BUENA VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION Minutes of the Meeting Tuesday, February 24, 2009 At the Home of Jerry and Ruth White at 431 Menker
Meeting called to order at 7:03 PM
PRESENT: [11 people present] Brian Ward (President) Robert Solis (Vice President) Loui Tucker (Secretary)
Sabine Zappe (Treasurer) Joe Carpenter Sally Henning
Ken Henning Erin McGranahan Linda Solis Brick Spieth Ruth W hite
Erin McGranahan is new to the neighborhood, so introductions were made by each member present. Erin lives at 541 Raymond, and is a student at San Jose State.
MINUTES - Approved as presented. TREASURER’S REPORT Sabine Zappe reported as follows:
Bank Balance: $454.12 Outstanding invoices: 189.00 Phone bill
It was suggested that, since the phone number generated 3-4 calls per year, that this service be cancelled and another service be investigated. There are reported much cheaper plans available.
STATUS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
1. Lara Tran was absent but sent a report via email.
Tree at 490 and 498 Willard – Russell Hansen, the City’s Arborist, was contacted regarding the tree and the fact that it is uprooting from the street and is so large it’s causing significant damage to Page Street and generating safety problems. Russ said he and his crew will take a look at this particular tree and report back with a status and update. She will follow up first week of March if she doesn't get a report back.
Signage – At the last meeting, this topic was brought up and Joe Carpenter had sent an email regarding this issue recently to Phyllis Schultz. Lara raised and discussed this particular issue with Councilmember Oliverio so he is aware of the increasingly problems these signs are having in the Burbank area. Lara is currently working with Nashmeel Sadjadi, Code Enforcement Officer in the Burbank area regarding enforcement of this particular issue. Nashmeel has sent a reply responding to Joe’s email detailing the process of how Code will track and act upon these signage violations. Currently Lara is actively working on this issue with Nashmeel and she has communicated that she drives regularly in the Burbank area and notes down all the signs that are hung on the poles along the neighborhood streets. She had also mentioned that the group should call Code or herself directly whenever these signs are seen in the street so that she can warn the owner of the signs and cite them if necessary. Nashmeel ‘s contact number is (408) 277-8471 and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Illegal Dumping – The couches at the corner of W. San Carlos and Leigh had been removed. Lara recently called dispatch for the couches at 438 S. Buena Vista and 1265 Park Avenue and the representative there reported those two couches will be taken away by
Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 3/31/09
this week if not sooner. If a resident spots an abandoned couch or other furniture, please contact Lara Tran who will be forwarding the information and keeping a log.
Joe Carpenter and Loui Tucker also shared conversations and email exchanges they have had with City and County official in an effort to get the City to clean up and prevent future the illegal signage.
Loui Tucker also reported her work with City Code Enforcement regarding cars parking on front lawns on South Buena Vista, Willard, and Page. Several owners have been sent warning letters and follow up will be handled by Code Enforcement in late March/early April.
There was a discussion of the paving, rip-up, and repaving on Page Street, what PG&E will be doing to repair the damage done. It was reported the Douglas was going to be dug up again in the next month.
Robert and Linda Solis reported that since City Code Enforcement Inspectors talked to the new neighbors to the north ("You can do this, but not this...."), things have been much quieter.
Members have noticed and are concerned about graffiti on the power boxes along West San Carlos. Graffiti can be called in or entered on the Blight Form on the City's website.
325 S. Willard continues to park large trucks (dump trucks and work trucks) in the yard. Code Enforcement Inspectors are reportedly working with the property owner.
Red Zones have been painted at the corners coming off of West San Carlos to try to keep people from parking too close to the corner and forcing in-coming cars to veer into the out-going lane.
Page Street has a number of houses with blight issues, vehicles parked on the lawn, and vehicles parked for more than 72 hours at a time on the street. These properties will be reported to Lara Tran as well as entered on the City's Blight Report.
There was a report of vandalism (baseball bat used to smash a car windshield) on Menker. A long-time resident does not remember any vandalism on the street for the 30 years she has lived here.
The house at 484 Menker has recently been given a remarkable face lift. The front yard has been landscaped and the interior is, according to the Whites, very nice. Sally Henning will be contacting Perla, the young woman living there (who is the daughter of the man who owns the home) about putting the house on the BVNA Home Tour.
1. Burbank Theater. There has been some emails going out to various local neighborhood associations about the old Burbank Theater on Bascom Avenue. Reportedly the owner is close to bankruptcy and may allow the building to go into foreclosure. He had wanted to use the facility as a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a TV studio, and a pass-through station for a televised feed. It was gutted and is now covered with graffiti and generally falling apart.
Ken Nava is the person sending the emails and contacting local associations and organizations. He appears to be looking for ways to use the property, and investigating to see which organizations would object to tearing it down and using the site for something else such as housing. He would not say he was a developer or a real estate agent, said he was just an appraiser, but he "sounded like he was a developer." Part of his appraisal process is determining
Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 3/31/09
what the highest and best use of the property might be, along with determining what resistance there would be from the neighborhoods. There have been complaints about the graffiti, trash, poor use of the land, etc. at this site for at least a decade.
There was some feeling that, even if the site is razed to put up housing, that the old Burbank Theater sign should be salvaged and incorporated into the design of whatever goes on the site.
The consensus at the meeting was to "wait and see," "let them come to us," and "show us your cards."
2. Liquor License being sought for store on Scott Street. Joe reported his observations and emails regarding the proposed alcohol license for the store on Scott. He fears that opposition to the liquor license will mean an empty store which will be a target for vagrants, vandalism, etc. When Sam owned the store, the prices were higher than going to a full-service grocery store, but the convenience was worth the extra cost. Joe would like the owners to agree to some limits or requirements in exchange for the neighbors not opposing the granting of the liquor license, such as requiring them to sell some grocery items and prohibit the sale of porn DVDs. Joe received the group's approval to write a formal letter and post it when he has sent it.
VTA Sunol Project. This is now being called the Ohlone Project. Green Republic has said that the City encouraged them to increase density at the project so it appears that the 15-story buildings are back! The City says this is not the case, but the density and traffic issues are once again on the table.
Community Center. The large lot across the street from the new Community Center on Bascom is being earmarked for another park. Some participants are discussing putting in a pedestrian light to facilitate movement from the Community Center to the Park, but that light would cost $500,000. The site alone would cost $3.5 million with another $1.5 million needed to develop it into a park.
BVNA Home Tour. The Home Tour meeting will take place at the Hennings at 2:00 PM on Sunday, February 28. The committee hopes to have 5 houses agreeing to be on the Tour by April 1 so that publicity can be started.
Dues. Members present were reminded and there will also be an email reminder sent out that the membership dues (actually a donation) should be paid in March. There is a link for PayPal on the BVNA website where members can pay on line. $15 for an individual, $20 for a couple or family.
Tree Planting by Kyle. The Eagle Scout who spoke to the BVNA at the meeting in the park last summer was supposed to be planting trees in the Buena Vista Neighborhood. Has that happened? Where were the trees planted. Loui will follow up with Kyle and/or Our City Forest.
There will be a tree-planting along Moorpark between Leland and Menker this Saturday, February 28. Volunteers are needed to help plant 30 trees along this strip. Show up at 8:00 AM and help out!
The next BVNA meeting will be at the home of Ruth and Jerry White at 431 Menker on Tuesday, March 31. Mark your calendar and plan to attend.