Brookfield Heritage Neighborhood Association 

Board Meeting Minutes

Date: April 16th, 2023

Board Members:  Steve Beckman (Secretary), John Hays, Jeff Johnson (President), Matthew Kazmierski (Vice President), Gail Lytle Lira (Communications), Pat Poli, Alice Schehr (Treasurer), Mark Warner, Steve Whelan

Call to order: Jeff Johnson called to order this meeting of the Brookfield Heritage Neighborhood Association Executive Committee at 4:07pm ET on April 16th, 2023 at 144 Maplewood Dr.

Roll Call:

  • Present: Steve Beckman (Secretary), Jeff Johnson (President), Alice Schehr (Treasurer), Pat Poli, Matthew Kazmierski (Vice President), John Hays, Mark Warner, Steve Whelan, Gail Lytle Lira (Communications)

  • Absent: None

  • Quorum present: Yes

Approval of Past Minutes: A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes from the Board meeting held on January 15th, 2023 as presented. The motion was carried without objection.

Treasurer Updates: 

  1. Alice stated the association’s current account balance is $3,431

  2. Alice informed Pat Robinson that there are sufficient funds for additional tree replacements if needed

Old Business:

  1. Raising annual neighborhood association dues

    1. Make it a point of action at this year’s annual meeting in September to propose a vote to increase the annual dues from $20 to $25 to compensate for increased costs and inflation

  2. 2023 Neighborhood Garden Tour

    1. Alice will help organize the event and is targeting Sunday, July 16th from 1-4pm

    2. Alice will contact neighborhood residents asking for participants

    3. Would like printed brochures that list the participating addresses and describe their gardens

      1. Alice will contact Nella Davis-Ray and Judy Putnam, who helped create the previous brochures

      2. Alice will identify an item that can be placed in the front yard of participating houses

      3. A motion was made and seconded to approve of Alice spending of up to $150 from the association’s account on materials for the 2023 Neighborhood Garden Tour. The motion was carried without objection.

        1. Donations made to the association during the previous Neighborhood Garden Tour exceeded the amount that was spent on materials and was deposited in the association’s account. That is expected to occur again this year.

  3. Neighborhood covenants modification

    1. Steve Beckman printed and mailed letters, consent forms, and stamped return envelopes to 64 addresses that needed signed documents

      1. 21 of the 64 forms were returned (33%)

      2. Addresses still needing signed forms:

        1. (4) on East Grand River (43% complete)

        2. (14) on Maplewood (55% complete)

        3. (8) on North Hagadorn (20% complete)

        4. (7) on Oakland (75% complete)

        5. (5) on Roseland (72% complete)

      3. 56 of 94 total addresses have submitted signed forms (60%) with 38 still needed (40%)

      4. Steve Beckman spent $29.42 to print blank consent forms and letters to residents in 2022, $14.89 on updated letters with 2023 board member names, $21.50 on printouts of the existing neighborhood covenants text, and $84 on stamps. He will submit the receipts to Alice in order to be reimbursed $149.81 from the association’s account for those expenses.

    2. John, Steve Beckman, and Steve Whelan will work together to create a plan for visiting addresses that have not yet submitted signed forms in an attempt to get signatures and share it with the full board.

      1. Renewal of the covenants is due in 2024. Would be helpful to also have a renewal form available for signatures.

    3. The passage of Michigan House Bill 4416 (2021) makes it possible for individual property owners to pay $30 to file a form with the Ingham County Registrar of Deeds to have the language removed from their individual deed instead of relying on the neighborhood association. Information about the process will be shared with the neighborhood Facebook group.

  4. BHNA document storage

    1. Jeff asked in a recent meeting of East Lansing neighborhood associations if there is a central or shared location where other associations store their official physical documents and there currently is not one

  5. Accessory dwelling units proposal

    1. The East Lansing City Council is considering an Accessory Dwelling Units policy that would allow property owners to add additional dwellings on their property for residents or rentals in the form of additions on a house and detached buildings

      1. Such dwellings would violate the current neighborhood covenants

        1. City Council is aware of existing restrictions and the potential policy is still being debated

New Business:

  1. Potential website transition to https://www.eastlansingneighborhoods.com/

    1. Nella Davis-Ray notified the board that all other East Lansing neighborhood associations appear to use the site for posting their information publicly

      1. Board members will research the details and discuss the pros and cons of transitioning to that site in future meetings

  2. 2023 Annual Meeting

    1. Will be held on the second Sunday in September, which will be the 10th, with the rain date being the 17th

      1. Was held on Maplewood last year so will be held on Oakland this year. Jeff will contact the city to reserve the dates for blocking off the street.

    2. The board will hold an additional meeting on Wednesday 8/30 at a TBD time and place in order to finalize plans for the annual meeting

    3. Board terms for Jeff, John, and Steve Whelan end this year

      1. Need to recruit new potential members

    4. The meeting needs to be announced at least two weeks before the meeting date. Will be announced in the Facebook group and the newsletter.

      1. Send content ideas to Gayle by 8/1

        1. Initial ideas: Ask for new board members, recap the Garden Tour, covenant language removal process, fun facts about the neighborhood

  3. Community Issues

    1. Jeff reported that new 5G small cell wireless facilities could be added to the area. The nearest potential location would be near Cahill Rd. Information from the city can be found here: https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/2348/5G-Small-Cell

    2. The city is waiting for the hiring of a new City Manager before moving forward with several projects

      1. Construction of the new MSUFCU building downtown will not include additional parking structures, which will present a challenge to the existing parking facilities

    3. The sign that was in the park at the corner of E. Grand River and N. Hagadorn was in disrepair and has been removed by the city. No additional information regarding the sign is available at this time.

Open Discussion:

  • None

Action Items: 






Discuss raising annual BHNA dues from $20 to $25



Send newsletter content ideas to Gayle



Identify potential new board members



Begin planning for the Neighborhood Garden Tour


John, Steve, Steve

Create plan for visiting addresses that have not submitted signed forms for amending the neighborhood covenants



Contact the city regarding the closure of Oakland Drive on the dates of the annual meeting


Mark, Matt

Research the pros and cons of transitioning the association’s website information to https://www.eastlansingneighborhoods.com/



  • A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 5:05pm ET. The motion carried without objection.

Next Meeting Date, Time, and Location: Sunday, August 20th, 2023, at 4:00pm, location to be determined

Minutes submitted by: Steve Beckman

Minutes approved by: Board motion during meeting held on 2023-08-17.


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