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September 2007 BVNA Meeting Minutes

BUENA VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION Minutes of the Meeting Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Meeting called to order at 7:03 PM

PRESENT: [15 people signed in] Brian Ward (elected President) Loui Tucker (Secretary) Mikala Caune (Treasurer) - left early due to illness Joe Carpenter

Robert Solis Linda Solis Scott Hraban Jesse Hraban Brent Jensen Lisa Jensen

Ruth White Michael W hite Steve Rogers Sabine Zappe

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

John Myers (representing County Supervisor Ken Yeager’s office)

MINUTES - Minutes of the August July 31, 2007 meeting were approved.

TREASURER’S REPORT Approved. Balance is$1,462. All Home Tour expenses still have been paid, specifically the Old House Journal subscription promised to the homeowners (approx. $150), as well as the drawing for the stay at a bed-and-breakfast (approx. $150). Treasurer will contact the Home Tour Grant Coordinator to discuss moving unused funds to other categories such as Newsletter expenses. Halloween expenses were discussed, particularly the possible need to purchase glow-necklaces or glow-bracelets, and having members donate decorations and/or a bag of candy and bring it to the next meeting which is the night before the Halloween event.

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

  1. There is a huge sink hole on Page Street in the 500 block. Repaired last year and has now reappeared.

  2. Five of the new lights on Scott Street are not working. The old lights were supposed to be removed - when will that happen? There was also supposed to be some marking for a bike path and signage – when will that happen? There were also funds assigned for a party to celebrate the installation of the lights and if we don’t have the party the funds will be returned.

  3. The resident at 425 S. Willard has once again started operating his unlicensed car repair business. He continues to park the cars he is working on in the neighborhood, but makes sure they are moved every 72 hours to stay within the regulations for on-street parking.

  4. There continue to be loud parties late into the night at 415 S. Willard. Discussion of using 911 versus 311 for this type of disturbance.

  5. There was a suspicion raised that not all permits being processed by the San Jose Planning Department are being posted and sent out on the email alert. We do not want projects to slip in without the public being aware of them. Jeff Rogers (Shasta-Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association President and Del Monte Neighborhood Action Committee Planning Department Chair) and the Planning Department and District 6 representatives are supposed to be meeting to discuss the general plan for this area, what projects are planned, etc.

  6. There is still graffiti on the marquee of the Burbank Theater that has been there for at least two months. Owner is supposed to be taking care of it, but Code Enforcement is not seeing to it that he does.

  7. There is a very old unlicensed truck on the ground (not on a concrete pad) on the vacant lot at the corner of Scott and Mayellen. General discussion of unlicensed versus licensed but inoperable cars.

  8. An extra wide trailer is often parked on Scott Street making it difficult for cars to use the street. There is a mini school bus that parks on the corner of Scott and Mayellen or Scott and Buena

Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 9/25/07

Vista, which makes it difficult to see around the corner before pulling out into traffic.

  1. 435 S. Willard, also known as The McVeigh Property, was scraped clean of brush, but now there

are piles of dry brush scattered around the lot. One cigarette butt tossed over the fence and the

entire lot will go up in flames.

  1. The owners of 467 S. Meridian appear to turning a carport into a garage without permits.

  2. There are four Pit Bulls dogs behind a too-low fence on Laswell between Scott and Elliott. They

are unleashed and charge the fence whenever anyone walks nearby. They might be capable of

jumping the fence if provoked.

  1. Robert Solis had provided a printout of a table he had prepared showing the various parks

projects being discussed by the Burbank/Del Monte NAC. It lists 11 parks in various stages of discussion/completion, as well as a list of projects for land use being supported by the NAC. Those attending got a copy and were encouraged to read it. Robert will provide a copy for the BVNA website. For example, the site across from the Jack-in-the-Box on San Carlos at Buena Vista is still being considered for a neighborhood park or at least a plaza to serve the development at the old Fiesta Lane site as well as the Lou’s Village site.

3. GUEST SPEAKER/MEETING TOPIC - Where are the Grocery Stores?

Robert Solis led a discussion about the status of grocery stores in our immediate area, as well as downtown San Jose and Sherman Oaks (across 280 to the south). There is particular concern because of the closure of the Albertson’s on Southwest Expressway, which further reduces grocery store choices. A review of local stores includes Midtown Safeway, FoodMax, Cash&Carry, Zanotto’s, Supermercado, and Apatzingan, and Trader Joe’s. There is a Whole Foods planned for The Alameda at Stockton. There are no grocery stores in downtown San Jose, so most residents come to our area. The Sherman Oaks neighborhood, having lost the Albertson’s will now be coming to our area. In general, it is felt that San Jose is under-served, but no big grocery store chain seems interested in coming into the area.

The Albertson’s site now has a Dollar Store, which is owned by the Ross chain. This means it is backed by big corporate money and is not likely to disappear soon and/or be replaced by another grocery store.

There was a concern that if “Mom-and-Pop” stores are brought in to fill the gap, they will be focused on alcohol sales rather than grocery sales. There was more interest in a Zanotto’s-type of store

The vacant lot across Bascom from the proposed new library would be a good site, but others would like to see another park there. The vacant store where Antiques Colony used to be is slated to become a 99¢ Store (or something similar). The Safeway north of Santana Row is reportedly going to be enlarged.

It was also felt that a grocery store or stores needs to be added to the downtown core. Lots of housing has been added to the downtown area, but there are few places to shop except for Zanotto’s.

Annexation will make this process easier. Stores and strip malls (such as on Bascom and at the corner of Bascom and San Carlos) that exist can be upgraded if they have City redevelopment money. As long as they remain in the County, no improvements will be made and no grocery stores will be attracted.


  1. The BVNA’s annual Halloween House will be the home of Marcos Montes and Carlos Ramirez. Loui will send out an email a week to 10 days ahead of the date to remind residents to bring over any Halloween decorations they can spare and to bring an extra bag of candy to the BVNA General Meeting the evening before.

  2. Ken Henning (and Sally) are at the City Council meeting being honored for their work with KaBOOM (a national nonprofit organization whose vision is a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America).

Minutes of BVNA General Meeting 9/25/07

c. There is some interest in developing a “Welcome to the Buena Vista Neighborhood Kit” for newcomers. Perhaps Mikala can keep us aware of home sales so that we can form an informal committee to approach new residents, invite them to meetings, tell them about the website. We may need to develop a BVNA brochure. The BVNA tends to draw its members from the streets south of Scott Street and there needs to be an effort made to meet and recruit BVNA members from the streets north of Scott.

There was a related discussion about the tenor of meetings and the attitude newcomers perceive the BVNA as having. It was felt that sometimes first time visitors to a BVNA meeting get the impression that all we do is complain. It was felt we needed to take time to befriend and/or mentor newcomers, get to know them and what brought them to the meeting, find out what they hope to bring to the meeting as well as get from the meeting, etc.


  1. There will be a park planning committee meeting to talk about the proposed 2.2-acre park off of Sunol on October 10 from 6:30 - 8:00 at the Fire Station. Items to be considered are public bathrooms, basketball courts, a playground for children, a fenced dog run, etc.

  2. The housing project at the old Fiesta Lanes site seems to be moving ahead. Signage is up and trailers are set up.

  3. You can get a pretty good idea of crime in your area by going to For example, a report generated for Willard Street showed 4 vehicle thefts this year.

  4. The next Litter Pickup on Highway 280 is October 20 at 9:00 AM. Meet across from San Jose City College

  5. The Northside Home Tour is this Sunday and they still need a few volunteers to help out a docents.

  6. There is evidently a new type of crime being perpetrated against women with young children. The assailant knocks down the child, the mother goes to aid the child, and the assailant takes the purse, runs to a waiting car. Mothers with young children are advised to be alert.

The meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM.

NEXT MEETING The next meeting will be Tuesday, October 30 at the home of Robert and Linda Solis at 359 Mayellen.


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