Category Archives: Uncategorized

April 2018 Minutes

LDNA 4/23/18




Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Stephen Greene

Sam Litvin


Meeting called to order at: 7:01.


Opening greeting



Approval of minutes

Approval of January and February minutes; Motion by Carolyn, 2nd by Sam.



Police Report

Capt Crowley – Sector ‘A’ Commander.


  • Shooting on Merrimack St involved parties who knew each other.
  • Big uptick in vandalism all over the city including downtown
    • Lee St and Merrimack street numerous broken windows.
    • Various damaged vehicles
  • Aggravated assaults
    • 2 Domestic incident
    • Fight between women involving nail file
  • Burglaries
    • 1 domestic issue
    • 1 incident at courthouse
  • Disorderly incidents
    • Mostly involving bar closings
  • Shoplifting
    • Cosmetic supplies at Rite-Aid
  • Car break-ins
    • Unlocked doors
    • Rolled-down windows
    • Purse left on seat in plain view – window smashed.


LPD received grant to boost staffing during problem times.




Treasurer’s Report

$755.29 balance.  Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.


Special Guest:  James Saunders of Lowell Makes

  • Open house every Wednesday 6-9pm
    • “Repair night” once a month for small 1-time projects.
  • Wood shop, electronics, photography, 3d printers, machine shop, fabric crafts, many more things
    • Volunteer organization – can arrange for training with tools.
  • 18+ agree for membership
    • Membership is $49/mo, $35/mo for students.
    • $15 day pass available.
  • Classes and workshops available
  • May 19th Skill Share event (10:00am – 4:00pm)
    • Series of 1hr workshops throughout the day on all sorts of topics
  • 4yrs at current location on Merrimack Street.




Special Guest:  Richard Howe of “Lowell Walks”


  • 4th year of Lowell Walks series
  • Most walks on Saturday morning at 10:00am
    • Most walks last about 90min.
    • Great to come and stay for lunch downtown after the walk.
  • Additional walking events scheduled in collaboration with LNHP


Richard proceeded to describe the walks scheduled for this season.




  • Update on parking
    • Meeting rescheduled
    • Lawyers opposed parking increase.
  • No LDNA meeting in May 2018
  • Point of Light event kicking off Art Week in Lowell
  • Doors Open Lowell coming up
  • New England Pet Expo.
  • New restaurant “The Keep” opening where Ricardo’s was.
    • Tutu Benne closed.
    • Thrift stores moved out of downtown
  • Proposal: Fine vacant storefronts to encourage occupancy and discourage allowing them to become blighted.
    • Mayor Samaras responds that the City is looking at options and various city councilors have motions on related matters pending.
    • Fines should be re-invested in improving downtown storefronts
    • LDNA will follow up in a future meeting.
  • Restaurants with sidewalk seating take up too much of the sidewalk and prevent pedestrian access.
    • City agents are now inspecting every week.
    • Perhaps the sidewalks should be marked as to where the seating is allowed to be.
  • LDNA/ HOA committee introduction
    • Private alleyways need to be maintained and trash removed.
  • Missing trash barrel by Pawtucket Canal at Prescott Street side walkway.
  • Locate recycling bins in garages along with trash bins.
  • Has Hamilton canal construction effected condo process/sales at canal place?
    • Not too bad so far. We know of one sale hat fell through because of planned garage.
    • Worried once garage goes up and blocks light.



Meeting Adjourns at 8:16.

March 2018 Minutes

LDNA 3/26/18




Jack Moynihan

Stephen Greene

Sam Litvin


Meeting called to order at: 7:00.


Opening greeting


Approval of minutes

Approval of January and February minutes; Motion by Stephen, 2nd by Sam.


Treasurer’s Report

Approximately $775.25 balance.  Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.


Police Report

Capt Crowley – Sector ‘A’ Commander.

               2 aggravated assaults related to Club 74.

1 assault related to a tow driver dispute.

Burglary related to someone moving into their apartment; truck left unattended.

Burglary of digital x-ray machine from professional building.  ($7k)

Shoplifting (of skin cream) from drug store

Various vandalism (smashed windows, and damaged car at John St. Garage)


Staffing grant money now available for extra downtown patrols during good weather.


Q:  What to do about needles?  A:  Call non-emergency number and Trinity will pick them up.  If not gone within an hour or so, call again.


Q:  How can we focus better on cracking down on over-serving?  A:  LPD works with investigation section and ABCC investigators.


Q: What about drunk driving?  Thorndike DUI checkpoint is no longer available.  A:  Encourage increased use of ride-sharing – working on a way to make this more convenient for patrons.



Special Guest:  Yovani Baez-Rose and Christine McCall, Lowell Department of Planning & Development

  • In the process of doing open space plan
    • 5 year plan
    • Pre-requisite for state funding of projects
    • Public comments available on City Website; also online survey available with translations in Spanish and Kamai
    • Public meeting on 4/17 at Senior Center.
  • What’s missing in downtown?
    • Non-vehicular access to other parts of the city.
      • In particular access to Western Ave Studios, Bruce Freeman Trail.
    • Picnic / BBQ areas with tables
    • Deteriorating benches in many parks
    • Spruce up existing parks (e.g. small park in front of Leo Roy Garage.)
    • Active features such as life-size chess/checkers set or “walking labyrinth”
      • But security issues have to be a major consideration in design
    • Improvement to south common such as artificial turf.
    • Close streets to vehicular traffic for a Sunday (Maybe each Sunday in a different neighborhood) to encourage pedestrian activity.
    • Need more bike racks all over.
    • More concerts/events in brick courtyard by LNHP visitor center.
    • Green walls to improve e.g. parking garage walls.
  • What about in other areas of the city?
    • Better utilization of Vandenburg esplanade
      • Including improvement to sidewalk access to downtown
    • Improved dog-parks
    • Water access (e.g. for kayaks) downstream of the falls.
  • What do you leave Lowell to do that we could bring here?
    • Cross-country ski trails
    • Activities for small children
    • Climbing structure that doubles as public art.
  • What’s going on with trees?
    • Many are in bad shape. Survey of the situation will take place in spring.
  • No need to put down quite so much rock salt; it only serves to wreck pavement and plants
  • Open house meeting at LNHP Headquarters on 4/4 at 6:30pm.



Special Guest:  Nick Navin, City Parking Director

  • City Council Public Hearing on new parking rates on 4/3 at 7:00pm.
  • No rate hike in ~14 years.
  • Initial proposal for rate hike was deemed to aggressive; new proposal is more modest as simply an adjustment to account for inflation over the past 14 years. (36%)
  • On-street parking rate increases from $1/hr to $1.50/hr


Q:  What about a validation to help businesses?  A:  Willing to look at it?

Q: What about extending meter hours past 6pm?  A:  I’m in favor, but there’s not widespread support.  Also demand-based parking rates and progressive pricing.

Q:  Isn’t it outrageous that parking spot reservation on public streets outside of downtown is only $10/yr?  A:  Yes.

Q:  What about more electric vehicle charging stations?  A:  Councilor Cirillo says a motion is in the works to look at expanding access.  Nick points out huge backlog of maintenance and notes that as funds become available more chargers will be installed.


Meeting Adjourns at 8:31.

February 2018 Minutes

LDNA 2/26/18




Jack Moynihan

Carolyn Alphen

Stephen Greene

Sam Litvin


Meeting called to order at: 7:00.


Opening greeting


Approval of minutes

Approval of January minutes; Postpones until March meeting.


Treasurer’s Report

$755.25 balance.  Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.


Police Report

Capt Crowley – Sector ‘A’ Commander.

Discussion of cyclist accident on Dutton Street near Lord Overpass ramp.

  • Discuss improvements to markings and general roadway design.

Big increase in vandalism, including 8 smashed windows.

3 of 6 aggravated assaults were domestic.

Disorderly incidents: most involve bar closings


Special Guest:  Andrew Shapiro, City Economic Development Director

Experience:  4.5yrs in Salem, MA doing economic development.

5.5% official vacancy rate.

– Craig H. pointed out that the vacancy rate seems much higher than 5.5%.

New overlay zoning district in downtown requires special permit for class-A office use of storefronts.  (To encourage retail.)

Walgreens coming to downtown; other vacant storefronts are under discussion with possible tenants.

Strategies for improvement:

-Retail incubator in vacant storefront to allow small new retailers to get established.

– Would also provide access to support services for new businesses.

– Submitted grant proposal to MassDevelopment for JAM area to support community & economic development dedicated to that area.

See facebook and twitter at @DoBizInLowell to keep up to date.


  • Why do political offices seem to be exempt from class-a special use permit?
    • Not sure; will ask.
  • How does high school decision affect downtown planning.
    • It doesn’t really affect the current activities.
  • What to do with large store-front spaces?
    • A real challenge except for restaurants; one option is to sub-divide into smaller spaces
  • What would be good business to move in?
    • 2nd hand shop
    • Pet shop



  • Arts week 4/27 – 4/28: A walking tour about monuments in downtown.



  • Neighborhood sub-committee chair. First meeting will be at City Hall; future meetings will be in the neighborhoods.




  • City is re-starting process of looking at parking rates.
  • LDNA is interested in looking at the various restrictions and agreements between city and various condo associations.


DIY Lowell, LNHP and other groups will be holding an event on 6/16:  Interactive (travelling) production of a Midsummer-night’s Dream.  More info will be on DIY-Lowell site eventually.

June 7th book event at Eastern Bank from 3:30 – 6:00.  See “Project Learn” website for more info.


Meeting Adjourns at 7:59.

January 2018 Minutes

LDNA 1/22/18




Jack Moynihan

Carolyn Alphen

Stephen Greene

Sam Litvin


Meeting called to order at: 7:02.


Opening greeting


Approval of minutes

Approval of October minutes; Motion was made by Stephen and 2nd was heard.


Treasurer’s Report

$615.29 balance.  Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.


Annual election of LDNA officers

Slate of existing board is re-elected by unanimous consent.


Police Report

Capt Crowley – Sector ‘A’ Commander.

Crime statistics look pretty good (low) for the period.  One assault was 2 girls at high school.  Other 2 assaults were domestic.

Robbery at Middlesex St.:  Phone and backpack stolen from pedestrian by person who drove up in car.

Ongoing thefts from cars – lock your doors!

Bad weather = lower crime.

Compstat numbers are LPD-only (not UMLPD or LNHP PD) and reflect only issues that result in police reports.


Special Guest:  William Samaras, Mayor of the City of Lowell

Councilor Cirillo also in attendance.

Learns a lot from attending neighborhood meetings

Next step:  increase involvement of neighborhood groups.  Maybe groups can actually be involved in generating/filing council motions.

2 new council subcommittees:  1) Seniors and 2) Non-profits

Senior subcom will meet at senior center and other locations where seniors are.

Increase communication, coordination and collaboration between city and non-profits

Improve Downton lighting

Work on traffic and parking issues.

Was headmaster at LHS for 19yrs.  Strongly in favor of downtown location due to access/transportation, and jobs and services for students.  Good integration with UML and MCC.

Provide opportunity for councilors to discuss their visions for the city 2-3yrs out.

Most people have 1 thing in common:  they the city to be a safe/great/positive place to live/work.



What about veterans:  Very important.

Can public participate in plastic bag ban proposal?  Councilor Carillo says – yes environment subcommittee will involve the public.

Lighting:  historic fixtures will remain – just new LEDs

Will work with Nick on parking rates.

LTC coverage of meetings and election issues

Coordinate with state on transportation issues; construction will makes things worse before they get better.  (e.g. bridge closings etc…)

Arborist – dead trees?  In general this is where the increased involvement with neighborhood groups can help – in terms of bringing issues to the fore.

Will neighborhood subcommittee continue to go out to the neighborhood group meetings?  Councilor Cirillo:  Yes it was a good idea and will continue.

What about overpayment by seniors of garage fees?  This is being worked on.

Lawrence turned down government grant for housing?  All city’s want market rate housing and nice restaurant, etc.  But needs to integrate all types of people.



JAMBRA meeting discussed new garage in Hamilton canal district.  Concern is about access to Canal Place III parking.  Green wall may be replaced by printed screens due to question about survivability of green wall plantings in low sunlight area.  Tiered design is still the plan.  Expect to break ground this year.

Lowell Bike Coalition was interested in bike storage.  Answer is that a special caged area and dedicated access for bikes.

Garage will also include some hookups for electric vehicles. – Plan for the future!


Parking rate issues:

Maybe the construction cost should be bonded and paid by the future users of the new garages

Lights out on west side walkway.

Ponding water on 2nd floor.

Snow is not removed from secondary exists in the winter.  – Safety issue.

Parking rights are tied to individual condo unit deeds in many cases – and all developments have different situations.

Current parking rates are so complicated that no one knows exactly who should be paying what.

City should formally recognize agreements in place with various condo associations and account for the obligated spaces.

Maybe senior status could be automatically discerned from driver’s license data that is already collected by parking dept.


Lowell Open Spaces and Rec Plan meetings starting.  Meeting at Senior Center.  1/25 from 6-8.  More info email


Meeting Adjourns at 8:27.

October 2017 Minutes

LDNA 10/23/17




Jack Moynihan

Carolyn Alphen

Stephen Greene

Sam Litvin


Meeting called to order at: 7:03


Opening greeting


Approval of minutes

Approval of August and September minutes; Motion was made by Jack and 2nd by Carolyn.


Treasurer’s Report

$615.29 balance.  Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.


Police Report

Overall crime count down from last month.  Several assaults/robberies solved.

Q & A from public:

Issues with persons hiding behind barricades behind Canal Place.  LPD will follow up.

Canal walkway behind 58 Prescott St building is a site of reorted drug deal activities.

Constant drug activity reported behind Wings/Asian Bistro area on Market Street.

Bar Crawl planned for Halloween despite license being denied.  Who is responsible for this sort of situation?  What recourse?

No update on robbery near TD Bank from 9/17.


Presentation by Jim Dyment:  Brush Art Gallery Director

  • About the Gallery:
    • Non-profit; 35 years old; first open studios in Lowell
    • Resident studio artists in mediums including painting, Illustration, photography, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, and textiles, plus 25 associate artists who rent wall space.
    • Organizes museum quality special exhibits.
  • More than just an art gallery:
    • Working with women at Megan’s House giving recovering addicts an outlet for self-expression.
    • Program with Recreational Adult Resource Association (5 years running)
    • Program with UML to raise money for arts scholarship: “4×4 for Education” in March
    • “Art in the Courtyard” event in partnership with LNHP and the Lowell Folk Festival
    • Programs with Girls Inc., and many other local service organizations.
    • Special exhibit coming in May:  Cambodian


Lowell is much improved since 10 yrs ago.  City council support of LPD has been crucial to downtown quality of life.  Also, improved License Commission oversight.

Update on parking increases?  Parking rate hike for downtown is essentially a tax hike that no other residents have to pay.  At the very least, we need to ensure that trash collection policy and overall tax policy takes downtown residents into account.

New creperie coming to downtown next to Jimmy John’s.  Lowell Burger and Warp&Weft now have their liquor licenses.

Meeting Adjourns at 7:54.

September 2017 Minutes

LDNA 09/25/17




Jack Moynihan

Carolyn Alphen

Stephen Greene  (Arrived 7:30)

Sam Litvin


Meeting called to order at: 7:02


Opening greeting


Approval of minutes

Approval of minutes was put off until next month.


Treasurer’s Report

$588.29 balance.  Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.  Our donation to the Lowell Movie Night was well received.


Police Report

Report by Capt. Crowley  (

Overall crime count down from last month.  Two of the assaults were random violence against homeless persons.

Q & A:

Issues with homeless persons on Prescott St. blocking doorway of building.  Homeless people cannot be arrested for vagrancy because those laws have been repealed.

Bikes on sidewalk are a concern.

Pan-handlers are a problem, but there’s not much the police can do.  City has tried many approaches, but the pan-handlers have rights.

Important to discriminate between innocuous people and the real problem people.

Issue with vehicles using a shortcut between the LNHP visitor’s center and the area by 110 Canal.  —  Should be posted with “Authorized Vehicles ONY” signage.

Dedicated walk cycle at traffic light at Market & Central works well and should be replicated at other downtown traffic lights.


Presentation by Nick Navin:  Lowell Parking Dept. Director

There’s a need to grow the parking infrastructure to accommodate new growth in downtown area and Hamilton canal.   Also lots of deferred maintenance (including recently completed projects.)       14 years since last rate increase.

Parking rates can be a tool to help control demand rather than endlessly increasing supply.

Q&A / Discussion:

Downtown residents begged for a gradual increase – the big jump is really unfair.

Downtown residents have no choice but to park here – the fee is like a mandatory tax.

Downtown residents pay for trash & recycling subsidy but don’t get any services  — lower parking rates are a bit of an offset to this situation.

Upcoming Lowell City Council subcommittee meeting should be informed about our concerns.

Condo associations need to be informed about the rate increases.  Many associations pay for the parking on behalf of their owners.  This is a major problem with any plan that offers a menu of options.


Discussion with Chief Taylor of LPD:

Homeless people an ongoing issue.  Moving them from one place to another isn’t really working.

Councilor Samaras:  We need to work on improving the Lowell Transitional Living Center so they provide better services.

Legally there just isn’t that much that can be done.


Meeting Adjourns at 8:49.

August 2017 Minutes

LDNA 08/28/17




Jack Moynihan  (Arrived at ~7:15)

Carolyn Alphen

Stephen Greene

Sam Litvin


Meeting called to order at: 7:04


Opening greeting


Approval of minutes

Approval of minutes was put off until next month.


Treasurer’s Report

$629.36 balanace.  Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.


Police Report

Report by Capt. Crowley  (

Capt. Crowley is the new Sector A (includes downtown area) commander

4 aggravated assaults were domestic related.  (1 was a follow-up on an old case)

4 burglaries (1 was a trespass event)

Disorderlies mostly related to bar closings.

Robberies likely involved drug deals.  No injuries.

80-90% of car breaks involves unlocked vehicles with valuables in plain sight.

  • Extra people on shift for college move-in period.
  • For people with camera systems in their building, you can email to the LPD.
  • Question about activity in front of TD Bank: Bank is hiring a detail officer and police have also focused walking beat officers on that issue.
  • Question about aggressive dogs: Animal control officer can respond .
  • Question on loud motorcycles: Traffic cars have dB meters and can investigate.
  • Question on suspicious activity in Roy garage: In case of doubt – call LPD at (978) 937-3200.


Presentation by Andy Jacobson of COOL on an overview of the upcoming “Creaticity” and “Kinetic Sculpture” events.

Most of market St. closed on Sat & Sun 9/16 – 9/17

Meters bagged on Thurs night.  Ticketing begins Friday at 4pm

Access to garage and Canal place via Palmer Street.  Market Street closed all the way down to Cental St.

Question:  How are you communicating the road closures?  Answer:  Will reach out to property managers.

Porta potties will be provided.

Tents with Artists and Maker’s Fair

Performance Stage, food trucks, street performers.

Writers corner in gallery Z.


9/23  7:00am – 6:00pm market closed between Shattuck and palmer.  Full access to garage from Central except for a brief period around 11:00 when garage access may be blocked for 15-20 minutes.


MANY other events in September  —  See events calendar website.



Discussion about avoiding trash route pickups on Fri & Sat.  Will follow up with city.

Questions on status of old power plant renovation at Canal Place

Questions on status of small garden and walkway in front of Roy garage with dead trees.

Request update on Roy parking renovation and parking rates.  Parking rates will be increasing.

Suggstion:  Public bathrooms in the downtown area

Pop-up movie series:  Enterprise Parking Lot 9/7 at 7:30 with free popcorn

Motion by Stephen (2nd by Jack) to sponsor the movie event with a $50 contribution.

Canalwater cleaners and downtown Lowell cleanup was very successful.


Meeting Adjourns at:  8:12

September 2017 Agenda

LDNA  Agenda – September 25, 2017

  1. Opening greeting
  2. Approval of minutes
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. Police Report
  5. Nick Navin of the Lowell Parking Dept. will present upcoming changes to parking rates and discuss other parking related issues.
  6. Information

August 2017 Agenda

LDNA  Agenda – August 28, 2017

  1. Opening greeting
  2. Approval of minutes
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. Police Report
  5. Andy Jacobson of COOL will give an overview of the upcoming “Creaticity” and “Kinetic Sculpture” events.
  6. Information

2017 Folk Fest Street Closings

Here is an updated schedule of the street closings for the Folk Festival.  Please note the earlier closing times for some streets on Friday July, 28th.

2017 Folk Fest Street Closings