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July 2009 BVNA Meeting Minutes

BUENA VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION Minutes of the Meeting Tuesday, January 27, 2009 At the Home of Linda and Robert Solis at 359 Mayellen

Meeting called to order at 7:10 PM

PRESENT: [11 people present] Brian Ward (President) Robert Solis (Vice President) Loui Tucker (Secretary)

Sabine Zappe (Treasurer) Joe Carpente r Chris Mackey

Steve Rogers Robin Rogers Linda Solis Ruth White

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

MINUTES - Approved as presented. TREASURER’S REPORT Sabine Zappe reported as follows:

Bank Balance: Outstanding Available

$657.82 00.00 (None)


Approximately $400 of this is grant money that must be used for specific budget items, and will probably be used for the Home Tour. The remaining funds can be used at BVNA discretion.

STATUS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD - Lara Tran (representing City Councilmember Pierreluigi Oliverio’s office) was present to listen as members offered their input and observations regarding activities and circumstances in the Neighborhood.

1. Lara announced that there would be a meeting on Wednesday, January 29, 6:30- 8:30 PM, at the Medical Office Building Auditorium across from O'Connor Hospital on Forest Avenue regarding the 280-880 interchange improvements being planned. This project is still in the conceptual stage and your input is vital. Joe Carpenter mentioned that he has a copy of the original design dated around 2000 from the time when the Neighborhood Action Committee (NAC) was involved and wanted, among other things to have a trolley running back and forth on San Carlos to relieve traffic on the local streets. It was mentioned that the number of traffic lights along San Carlos/Stevens Creek needs to be reduced. Five of the lights provide access solely to the shopping centers on either side of the street. Joe also pointed out that the sections of Monroe Street that are adjacent to Valley Fair could be sold to Valley Fair and the City could then use the money to fund other road improvements.

2. PageStreetwasrepavedandlookedwonderfulforabouttwoweeks.Thebadnews is that many of the gutters are uneven and have pitch problems, so water is not

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draining properly down Page. There are huge pools of standing water when it

rains, starting at about 528 Page Street.

  1. AfterPageStreetwaspaved,PG&Ecamealongandtoreupalargesection,did

some work, and patched the hole very badly. It is already degrading. The bad spot

is in front of 444 Page Street.

  1. JoeCarpenterhadathankyoufortheCityfixingthesidewalksnearHighway17.

  2. JoeCarpenterisparticularlyannoyedattheCity'slackofresponsetotheissueof

local developers who advertise their townhouses and condominiums along San Carlos, Bascom, Meridian, and Race. They zip-tie short wooden stakes to permanent street signs and then every Friday someone is paid to drive along and slide cardboard signs onto the wooden poles. On Sunday night or Monday morning the signs are removed, but the stakes remain. These signs are clearly and emphatically against City ordinances, but the City does nothing to fix the problem. Loui Tucker confirmed that the same thing happens on Race Street. Both she and Joe remarked that they frequently remove the wooden stakes, but this has not stopped the signage from reappearing. Joe has spoken to the personnel at Summerhill Homes who explain that this is a corporate issue, not a local issue, and something over which they have no control. The City ordinance call for a fine for violation, but the City is not doing anything to stop this blatant example of blight.

In addition, there are signs for shows at the Fairgrounds – Home Show, Gun Show, Dog Show – that are also in violation of this same ordinance and they are being put up by someone hired by the County Fairgrounds! If the City needs to get serious about this and put specific language in the contracts with the developers that spell out the fines for weekend advertising that litter our neighborhood.

It was suggested that Mary Gottschalk might be interested in doing an article about this problem for the Rose Garden Resident. Then it was suggested that perhaps City Councilmember Pierreluigi Oliverio's office should be given the opportunity to address this issue first. If the City is badly in need of revenue, collecting on violations of this sign ordinance could fill City coffers, and Oliverio could bring this issue before the City Council and/or address the problem with the developers such as Summerhill Homes. If he does not take action, then an article in the Rose Garden Resident or the San Jose Mercury-New could put additional pressure on the City to deal with this problem.

  1. Cars parked on lawns, dirt patches, or across sidewalks can be reported to City Code Enforcement. Loui Tucker will provide an email contact for anyone wishing to bring violations to their attention.

  2. RobinRogersmentionedtwootherinstancesofblightonPageStreet:436Page Street is vacant, boarded up, surrounded by dirt and weeds. Also at the property next door, a large semi-trailer has been parked at the end of the driveway for many weeks, without a truck available to move it.

  3. The trees at 490 and 498 Willard north of Scott are becoming more of a problem. Willard Street was recently paved, but the pavers simply paved over the bulges in

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the street caused by the roots of the trees. This is a very bad safety problem. The NAC was going to take care of this some years ago through a City beautification grant, but the County claimed the trees were on their land and they would not allow it. The trees are growing into the road, raising the pavement and causing problems for everyone driving in the area. Who is responsible – the homeowner or the City? Can the City fix the problem and bill the homeowner? Perhaps this is another article for Mary Gottschalk at the Rose Garden Resident.

  1. TherearetwosofasinfrontoftheWaterCompanypropertyattheintersectionof

Willard and Douglas.

  1. Robin and Steve requested they City look into establishing time-limited

parking by the businesses at the intersection of Douglas and Meridian to ease the congestion which makes exiting the Douglas onto Meridian treacherous. Some of the cars are parked for days in one spot such that oil leaks are eating away the pavement.

  1. At West San Carlos and South Willard, someone installed bots dots and yellow lane markers to define the lanes. The problem is that people park right up to the corner and people making a turn from San Carlos onto Willard cannot possible stay in the defined lanes because of the parked cars. Robin Rogers pointed out the same problem exists at the intersection of Page and Douglas and you frequently cannot see around cars parked too close to the corner to be able to see cross-traffic. Can the curbs be painted red? Where the curbs were at one times painted red, the paint has faded – could they be repainted? Joe Carpenter pointed out that although the red painted curbs are a visual

deterrent, even if the curbs are NOT painted red, you cannot park within the area where a crosswalk would be, even if the crosswalk is not painted on the road. This means you cannot park with a certain distance (25 feet?) of an intersection. You can call the police and notify the dispatcher of the violation.

Joe pointed out yet again that the way to get a problem solved is to bring it repeatedly to the attention of the people who can do something about it, whether it is the City Councilmember, a City department or the police. Call them and get a case number. Write down the case number and if you have to call again for the same problem, refer to the case number every time. Document the problem and keep calling. Escalate until you get their attention.

  1. Ruth White mentioned that the highway sign at the beginning of the Menker on-ramp to northbound 280 has been seriously covered with graffiti such that it cannot be read. There is a graffiti hotline and a graffiti email address and Loui Tucker will send out an email to the BVNA yahoo group with this info.

  2. There was a discussion of the problem of yard waste being piled in the street for pickup. People who were in the County and who are now in the City are bothered by the mess and would like to require residents to use bins, but this is not possible.

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  1. Developmentinthearea

  2. 381Meridian(atthelightatAuzerais)hasbeenlistedfordevelopment:7021 square feet of commercial and office space with 14 two-story residential units above the office space, all over underground parking. No community meetings are scheduled at this time.

  3. 487 Clifton near Scott has been listed for development: 6 three-story rowhouses. Is this the same lot that the City could not turn into a park because of ground contamination? Is the new developer going to seal the lot or replace the contaminated soil?

  4. Joe Carpenter asked Lara if the City had a procedure for looking at the overall development of a given area, much the way the map was created that showed the County pockets of land that the City was planning to annex. It would be nice to have the City use the same technology – something like Google Maps instead of a PDF – where lots with development plans coded for density could be seen in an overview.

  5. ItwaspointedoutthatthevariousdevelopmentsbeingplannedalongWestSan Carlos are going to happen, and our job as a neighborhood association and as individuals is to influence and mitigate, because the development cannot be stopped at this stage except by a developer that decides to back out of a project because it becomes too expensive. One way to mitigate the impact of increased traffic is to insist that the Sunol light-rail station be built before the developments are begun.

  6. AreaParks The NAC sent a proposal to City Council members and other interested parties regarding turning the vacant lot across from the new community center on Bascom that is under construction into a park (the "Bascom Park Project"). Yes, an overcrossing would be nice, but we should wait for that to be accepted. The park should be built and the overcrossing can be requested later. With respect to the same site, Joe Carpenter has suggested that the billboard on the property be removed and the gravel that fronts the property be provided with a proper sidewalk.

  7. Home Tour Sally Henning was not present, so there was no update on the status.

  8. Scott Street Celebration Time has run out to have a fully-funded Scott Street Improvements Celebration. The funds are no longer be available. If we want to have a party, we will have to pay for it ourselves.

NEW BUSINESS 1. Joe Carpenter talked about the issue of the many billboards that dot this part of

San Jose, how often they are tagged, how often the billboard are damaged by weather. He suggested everyone call in graffiti on these billboards as often as they can. If the City become annoyed enough at having to repeatedly clean up graffiti on

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the billboards, they will put pressure on the owner (Clear Channel), who may in turn decide that the small amount of revenue generated by the billboard is not worth the hassle, and will remove them.

2. ItwassuggestedthattheNAClookintothesmallpocketoflandatthecurvein Chiechi that backs onto the shopping center as a possible site for a micro-park.

3. Therewasadiscussionofthehistoryofeffortstogetawalkwayfromthe neighborhood to the back of the shopping center somewhere along Page, Chiechi, Willard, etc. to provide easier access to the people who live in the area and shop at the Food-Max.

ANNOUNCEMENTS Brian provided announcements regarding two upcoming meeting: (1) Distinctive

Neighborhood Program on February 3; and (2) a Parks Recreation and Neighborhood Service Pricing and Revenue Project meeting on February 17. Details can be obtained by contacting Brian.

Brian also passed along an email he got from a preschool provider who wanted to advertise in the next BVNA newsletter.

Thirty trees will be planted along Moorpark between Bascom and the 280 on- ramp on Saturday, February 28. Our City Forest is providing the trees and some of the personnel. Volunteers are needed. Contact Loui Tucker or Joe Carpenter for more information.

The next BVNA meeting will be at the home of Ruth and Jerry White at 431 Menker on Tuesday, February 24. Mark your calendar and plan to attend.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 PM.

The first known example of "modern style" graffiti survives in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey). Local guides say it is an advertisement for prostitution. Located near a mosaic and stone walkway, the graffiti shows a handprint that vaguely resembles a heart, along with a footprint and a number. This is believed to indicate that a brothel was nearby, with the handprint symbolizing payment.


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