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COUNCIL OF ALBANY NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS

MINUTES:  APRIL 2, 2008

 

  1. Guest Speaker:  Captain Loren LaJoy,  Fire Prevention/Investigation and Codes Division

 

Captain LaJoy discussed the Code Enforcement Division’s involvement in the inventorying of the City’s vacant buildings.  The Common Council has given the inventory a high priority and it has become evident that it is a much greater project than expected.  Discrepancies in the present registry are becoming apparent and the status of buildings changes frequently.  The registry is not yet complete. 

 

Members of the Department of Fire, Emergency & Building Services perform inspections for Code Enforcement.  The Division has recently undergone some personnel changes.  There are five building inspectors, three of whom recently joined the office and Captain LaJoy has been with the office only a short time, as well.

 

Block by Block is the methodical process of taking a detailed accounting of all buildings with the goal of improving and stabilizing buildings that do not comply with the City’s Codes.  All City departments are involved.  Department heads meet weekly to share information.  One coordinator is responsible for gathering and distributing information and following up on corrections.  As much is possible, correction is taking place immediately. 

 

There are presently separate databases the Assessor’s Office, vacant buildings, and Residential Occupancy Permits (ROP’s).  It is anticipated that all three databases will be integrated as the information is gathered from Block-by-Block initiative. Commercial buildings are gradually being added. 

 

There are many multi-unit buildings that are not legal as multiple-family dwellings  and do not have ROP’s. It can be difficult for Codes to enter buildings for the specific purpose of determining whether this is the case.

 

After ROP inspection if there are violations notices are sent to owners and a reinspection date is set.  Lots of violations end up in court. 

 

Capt LaJoy took information about several buildings that residents have observed as being vacant but not on the vacant building registry.  

 

As vacant buildings are purchased, they are required to be registered. 

 

 

Questions and comments:

o       The Block-by-Block has not yet reached the South End

o       Other cities use programs that itemize building deficiencies by a code system. 

o       Concern of the CANA Code Enforcement Task Force is lack of consistency and transparency. And that Albany uses its Code Enforcement personnel to do “other things” like close troublesome buildings.

o       The Block By Block team is still working in the first zone.

o       Photographs are taken of vacant buildings.

 

 

 

  1. Minutes:  The minutes of the March 5, 2008 , meeting were accepted with corrections.

 

  1. Committee Reports

 

Police Issues:  Officer Matt Montesano provided information about several crimes that have recently occurred in uptown Albany and the status of some committed over the past months.  Residents are asked to be particularly alert to “door knockers”--vandals posing as representatives of Verizon, National Grid, etc., and be aware that legitimate representatives of those companies (1) must produce a permit and identification and (2) cannot ask to come into a home.  The APD is engaged in the “Block-by-Block” initiative and a patrol car will always be in the area that is being worked on.  Instructions about how to use the Department’s crime mapping program were provided and will be sent to Howie in order that they can be forwarded to CANA members.

 

Committee on University & Community Relations:  The next meeting will be on Wednesday, April 9.  The guest speaker will be Craig Brewer, Coordinator of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs. 

 

Neighborhood Resource Center :  The NRC Annual awards will be presented at it’s meeting on May 6 at 6 PM at the First Lutheran Church .  Matt Neibower, Bill Bruce, the Orchard Tavern, the Common Council and Lindbrook Johnson will be recognized this year.

 

  1. Announcements and New Business:
    1. The New York Bicycling Coalition will present the 5th Annual Capital Bike Month in May.  Several events are planned.
    2. A book sale will take place in the Pine Hills neighborhood on April 25 and 26. 
    3. The City is making $500,000 available to assist the owners of the approximately 300 homes that had sewer back up and flooding and flooding from 2004 to 2008.   To apply, homeowners may contact Albany Housing at 434-5300.
    4. The Helderberg and New Scotland/Woodlawn Neighborhood Associations will be celebrating and supporting their local businesses May 3 from 11 AM to 2:00 PM .  

ATTENDEES

 

Jim Lyons

Melrose

101 Melrose Avenue

Lynne Jackson

Albany Bicycle Coalition

Lynnejackson@mac.com

Daniel Van Riper

Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association

dwvr@mac.com

John O’Grady

West End NA

817 Livingston Ave

Stephen Winters

SANA

227 Second Avenue

Eileen Murray

PHNA

albanyem@berizon.net

Pat Maxon

Upper Washington Avenue NA

maxdanys@aol.com

Joe Cunniff

UPANA

jcunniff@nycap.rr.com

Kathy Jones

Washington Square NA

57 Bradford Street

Dianne Symansky

Pine Hills NA

163 So Allen Street

Aimee Allaud

Melrose NA

85 Melrose Ave

Darius Shahinfar

Pine Hills Resident

151 South Lake Ave

Sarah Reginelli

City Development & Planning

reginellis@ci.albany.ny.us

Megan Daly

City Development & Planning

dalym@ci.albany.ny.us

Jennifer Viggiani

Helderberg NA

29 Pinewood Avenue

Paul Fowler

CSA

 

Matt Montesano

APD

mmontesaano@albany-ny-org

Robert McRae

CDARPO, MNA

rmcae@nycap.rr.com

Brad Glass

City Planning

glassb@ci.albany.ny.us

Scott Jarzombek

H/PNA

sjarzombek@gmail.com

Bill Law

MHNA

lawwi@yahoo.com

Tom Gebhardt

University at Albany

tgebhardt@uamail.albany.edu

Dan Curtis

Pine Hills Resident

Daniel.Curtis.Albany@gmail.com

Joyce Rambo

Center Square

Rambo@nylink

Holly Katz

Mansion

harriskatz@mac.com

Colin McKnight

Mansion

colinnalbany@yahoo.com

Gene Solan

Pine Hills NA

Gsolan1@yahoo.com

Rev. Joyce Hartwell

 

revjoy@nycap.rr.com

Andrew Harvey

Park South NA

 

Harold Rubin

Center Square

hrchestnut@aol.com

Howard Stoller

CANA

hstoller@aol.com