Meeting Minutes – December 10, 2007

In attendance: Ryan C. Holmes, Marjorie Allen, Arthur Grover, Louise Giugliano, Joseph Cicala

Minutes from the December 3, 2007 meeting were accepted as written.

We were joined by Dr. Joseph J. Cicala who discussed the following:

  • What does “taking the neighborhood back” mean? (Referenced a speech given by Rep. John Meyers)
  • The possibility of having the Community Building Team as a reporting entity to Licenses and Inspections (L&I) while looking into the concerns such as blighted housing (while understanding that reasons for housing conditions are different), occupancy limits, etc.
  • The three areas of L&I that are also concerns of the University community
    1. No more than three unrelated persons should be residents in a property zoned as a single-family dwelling.
    2. Health and Safety Checks
    3. Outward appearance of properties and trash collection

Other items discussed during the meeting:

LGU

  • The Student to Student Newsletter will begin circulating to off-campus students next semester.
  • The idea of issuing trash cans to off-campus houses was discussed as a way to have students share more responsibility for neighborhood upkeep.
  • Furthermore, it was discussed that perhaps student groups could increase the number of neighborhood trash pickups during the semester. However, the following were seen as challenges:
    • Could this be seen as the responsible students encouraging the behavior of the irresponsible?
    • Will the houses that host the parties see the service students as a cleaning crew?
    • How long can the increased pickups be sustained?

Items for brainstorming and conversation in future meetings:

  • L&I reporting procedure and what it means
  • Streets & Sidewalks Education and Enforcement Program (SWEEP) and how it may aid the community
  • The responsibility of landlords and possible outreach methods
  • Bringing Philadelphia Police into discussions, with necessary parties, before code enforcement becomes the method of choice
  • Ways to place the University Calendar in readable form to inform the neighborhood about University events
  • Methods to include faculty in discussions involving the community.
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