February 2018 Minutes

LDNA 2/26/18

7 PM, LTC

 

Present:

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.

QUESTIONS:

  • 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

 

RICHARD HOWE:

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

 

COUNCILOR CIRILLO:

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

 

Discussion:

PARKING:

  • 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.

EVENTS:

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.

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