HSPI MEETING MINUTES February 28, 2023

 7:00 pm Call to Order

Officers attending: Mark Manovich, Nick Vanderpool, Sarah Dugan, Erin Jeffries. Absent: Sarah Morris, Holly DiFlora.

Introductions made among the 25 people attending.

Guest presentation

Neighbor Steve Thornn, owner of the Oak Street church (433 Oak) presented his vision for the building, which is both his home and the site of his nonprofit adult arts center, The Ministry. He plans to keep the building intact and historically correct per its original church structure and has been working to bring the building up to code for modernity and safety per the City of Dayton’s requirements.

However, he thinks that based on his experience renovating old buildings, Oak Street church cannot be brought up to code. He circulated pictures of the interior of the building to show some damages he is faced with fixing.

Steve plans to house an adult-only art gallery (no one under the age of 19 will be allowed in the building), the gallery to be open once a month so people can tour it for a fee. He did not know the fee he would charge. Art spaces will be rented to artists to teach or create their art. The church sanctuary will be available to rent for wedding ceremonies (no children may attend/no alcohol), and if it meets City requirements the kitchen would be available for rent to private individuals who need a large culinary facility (non-commercial cooks).

Steve plans to create an arial silks space. He also suggested spaces in the building could be booked by yoga teachers wanting to hold a class. He noted that he wanted these spaces to be booked on an as-needed basis (similar to office “hoteling”). Steve emphasized he did not want to follow Front Street’s model of art gallery.

There will be no services held in the church. The building will have no denomination and no congregation. Steve is considering allowing people to gather in his parking lot to listen to recorded sermons from his uncle, a Baptist minister.

Steve then took questions from neighbors to further explain his vision and say that ‘adults only’ doesn’t mean ‘pornographic’ but did express his opinion that ‘if it doesn’t offend, it’s not art.’ His rationale for restricting the church access to “19 years of age and up” was to keep high schoolers (aged 18) from telling their high school friends about the exhibits. When asked if his events would attract large numbers of guests and make driving/parking a challenge for neighbors, he did not perceive that to be a problem and did not offer an occupancy number. While neighbors sympathized with how challenging/costly it is to bring properties up to code, many have done so successfully by following zoning, fire codes, housing rules, undergoing inspections, etc. so no one suggested to Steve that the Oak Street church should be exempt from the same rules we’ve all had to follow.

Mark thanked Steve for being forthcoming, and Steve has offered his telephone number to everyone; his website www.theministry45410.org is not yet live.

Minutes of the January meeting were approved with one correction.

Police/Anticrime Report

DPD – Officer Bunch was busy on a stolen vehicle report (a KIA) and did not attend. Mark Keller, chair of the Anticrime committee, has been busy working with police due to an uptick in homeless behavior and the drug activity, mental illness that comes with it. The DPD continues to attempt to get social services to these folks when possible while keeping public and private spaces safe for the community. Mark Keller asked that we please let the DPD know we appreciate them. Officer Bunch is great we’re very fortunate to have him working with the neighborhood, especially since Dayton is short of police at the moment. As always, since police coverage in your neighborhood increases or decreases based on the number of calls made to the police (emergency or non), if you see something, say something. If you ignore a crime, we won’t get the police coverage we need to keep the neighborhood safe.

President’s Report

Safety at Clover/Wayne following the pedestrian fatality: With the speed sensors as the first step, Mark asked the Dayton Traffic Engineers for accident statistics along our stretch of Wayne, only to discover there seem to be accidents on every inch of Wayne. HSPI leadership and Wayne Ave business owners will be meeting with the City of Dayton Chief Engineer to hear about the 2024-2026 Wayne Ave reconstruction plan and discuss ways to make our street safer and will share details at the March HSPI General Membership Meeting. 

The property sale of the Wayne/Wyoming parcel to Oakmont Education LLC. The City responded to our letter protesting that (1) we weren’t informed of the sale (2) the parcel was not sold as a commercial/retail lot. As stated in our letter to the City, the best parcel for a school is the nearby empty 5-acre parcel on Nassau Street that was the former Lincoln School site, not a business corridor like Wayne/Wyoming. East End Community Services (EECS) of Twin Towers neighborhood recruited the school for the site. Oakmont’s school for ages 18-22 would complement EECS’s mission and they are in favor of it — even though EECS owns the 5-acre parcel of the former Lincoln School and could have offered them that.

There will be a change in our trash pickup schedule. Due to trash volume with uneven loads, the City is moving most South Park resident’s trash pickup day from Wednesday to Tuesday, beginning March 28. Every affected resident will receive a letter from the City and the HSPI communications team will help get the word out.

Emerson Academy parking lot retaining wall. Because the retaining wall is unsafe and must be replaced or fixed, parent pickup in that parking lot is down to 2 lanes from 3. Emerson is seeking to remove the retaining wall and put a landscaped hill in its place that will provide a vehicular entrance to the parking lot from Burns Ave. and reduce traffic on Hickory. They are trying to buy a small parcel of land at the bottom of the retaining wall to make this possible.

Events/Social report

HSPI will take part in the city-wide Living City Project cleanup on Saturday morning, April 22, Earth Day. Margie Harrell offered her lot at Morton & Oak as our trash point.  

The Annual Chili Cookoff is in the works for Saturday, March 11, 5-7, Great Hall, Hope Lutheran Church. The chili champ wins a custom embroidered apron. Guests will be invited to a game of chance – a wine bottle ring toss! $5 for 5 chances.

Music in the Gazebo: The social/events team needs a volunteer to apply for a grant, book musicians and organize music events in the Gazebo.

Parks report

Now that the City has ground our tree stumps, we’ll disburse the resulting wood chips. Jill to apply for the Keep Montgomery County Beautiful $1000 grant. Merker Iron is scheduled to fix the Blommel Park fence soon. March will be the start of our volunteer gardening efforts.

Block captains report

Standing by. No flyers to hand out at the moment.

Membership report

We have 13 new members for 2023, with current members rolling over from 4th quarter 2022. The annual membership drive is slightly delayed but will begin soon.

Housing/Development report

South Park has a new Housing Inspector, Tim Bascom, who will attend our monthly meetings. Email complaints about blight and violation of Landmark rules to [email protected] or to Karin [email protected].  The City will resume aggressive legal orders on structural problems in the coming months. Legal orders have been filed on structural violations at 418 Alberta St., which is now for sale for $130,000 and is zoned for five residential units. If you’d like to volunteer for the Housing team, contact Karin at [email protected].

2023 Provisional Budget

Mark ran through the reasoning for the budget numbers, which the members discussed. Members voted to approve the budget (see below).

2023 Calendar of Events

We’ll discuss that next month.

New Business/Announcements

Our City Community Engagement Specialist Martha Rodriguez [not present] invited everyone to Dayton’s International Women’s Day Event, March 18, 2023, a free event with art, music and dance. For the details click here.

David Esrati proposed three ideas for the members to consider: (1) collective solar farms that could benefit South Park if there was a way to connect the power to the grid. For example, the huge roof of Emerson Academy would be ideal for solar panels. (2) consider the construction of a public swimming pool within South Park. (3) Create a for-profit development corporation to purchase the Hickory Center, and return it to use as a YMCA, complete with day care, elder care, a tool crib and woodworking shop. Members agreed to discuss these ideas as possible neighborhood amenities.

Meeting adjourned at 8:09pm, followed by a very lively mini-social where the meeting issues were discussed in greater detail.

2023 Provisional Budget













Music in Gazebo



Murder Mystery






Events *see below


Misc & Admin ** see below







Projected loss: $1,850





**Misc & Admin

100 Chili Cook-off


250 New Neighbor Party

PO Box rental

100 Easter Egg Hunt

Zoom Account

100 Halloween


100 Euchre Tourney


250 Holiday Party

250 New Event

Total $1,150






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