College Hill Landscaping Workshop: Dec 4, 7 p.m.

Please mark your calendars!

The College Hill Neighborhood Association will be holding a neighborhood landscaping workshop on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant at 501 S. Mendenhall St.

Our landscape consultants, Lee Rogers and Randall Romie, will be presenting some options for moving forward with our landscaped beds, and we’d like to get as much neighborhood input as possible. All College Hill residents are welcome! Please share this information with your neighbors.

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College Hill Neighborhood Assn Meets Mon., Dec. 1, 7 p.m.

The College Hill Neighborhood Association will meet Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Church of the Covenant Presbyterian Church on South Mendenhall Street. All College Hill residents are welcome to attend. One of the items on the agenda is a brief presentation by a representative of Duke Energy who will discuss vegetation management plans for College Hill. The full agenda is still under development and will be available at the meeting. A link to minutes from the October meeting is below.




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Next CHNA Meeting: Dec. 1

Mark your calendars. The next College Hill Neighborhood Association meeting will be on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Church of the Covenant Presbyterian Church on South Mendenhall Street.

Why no meeting in November? Because the CHNA meeting always precedes the Historic Preservation Commission’s meetings. This makes it possible for us to weigh in on any Certificate of Appropriateness (CoA) applications affecting College Hill. The HPC combines its November and December meeting, so the CHNA will meet on the Monday before their combined Nov/Dec meeting.


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This weekend’s schedule for UNCG homecoming events; fireworks scheduled for about 9:30 p.m. Saturday

The following information is from UNCG’s Division of Student Affairs, provided by our very helpful university contact, Terri Cartner.

This week, October 27th through November 2nd, is UNCG’s Homecoming Week. There are many events happening on campus this week, culminating in a numerous events and activities this weekend.

You will see increased traffic near campus, you may hear increased noise from campus, and you may see more student activity near campus.

For more detailed information on Homecoming, click here. The full schedule is published on the web page, including all public events and activities.

Following are a few of the highlights:

Saturday, November 1

  • 9 a.m.: Homecoming 5K Run: This will create increased traffic near campus. Portions of Spring Garden Street near campus, Walker Avenue, and Gray Drive will be closed for several hours.
  • 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Museum Tours, Weatherspoon Art Museum
  • 4 p.m.: Children’s Festival for Homecoming, EUC Lawn
  • 4 p.m.: Homecoming Music, EUC Lawn. There will be increased noise near UNCG from 107.5 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. for the simulcast from campus
  • 4:30 p.m.: Homecoming Parade, EUC Lawn
  • 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.: “The Breakfast Club” 80’s tribute band will play on the EUC lawn. There will be amplified sound, and neighbors near UNCG will hear the band.
  • 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. (approximate): Men’s Soccer, Soccer Stadium
  • 9:30 p.m. (approximate): Homecoming fireworks show. There will be loud bangs and noises, flashing lights, and aerial explosions normally associated with fireworks displays. The display will be similar in length to the shows at Greensboro Grasshoppers games. The fireworks are presented by a licensed, state-approved fireworks firm – the same firm serving the Grasshoppers.

If you witness student behaviors in your neighborhood which concern you, please contact the Greensboro Police Department by calling 911. The GPD is aware of UNCG homecoming activities and can work closely with the UNCG Police Department.

We hope you can take advantage of the UNCG Homecoming activities, especially the 5K run/walk/roll and the Homecoming parade and party. The Weatherspoon Art Gallery is open all weekend with free admission, and our volleyball and soccer games are free to attend.

If you have questions or concerns, please call me at 334-5099 or e-mail me.

Jim S. Settle, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

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College Hill Neighborhood Assn to Meet Monday, 10/27/2014, 7 p.m.

The October meeting of the College Hill Neighborhood Association will be  held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, in the Fellowship Hall of the Church of the Covenant, 501 S. Mendenhall St.  Draft minutes from the September meeting are posted below. All College Hill residents are welcome to attend.


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Neighborhood resident provides his side of robbery report

In the message below, neighborhood resident Boone Angel responds to the skepticism that followed his report of being robbed on Carr Street on October 10 (previously covered here and here). It contains considerably more information than the police say he gave them when they responded to what was originally a suspicious person call made by a Carr Street resident. Angel’s response, in full and unedited:

“Let me clear a few things up for you;

“At around 2:30 am Friday, October 10th 2014, my friend Justin & I were walking back from a friends apartment after retrieving my backpack I had left there earlier in the evening. Inside were my house & bicycle keys, a new laptop, a physics textbook, and pretty much everything else I needed for this semester at GTCC (I’m finishing an AAS in Electronics Engineering Technology this coming spring). All in all, almost $1000 worth of school supplies that I worked VERY hard for.

“While walking my friend halfway to his place, we passed a car parked almost horizontally in the road on Carr St (we, of course, were on the sidewalk). I said to my friend, “Nice fvckin’ parking job, geez”. The passenger overheard me, and said “what the fvck you say whiteboy”? I repeated my benign parking accolade; at which point both occupants exited the vehicle, and around this time their other passenger exited a house nearby and joined them in their approach. Realizing I was about to be jumped, I tucked my bag into a bush next to the sidewalk (to keep my laptop safe while I got my head kicked in). I began to yell as load as I could, “Help! Wake UP! Look Outside!”, to hopefully wake someone up to help me as I tried to find my phone and call the police (to no avail). After i began yelling all three ran towards me, and I ran as fast as I could away from them still trying to get the attention of anyone in earshot. At some point shortly after, they stopped chasing me and opted to grab my book-bag, and burned rubber. It all happened so fast, I’m not certain where my friend was. I remember turning around, not seeing him after the chase, and worried that maybe they had caught him and drug him into their car (a newer black dodge charger looking beast). He had split the opposite way during the chase, and was quite safe though. I ran down the street after the car screaming and shaking my fists. I still couldn’t find my phone which was located on the ground at the scene shortly later after police arrived.

“So NO, I wasn’t doing anything shady. All i did was joke, in conversational tone, not realizing anyone else was able to hear me, (the windows were super tinted & I thought no one was in the car at first) about a random car blocking the road, and some meat-head, drunk jerks decided they wanted to gang up on two guys that were obviously no match for them (these guys looked like football players or bouncers). For the past 5 years I have worked hard to slowly pay my way through college (yes there are grants, but it doesn’t pay many bills or put food in my stomach), and I do not appreciate your insinuation that I am some kind of delinquent troublemaker. Yes I was somewhat intoxicated, but I don’t need your permission to celebrate my birthday (late-Oct 6th) with a friend I’ve known for over 20 years. Yes I grew a pot plant when I was 18. I am a 30 year old, highly skilled, extremely motivated, up and coming embedded system engineer. Save your insults for the scum that deserve it, and not the victim of a senseless crime. Maybe if someone had just stepped outside and helped me, I wouldn’t be in this mess. It is my assailants AND the residents of Carr St that should be ashamed of themselves….NOT me. Oh, and that physics book? My new one arrived the day of my mid-term, and I STILL aced (that’s right 100%) the test. But I guess the world needs bloggers too….or whatever it is you do that makes you think you are useful.”

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Demolition of stone retaining wall at 110 South Mendenhall St. to be considered Oct. 29 by Historic Preservation Commission

Retaining wall leaning toward sidewalk at 110 S. Mendenhall

View of the leaning granite wall along the front of 110 South Mendenhall Street

This month’s agenda for the Historic Preservation Commission includes a request to demolish the granite retaining wall along the sidewalk at 110 South Mendenhall Street. The wall has been leaning noticeably toward the street for years.

Property owner Bill Burkley excavated the dirt from behind the wall perhaps two or three years ago, leaving a trench behind the wall running more than 50 feet. Complaints from neighbors led to two zoning inspections this year. The first found no problem. At the request of neighbors, a second inspector visited the property and, according to the city’s Code Compliance Database (Case No. 201407576)  found:

“The stone retaining wall by the sidewalk is leaning over toward the sidewalk. Repair work was stared long ago and a large amount of dirt was removed from behind the wall. Then work stopped. In its current condition, the wall is a violation of 30-9-4 Fences and Walls 30-9-4.8 Maintenance Fences and walls must be maintained in a safe manner, plumb (vertical) to the ground. Fences or walls no longer maintained in a safe manner through neglect, lack of repair, manner of construction, method of placement, or otherwise must be repaired, replaced, or demolished. Failure to maintain a fence or wall in accordance with this section constitutes a violation of this ordinance. I have requested a title search and a NOV [Notice of Violation] has been sent. The remedy will require the property owner to complete the repairs to the retaining wall and comply with the historic district guidelines, or civil penalties can be assessed.”

Berkley’s response is to seek a Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish the wall. Retaining walls are covered in the City of Greensboro Historic District Program Manual in a section beginning on Page 24.

The application will be discussed at the College Hill Neighborhood Association’s monthly meeting on Monday at 7 p.m., at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 501 South Mendenhall Street, in the Fellowship Hall. The HPC meeting will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the Melvin Municipal Office Building, Plaza Level Conference Room.

Other College Hill items on the HPC agenda this month include three after-the-fact applications for exterior work done without a Certificate of Appropriateness:

  • 916 Walker Avenue – Matching fiber cement siding used to replace deteriorated wood siding
  • 921 Carr Street – Satellite dish installed on roof of house
  • 709 Walker Avenue – Construction of wheelchair ramp

Also on the agenda is an application for landscaping and site improvements at 817 Rankin Place.

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Airbnb location in College Hill apparently violates zoning

Screenshot from Airbnb websiteFrom The New York Times:

“Airbnb, the pioneering home rental service, presents itself as useful and virtuous, but the reality is far less benign, according to a report that Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, released on Thursday.

“The report will say nearly three-quarters of all Airbnb rentals in the city are illegal, violating zoning or other laws. … At least a handful of landlords are running what amount to illegal hostels.”

What’s interesting about this is that the one Airbnb rental in College Hill also appears to be violating zoning laws. The owners of 407 South Mendenhall are listing the house on Airbnb’s website as accommodating up to six visitors. The Greensboro Zoning Department says a Special Use Permit is required for the property to be used as a bed and breakfast, but no such permit has been issued for that property.

In addition, the house cannot legally be occupied by more than four unrelated individuals.

The Zoning Department has visited the house but apparently hasn’t taken any action yet. It will be interesting to see what they do.

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Was it a robbery on Carr Street? Or just a suspicious person?

A conversation with the helpful Greensboro police detective who’s investigating the report of a robbery last week on Carr Street left me with these impressions:

  • The police report was sketchy because the police haven’t figured out exactly what happened.
  • Regardless of whether the person reporting the robbery knew the supposed attackers (he told police he didn’t), it appears that if there was a robbery it maybe wasn’t a random incident. The police don’t think the neighborhood needs to worry about three men lurking in bushes, parked cars, moving cars or wherever these guys reportedly were, waiting to ambush anyone who happens by at 2 a.m.
  • The initial call was about a suspicious person. No one has said anything about a robbery except the guy who apparently was the suspicious person.
  • It’s really a shame the only other person present when police arrived says he was too drunk to remember anything.
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Congratulations to the People’s Perk on their first year


View of The People's Perk from the street

People’s Perk at 551 South Mendenhall Street, right around the corner from Spring Garden Street

The People’s Perk coffee house on South Mendenhall Street is celebrating its first anniversary this weekend.  To mark the occasion, owners Karen
Lenk will give a free piece of birthday cake with the purchase of any coffee beverage this Saturday, October 18, from 11 a.m to 3 p.m.

The Perk has provided stability to a storefront that has been home to a fast-moving succession of tenants, some of them pretty skanky, over the years. For that, we can all be grateful and wish them many more years of success.

They’ve also engaged the community in a more substantial and sustained way than almost any other neighborhood business I can recall.  Ms. Archia and Ms. Lenk sent out a first-anniversary news release (which shows more marketing sense and initiative than most start-ups can manage) that lists some of their efforts:

“In addition to coffee, espresso and locally‐made muffins, bagels and doughnuts, the People’s Perk also sells handmade goods and artwork on consignment, and provides wall space for artists to show their work on a rotating basis. …

“The People’s Perk has also hosted events including:

      • A book swap, where customers could exchange fiction and non‐fiction books
      • Cakalak Thunder’s pie auction fundraiser in support of its 10th anniversary
      • May 2013’s Queerluck, a monthly LGBTQ community potluck dinner
      • Three spoken word events, including the first Coraddi‐sponsored open mic reading this past September
      • Creative Aging Network’s Art Party fundraisers
      • An open meeting of the Greensboro Mural Project”

They’re good neighbors, and we’re glad they’re here. If you want engaged, home-grown businesses in College Hill and believe they add to the quality of life in the neighborhood, stop by and support this one.

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