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April 2009 BVNA Meeting Minutes

BUENA VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION Minutes of the Meeting Tuesday, April 28, 2009 At the Home of Shelby Palms and Larry Kress at 395 Menker Avenue

Meeting called to order at 7:15 PM

PRESENT: [12 people present] Brian Ward (President) Robert Solis (Vice President) Loui Tucker (Secretary)

Sabine Zappe (Treasurer) Lali Armstrong Brian Amstrong (arrived late)

Larry Kress (arrived late) Shelby Palms Robin Rogers Steve Rogers Linda Solis

Lara Tran, representing City Councilmember Pierreluigi Oliverio's office

MINUTES - Approved, minus the reference to the receipt of $5 million in federal bailout funds added by the secretary to see if anyone was paying attention.

TREASURER’S REPORT Sabine Zappe reported as follows:

Bank Balance: $939.12 Outstanding bills $0.00 $939.12

Increase in funds was due to (1) additional membership checks received and deposited and (2) transfer of $195.00 in the BVNA’s Paypal account that had been locked up due to restrictions placed on what Paypal believed to be an undocumented 501(c)(3) account. Once that misunderstanding was cleared up, Paypal released the funds.


Lara Tran made a short presentation, including some documentation, showing the calendar for comment on and adoption of the City’s proposed budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which shows a $64 million deficit. There will be changes in neighborhood funding, some staff in approx. 400 positions will be laid off, some positions will be moved and consolidated, parks and recreations will be seeing extensive cuts in staff. The calendar shows the remaining dates of meetings in the Budget Calendar, for study sessions and public input.

  1. There continues to a problem of cars parked on lawns, cars parked illegally in red zones (especially at night), and cars remaining in the same spot for extended lengths of time. Nashmeel Sadjadi (Code Enforcement) is working on the problem, but this will take some time to get through the process. Notification letters and phone calls have to be made first, then a formal citation, before specific remedies can be taken and fines levied. Some property owners have already complied but many others either are not taking the City’s letters and warnings seriously, or cannot get tenants to comply.

  2. The drainage problem on Page Street continues to be an issue. The County paved the streets before turning them over to the City last fall, but it was not done correctly. Some minimal repairs were attempted, but the street still does not drain correctly in rainy weather. The BVNA’s position is that the County turned over a blighted street to the City. The City says the County should fix the problem, the County has washed its hands of the problem, and the contractor who originally did the work says there is nothing more it can do. Perhaps a letter to the Mercury-News Ombudsman or Mr. Roadshow can call attention to this ridiculous situation. Robin has taken photos and will email them to Lara.

  3. The house at 436 Page Street that is clearly abandoned is boarded up, the lawn is choked with garbage and weeds, and it has repeatedly been tagged with graffiti, etc.. This is clearly blight. Nashmeel had emailed earlier in the week that William Gerry is the “vacant house inspector” and has been assigned to work on this matter. Loui will follow up to see what has happened.

Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 4/28/09

  1. McVay’s lot at 408 S. Willard has five mattresses (!) plus other miscellaneous pieces of furniture piled in front of it and on the sidewalk. The San Jose Water Company property at the intersection of Douglas and Willard also has a couch on the sidewalk in front. Lara will get in touch with the Department of Transportation to remove the items.

  2. Parking in the red zones overnight has become a serious problem. There isn’t enough parking in the neighborhood. Can Lara possibly contact SJPD and have them do a sweep for a few nights to make people aware this is not legal?

  3. The situation in the house next to Linda and Robert Solis has improved slightly. The owner is reportedly in bankruptcy, so there may be some future action on the property. Meanwhile the shack in the back is not being lived in (which is good) and they are no longer parking on the lawn.


  1. VTA Sunol Project. This project is in architectural review. The city architects (and the BVNA) did not like the massing, the density, or the height. There are announcements at the Green Republic website about meetings. Since this area is destined to be a “transit hub,” the City is looking to increase density with projects such as this one, but they don’t appear to like how that density is being achieved architecturally.

  2. Meridian-West San Carlos Project. The townhouses have been removed from the plans, and the park, instead of being sandwiched between the townhouses and the residential/apartment complex, and thus not very accessible to the surrounding residences, will now border on the neighborhood. There will be only apartments (218 units), no owner-occupied condos. Retail space is approximately the same. Traffic issues still have not been addressed.

  3. NAC Priorities. The NAC members prioritized the nine items submitted by the community. The

result was final ranking:

  1. (1) purchase of the Bascom Park Site;

  2. (2) improved sidewalks, ramps and bike trails in the area;

  3. (3) creation of the Del Monte Park;

  4. (4) work to complete the Los Gatos Creek Trail connection to the Guadalupe River Trail;

  5. (5) complete the feasibility study of the Bridges Park;

  6. (6) implement the existing West San Carlos Economic Strategy;

  7. (7) create joint agreements to use the Del Mar pool during the summer and with other area

schools to use soccer fields;

  1. (8) install a traffic light at Douglass and Meridian; and

  2. (9) redesignate Fruitdale Avenue from an arterial to a general collector in the General Plan

  3. Signage. Nashmeel Sadjadi has been working very hard to eliminate illegal signage in our area, with input from Loui and Joe on their location. Be aware that the wooden stakes that are zip-tied to telephone poles and street light poles and are left when the signs are taken down – are litter and can be removed by anyone, just as you would pick up cup discarded in the gutter. The signs were illegal in the first place and the wooden stakes are litter once the signs are removed so anyone can walk along and collect them for use as garden stakes, etc.

  4. ION Project. The ION Project that will tackle the Steven’s front yard will be scheduled in June and members will be notified of the date that is chosen.

Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 4/28/09

  1. BVNA Yard Sale. The BVNA Yard Sale will be held Saturday, May 9, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM at the home of Loui Tucker and Sabine Zappe at 153 Race Street.

  2. SONA v. San Jose City College. It was reported that the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Association (SONA) is working on a situation at San Jose City College and the construction of the new field, stadium, etc. that is being developed on Leigh just south of Moorpark. Plans were submitted to the community, but changes were made after the plans were approved (stadium with lights and PA system was added). San Jose City College is operated by Evergreen Community College District and schools get to do pretty much whatever they want according to State law. They are not subject to zoning, code enforcement, and other City or County rules and regulations. However, the Evergreen trustees didn’t even follow their own rules! Robert will follow up with SONA representatives.

  3. Density. District 6 already has the highest density in San Jose (100,000 residents), and yet this area is being targeted for increased density in the next 30 years. Councilmember Oliverio’s current position is to not convert industrial buildings to housing in order to maintain jobs, which may mean that existing housing as well as open space will be sacrificed to build the developments. There are major concerns of area residents regarding the impact of increased housing on traffic, schools, sewers, parks, and other City services.


1. Project Hope Property. A notice was received by residents on Page that the Project Hope property is being re-designated as residential. Within the last year, it was changed from residential to industrial, and now someone is wanted to re-designate it as residential, with 12-25 units to be put on the parcel. BVNA officers will look into this situation to determine what is really going on.


  1. The Whistle Stop Housing Tour is scheduled for Saturday May 16 8:00 AM -1:00 PM, starting at the Water Tower Plaza at 300 Orchard City Drive in Campbell. According to the flyer “Via foot and train, we’ll tour select examples of transit-oriented development in Campbell and San Jose. Learn about housing densities, parking requirements, heights and how to create spaces that build community and better help prepare for future challenges.” $10 fee includes light breakfast, lunch and light rail pass.

  2. The Jammin’ Jamboree is put on (almost) every year by the West San Carlos Neighborhood Business Association. This year’s is scheduled for May 30, at 4:00 PM at the corner of West San Carlos and Shasta. It will be an evening of movies (Madagascar 2 and Casablanca) and music (The Groove Kings), plus a rock-climbing wall and bounce house for the kids, food (for sale) and various community booths.

The next BVNA meeting will be on Tuesday, May 26. Shasta Hanchett Park Neighbhorhood Association (SHPNA) has proposed a joint meeting to discuss the proposed baseball stadium, Vision 2040 and other neighborhood issues. It will be at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on The Alameda starting at 7:00 PM. It was suggested that more neighborhood associations in the area be invited as well (SONA, Burbank, Del Monte, etc.) and that a specific agenda be created so that it does not deteriorate into a mere airing of complaints with no action planned. Brian will follow-up with SHPNA respresentatives.

Mark your calendar and plan to attend. Meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.


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