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Board Minutes - November 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Swiss Avenue Historic District Association

Minutes of the Monthly Meeting

November 17, 2015

The November 17, 2015 meeting of the SAHDA took place at the Aldredge House.

President Joanna Hampton called the meeting to order at 7:07 p. m.

Joanna introduced Kay Crews, who facilitated the board training. She asked permission to have Kay act as Parliamentarian for the evening. There were no objections.

The October minutes were presented for approval.  The vote was called, and the minutes were approved by a majority.

Marilyn Waisanen gave the Beautification Committee report.

The renovation of Savage Park has begun. It will look the same, but include a dog and people water fountain

Thirteen trees have been ordered as part of the reforestation program. The program has passed the Landmark Commission and work will begin.

In Robin Marin’s absence, Joanna reported for the Alliance Against Crime Committee.

Bob Whisnant had been burglarized on two consecutive nights.

She said the Alliance Against Crime contribution letter would be going out in a few weeks.

Virginia Bonifield asked if we could revisit contacting the police patrol to let them know when we are going to be out of town.

Adam  Palmer reported that there had been an attempted break in at the Aldredge house on Halloween and that the greenhouse had been damaged.

Joanna gave the Children’s Committee report. She thanked the Loh’s for hosting the children’s Halloween party. The children’s Christmas party will be December 6 at the Hurst’s home.

Natalie Kinvig gave the Social Committee report. The Christmas party is scheduled for December 5 at the Gray’s home at 4929 Swiss Avenue.

Tom Bonifield reported for the Planning and Zoning Committee.

Committee does not work on cases within the SAHD, unless the board approves addition to the scope of work.

Tom had submitted the Planning and Zoning Committee to Joanna. The proposed committee membership was comprised of six members from different parts of the district, plus Joanna as president as ex-officio member. Tom Bonifield stated the he believed the membership complied with the committee’s charter.  Jean Dean asked if the Charter was posted somewhere. This is to be reviewed prior to next meeting to respond.

Cameron Kinvig said the By-laws, and not the committee charter, actually controlled membership of the committee, as the committee charter was only authorized to delineate the power, authority, and functions of the committee – not its membership. According to a reading of the bylaws, the planning and zoning committee (and all other committees except for the Nominating committee) is required to have “one (1) or more Directors, and one (1) or more members of the Association, “meaning that membership must consist of at least two people, but there is no upper limit on the number of members which can comprise a committee. Cameron disclosed that three additional district members had asked to join the committee after its initial slate was announced by Tom Bonifield. Those originally nominated were:

                        Tom Bonifield

                        Virginia McAlester

                        Cameron Kinvig

                        Larry Offutt

                        Bob Cox

                        David Dean

            The three additional persons asking to be nominated were:

                        Jim Dunkerley

                        Jeff Bryan

                        Arch McColl

Cameron Kinvig made a motion, which was seconded, to include these three additional nominees in the slate of committee members that would be voted on by the board of directors. Discussion followed. 

During this discussion Jody Bowers, former secretary, explained that the Charters were voted on during Brendan Martin’s presidency. The purpose was to clarify committees. Larry and Marilyn Waisanen explained that the original Charter of the Planning and Zoning Committee was approved at the 2006 Annual Meeting and Charter and By-laws were amended in 2012. It was stated that the By-laws override the Charter because the by-laws comprise the governing document for the entire district.

During discussion on Mr. Kinvig’s motion, an amendment to the motion was made by Larry Offutt, and seconded. Mr. Offutt’s amendment was to postpone the vote on committee members to allow one member from each block within the district to volunteer to serve as a member of the Planning and Zoning Committee. The amendment to Mr. Kinvig’s motion was voted on. Following such a vote, there was concern that directors and their alternates were both voting on the motion.  A motion was made and seconded for a roll call vote on the original motion. The motion carried.  A roll call vote was taken, and Mr. Offutt’s amendment passed. With the approval of the motion to defer the vote on the membership of the Planning and Zoning Committee, no vote was taken on the original motion made by Cameron Kinvig.

Following the vote, Jean Dean called for more transparency and asked that the membership of all committees be published. She also asked if the committee report is not listed on the agenda that no committee report be given at that meeting.

Joanna said that the Planning and Zoning committee will ask to be on the January meeting agenda to vote on the committee. The committee will seek to include up to one person from each block within the district for its membership.

Tom Bonifield said we will start with a clean slate of members and review the question on the charter.

Vanessa Hoffman addressed the demolition of 4901 Live Oak and called it an embarrassment for the district.

Joanna reported that what had been reported in the press was not correct. Representatives from the SAHD pursued extensive attempts to work with the owners to save the home. They did not want to pursue a deed restriction to protect the home for the future or a PD for historic overlay.

Vanessa asked if the position taken by the District  had been voted on?

David Dean asked for a full report at the next meeting.

Robin Marin for the Alliance Against Crime Committee said they are patrolling heavily after the break in at the Whisnant home.

Officer Foreman is asking that we notify him if we are leaving town. He advises not leaving UPS, and Fed Ex packages on front porch. He also suggests using  lights on timers on interior lights to give the appearance of being at home. 

            Email Robin at or

Jean Dean asked what hours of the day the sixteen hours cover? Currently the    coverage is primarily during the evening and nighttime hours  9 – 2a.m. The exceptions are the weekends where more of the daytime patrols occur – usually later in the afternoon. Jean asked to work on that committee.

.           Robin said the contribution letter would be going out soon and asked for suggestions from the district on increasing the hours of coverage.

Joanna said that all Committee Charters would be posted to the website.

Lanc Parker reported for the Outreach Committee.

            They have received five requests;

                        St. Matthews has requested $500 for their Open Arts Studio

            Lakewood Library has requested $1,500 for books on preservation and the history of Dallas.

            Woodrow Wilson has requested $3,500 for cleaning vintage glass showcases.

            Lipscomb has requested $4,000 to fund materials for each classroom for their International Baccalaureate Program.

            J. L. Long has requested $3,500 toward refurbishing their Terrazzo tile and convert lockers to showcases.

            The budget is $7,500 and the requests total $13,000. The committee recommends giving everyone half of their request.

            There were comments regarding Woodrow Wilson and J.L. Long musical groups not showing up for commitments to entertain during past home tours. There were also comments supporting the schools which are underfunded and the benefits to the neighborhood. A suggestion was made to fund specific programs not merely the repair of fixed-assets such as tile and the build-out of display cases.  Lanc said the committee would follow-up and come back to the board at the January meeting with a revised proposal.

Peter Loh gave the Treasurer’s report. He noted there was nothing new.

Joanna reminded us that the Home Tour Chair position was still open.

            We are identifying homes and potential event planners.  A question was asked about the compensation for the event planner. Joanna indicated that in the past two years it has been tied to the revenue generated from the tour and offered to discuss details of the compensation with anyone who requested more information. There were no objections

Old Business – Information Only regarding the B of A meeting held 10/21/2015.

            The Board of Adjustments did not terminate current use. They issued strong recommendations to DCMSA, with no prejudice. There is no two year waiting period.

            There is no set date on the PD. There will be public notice one and one half weeks in advance.

            Conversations are on-going between the parties.

            A question was asked about the application for D&O insurance. Peter is ready to submit the application.

            A request was made for a more complete agenda and if no committee report is listed, that there will be no committee report.

            A discussion ensued about the proliferation of multi- amily apartments going up on the other side of Live Oak. Joanna said a meeting will be held on Thursday, November 19 from 6:30 – 8 at the Lakewood Library on Old East Dallas water usage. Tom Bonifield said that area is zoned multi-family and the primary tool to help would be an historic overlay.

New Business – Concerns about Air BNB and possible uses in our neighborhood.

            Joanna informed us that the DCMSA email that went out to the district was not authorized by the District. No one on the board shared the district email list. Any communication sent to the district is supposed to go through the secretary.

            She also pointed out that neither neighbor mentioned in the SAHD meeting reminder asked to have parking restricted from the space in front of their homes during meetings of the District..

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.