Monday, February 22, 2010

Potential Eagle Scout or other Service Projects

Potential Scout Projects
 
The Broadmoor Recreational Improvement District/Broadmoor Property Owners Association in Little Rock has opportunities for Boy Scout service projects related to the pathway around Broadmoor Lake. The 10-acre lake, located at the intersections of Broadmoor Drive and South University Avenue, is surrounded by a walking trail bordering the back yards of houses on the lake.
 
The trail is usable now, but only but it has several overgrown and rough areas. This makes it difficult for the less agile or adventurous to walk the whole path.
 
Needs range from clearing and grading to building a bridge to span an inlet or fishing docks over eroded areas.
 
Trail improvements can be broken down into many small or large projects. All would provide an opportunity to work with a group of residents, recruit volunteers from the neighborhood in addition to Scouts, plan and design the work, and coordinate work days.
 
Point of contact:
Edward Swaim
36 Rosemont Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas
501-661-9879
edwardswaim@yahoo.com

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Yard-Parking Article in Today's Paper

Vote set on yard parking

LR board to take up ban March 2

— Little Rock residents have another two weeks to voice their opinions on whether the city should ban cars and other vehicles from parking in front and side yards.

City directors postponed a final vote until their March 2 meeting after debating the idea Tuesday.
Little Rock already bans nonworking vehicles from being parked in yards. This new proposal would prohibit all cars, trucks, vans, boats, campers, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles or “other similar vehicles” from being parked in front and side yards.

The proposal also would limit houses to one additional parking pad and prohibits entire front yards from being paved for parking. There would be an exemption during parties and special events, such as Razorback football games at War Memorial Park. City directors added those ideas in the past few weeks.

Residents in various parts of the city have asked for a ban for years, saying neighbors hurt their property values when they park in the grass. The PlanningCommission approved such a ban in October 2004 but the proposal never moved up to city directors until recently, when several city directors asked that the idea be revived.

“It’s very ugly and very upsetting,” said Edward Swaim, president of the Broadmoor Property Owners Association.

The 1950s-era neighborhood near the University of Arkansas at Little Rock was built before most households had two or more cars, but Swaim told city directors Tuesday that the issue wasn’t about a lack of space to park.

“People are lazy and they either want to park the car right up near the door,” he said, or they don’t want to shuffle cars around to let one out of the driveway.

But some residents, including Robert Webb of the Love Neighborhood Association, said a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work in older parts of the city where the streets are too narrow for parking.
“We think this is a good idea, but not for every neighborhood.”

Southwest Little Rock resident Luke Skrable said that rather than passing a new law the city should focus on improving its code-enforcement agency and enforcing existingordinances.

“I want to address the cars in the yards but I don’t want to pass another law that you all won’t enforce,” he said.

Yet, passing such a law will give residents a way to do something about a problem they see hurting their neighborhoods, said Pat Gee, president of the Upper Baseline Neighborhood Association.
“At least give us the opportunity to have some recourse on what we can do,” she said.

City directors have said they’re concerned about forcing residents to park on the street. On Tuesday, the only city director to oppose the ban was Erma Hendrix. Hendrix said it seemed to her that the issue really centered on absentee landlords.

Little Rock isn’t the only city that has grappled with yard parking. Conway city officials considered a similar ban before dropping the idea.

In 2008, North Little Rock officials agreed to let neighborhoods decide for themselves whether to ban parking in yards by giving them the authority to create special parking districts. Three North Little Rock neighborhoods - Argenta, Park Hill and Lakewood - now have a ban on parking in yards.

Arkansas, Pages 11 on 02/20/2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reporting Potholes Caused by Freeze

Message from the Mayor
 
Winter Weather and Potholes
 
Over the past couple of weeks, Little Rock has been treated to a winter wonderland of beautiful snow-covered landscapes. It has also created treacherous driving conditions and an extraordinary number of potholes in our city streets. These snow storms have dumped so much snow on our city that this month ranks as the sixth-snowiest February on record.
 
The consequence of ice and snow melting and refreezing causes our roads to expand and contract. This action creates potholes that can be dangerous and are quite frustrating to motorists. Please call 311 to report potholes that need repair. Under normal circumstances, one of our street crews is usually able to patch reported potholes within 24 hours of when they are called in. Because the ice has created such an unusual number of potholes, we have been working three street crews on potholes and will work three crews overtime on Saturday as well. Because of the increased number of potholes, it may take two to three days for repair rather than the typical 24-hour service.
 
I am proud of our Public Works Department, which has performed admirably to clear the most essential routes in our city as quickly as possible. As a matter of city policy, the department clears the city's main thoroughfares first, including routes near hospitals to protect the public health and safety of our community. After the main streets are cleared, crews clear the most heavily traveled routes and then work their way into neighborhood streets. 
 
I would like to ask you to forward this email to the people in your address book who may also want to know this information. They may sign up to receive future Messages from the Mayor by following the link below. If you wish to have your address deleted from future emails please follow the link below and click the "unsubscribe" button. Thank you.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mark Stodola
Mayor

Yard-Parking Ordinance, Second Reading

The second reading of the yard-parking ordinance is on tonight's City Board agenda. If you would like to go speak on it, please do. The board meets at 6 PM at City Hall. They won't vote on it on a second reading, but Mayor Stodola said at the last meeting that he wants to hear from the public.

If you can't make it, I encourage you to e-mail the board today at Board@littlerock.org. Your message will go to a staff member who will distribute it to the board members.

If you need motivation, take a drive after our yards have been wet for the past few weeks and see the mess.
_________

SEPARATE ITEMS (Items 20 - 21)  

20. ORDINANCE  To amend Chapter 36 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Little Rock, Arkansas, providing for various procedures and land use regulations regarding parking of motor vehicles in front yards or corner side yards of residential properties; and for other purposes. Planning Commission: 9 ayes; 0 nays; 2 absent. Staff recommends approval. (Second Reading) (1st Reading held on February 2, 2010)

Synopsis: The Planning Commission is forwarding to the Board of Directors an ordinance amendment which would establish procedures and criteria regulating the parking of motor vehicles in the front yard and street corner side yards of residential properties.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How to Track Down the Owner of a House

During this week’s snow and ice storm, a tree fell on a neighbor’s house, penetrating the roof. The house is owned by a former Broadmoor resident who leases it through a prominent management company.

The neighbors were not able to reach their management company by telephone at the regular office number or the emergency number. A member of the Broadmoor board was able to assist them by contacting the owner.

When situations like these come up, it is helpful to know how to do a bit of detective work. Here’s a step-by-step description of the process of tracking down an owner.

1. When you see a house with a “for lease” sign in the yard, write the telephone number down. This seems too easy, but it is the most reliable way of being able to contact the owner in an emergency or with other concerns.
  • Tip, you can type a telephone number (include the area code) into a search engine, such as Google, and it may give you a name and address. Try your own number to see.

2. If you don’t have the owner/manager’s number, or are just curious, search the ownership using the Pulaski County Assessor’s Web  site. Tip: just put the house number and the street name in the appropriate blanks. If you try to put in more information, such as “north” or “drive,” it confuses the computer. A search takes a minute or two.

3. If you get the owner’s name, look them up using the techniques in paragraph 5 below, or run the name (last name first) in the “ownership” line of the Assessor’s site.
  • Tip: The most expensive house they own will be the one they live in.
4. If you get a corporation name, you can try four things:

     A.  Look it up in the telephone book (try the business pages)

     B.  “Google” it

     C.  Run the name on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. The Web search is at http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/corps/search_all.php.
  • Tip: When you get the results, open the corporation name and look for names of real people. There will be a “Registered Agent,” sometimes the lawyer who set up the corporation, other times one of the owners of the business. It may also include other names of the people behind the corporation. Use the techniques below to find contact information for the people whose names come up.
     D.  Try to find the deed or mortgage on the Pulaski County Clerk’s Web site, http://69.152.184.8/oncoreweb/Search.aspx. You will often find a “natural person’s” signature on these documents.
  • Tip: If you get a physical address, or even a post office  box, search it in Google, to see what you can find. You may find their telephone number that way.
 5. With a name, try these steps:

     A.  Look them up in the good-old telephone book. You should try the white pages and the business pages.

     B.  Run a Google search, and try other search engines, such as http://www.zabasearch.com/ and http://www.peekyou.com/. Both these sites will give you limited free information, which is often exactly what you need. You do not have to use any of the paid searches that they lead you to to find most of what you need. Run your own name for fun, it will scare you if you didn't already know what all is available over the Internet!
  • Tip: The search results may give you enough information to follow up on using other Internet searches.
     C.  If you are on Facebook or another social media service, look them up. You may be able to contact them.

6. In general, apply some persistence and imagination, and you will be surprised what you can find out just sitting at your computer! After searching ownership a few times, you will get better at it and will start noticing interesting ownership patterns.

7. Please describe your experiences and tips in the comments!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Broadmoor Partners with Fair Park Residents Association to Recognize Police

The Broadmoor board voted this week to join the Fair Park Residents Association to create an awards program to recognize the great work being done by the Little Rock and University of Arkansas at Little Rock police departments. Here's a description of the program:

“University District Officer of the Year” awards

Idea:
  • To recognize the efforts of our Police (LRPD & UALR).

Benefits:
  • For the neighborhoods to begin taking “ownership” of the University District.
  • To increase awareness of our neighborhoods by both Police Departments.
  • To increase the partnership of our two neighborhoods.

Plan:
  • Both neighborhoods approve the “University District Officer of the Year” awards and agree on sharing the costs.
  • The “University District Officer of the Year” award is then established for one (1) LRPD Officer and one (1) UALR Officer to be recipient.
  • The criteria for the award would be direct actions by an Officer to stop, prevent or reduce crime within the University District boundaries. The Chief of each Police Department would submit three (3) nominations.
  • A joint committee of two members of each neighborhood (appointed by the respective organization) would be the selection committee.
  • The joint selection committee, by majority, would select the recipient, one from each Police Department.
  • A letter would be sent to both Chiefs explaining the award and requesting three (3) nominations.
  • A date for the award ceremony would be picked that works for both
    associations.
  • The award ceremony is suggested to be at Broadmoor’s clubhouse. Press releases and invitations would be sent for the award ceremony. The Mayor, City Directors, UALR Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Chiefs, all nominees and family would be invited.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

An Appeal to the Little Rock City Board of Directors

Broadmoor Property Owners’ Association Supports “Yard-Parking” Ordinance

The Broadmoor Property Owners’ Association Board of Directors voted at its December 2004 meeting to express its support for “An Ordinance Amending Chapter 36 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Little Rock Arkansas Providing for Various Procedures and Land Use Regulations Regarding Parking of Motor Vehicles in Front Yards or Corner Street Side Yards of Residential Properties.” The ordinance is now before you in 2010. We encourage you to vote for the ordinance.

This ordinance will do much to improve the appearance of our neighborhood and city. Parking in yards destroys lawns and is unsightly. We in Broadmoor feel that pride of ownership in our homes promotes good, stable citizenship and preserves the value of our property.

Please vote for the “yard-parking” ordinance.


Monday, February 1, 2010

The Early Days of Broadmoor ..

Installment 2

History compiled by Lanita Reynolds with the help of Bernie Allen, Berneice Howard, Glenn Ledbetter, Jack Marshall, Ford Patterson, Jack Perciful, Cheryl Davis South, Ann Wilson, and Ann Easterly.


Billboard advertising Broadmoor

The first four families to move into their new homes in Broadmoor were the Bates family at 29 Lakeshore Drive, Mr. & Mrs. James Spilman at 34 Lakeshore Drive, Mr. & Mrs. A.B. Speights (parents of Ann Wilson) at 36 Lakeshore Drive, and the Kermit Tate family at 38 Lakeshore Drive. Which family moved in first is not known. None of these first four residents live in their Lakeshore Drive homes as of June 2004.

The fifth family to move to Broadmoor was Jennings and Berneice Howard, who moved into 35 Lakeshore Drive in early December of 1953. Two weeks later, Ford and Addie Patterson moved into their new home at 2 Irving Drive. The streets were still unpaved when these families moved in. Fifty years later, Berneice Howard and Mr. & Mrs. Patterson still live here. (As of 2004.)

Clarence B. "Sonny" Wilson, Vice President of Fausett Realty, was the Superintendent of Construction for Broadmoor. He was also Mrs. Fausett's nephew. During the first year of construction, he and a night watchman lived in the lodge which is now our clubhouse. Sonny worked in the daytime and slept at night, and the night watchman slept in the daytime and worked at night. Sonny married Ann Speights in December of 1954, and when they returned from their honeymoon, they moved into a new home located [on] Lakeshore Drive. Mrs. Wilson still resides there.

February Board Meeting Thursday, February 4

Broadmoor Property Owners Association/
Broadmoor Recreational Improvement District
Board of Directors
Thursday, February 4, 2010

I. Introductions

II. January minutes

III. Treasurer’s report

IV. Pool report

V. Neighborhood Watch report
 1. Tyler Street Alert Center moving

VI. 54th Annual Meeting
  1. Approval of expenditure for postcard mailing
  2. Preparation
  3. Ideas for speakers
  4. Other items

VII. Clubhouse, Park, Lake, and Dam issues
  1. Park landscaping service contracting
    A. Issues from January: fire ants, bamboo, mulching, etc.
    B. Soliciting and approving bids
  2. Clubhouse report
  3. Other items

VIII. Quality of Life Committee issues
  1. Neighborhoods USA conference tour preparation
  2. University District police officer recognition program
  3. University District Development Corporation home improvement grant program
  4. Yard parking ordinance progress
  5. Other items

IX. New, old, other business and announcements

X. Adjourn

Association Seeks Bids for Landscaping Work

Request for Bids
Lawn Maintenance of Broadmoor Park, Little Rock, Arkansas

Description of Park

                Broadmoor Park is a grassy, wooded area in the center of the Broadmoor Neighborhood of Little Rock at South University Avenue and Broadmoor Drive. The park is reached by pedestrians through four fenced sidewalk easements. Vehicle access is through an easement at 19 Belmont Drive.
                The park includes the crest of Broadmoor Dam on the east end of Broadmoor Lake and vehicular easements which approach the crest of the dam from Broadmoor Drive on the north end and Lakeshore Drive on the south end including the lawn area directly adjacent to the east between the access and the shopping center access road, up to the edge of the trees on the dam. For purposes of this request, the crest of the dam does not include the wooded downstream slope of the dam east of the fence which runs the length of the dam.

Scope of Work

1.  Mow Broadmoor Park, including the crest of the dam , vehicular easements, and the lawn area directly adjacent to the east between the access and the shopping center access road up to the edge of the trees on the dam once before Easter (April 4, 2010), then at least twice per month, but not more than once in any ten-day period from May 1, 2010, to October 31, 2010.

2.  Trim vegetation and remove trash and debris from tennis court and the area between the tennis court fence and private fence on the south side once per month.

3.  Trim shrubs and vines from pedestrian easement entrances to the park to allow unobstructed passage along sidewalks with each mowing. Edge sidewalks and remove debris.

4.  Remove debris, weeds, and dead plants from the two mulched play areas and bedded areas by Clubhouse with each mowing.

5.  Edge around lawn perimeters, sidewalks, fences, buildings, and bedded areas with each mowing to provide a neat appearance and to keep grass, shrubs, bamboo, and vines under control. Use appropriate herbicide or tools to keep poison ivy away from paths or other areas where people may brush against it.

6. Remove fallen limbs and trash before each mowing. Sweep or blow clean all sidewalks and concrete areas affected by work. (The pool and concrete pool deck must be kept free of debris and clippings to avoid clogging the filter.)

7.  Mow or string trim the path around the lake once in May and once in July and trim vegetation, including shrubs and tree limbs to keep a path at least four feet wide and eight feet high clear for pedestrians. Remove cut woody vegetation.

The contractor will be responsible for liability insurance, workmen's compensation coverage, and any required licenses and permits.

We will be glad to walk the park with prospective bidders.

Please direct questions to Edward Swaim, 661-9879 or edwardswaim@yahoo.com.

Bids must be submitted to the Broadmoor Recreational Improvement District, Post Office Box 4072, Little Rock, Arkansas 72114 or to Edward Swaim, 36 Rosemont Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72204 by 5 p.m. March 4, 2010. Bids will be opened at the March 4, 2010, board meeting at 7 p.m. at 19 ½ Belmont Drive.



Request for Bids
Brush Removal Broadmoor Dam, Little Rock, Arkansas

Description of Dam

                Broadmoor Dam is located between Broadmoor Drive and Lakeshore Drive in the Broadmoor Neighborhood of Little Rock. The eastern, downstream slope of the dam is approximately 600 feet long by 50 feet wide. It is covered by a mixture of mature pine and hardwood trees, saplings, shrubs, and grass.
                State law requires all trees under 6-inches diameter at breast height and all woody vegetation to be removed from the dam.

Scope of Work

Work is to be done two times in 2010, once in April and once in October.

1.  Cut flush with the ground and remove all woody vegetation (including privet hedge) under 6-inches diameter at breast height.

2.  Remove and dispose of all trash, debris, and fallen limbs.

3.  Use appropriate herbicide to treat cut stumps of woody vegetation to kill other woody vegetation while allowing grass to grow.

4.  Sweep or shovel debris from toe of dam along retaining wall to allow free flow of water to drain at center of dam.

5.  Trim grass and weeds so that they are no higher than six inches.

6.  Woody vegetation growing within one foot of fence line on crest of dam is not to be cut or sprayed.

The contractor will be responsible for liability insurance, workmen's compensation coverage, and any required licenses and permits.

We will be glad to walk the dam with prospective bidders.

Please direct questions to Edward Swaim, 661-9879 or edwardswaim@yahoo.com.

Bids must be submitted to the Broadmoor Recreational Improvement District, Post Office Box 4072, Little Rock, Arkansas 72114 or to Edward Swaim, 36 Rosemont Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72204 by 5 p.m. March 4, 2010. Bids will be opened at the March 4, 2010, board meeting at 7 p.m. at 19 ½ Belmont Drive.