The Stuart Neighborhood was designated an historic district in 1976. It is the result of local property owners taking action to save their homes from investors eyeing Stuart’s magnificent homes with an eye to making a quick but short-term profit, with no interest in maintaining the homes, their value, or the value of the neighborhood. The Stuart Area Restoration Association, which represents these neighbors’ has long been committed to working collaboratively with elected local and state officials to protect the personal rights of all our residents and property values of our local property owners.
The April edition of the SARA Newsletter is up and ready for you online in the Newsletter section of the website.
The Stuart Area Restoration Association is holding the Annual meeting on Tuesday, April 12 at 7 pm at Woodward School. Along with the electing of Board members, we have serious questions to ask and have answered that will tell us if Stuart will continue. If yes, what is it going to look like. This is a time of deciding what is important. Several other MAJOR issues will be discussed. We need you here.
SARA Office located at 530 Douglas Avenue is now open Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 2:00 pm for your convenience.
Jenn Keyser, Stuart's Executive Secretary, will be filling office hours for the foreseen future. Stuart is anticipating exciting changes in the future that will mean more neighborhood programs and involvement than ever. If you are not already following Stuart on Facebook at , we would like to encourage you to do so www.facebook.com/StuartNeighborhood . You can also follow Stuart on Twitter at @StuartArea .
The Stuart Area Restoration association is in the process of drafting new By-laws. As the citizens on Stuart, you are encouraged to read the preliminary draft and ask questions at the Annual Meeting on April 12, 2016 at Woodward School. Everything in black is current. Items in red are proposed changes. You can read the draft of By Laws by clicking the link below:
March 31, 2016
Stuart Area Restoration Association will be hosting a program put on by Vegan Kalamazoo called
Managing Type 1 Diabetes Using a Plant-Based Diet
More information can be found here: http://www.vegankalamazoo.com/managing-type-1-diabetes-using-a-plant-based-diet-vk-healthy-eating-series/
March 8, 2016
Stuart Area Restoration Association Board of Directors meeting is at 7pm. This is also Primary day in the State of Michigan. Please make sure you vote.
February 4, 2016:
Handouts and Slideshow from Informational Meeting on the Historic District Modernization Act. Thank you to the Kalamazoo Public Library for hosting us and to Sharon Ferraro for speaking and allowing SARA to use her handouts.
Wednesday February 3rd 6:00 pm at Kalamazoo Public Library Downtown Van Deusen Room
HB5232 & SB720, the Historic Preservation Modernization Act proposed by Representative Afendoulis and Senator McGregor purports to enhance the personal property rights of residents in historic districts, when in actuality it is precisely the historic district status that protected both the personal rights of residents through local control and significantly increased the property values of these homes.
The Stuart Area Restoration Association was not consulted in the formulation of this bill, nor was the Heritage Hill Association in Grand Rapids, which represents the oldest and one of the largest historic districts in the state of Michigan. Because this bill is being moved so quickly, there has been no opportunity to learn more about the concerns the bill sponsors say they are responding to.
We believe that HB5232 & SB720 jeopardize property owners’ investments in historic districts by subjecting districts to a citywide renewal vote every ten years. This would allow the vote of residents outside of a historic district to determine if that district would be allowed to continue to exist. This provision actually takes away local control – control by neighborhood residents that these historic districts have always enjoyed.
There are other significant issues with this bill that are cause for alarm, including provisions that hinder a community’s ability to address problem properties; provisions that politicize the appeal process; and provisions that remove the predictability and certainty inherent in historic district design standards.
Tell your legislators why these bills jeopardize protections for Michigan's historic resources. the full impact of these bills are far reaching.
January 26, 2016:
Here is a letter from the Historic Preservation Commission.
"The Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission announces a Call for Nominations for its 2016 Award Program, which recognizes people and projects that sustain our community’s character and improve the quality of life for all residents and visitors. Honorees will be announced and awards presented at a ceremony during National Preservation Month in May of this year. The commission is especially seeking projects OUTSIDE the currently designated historic districts. You and your organization are invited to nominate worthy candidates in any or all of the following categories:
1. Individuals or institutions whose day-to-day, general preservation activities merit significant recognition OR who, as stewards of a historic property, have demonstrated excellence in ongoing preservation by the use of timely maintenance and repair.
2. Residential Property projects – demonstrate outstanding, completed exterior restoration or rehabilitation work or new sympathetic infill construction.
Institutional/Government Property Projects - demonstrate outstanding, completed exterior restoration or rehabilitation work or new sympathetic infill construction.
4. Mixed Use (commercial and Residential or others) Property Projects - demonstrate outstanding, completed exterior restoration or rehabilitation work or new sympathetic infill construction.
5. Interior Rehabilitation – NEW CATEGORY – nominations in this category must have the owner’s permission and the nominator must be able to facilitate a viewing by the judges. “Before” photos are especially important in this category.
6. INFILL or new construction which complements the historic character of the surrounding buildings.
ALL PROPERTIES: Nominated properties must be located in the city of Kalamazoo, but may be inside OR outside the historic districts. Projects may be nominated that have been completed within the past five years.
Please see the enclosed nomination form for details on eligibility and submitting a nomination and tell us if the project utilized Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits.
Submit as many separate nominations as you wish. Mail or deliver nominations to: Historic Preservation Coordinator at the address above.DEADLINE - 5:00 pm on Monday, March 7, 2016
If you have any questions, please call Sharon Ferraro, the historic preservation coordinator at 337-8804 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
January 8th, 2016:
SARA is looking for more board members. Would you like to become one? As a board member, you’ll be part of the process as we plan events and make decisions for Stuart. You’ll also have opportunities to learn how neighborhoods work with the city and to develop new skills. SARA Board members Jeff Siuda and Alexander Ray, and neighborhood residents Monique Langlois and Jon Bader, have volunteered to be on the board member nominations committee. If you’re interested in this opportunity, please contact the Stuart office, and we’ll pass your name on to the committee.
It’s that time of year again! Time for the annual SARA Holiday Party. The party this year will be held at the Stuart Ave Inn located at 229 Stuart Ave. It will be held Wednesday December 16th, 2015 at 6:00 pm.
Instead of a cookie exchange, this year we are asking everybody to bring a main/side dish to pass. The Stuart Ave Inn will provide a range of desserts and SARA will provide water and pop.
This year we will be collecting new packages of boys/girls socks (size 12 - small to 8 - large), and boys/girls underwear size 4-6, and 6-8. These will be given to Woodward School for distribution to students in need.
December 8th, 2015
November 10th, 2015: Holiday Hours
Week of November 23rd– 27th
Thursday: Closed Thanksgiving
Week of December 21st-25th
Thursday: Closed Christmas Eve
Friday: Closed Christmas
Where have all the flowers gone . . . and why?
This past Saturday, Stuart Neighborhood made its corner plantings available to neighborhood residents. This move was discussed at several Board Meetings, and a brief recap is provided here for those who were not able to attend those Meetings (2nd Tuesday of the month at 7pm at 530 Douglas). Planting and maintenance of the corner beds required significant volunteer hours by a small (3-4) volunteer team. Because there is no water on the corners, volunteers lugged 5 buckets of water per corner in the summer months. Volunteers also weeded each corner and disposed of the yard waste throughout the spring and summer. Efforts to recruit additional volunteers through direct solicitation as well as through the Neighborhood Newsletter were unsuccessful. Without additional volunteers, efforts to ensure the plantings and corners met City Code requirements and continued to be a positive contribution to the Neighborhood could not be sustained. The corners will be leveled out and grass seed will be planted in the coming weeks.
Board Members: Do you love where you live? Are you passionate about the Stuart community and the City of Kalamazoo? SARA is looking for dynamic and passionate members of the Stuart Community to sit on our Board of Directors. Serving on the board is a terrific way to learn more about the neighborhood and City of Kalamazoo . Members (defined as residents, property owners, and those employed in the neighborhood) are eligible to serve on the board and also eligible to vote on board members. Exercise your right to vote. Take part in democracy at the grass roots level. In order to be qualified to apply for the Board of directors you must: Live or own a business in the Stuart Neighborhood Be at least 18 years old Be able to attend monthly Board of Directors meeting, every second Tuesday of the e month at 7:00 pm. Interested applicants can contact Sarah Hoisington at the 530 Douglas Office for more information and an application
September 26th: Beatification of the Stuart Neighbor-hood has been and will always be a priority of the Stuart Area Restoration Association. Unfortunately, due to several variables SARA will no be able to maintain the flower beds at the corners of Kalamazoo Ave and Elm, Woodward, and Stuart.
SARA is in the process of contacting each corresponding property owner about our plans and intentions. SARA is intending on digging up all the flower and plants, in order to plant grass seed.
These flowers have been a beautiful part of the Stuart Neighborhood for many years. Because of this, the SARA Board of Directors would like to offer the plants and flowers to members of the Stuart Neighborhood for a 2-5 dollar donation per plant.
SARA Board Members will be sitting by these corners on Saturday September 26th from 9:00am-12:00pm. If you are interested in obtaining any of these plants please show up with a shovel.
September 12th: SARA is looking for community members and volunteers to help paint the outside of our 530 Douglas Ave house. If you, or anybody you know would be interested in volunteering , please con-tact our Executive Director Sarah Alcenius-Hoisington by phone or email to sign up for a shift. Shifts will be broken up into two 4 hour shifts.
Shift 1: Saturday September 12th, from 8:00am-12:00pm
Shift 2: Saturday September 12th, from 12:00pm-5:00pm
Shift 3: Sunday September 13th, from 8:00am-12:00pm
Shift 4: Sunday September 13th, 12:00pm-5:00pm
August 2: SARA will be holding our annual National Night Out gathering. This family friendly event will be Tuesday August 4th, 2015 in collaboration with the City of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. It will be held from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at West Main Park.* SARA will provide pizza, bottled water, plates, napkins, and silverware. We ask that you bring a desert to pass and your own lawn chairs to sit in. This years Nation Night Out will feature the Chiefs Office, K-9, Metro SWAT, and Engine 5. Take this unique opportunity to not only engage one-on-one with the Stuart Community but the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. The Purpose of Nation Nigh Out 1) Heighten crime and drug awareness; 2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts; Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships; 3) Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. *Rain location will held at Karen Leys at 437 Woodward Ave.
August: To assist residents who have received a notice of violation for graffiti on their property the City of Kalamazoo has acquired and distributed graffiti removal supplies to the core neighborhood associations. These supplies include solvents for brick and masonry surfaces and wipes for glass, metal or other hard surfaces. These supplies are not suitable for painted surfaces. If it is a painted surface, usually the best course of abatement is to paint over the graffiti. Residents wishing to participate and utilize the free graffiti removal supplies must sign a waiver and provide before and after photographs to S.A.R.A. Residents are required to Read refer to Safety and Instruction Manual prior to and while using supplies. Sign a release and waiver of liability for the City of Kalamazoo and SARA Provide a pre and post picture of the area Return unused products to the neighborhood association for use by another resident Refer to date removal deadline found in notice of violation, if applicable Important Points Graffiti Removal Kits are only available to owner occupied residents of Stuart Do not use products on painted wood surfaces. Graffiti on these surfaces should be painted over. This will prevent exposure to possible lead paint and destruction of surfaces as the solvent can cause further damage to wood surfaces Please use safety equipment supplied with the kit. There are potential health hazards to using this kit improperly If you are interested in participating in the City of Kalamazoo Graffiti Removal Kit program or you are interested in more information please contact Sarah Hoisington at the SARA Office
July: Stay In Touch With Your City With an increasing number of people using social media and the internet as their news source, the City has started utilizing these tools as a way to encourage participation and keep citizens informed. Meeting schedules, agendas, updates to ongoing projects, construction projects, elections information, and deadlines are just a few examples of information posted on our social media pages, www.facebook.com/kzoogov and @KalamazooCity on Twitter. Citizens can also join the City’s bi-monthly email newsletter (published the Friday before each City Commission meeting) which contains the Commission agenda and other news from around our community. To join the email list, connect on social media, and even download the Metro Transit App, visit www.KalamazooCity.org/connect.
May 14: The Chamber and Catholic schools of Greater Kalamazoo are showcasing the new playground and fields at St. Augustine Cathedral and School on May 14th at 4pm. The event will be at the Gazebo in the community Garden section of the new Playground at:
St. Augustine Cathedral School
600 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
The Mixer is benefiting the Stuart Area Restoration Association . Food and beverages will be provided and there will be a presentation about the project and the cooperation between the Chamber, St. Augustine's, and SARA.
April 22: Kalamazoo Community Planning and Development is announcing proposed changes to Article VIII, the abandoned residential structures, chapter 9 of the Kalamazoo code ordinances.
You can view the proposed changes here ARS Ordinance Amendment Summary 4-20-15 (1)
A meeting to collect feedback regarding the proposed ordinance amendments will be held at 5:30pm on May 21, 2015 at City Hall in the Community room on the 2nd floor
April 14: The Stuart Area Restoration Association will host its annual meeting at Woodward School on April 14 at 7:00pm.. The monthly Board of Directors meeting will occur before the meeting at 6:00. Please enter from Stuart Avenue.
March 11: The City of Kalamazoo has launched a new website www.ImaginKalamazoo.com where the public and connect and collaborate with the local decision makers and fellow residents about the future of our community. This is the start of Priority based budgeting for Kalamazoo in which community members will be asked where they think money needs to be allocated for. Your input is important! So please visit www.ImaginKalamazoo.com and add your ideas.
March 11: It has come to the attention of SARA (the Stuart Neighborhood association) that several of our neighbors have received by email and letters requests to joins and share the names of neighbor's by a group called "Next Door Stuart". SARA wants to make it clear that we are not affiliated with "Next Door Stuart". SARA will not ask you to share your contacts or neighbors names and addresses.
March 4: There are two vacancies presently on the City of Kalamazoo - Zoning Board of Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals meets once a month, typically the second Thursday of each month, at 7 PM in the evening. More information can be obtained from Peter C. Eldridge, AICP, Project Coordinator at eldridgep
February 25: The Michigan Historic Preservation Network has announced two Preservation workshops to be held in March. One will be on Window Preservation and will be held in Kalamazoo March 26th through the 29th. More information is listed here.
February 9: We have an executive director job opening. Applications are due by February 23.