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February 2008 BVNA Meeting Minutes

BUENA VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION Minutes of the Meeting Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Meeting called to order at 7:07 PM by Director Robert Solis in President Brian Ward’s absence.

PRESENT: [13 people present] Loui Tucker (Secretary) Robert Solis Ruth White

Michael W hite Anthony Harvey Brian Lipsig

Steve Rogers Robin Rogers Sabine Zappe Sally Henning Ken Henning

Lan Tran (representing City Councilmember Pierreluigi Oliverio’s office)

Jay McCauley (representing the Society for Industrial Archeology)

MINUTES - Minutes of the January 29, 2008 meeting were corrected and approved.

TREASURER’S REPORT None at the meeting, although Mikala had advised Robert that there was no substantial change. Dues (and donations) will be gratefully accepted.

STATUS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD Lan Tran, from Councilmember Oliverio’s office being present, members offered their input and observations regarding activities and circumstances in the Neighborhood.

  1. The house at the north end of Menker has been cleaned up a bit. The tenants are gone and the obvious trash in the front yard has been removed. The house is still a mess with paint splashed on walls, the carpet ripped up, everything very filthy.

  2. The pothole on Page has FINALLY been repaired - Haleluyah!

  3. The stop sign at Page and Douglas was hit, bent, unbent and tagged. Help!

  4. We got the license place of the Azteca Bakery truck as well as the phone number on the truck and

this information will be provided to John Myers in Ken Yeager’s office so they can deal with the late-

night noise from this truck.

  1. Ruth said there were at least two cars with expired tags on Menker. The City has not been

responsive. The phone number to report abandoned cars or cars with expired tags will be sent out

in an email.

  1. Shopping carts abandoned on neighborhood streets continues to be a problem. Loui Tucker has

the phone numbers of the car services for Food Max and Safeway and will send those out in an email. Both stores have cart services that are supposed to sweep the neighborhoods around the stores. If carts get too far away and are not picked up, or are hidden, you can call these phone numbers and the business will retrieve the carts.

  1. There is a mattress by the fire hydrant on Chiechi. The “$1000 for littering” sign is gone.

  2. Robin reported that it would cost $1000 to put in a street light by her house, and she would have to

pay the PG&E bill. This is the County’s policy. Annexation will fix the problem.

GUEST PRESENTATION Jay McCauley is with the Society for Industrial Archeology and is the local member planning this

organization’s annual conference. There are approximately 1800 members worldwide (though most are in the U.S.), mostly working architects. They expect around 200 people to attend the conference Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1. Among other events involving touring the various Bay Area old and new manufacturing facilities (Richmond Kaiser shipyard, Santa Cruz Roaring Camp, Davenport cement plant, trash recovery facility, etc.), they are planning a walking tour of the Buena Vista Neighborhood and would like the BVNA’s collaboration, cooperation and assistance.

The 2-hour walking tour on Sunday June 1 would showcase the 50 years of typical homes of the workers collected in this area between Meridian and Bascom, Highway 280 and San Carlos that mirror San Jose’s economic growth. The BVNA will look into having a few of the homes open for inside tours, but the SIA walking tour will primarily focus on the outside of the homes and the neighborhood in general.

The BVNA made and passed a motion to coordinate and cooperate with the SIA to make the proposed walking tour a success. Loui Tucker will make sure the Mercury-News is contacted with respect to this walking tour and the BVNA’s Home Tour the following Saturday.

NEW MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Brian Lipsig is a new member. He attended one BVNA meeting in the summer of 2007 and, now that he

has finished his education, plans to be more involved in the BVNA. Although his home is technically in the Burbank

Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 2/26/078

Neighborhood, he prefers to attend and participate in the BVNA. He wants to attend a trash pickup. Because he lives near the Burbank Theater, this is a big concern to him.


  1. Loui Tucker had printed out some “before” and “after” photos provided by the Rubino Project planned for the corner of Meridian and San Carlos. They showed the current scene and then an artist’s concept of what the buildings proposed will look like.

The project as planned will have 197 units in three stories (down from the originally planned 4 stories). Many people have commented that architecture is awful, way too modern for this neighborhood, and Rubino himself is not happy with the look either. Density is high and will increase the overall neighborhood density by 20%. Traffic at the intersection is already bad, and will get worse. With respect to retail, a bank and a restaurant have expressed an interest in the retail space planned.

There will be landscaped “pass-through” that will allow pedestrians into and through the residential portion of the project and this will give them 50% of their credit toward required green space.

BV wants a guarantee that this will remain open to the GENERAL PUBLIC, and will not become a private space for the residences as happened with the Saddlerack complex.

BV wants two stories maximum on Page Street so as to not overwhelm the other structures on the street.

BV wants to limit the number of units to 120 or possibly 150 to reduce the impact of the increased density.

BV recognizes that home ownership is a positive step for the neighborhood in general, and applauds that part of the project, but the projects at the old Fiesta Lanes and Lou’s Village should be models in terms of style and density.

BV is concerns that many jobs are going OUT of the neighborhood as existing businesses are closed - how many jobs will replace those that are lost?

The next meeting regarding the Rubino Project will be Wednesday, March 19, 2008 from 5:45 to 7:45 PM in the Rose Garden Library.

Architecture and density are the big issues for the BVNA. Members are urged to “fight smart” – attend meetings and make your opinions heard. Rose Garden, Shasta-Hanchett Park and Sherman Oaks neighborhoods are also keeping an close eye on this project.

  1. The park planned for the corner of Scott and Clifton is off the table. The owner has decided not to replace the topsoil and sell to the City.

The NAC has $1.9 million waiting to be used for parks. $400,000-$600,000 in lieu fees available. Other possible park sites: (1) the vacant lot at Mayellen and Scott, the area at the end Tillman at Park where there is a Pizza Hut right now; (3) North Buena Vista at San Carlos across from the Fiesta Lanes project. The Del Monte Park is on track at 2.3 acres, possibly to increase in size to as much as 6.8 acres, when funds become available.

  1. There will be meetings coming up in March with respect to “Annexation Outreach” - to address issues such as blight, code enforcement, road improvements. More information forthcoming

  2. The VTA site is now being planned for 10-12 story buildings and community meetings will be scheduled shortly and announced.

Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 2/26/078

  1. The Sobrato project on Race Street near the light rail station is currently planning to have rental townhouses managed by Sobrato (not a third party). There will be no parking provided for that light rail station because the bulk of the people using the station are expected to be local residents who will walk there.

  2. Cahill Park at the end of San Fernando by the light rail station is under review. The grounds were not prepared properly and are virtually unusable because of poor grading and drainage. They are looking into adding bathrooms there. The “turn-key” park concept did not work (“We will build it and turn it over to you.”)

ANNOUNCEMENTS a. The Home Tour currently has 3 homes and 1 garden. Sally Henning and Loui Tucker will be

working on getting at least 2 more homes in the next month. Ruth White said she would be willing to put their home on the tour as the “hard-hat” home, and Brian Lipsig has offered his home as well. Another home in Brian’s area on the west side should be added to attract people to that side of the neighborhood.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

NEXT MEETING The next meeting will be Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at the home of Sally and Ken Henning at 347 Menker Avenue.


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