November 2011 BVNA Meeting Minutes
BUENA VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION Minutes of the Meeting Tuesday, November 29, 2011 At the Home of Loui and Sabine at 153 Race Street
Meeting called to order at 7:07 PM
PRESENT: [9 people present] Members: Brian Habekoss (President) John Leyba (Vice President and NAC Representative) Loui Tucker (Secretary)
Sabine Zappe (Treasurer) Jose Gonzalez (Director) Shelby Palms (Director)
Robert Solis (Director and NAC Representative) Brian Ward (Director)
Frances Reyes representing Pierluigi Oliverio’s office
The minutes of the October 29 meeting were discussed and action items were reviewed. The minutes were approved.
The current balance is $962.27 of which $534 is CAP Grant. We have one membership check for $30 which has not been deposited. Paperwork to open the new checking account at First Tech Federal Credit Union has been signed and the new account will be opened within the next month.
RACE STREET FISH AND POULTRY MEETING
A meeting was held for community members interested in hearing about the proposed changes at the Race Street Fish & Poultry site. The property is due to be annexed by the City and the owners wanted to grandfather in this property with a mixed-use zoning designation instead of having it be designated commercial only. It is believed that San Jose’s General Plan would make the property all commercial. The owners are proposing a building with mostly two bedroom units above a retail space (Race Street Fish & Poultry plus one other business) on the ground floor. The property, by the way, is much bigger than the space Race Street Fish & Poultry currently occupies, extends through to Grand Avenue and includes the Unity Care building and barber shop on the north.
They are proposing a four-story structure facing Race Street, tapering down to two stories on Grand Avenue. The BVNA members present felt that four stories is too high, significantly higher than the surrounding homes and businesses. It was stated that San Jose currently seems to want higher density and favors architecture similar to Santana Row.
The leases on the buildings currently run until 2015, and the owners indicated they could extend those leases out another 10-15 years. Given the current economic situation and real estate market, they are not in a hurry to build. They just want to keep their options for commercial/residential, and preserve their flexibility.
The meeting itself was very friendly, low-key, and not hostile or full of drama. There were good questions, and nobody got upset. The neighborhoods were well-represented. An employee who was there indicated they had not been told anything – what will happen while the construction is being done, whether they would have their jobs when the construction was complete, how long they might be out of work, etc. The owners just sat there and made no comment.
Decision: Nothing to do at this time.
PARKING ISSUES WITH EURO-AUTO CAR DEALERSHIP
There have been mixed reports. Some residents say the problem with the dealership parking cars on neighborhood streets is still continuing, while others say it has quieted down. Some say it has lessened, but it continues to be a problem. Beth proposed several ideas via email:
Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 11/29/2011 Page 2
(1) Could we contact the landlord, thereby bypassing the business manager/owner who is uncooperative? After all, landlords don’t want to hear their tenants are making problems for the neighbors.
(2) Could lots of residence file small claims suit for nuisance?
Not enough people said they wanted to get involved in some sort of on-site action on December 3, so it will be postponed until the spring, assuming the problem persists.
Frances suggested calling the Finance Dept. She is going to collect the various emails regarding the problem and see if there is something they can do at the Finance Dept. She will follow up.
DUMPING ON WILLARD
There was a general discussion of the on-going dumping on Willard at the San Jose Water Works property and on the property that used to belong to McVay. McVay sold the property and the new owner does not appear to be doing anything with the property.
There was a suggestion that we develop signage (in Spanish and English), one for each property, advising that there is a penalty for dumping and perhaps indicating the property is under surveillance and violators will be prosecuted.
Decision: Jose will work on the language for the signage.
BVNA PARK UPDATE
John Leyba is continuing to calendar volunteers to keep an eye on the park, clean off graffiti, keep the leaves raked, and trash picked up. Loui and Sabine will start now November 28 through Dec. 11.
The City is trying to push off as much maintenance as possible, and see if the neighbors are really doing the work. However, we are not expected to keep track hour by hour. After all, when the City employees were doing the work, they couldn’t give the BVNA hours worked, so why should we give them the same?
We need to order more graffiti-cleaning kits and we need to put up a sign that says something about a number to call if there is a problem. It can be the BVNA’s number which currently goes to Jose.
The banner for the park is almost ready to roll - $70 full color at Sign-Jose. San Jose Parks Foundation will pay for it! We just need to get a check.
The CitySourced flier (about how to use this software for smartphones) is also almost ready to roll. Loui will print and get them to whoever wants them. They need to be handed out around the neighborhood.
Decision: Finalize the banner, get it printed and get it put up. Get the CitySourced flier finalized, printed and distributed.
HERBS MEDICAL MARIJUANA STORE ON WEST SAN CARLOS
Apparently Herbs is now closing at 8:00 PM, so loitering has done down.
It has been made clear that there is no ordinance that can be enforced. If, however, there are people creating a public nuisance, call or email Frances and she will forward to Margaret Lafferty. email@example.com 408-535-7891. Any reports of smoking outside, or selling to non- members should be reported.
There are several other stores cropping up. Another medical marijuana store recently opened called “ATM Medical” at 265 Meridian, and there is another new one on Park Avenue near Sunol.
This appears to be a revenue issue. The City needs money so anyone coming up to the window that is willing to pay for a business license gets one!
Decision: Continue to monitor the situation, report significant problems.
Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 11/29/2011 Page 3
The English version will be done by the first of the year per Robert. Loui’s articles are in. Can we include information that is to important to our neighborhoods such as Comcast deeply discounting cable to low-income residents. Jose commented that DishLatino is the only service the Hispanic community wants because of the channels offered. They will not pick Comcast over DishLatino no matter the discounting.
What about an article about the PG&E Care program - a deeply discounted rate structure, life line service for low-income residents?
Frances reported that current estimates are that the City is $81 million in the hole. At the next City Council meeting Mayor Reed plans to talk more about pension reform, will recommend a ballot measure that will force pension reform. That is something that might help down the line, but not right now. The City Manager prepared a preliminary budget that has the $81 million figure deficit figure. Pension reform will help, but not immediately.
By the way: all memos are on-line on the City’s website so you can see what’s going to be discussed.
HIGH SPEED RAIL
On December 8 there will be another big Highspeed Rail meeting. Engineers at the State level have stated that the rail system can’t go underground because the soil is not stable. This statement has been questioned in light of the situation in Mexico City where they have their share of earthquakes, the entire city sits on an old lake bed, but they have extensive underground metro system. Everyone seems to prefer an underground system.
The whole idea of highspeed rail seems doomed anyway because of the current economic crisis. There just isn’t any money for projects of this magnitude.
Bottom line: Nobody wants the line going through their city, or along their property.
ON THE CALENDAR
There is a dinner sponsored by the Burbank-Del Monte Neighborhood Action Council at Habana Cuba this Tuesday, December 6. Cost is $25 each.
Ruth White has announced she’s having a Sunday community potluck brunch on December 10.
The next BVNA meeting will be a social activity (not a formal meeting) at the Solis’ home at 359 Mayellen. It will be a potluck dinner on Tuesday, December 27th.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.