Chatham Square Neighborhood

A Diverse Fair Haven Community with Historic Homes and a Beautiful Waterfront

The Economic Development group met on Monday, July 18, 2016, from 6 – 7 pm at 20 Grand Ave. Present: Christel, Lee, Natalie C., Diane P., Sally.

  1. Lot at 213 Front street: This is the empty lot belonging to Fereshde Baharad. A few months back there was controversy over FB’s proposal to use it as a temporary storage lot for boats, RVs, and containers, while she prepared for her longer term plans to develop housing there. Several CSNA members had testified against this during a city plan hearing. Subsequently, FB had a meeting w. CSNA at the Mary Wade Home where she explained her plans more clearly and promised to limit storage to boats only. Following this, Lee drafted a letter that was signed by him, Christel, Sally, and others indicating that we are ok with using the lot in this more limited way. However, there is a second problem with that lot, which is the bulkhead that is apparently giving way to encroaching water. This problem is a serious concern to some neighbors living at Oyster Cove, whose property will incur serious damage if the bulkhead is not fixed. These residents, led by Evelyn Willett, feel FB should fix the bulkhead before she does anything else with her property. Sally reported that Evelyn and other residents of Oyster Cover were unhappy with the letter of support we sent to the city regarding the boat storage issue, and we had some discussion about that. In the end, we felt that the letter should not be withdrawn; however, in future communications we might include specific language which indicates that our support for temp boat storage does not imply that we don’t also want FB to fix the bulkhead.

  2. Fall Harvest Festival: Sally reported on a plan to have only one community festival in the fall, instead of the two, the Chatham Square Festival in September and the Halloween parade in October. If we are going to have only one event, it should be the first of the two, a harvest themed festival with horse and buggy, because it is more inclusive (because some people reject Halloween for religious reason).  The date is set for Saturday, Sept. 24, with Sunday, Sept. 25 as a rain date. Sally is looking into getting the climbing wall from the city, and has also contacted Chabaso to donate bread. Lee has contacted a musician Michael Mills. Sally reported that Fran wants to do a student art exhibit. There will also be craft tables, and we’ll have hula hoops and other activities available for children. We discussed insurance problems with organizing games like sack races or soccer, and risk of liability in our sue-happy society. Since we do not have insurance, we will provide things like hoops or balls for kids to pick up, but will not organize any games. Lee said Grand Apizza would donate some pizzas; we discussed using stamps or tickets to keep track of who got pizza, so we can avoid some people being pizza-hogs and others getting none. Natalie suggested having a community tag sale; we would need somebody to coordinate that. Action steps: Sally will contact Martin Torresquiero directly about the climbing wall. Lee will contact Caroline Smith at Elm City Cyling to see if they want to send someone to run a bike safety event for kids and maybe hand out helmets. We also need somebody to act as overall coordinator on-site to direct things when the event happens.


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