Meeting Minutes Mar. 2023

Meeting Minutes for March 14, 2023, 6:00 PM until approx. 8:00 PM

XJim Baross (C)XAllan Harjala (T) Ricky Marin
 Emilie ColwellXEmily KamenXDan Soderberg
XPaul Coogan (VC) Scott KesslerXBrian Schrader
XVickie Everich (S)XNancy LawlerXGreg Stone
XTaylor EverichXFrances Prichett  

Others present: Kim Emmerson, Molly Lorden, Dennis Reiter

Annual Election:  Greg Stone, Frances Prichett, Scott Kessler, Nancy Lawler and Ricky Marin all received the needed votes to maintain their place on the Board. Jim Baross received the needed votes to be an Alternate Board Member.


  1. Introductions of Board members. 
  2. Agenda Setting/modifications: Paul requested to add an item regarding bylaws in in response to the recent actions of the city (see Chair’s Report)
  3. Approval of previous meeting minutes as sent via email – Secretary/Vickie Everich: Motion to approve: M: Allan, S: Paul, Motion passes unanimously
  4. Treasurer’s Report – Treasurer/Allan Harjala: No change from last month: $2085.99

Non-Agenda Public Comment regarding NH land use & related NH community issues;  

  • Kim Emmerson: Expressed concerned that the Adams Community Recreation Advisory Group does not have many members, especially at this important time when the city is looking to the group for guidance regarding the completion of the Ward Canyon GDP. Kim invited those interested to attend meetings/ join the group. Meetings are every 4th Wednesday held at the Adams Recreation Center at 6:00 pm.
  • Dennis Reiter: Noted that the GDP was developed 20 years ago and this community has changed since then. There are probably different needs and as a community we need to voice those needs. 
  • Gary Weber: agrees, we need more park space and to be vocal about it
  • Jim mentioned that the NHCPG does have a  “Trails and Park Development” standing group, but it currently needs people on it.  He will reach out to the Department of Parks and Recreation and invite a representative to come to the April meeting.
  • Digital communications monitoring from Nextdoor, Facebook,etc: None this month

Action/Decision Items

  • Tree Replacement: Resident Gerald Schoelen presented information to the Board regarding the city’s policy regarding replacing trees that were removed.  Motion made by Paul: “Shall the NHCPG formally request that the city arborist replace trees when damaged/dead are removed at time of removal, and additionally request that the city review areas on the easement that lack trees and add them, and finally provide basic watering to the new trees until established during the dryer months?” Seconded by Brian.  Board voted unanimously that motion passes.
  • Grant Opportunity presentation by Paul: Clean California Local Grant Program
  • Review and discussion regarding teleconferencing capabilities and requirements


  • City, County, and State government agency representatives, if present: None present
  • Chair report 
    • Community Planners Committee – Each community planning group is going to be re-evaluated and be required to review and update their bylaws by December 2024 in an attempt to ensure planning groups are doing everything possible to be more reflect the diversity of the community or they may lose the ability to be the group that represents the community and another group can request to be the representation group.
    • Paul and Jim met informally with chairs of the other Mid City planning groups; there was agreement between the three groups that it would be beneficial to collaborate to anticipate the updating of the Mid City Plan.  Jim called to develop a standing or working group to work with Paul on this. Brian, Allan, and Greg volunteered
  • Community Group updates when present
    • Adams Avenue Business Association – Scott Kessler unable to attend
    • El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association: Gary Weber: would Normal Heights like to participate in the  holiday lights bridges, Jim will put on next month’s agenda. The Business Improvement Association is actively working to bring dense housing to El Cajon Boulevard where space is available. 
    • NH Community Association and NH Urban Arts: Greg Stone provided an update on NHCA events including a mixer at Ould Sod and and Eggstravaganza for children at Normal Heights Recreation Center. NH Urban Arts is looking for members, fundraising for the mural is going well and they hope to start work on it soon.
    • Adams Community Recreation Advisory Group Nancy Lawler: There will be an event at Ward Canyon Park March 25, 2023 on from 10:00-2:00.  Humane Society will be there- will be giving free identification tags, and spring family photos.
    • NH History Project 

       Historical documents are now at the Community Center office

  • NH for Smart Growth – Paul Coogan: would like to offer free electronic newsletter creation for the planning group if the NH for Smart Growth logo can be on it

Standing and Working Groups & Pending Issue Reports as needed   

  1. Historical Property Review Report – Dan: None to report
  2. Parks & Trail Development –P&R Director promising new trees to be installed in the Fall.
  3. Utility Undergrounding – Frances/Emilie C.No updates
  4. Traffic Issue Taskforce – Allan  City Traffic Engineering Department has confirmed that they received our letter

Adjournment : M: Brian  S:Greg