BUENA VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION Minutes of the Meeting Tuesday, October 27, 2009 At the Home of Linda and Robert Solis at 359 Mayellen Avenue
Meeting called to order at 7:10 PM
PRESENT: [12 people present] Robert Solis (President) Loui Tucker (Secretary) Sabine Zappe (Treasurer)
Ruth Cole Jordan Dancer Sally Henning Rick Infantino
MINUTES - Approved as presented and posted.
John Leyba Marisol Leyba Steve Rogers Linda Solis
Lara Tran, representing City Councilmember Pierreluigi Oliverio's office
TREASURER’S REPORT Sabine Zappe reported that the bank balance is $739.12. These are all BVNA discretionary funds. Robert submitted an invoice for Polaroid film to be used for Spirit Night.
There was a discussion about the need for funding. CAP grants are harder to get and are smaller in size. Dues will not be payable until March. Perhaps a yard sale will need to be scheduled.
Ruth Cole was moved to the top of the agenda because she had another appointment later in the evening. She wanted to discuss the “graffiti” that had appeared on the street in front of 390 Mayaellen, next door to Ruth’s house. BVNA members who had viewed it did not think it was graffiti because (1) it was legible [“WARNING-CUIDADO”]; (2) it was on the surface of the street, not a building or other vertical surface; and (3) it was not in the style of local graffiti. That noted, we discussed problems with graffiti in general, gangs, and perhaps being more pro- active regarding youth in the area. Ruth said the way to stop graffiti is to give local kids a sense of belonging so they won’t join gangs.
STATUS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Lara reported that her contact at the Department of Transportation had forgotten about the paving problem on Page Street. She will continue to nag and report back next month.
The two trees on Willard just north of Scott that were lifting the sidewalk, curb, and street have been removed by the property owner. The pine tree on the corner is still there. The property owners will replace the sidewalk and the City will repave the street. Lara is going to inquire about financial help for the property owners who have paid for all of this themselves. Robert Solis talked to them about getting help from Our City Forest with respect to replacement trees.
The very overgrown palm trees on South Buena Vista that were reported to the City last month will be looked at by the City Arborist.
Buena Vista Park’s project manager Matt Kenoe will be providing Lara Tran with a schedule so we can find out when the work is being planned to add to the park. The City’s budget is very spare this year and the State will be taking money *out.* The Public Works
Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 10/27/09
Department shrinks and grows depending on projects that are on scheduled. This will not
impact the extension of the Buena Vista Park because the funds are already allocated.
Robert provided a recap of the Sunol Court decision. The project is now officially off and
cannot be brought up again for at least two years.
Food Max had a large refrigerator truck parked behind the store that had a diesel generator
and was very noisy. It was being used to store frozen turkeys in preparation for the holiday. Steve said he spoke to the manager (Jeremy Bryant) who arranged to have a quieter truck brought in to replace the noisy one. When Steve discussed with him the possibility of having a curfew on the truck deliveries - (no earlier than 6:00 AM, no later than 10:00 PM, for example), the manager said that if the BVNA wrote a letter requesting this, he would pass it along to corporate headquarters and it would probably be honored. Food Max wants to be a good neighbor and will do what it can to accommodate neighborhood concerns. Robert agreed to write the letter.
Further discussion on the Food Max, Sally commented on the need to clean the parking lot and Loui complained about the mis-use of plastic bags that wind up blowing around the parking lot, into the street, and onto the nearby freeway.
There was another discussion about parking compliance, the problem of too many cars and not enough parking, car repair shops and used car lots using the neighborhood streets for overflow parking, etc. Jordan had some specific concerns about people parking in such a way as to block her driveway. There is barely enough room for two cars in front of most houses and when people don’t use the space efficiently, one or both cars wind up blocking a driveway. Home owners cannot simply paint a section of the curb red to keep cars from parking over the driveway entrance.
There are comments made about how nice the White’s house is looking now that work is being done on the remodel started two years ago.
Planning for the Future. Robert reported that Brian is working with other neighborhood activists (Terri Balandra, et al.) on an ad hoc project to come up with guidelines for handling new developments that are to be built next to existing housing. The guidelines would include such things as existing housing could not be deprived of sunlight by overly tall new structures.
The Bascom Library. The new library will probably be finished in the summer of the 2010, but won’t open for 4-6 months after that because of the time it takes to bring in furnishings, books, computers, etc. Also, as long as it is not open, the City saves money on staffing. Measure P covered construction, but not furnishing and staffing and operating costs. Robert expressed the opinion that if other libraries had to reduce their hours of operation in order to staff the new library that was what needed to be done. This new library should not be forced to stay closed so that other libraries can maintain their current hours - “share the pain.”
Preservation or Conservation District Status. There was a discussion about getting “preservation” or “conservation” area status for some or all of the Buena Vista Neighborhood. Some residents like the idea because it will limit new structures, in-filling, remodels that don’t keep the integrity of the neighborhood; other fear it will mean they cannot replace old wood windows with double-pane vinyl windows.
The Ballpark. The ballpark may still be coming to this area. The City would not pay for it, but it would donate the land. Lots of area people are looking at this issue and how it would tie into existing transportation (trains, buses, light rail, etc.)
Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 10/27/09
The Ohlone Project. The Environmental Impact Report for the Ohlone Project (old VTA property on West San Carlos) is out. The NAC is preparing a response. City architects do not like the project, don’t like the style or the massing. It exceeds height requirements set by the airport as well as the current heigh limits in the General Plan The New Diridon Station being proposed would be even higher but it is just in the rezoning stage. Everyone who has looked at it says it is too dense.
Other Local Projects. There are a lot of other projects in the area where permits have been taken out, but the projects are dormant while developers and property owners wait for the economy to turn around.
Sprit Night. There was a discussion of what is needed for Spirit Night, what will happen during the evening
High Speed Rail There was a discussion of the High Speed Rail project (Los Angeles to San Francisco) and how it would impact the area in general. The tunnel would probably be bored (50 feet down), not dug as a trench and then topped.
Fund Raising. There was a discussion of fund-raising ideas.
ANNOUNCEMENTS The next BVNA meeting will be on Tuesday, November 24 at the home of Sally and Ken Henning at 347 Menker Avenue. Mark your calendar and plan to attend.
Meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM.