2021 Minutes

EHDA Board Meeting

March 10, 2021 Via Zoom

Attending: Missy Williams, Jeremy Williams, Bill Bullock, Chris Morton, Susan Weber, Brenda Morris, Chip Chockley, Vivian and Roger Ekstrom, Michael and Mallory Seeker, Gene Laurenzi, Don Jones, Katie Bruce, Autry and Denise Parker, Turner Foster, Wain Rubenstein, Neely Bagwell, Matt Inbusch.

Minutes from last meeting were approved

2021 budget approved unanimously.

Beautification — recommended reaching out to Mr. flowers, which Gene will do to get an update on Williamson improvements. There is a video gaming competition to be held at Williamson park, notice was posted on Facebook today.

Membership, dues have come in, Chris has new cards, reformatted due to new postal machines that were returning some, cards will go out shortly to those that have not yet paid dues for 2021.

Communication – no updates

Fundraising – no updates

Planning – small area plan is something that we should push and work on and develop in relation to Memphis 3.0.  would likely look to partner with other neighborhoods to go forward with this.

Missy sent a list of vacant problem properties to Melvin Burgess Assessor of Property who asked for that information in case he can assist in making improvements.

Don updated the group on the questionnaire to Evergreeners regarding their views on design review guidelines. He plans to break it up in small parts and get it in front of neighbors via several social media outlets and attempt to get it available to as many demographics as possible. It is hoped this information will help guide us in where we spend our efforts. There was some discussion regarding how to incentivize folks to fill out the questionnaire. Also discussion on how best to store data. Hope to launch in April and then start the Design Guideline Committee efforts.

Community Engagement – There was significant discussion on how to best communicate with and educate block captains.

Neighborhood Watch – Missy sent an email to district representatives regarding this. We are looking to form 5 neighborhood watch groups. There are requirements for 3 in-person meetings with a minimum of 5 residents. Melanie Dorsey is the MPD liaison for this. We are awaiting further information from Melanie regarding if we can do this virtually. One of the reasons we are pursuing neighborhood watch is to qualify for more potential grant opportunities.

Discussed the information presented by the Appraiser in the Zoom call.

Missy noted that several of the armadillo bumps on Evergreen have been uprooted.

Byhalia pipeline – EHDA sent a letter in opposition.

The smoke/vape shop to occupy the space across from Snowden was discussed. No updates available at present regarding challenges to this. March 24 scheduled to be at board of adjustment. It was agreed to write a letter of opposition to this. Don suggested we echo VECA’s comments.

Missy let the group know she is stepping down because her family will be relocating to another city. Jeremy will be taking over as president. She received compliments on the great job she has done as president as well as much well-wishing as her family moves on.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.


EHDA Meeting

Feb. 10, 2021 Via Zoom

Attending: Missy Williams, Chris Morton, Wain Rubenstein, Jeremy Williams, Bill and Teresa Bulllock, Michael and Mallory Seeker, Katie Bruce, Matt Inbusch, Wain Rubenstein, Chip Chockley, Neely Bagwell, Gene Laurenzi, Turner Foster, Denise Parker, Carrie Kerley, Susan Weber, Don Jones, Vivian and Roger Ekstrom, Brenda Morris,

The new board members were introduced, Katie Bruce and Matt Inbusch.

The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.

Carrie presented the financial report. As of Jan. 31, 2021, EHDA has $36,029.95. She also presented the final budget vs. actual expenses for 2020. Budget was $16,400 with actuals $16,893. Revenue was about $16,561.57. She also presented a preliminary budget for 2021.

Don explained his request for $5,000 for working on re-writing the EHDA design guidelines for 2021. Carrie will reflect this in a line item for the 2021 budget. He further explained how Brett Ragsdale of the Office and Planning and Development thought that an update of this 30-year-old document may assist his office and the Landmarks Commission in making decisions and recommendations more in line with EHDA’s wishes.

Beautification – Gene related that the city had given EHDA some money to upgrade Williamson Park While they are going slow, they are moving forward. They will start with new surfacing for the playground, and them move to other items on the plan. Don added that it was $150,000, with the No. 1 item being a walking trail around the park. A bid is expected, but the timeframe is unknown. Gene also noted that City Beautiful has been supportive as well.

Teresa noted that one tree previously planted has died. She also noted that Niel and Sara Prosser have expressed interest in working on beautification committee and fundraising. They will be moving into Sue Williams old home on Stonewall.

Membership – Chris had previously sent the new home packet list. Membership notices went out electronically today, and he has received about 50 responses already.

Communication – Chris has deleted several people from Facebook because of bad behavior.

Planning – Jeremy noted no majors coming before Landmarks this month. VECA has been applying for historic status and got their approval from Landmarks. Will next go to Land Use Control Board to finalize the process. Crosstown is also pursuing Landmarks, but there have been some issues involving the development of the “mound,” the old I 40 ROW. While he said it will not be coming forward next month, he believes progress is being made. There was some additional discussion on what the actual plan is for the mound, and whether or not it contains any park space. Jeremy will monitor the process and share additional information with the board.

He noted that neighbors of 1905 Overton Park have reached out to EHDA board members regarding what is going on with this house. It was significantly damaged by a tree in 2003, has been through receivership, and was purchased in 2019. Unfortunately, it looks like little work has taken place, and the grounds are deteriorating and are a major concern of neighbors. Missy noted that she and Jeremy had spoken with Steve Barlow of Neighborhood Preservation Inc. He said there seems to be some litigation still underway by the previous owner. Missy noted that a reporter had reached out to EHDA not long ago. She also noted how she is working to support both the new owner and the nearby neighbors.

Don noted that Roger will meet with planning and give an overview of Memphis 3.0, that will educate us more on this comprehensive planning document. Don noted all board members would benefit from this update.

Don updated the board on an EHDA questionnaire. Regarding reviewing and revising EHDA’s design guidelines, he believes that we need to know what our residents think and what are their priorities. He has already shared tool this with Jeremy and Missy. She will keep the board posted and share with the board in the coming weeks.

Safety – This group has not met recently. She and Jeremy spent a lot of time on the Neighborhood Watch effort. Melanie Dorsey of MPD has just responded and they are negotiating boundaries.

Neighbor spotlight – Don reported that Vishant Shah has given some input and he submitted about 4 names. He also reached out to DiAnn Gordon. She is interested in spotlighting another neighbor. Don expects something from her soon. Denise suggested spotlighting the new board members.

Missy reported that Colonel Jackson of the West Precinct has spoken with her about 361 N. Watkins and some of the recent activity. MPD is well aware, last time was Jan. 26, neighbors called, police responded, and the suspect was apprehended and charged with a felony and other charges. Organized Crime unit is now involved as well with this property that is suspected of being a drug house.

Missy noted she followed up with citizens who had some concerns about parking on Evergreen because of the new lane markings, and discussed same with Nick Oyler. While no changes in markings are planned, the city is looking at some additional measures to help control speed.

Missy also noted the city reached out to her to put together a meeting with residents to go over appraisals that will be happening soon. They want to do a resident-wide Zoom meeting on Thursday, March 4 at 6 p.m.

Jeremy suggested creating an Evergreen wall calendar. Perhaps we could spotlight homes, parks and/or green spaces that folks could purchase. Several people chimed in with ideas on how to make it appealing.

The potential smoke/vape shop next door to Dino’s was discussed. Vivian and Don will look into the situation to see if there are any opportunities to oppose this in case it is afoul with codes, zoning or other governmental regulations.

Missy noted that in the past month there was an issue with a load truck in the neighborhood. Enough neighbors reported it, the police have looked into it, and things seem to have improved in recent days. It is a large red pickup truck with “don’t tread on me sticker” with a malfunctioning or no muffler. It was noted we should not engage with this individual.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.


EHDA Board Meeting

January 13, 2021 – Via Zoom

Attending: Missy Williams, Chris Morton, Wain Rubenstein, Michael and Mallory Seeker, Cannon Parkerson, Gene Laurenzi, Jeremy Williams, Autry Parker, Chip Chockley, Sam Goff, Brenda Morris, Vivian Ekstrom, Don Jones, Bill and Teresa Bullock.

Financials not available this evening, will have them next month

Beautification – The City wants to do an MLK related cleanup, reached out to see if EHDA wanted to be involved, city wants a waiver and groups of 10 or fewer, Gene discussed doing some semi informal cleanup effort in Williamson park on that Monday morning. He will put the waiver/forms on Facebook.

Discussed a grant from the city, which was denied this past year, but discussed using that grant to reinforce or assist the wall on Stonewall at Poplar. The west side wall is in poor shape and needs work.  The cost to repair that wall is very high, and there is significant importance of that stone retaining wall thematically to the neighborhood.

Sam reported that there was an excavator and dumb trucks at the “mound.”

Membership. Chris will send out 2021 dues notices shortly.

New member packets were discussed. Teresa is unable to do this at this time.

Planning: Two cases before Landmarks this month. Sue Williams old home, minor. Application for 545 Stonewall, west side at North Parkway, application for wrought iron fence in the front yard. It was discussed that this may be an appropriate site for a fence.

Jeremy noted that Crosstown is still moving forward with historic district status.

Don requested $5,000 be set aside for the design guidelines review process that would involve at least one appropriately notified neighborhood meeting. There was significant discussion on how this process may flow. $5,000 was approved.

Community Engagement: Chip reported that he is working on distribution of gift cards to block captains. He noted that given Covid 19 is still active, we may not want to rush distribution that would require the restaurants to honor these cards.

Missy reported she is still working on Neighborhood Watch.

General Membership Meeting: January 21. Councilman Jeff Warren will be participating, Col. Debbie Jackson with MPD will join. Will meet via Zoom. Jeremy has created signs, and notice will go out via social media outlets.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.