

Agenda Item 4.  Treasurer’s Report.  Linda Sachs, in her second year as Treasurer, sets the budget each year, pays all bills, and has developed 3-year budget projections.  The Association’s revenues were ahead of budget this year, largely due to the number of newly installed generators. Matt Barez of Hart Avenue asked about the increase in the legal expenses.  It was explained that the Association’s ongoing involvement in two pieces of litigation—Crescent Bluff Avenue and the Short-Term rentals appeal was the reason.                

Agenda Item 5: Committee reports (a) Tax—Peter Robinson reported that all of last year’s taxes were paid as of January 2021 and that we have already collected 42% of the amounts due for this year.   (b) Waterfront Maintenance—Robin Sandler has stepped down from this role and Ray Seligson will be taking over as head of this committee.  Ray reported that repairs to the sidewalk leading to the breakwater on Island View Ave. are a concern. The seawall is damaged in 3 to 4 places and the sidewalk is falling apart.  One repair has been done to the sidewalk, but in the future, we will need to have an annual inspection of the seawall and we must allocate funds for regular repairs because the deterioration is cumulative. On Selden Avenue the beach access point stairs need repairs.  The Town owns part of the sidewalk, and we will ascertain whether the Town will be carrying out that work. (c) Bylaws Ray Seligson reported on proposed amendments to the bylaws, which will include clarifying the role of the presiding officer to break tie votes, adding email to the forms of appropriate notice to members, and conflicts of interest. (d) Building and Grounds maintenance Peter Robison reviewed recent improvements to the POA building and a proposal for repaving the parking lot at the Executive Board meeting to follow; (e) Municipal Liaison—Bruce Calderone commented on the “Lock your Car” initiative.  With regard to sidewalks, he said that the Association will be sending out a survey to find out how the members feel about the various sidewalk proposals.  He acknowledged that traffic is heavy on Route 146 and walking is difficult; however, he questions whether the current sidewalk plan would resolve that problem. (f) Community Beautification, Included in President’s Message; (g) Long Range Planning—Linda Sachs reviewed the 3-year planning process; (h) Zoning—Dick Greenalch will be stepping down as chair of this committee.  Dick reviewed the most recent zoning amendment, which allowed patios to be built withing setback lines.  The zoning enforcement officer processed many applications to install generators in the past year.  The ZBA upheld the Association’s ban on short term rentals.  That case is currently on appeal.  The Pine Orchard chapel is completing phase I of its restoration; the foundation was reinforced; some windows were repaired, and the cupula was restored.  The state has approved funding for the next phase of the restoration.  It entails finishing the windows, repairs to shingles and trim, new lighting, and upgrading the electrical system.  The date for completion will be 2022.  —

Agenda Item 6—Nominating Committee. Bob Dahill reported on the nominating process.  The current chair of the Nominating Committee, Robin Sandler will be leaving the Board this year. Robin has served as President, Vice President, and chair of the Nominating Committee.  The Association thanks him for his efforts.  Dick Greenalch will also be leaving the Board.  He took over Pat Kaplan’s open place on the Board.  Dick previously served as President and Treasurer of the Association and has also acted as the parliamentarian.  He will be sorely missed. 

There are four openings on the Board this year.  The nominees include two current Board members, Peggy Haering and Seth Hershman.   The nominees for the remaining positions are Matt Barez of Hart Avenue and David Silverstone from Island View Avenue.  Bob Dahill asked if there were any nominations from the floor.

Agenda Item 7 –Election of New Executive Board Members—Hearing no nominees from the Floor, upon motion and second, the members of the Association approved the slate of nominees by voice vote.   

The new members of the Executive Board are: Peggy Haering [2nd full term] Seth Hershman [1st full term] , Matt Barez and David Silverstone.

Agenda Item 8– Public Comments:  None.

Agenda Item 9: Adjournment.  In closing, Bob Dahill commented on the role that the Chapel has played in the Association’s history.  The Chapel was built in 1897; the Pine Orchard Club was founded in 1901, and the Association was founded in 1903. The Chapel has been the site of our annual meeting for years. He thanked the Pine Orchard Club for allowing us to host the annual meeting upon its premises this year.  Jim Killelea expressed his appreciation to Bob Dahill for his stewardship., Upon motion and second the meeting was adjourned at 7:10 p.m.

Future Meetings

Monday, September 13, 2021, Monday, November 01, 2021, Monday, January 03, 2022, Monday, March 07, 2022, & Monday, May 02, 2022,

All future meetings will be held at 7:00 PM at the Pine Orchard Association office, 180 Pine Orchard Rd.