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Minutes 7-11

Future Planning Committee
Minutes of Meting from July 13, 2011
Attending the meeting were Frank Hirsch, Guthrie Miller, John Kretzman, and Bettina Raphael, Convener. We met at Guthrie’s home to take a first-hand look at the Meeting’s land on Camino Lejo. Guthrie gave the group a tour of his property, the adjacent ca. 1 ½ acres that the Meeting received as a gift. We also looked at the relationship of the land to surrounding roads and neighbors. Considerations for building included: construction would be controlled by a 50’ set-back from the road, the need for a septic tank since Camino Lejo is apparently not on the city sewer, and the fact that traffic noise could be a concern. We noted that the large, fairly flat building site does not obstruct any neighbor’s view and, in fact, a single story building could be situated and landscaped to be hardly visible, especially by neighbors on the north side of Camino Lejo (Gurthrie, Kyra Kerr nearest Guthrie’s house, and Keith Schneider who objects to the Meeting’s use of the land). The proposal of getting Kyra Kerr to sign an affidavit verifying her approval for building a meetinghouse was discussed but unlikely to be pursued since Ms. Kerr may be selling her rental property in the near future and the group questioned if such an affidavit would carry any weight with a new owner. In regard to neighbor resistance to the Meeting’s eventual use of the land for a meetinghouse, Frank Hirsch offered to again try to meet with Mr. and Mrs. Schneider despite the fact that Guthrie’s past experiences with this neighbor have not been encouraging and we think Ruben Hersh has already tried approaching the Schneiders. It was suggested that one last effort will be made by the committee to again raise the legalities of the covenant restrictions with a lawyer. The group also speculated that if a meetinghouse were built and the neighbors objected, the City would probably be the authority that would rule on such a case.
A general sense of the Committee was that even if the obstacles to getting a permission to build on the land were resolved, the lack of funding for a meetinghouse and, more importantly, the lack of motivation among Canyon Road Meeting members for such an initiative make such a project very unlikely at this time. Everyone felt that there seems to be little energy coming from the Meeting to seek new or different physical facilities. It was noted, however, that the Meeting may need to take some action in 2 ½ years when it must start paying the property tax on the Camino Lejo property. The Committee members themselves are divided on the urgency of a need for larger worship space and on the prospect of leaving the Olive rush Studio for a new space. The most concrete proposal to come out of our discussions is to look into renting a large tent and pitching it on the Camino Lejo land for anywhere from a week to two months. This would allow the Meeting membership to gather there on Sundays to get a feeling for the land. It was suggested that South Santa Fe Worship Group be invited to join in this experience.
Those present felt that it will be important to attend the next Long Range Planning Comm. meeting of the South Santa Fe Group to get a sense of what facility they envision for the future and whether the Camino Lejo property could play some role in those plans. There was a brief discussion of what the smallest size facility for a meetinghouse could be and still be useful and what budget might be required given the current construction costs. Although 1000 sq. ft. was suggested as perhaps too small, there was a rough cost estimate of likely more than $100/sq. ft. This will need a lot more information and discussion in the future.
Finally, Bettina reported that an estimate for having the Canyon Road property surveyed for future title records and city permits was ca. $1500 and there was some agreement about going ahead with it.
Prepared by B. Raphael 7/14/11

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