2020 Annual Meeting Connection Information

The 2020 Annual Meeting on May 21 will be held virtually. The connection instructions in the email sent this week are here (temporarily) as well:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82516147600?pwd=RDArSXQ5RU5tRGlRb1dzdVo2aXlyZz09

Meeting ID: 825 1614 7600
Password: 5JPFS4

OR from your smartphone – one tap mobile
+19292056099,,82516147600#,,1#,959794# US (New York)
+13017158592,,82516147600#,,1#,959794# US (Germantown)

OR from your regular phone, dial by your location
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Maryland)
Meeting ID: 825 1614 7600
Password: 959794

2020 Annual Meeting – May 21

The 2020 Annual Meeting on May 21 will be held virtually. The connection instructions in the email sent this week will be here temporarily as well:

ZOOM CONNECTION INFORMATION WILL BE HERE THURSDAY AT 5:00PM

The meeting agenda:

Discussion of bylaws change to elect president and vice president in the same year to have concurrent terms.

  • Option A: Concurrent terms remain at 2 years, option for VP to run for president, but not assumed.
  • Option B: Concurrent 2-year terms, with VP automatically assuming presidency.

We will hold elections and vote on bylaws change in September.

Updates from:
  • Library committee: how we might continue to support our library in person or virtually
  • Traffic Committee: updates on Whitney Ave project in New Haven
  • Whitney Ave. street tree renewal effort

Your Civic Association is seeking volunteers to help our community by serving as Vice-President and as Secretary of the WCA. Please consider running for one of these offices. Contact any board member for more information on the duties and the FUN of serving on the board. Nominations (and self-nominations) can be sent to secretary@whitneyville.org for the election at the September meeting.

Hope to see you at September Meeting Thursday at 7pm

Hamden Board of Education
60 Putnam Ave

Agenda:

  • Membership reminder
  • Bob Izzo, Hamden Hall, will discuss expansion plans
  • Discussion of plans for this year and WCA committees
  • Roundtable to raise new issues

Membership?

All Whitneyville residents are members of the WCA, but voting members keep the association vibrant – and we need your participation. Voting memberships renew annually and are $10. Business voting memberships are $20 a year. You can sign up at https://whitneyville.org/join/

Volunteers needed for Music Series:

Looking for a fun and meaningful opportunity to help build community and bring people together? Do you love music? Then join the committee to plan and run the sixth annual Whitneyville Music Series in DeNicola Park to be held in 2020. Without new volunteers, the series cannot continue and these special events will not return next summer.

You can email Deirdre Dolan directly at deirdreshaedolan@gmail.com to volunteer or just to learn more about this rewarding and fun opportunity. 

May 2019 Meeting Minutes

Welcome.  President Dave Bechtel opened the meeting and asked everyone to introduce themselves.

Announcements and Committee Updates:

  • Library Committee:
    • Connie Matheson announced that the 3rd Annual Whitneyville Branch Library fund raiser was a success, netting $1,873 that will be donated for library materials and activities.
    • As per Phase II of our plan, new carpeting has been installed.
    • The committee is looking for new members.
  • Music Committee:
    • Deirdre Dolan announced that the committee is set to hold concerts on the 3rd Thursday in June, July, and August in DeNicola Park, with a rain location in Whitneyville Cultural Commons.
      • June – Jazz
      • July – Sing Along
      • August – Klezmer
    • About 80 – 100 are expected to attend each concert.
  • Officer Elections:
    • Mark Foran was elected WCA President
    • Deborah Maldonado was re-elected Treasurer
    • Scott Matheson was elected Secretary to fill out Mark Foran’s term.

Dale Kroop, Hamden Economic and Neighborhood Development:

Guest speaker Dale Kroop was introduced.

  • Dale noted that Hamden is updating a Long Range Economic Plan that involves five towns.  The plan is updated ever two years.
  • Commercial property is doing well, with a 95% occupancy rate among shopping centers.
  • The Whitney Center is the town’s largest employer after Town Government and Quinnipiac University.
  • The Canal Crossing apartment complex is planned for seven buildings totaling 393 units.  Four are currently 100% occupied.  A fifth unit is expected to open in August.  A significant number of tenants are employed by Yale.
  • The town is investigating the possibility of bringing high speed broadband internet access to Hamden. Stiff opposition is expected from Comcast and Frontier.
  • The Plan of Conservation and Development is expected to be finished in this fall.
  • Retail projects were discussed.  Ulta has completed the move from North Haven, while Marshalls and TJ Maxx have reduced their store spaces.
  • Putnam Place was discussed.  When Stop and Shop pulled out and no other grocery chain wanted it, Porter and Chester relocated there.  CVS is coming, as well as a trampoline amusement.
  • The former Hamden Middle School was discussed.
    • Remediation is almost complete.
    • A developer has been selected to create 57 elderly housing units, of which 30 will be mixed income.  It’s expected to open in 2022-23.
    • The gym will be converted into a community center.
    • Business incubator with space for 20 tenants is planned.

Dale then took questions, which included:

  • Responding to a question regarding the commercial district, he noted that Whitneyville doesn’t qualify for HUD loans for façade improvements and lobbying is necessary to obtain funding from other sources.
  • Regarding the status of Powder Farm, he stated that the 131-acre property is owned by the Olin Corporation, which is under a consent degree to clean it up.  The cost is estimated at $8 to $10 million.  There has been interest in private acquisition for open space.
  • The new fire station on Putnam Avenue will occupy 3 ½ acres.
  • The 115-room Marriott Residence Inn is under construction again in Centerville.
  • There has not been a lot of interaction between the Town and Quinnipiac.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

May 3rd Annual Whitneyville Library Fundraiser

Support your local library, the heart of our Whitneyville community, and celebrate Spring at the same time. Join friends and neighbors on Friday, May 3rd from 6-8 pm at The Playwright Banquet Room, located at 1232 Whitney Avenue.

Enjoy complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, games, door prizes and good conversation. Lightheartedly called “Books & Booze” (with alcohol optional of course), net proceeds will be used by the Whitneyville Branch of the Hamden Public Library to support expanded programming and provide additional resources for residents and families in the community. Tickets are $30/person.

See our flyer for details and to mail in your donation.  You can also RSVP online.

Sponsored by the Whitneyville Civic Association.

March 2019 Meeting Notes

Welcome.  President Dave Bechtel opened the meeting and asked everyone to introduce themselves.

Announcements and Committee Updates:

  • Officer Elections
    • There will be elections for the offices of President and Treasurer at the May WCA meeting.
    • Term limits require a new President, while position of Treasurer can be filled by the incumbent.  Deb Maldanado is willing to continue in that role.
  • Treasurer’s Report
    • The Gardening Committee account has a balance of $3347.82.
    • The WCA general account has a balance of $1,238.26.
  • Annual Meeting on May 16
    • State Senator Martin Looney and Hamden Economic Development Director Dale Kroop have been invited to speak at the next WCA Meeting.
  • Music Committee:
    • Deirdre Dolan announced the lineups for the 5th Annual Music in the Park series.  Concerts will be held on the 3rd Thursday in June, July, and August in DeNicola Park.
      • June – Jazz
      • July – Sing Along
      • August – Klezmer
  • Merchants Meeting:
    • Liz Hellwig reported on a meeting held with local merchants regarding business concerns in Whitneyville.
      • Parking was the major issue.
      • The intersection of Putnam and Whitney Avenues.
      • Potential for sidewalk sales and other events.

Proposed Tree Planting Program:

Bob Pattison gave an overview of the program:

  • Tree planting usually occurs on Saturdays using the town’s overtime account.
  • Given other issues (including the tornado cleanup), it probably won’t happen this year.
  • Bob proposed that the Town procure the trees and deliver to the civic associations for volunteer planting.  Mayor Leng likes the idea and will consult with the Hamden Tree Commission about implementation.
  • Bob also mentioned that the switch to LED street lighting is ongoing.  He has proposed that the Town purchase and operate the lights instead of paying UI (United Illuminating) to do it.  Mayor Leng likes the idea.  Expect the process to happen in the next three months.

Hamden Tree Commission:

Susan Sternberg gave an overview of the Tree Commission’s work:

  • The Commission aims to get a Town Tree Ordinance passed.  This will enable Hamden to apply for grants.
  • A tree pruning workshop will be held at Bassett Park on Saturday from 9 – 10:30 AM.  The rain date is March 30th.
  • A tree walk will be held at Broken Arrow Farms.

Legislative Council Update:

Justin Farmer, Legislative Council Member representing Whitneyville, spoke on several issues.

  • He noted that the overtime for tree planting comes from the leaf collection budget.
  • A new Town of Hamden website is in development.  The Town is looking for local input before finalizing the design.  It is expected to go live in July.
  • Mayor Leng presented his budget proposal for the next fiscal year, which would total $230 million.
    • $84 million is earmarked for education. 
    • The proposal incorporates a one mil increase in the tax rate.
    • Five new police would be added, of which 3 would be stationed at schools.
    • Pension payments would be at 85% of full funding.
    • The budget also anticipates $2 million in union concessions.
  • Justin’s primary concerns as a councilman:
    • More transportation infrastructure
    • Conversion of street lights to LEDs
    • Broadband internet access for the town
    • Universal pre-K program
    • New firehouse on Putnam Avenue
  • Justin mentioned that he is now on the Children’s Center Board.  They are looking into possible fund raising strategies.
  • Justin urged residents to use the See-Click-Fix website to report local issues to the Town.

New Business:

  • Mike Lockett briefly announced that Mayor Leng is considering creation of a Traffic Advisory Committee.  There was a discussion of the WCA’s participation on this committee.
  • The status of the Waite Street reconstruction project was also discussed.  After the meeting, Town Engineer Mark Austin gave this update:
    • The Town has applied for the acceptance of the project at the CT DOT and are waiting for a response.  It has been there about 4 months now.  The Town is planning on bidding the Engineering Services shortly.

The meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm.

March 21 Meeting Announcement

Please join us on Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 pm at the Hamden Board of Education, 60 Putnam Avenue, for our next Whitneyville Civic Association meeting.  In honor of spring, we will discuss trees — including Bob Pattison (Spring Glen Civic Association) sharing a tree planting proposal and Susan Sternberg discussing Hamden Tree Commission plans for the year. Justin Farmer, our representative on Hamden’s Legislative Council, will also provide an update on the budget process.

Plan of Conservation and Development Letter

Whitneyville Civic Association (WCA) and Spring Glen Civic Association (SGCA)Neighborhood Input Regarding Planning and Conservation Strategies

While we generally endorse the strategies listed in Hamden’s Briefing Booklets, the WCA and SGCA have suggestions and priorities regarding several areas of the plan, per feedback from civic association meetings and discussions among civic association leadership.  They are outlined below, with reference to the appropriate Briefing Booklet section.

Briefing Booklet 4:

Preserve Open Space (p. 13)

Item A1b:

We believe that access to the Farmington Canal Trail could be improved, specifically at its intersection with Mather Street. We suggest modifying Item A1b to read:

 “Farmington Canal Trail as a central spine and with improved access points to maximize this feature”

Item A3c:

We are concerned that the Powder Farm remains a natural area without means of public access; members suggested implementing the Land Trust’s plan for passive recreation and connection of the site to the Canal Trail.  We believe that the Plan should address the issue of acquiring new open space. We suggest modifying Item A3c to read: “Continue to seek opportunities to partner with other organizations (such as the Hamden Land Trust) to preserve and improve access to open space.”

Address Coastal Issues (p. 15)

Item A4:

We wish to clarify the meaning of access to the Mill River to read: “If appropriate, seek ways to enhance boating access… to the Mill River, including Lake Whitney and the Quinnipiac River.”

Promote Community Character (p. 21-23)

Item A1g:

Traffic calming continues to be an issue in Whitneyville and other areas of Hamden. Members suggested adding a left turn arrow at the intersection of Putnam Avenue and Newhall Street, and filling in of gaps in the sidewalk network.  We suggest modifying to read: “Roadways, including traffic calming.”

Item A1h:

This item does not exist.  We suggest adding it: Mass Transit, including light rail.”

Item C6:

We believe that the Town should develop, in concert with public utilities a plan to systematically provide existing trees with appropriate replacement. We suggest this item to be modified to read: Plan for the preservation, maintenance of and planting of trees for their visual, environmental, and scenic benefits.

ItemD1:

We are concerned that the Town has no central information center, such as a community calendar.   We suggest modifying it to read:  “Continue to promote community-wide events and activities through multiple media.”

Item E4:

We are concerned that there is not enough parking in the Whitneyville business district.  We suggest modifying it to read: “Seek to establish and maintain gateway features at major entry/arrival points to the Town and its villages, including improved parking.”

Items E3 and E5:

We particularly endorse efforts to brand and improve signage in the Whitneyville, Spring Glen, Mount Carmel and Centerville business districts (including historical landmarks).

Briefing Booklet 5:

Become More Sustainable (p. 3)

Item B4:

We particularly endorse the LED streetlights effort underway, including the potential for the Town to purchase streetlights.

Overall Sustainability

We encourage Hamden to expand regionalization of services, building on the successful example of the regional Health District.  This will support the long-term sustainability of Town services.

Briefing Booklet 6:

Reinforce Overall Community Structure (p. 4) and Enhance Spring Glen / Whitneyville Centers (p. 8)

We endorse these action steps, particularly Item A1: “promote and encourage missed use, pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented development”  and Item E3.  In WCA meeting, members cited the walkability of Whitneyville as one of the most important aspects of the neighborhood.  We endorse efforts to connect new developments such as Canal Crossing to the business district via sidewalks.