Sep, 18 - 2023   Meetings & Commission Reports
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Steve Ling opened the meeting at 9:08 am. Current officers were introduced. Steve Ling, Chair, Gary Cunningham, Vice-Chair, Jerry Giles, Secretary, Betty Kabanek, Treasurer, & Doris Livezey, Member-at-Large.

Betty Kabanek: Bank balance at 9.16.23 is $2,142.68.

Gary C: Will be getting information from the auditor on Measure T. He’s on the oversight committee. No report on Measure D.

Steve Ling: Purpose of D1 LG is to bring neighborhood leaders together to exchange information. D1 LG priorities: crime (Steve), housing (Jerry), development (Betty), rebuilding NAs (Gary), utilities (Doris), and emergency prep (Ramona Snyder & Cyrus Black). 5.20.23 minutes were approved.

Sandra Delvin (President: Families Homes San Jose): San Jose missed its deadline for submitting its Housing Element and was subsequently rejected by the Legislature. That created the “Builder’s Remedy” which allows expedited development that residents cannot stop. D4 is taking commercial property to be developed for housing. There are 15 projects using Builder’s Remedy. There are many state laws impacting housing. Bay Area Finance Authority is proposing a $12 million bond this November 2024 for affordable housing. Our Neighborhood Voices is preparing a proposal to return local control to the towns and cities. We need donations to either ONV or FHSJ to help finance these resolutions. FHSJ is supporting the Tax Payer Protection & Government Act is already qualified for the Nov. 2024 ballot. It will protect Proposition 13. Both ACA1 (abolishes 2/3 voter approval, but it allows the Legislature to pass bills by majority) and ACA13 (makes it more difficult to pass voter initiatives) will be on the Nov. 2024 ballot. SJ Council voted to support with taxpayer money ACA1 and ACA13. SJ spent $500,000 to lobby for ACA 1 & 13. FHSJ opposed Opportunity Housing. The SJ City Council voted it down. SJ spent $100-$300k on studying Opportunity Housing when other earlier studies showed it didn’t work. Chris Giangrecco: When did Builder’s Remedy become effective? Rich Crowley: Many years ago. SD: There are 15 Builder’s Remedy properties in process in SJ right now. Speaker: Why does FHSJ oppose ACA1? Sandra: ACA 1 amends Prop 13 (66.7%) to allow a 55% approval for infrastructure bond issues. Steve L.: Is there any place to find SB9 developed properties? Sandra: FHSJ has some of this information, but also the SJ Spotlight does. Rich Crowley: There are 24 active SB9 projects in process. Rich is on the FHSJ Board, Treasurer of D10 NA., & VP for Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility.

Mila Zelkha (District Director for Assembly Member Marc Berman): District office is in Palo Alto. 50% of office time is spent doing case mgmt. with State agencies. Office dealing with PG&E outages, Cal Trans issues, and land slides. Had an insurance Zoom town hall recently. Will hold Berman’s fifth annual health fair at SJ Castle Mont Elementary School to help residents connect with health care services on Saturday, 9/30. Will have many health care providers. She’ll email the digital flyer to Gary C. Will have a Youth Forum on 10/14. His bills that passed AB 537 (hotel & resorts most disclose fees) AB 1598 (purchases are required to receive information about firearms in the homes, and AB 873 (integrates literacy in grades K-12). Pablo Vasquez is another Berman representative.

Linden Skjeie (SJ Environmental Services Dept.): Contaminated items cannot be recycled. It increases cost for waste management companies. It raises customer rates. Recycling saves trees; reduces energy to create new items; and saves landfill space. Every two years SJ does a cart study regarding contaminated recycled items. SJ has many problems, but recycles 70% of garbage. You can leave flattened cardboard boxes next to your blue container. Don’t put yard trimmings in a bike lane. Can put scrap metal and metal cans in blue container. Don’t need to cut out plastic address section in envelopes. Shredded paper must be in a clear plastic bag. SJ takes plastic #s 1-5. Plastic #6 cannot be recycled, and plastic #7 sometimes, but no bio plastic. Metal lids on food jars are recyclable. Speaker: Cannot recycle auto transmissions. Linden: Yes.
Gary C: Recycling is a state responsibility and Linden cannot take action on this. Linden: No clothes, shoes, or wires can be recycled. No diapers, pet waste, or plastic grocery bags. Scrap food out of glass and metal containers. You don’t need to wash, unless it is going to rub off onto paper. Linden: See website Recycle.org for detailed information and subscribe to newsletter. Speaker: Sanitation District encourages usage of garbage disposals. Linden: Must take toxic items to County recycling centers. Use reusable straws and utensils. Avoid waste in the first place. Call 311 for a free junk pick up by the City.

Rosemary Kamei (Vice-Mayor & District One Council Member): Please send questions to her ahead of the next meeting. She suggests subscribing to her newsletter. City has a grant to work on a soft story “Retro-fit” project. Scoping/design for 280/880 interchange improvements. Annexing blighted property along Moorpark Ave. Winchester affordable housing project is in process. Staff is working on Housing Element to get it approved. El Paseo area has been selected as the next Urban Village. This means the residents will get a broader look at the plans. Working on park capital and maintenance projects and are meeting once a month with Parks & Rec. Murdock playground will be completed shortly. Hamann and Starbird parks will get new playground equipment. Looking at basic needs of the parks in D1. Working to bring back Neighborhood Watch program. Sara will be working on public safety, and neighborhood/park issues. Pushing to accelerate voluntary residential/police camera program. Caltrans will be working on the off-ramp behind Santana Row. Will be doing transportation review of Saratoga Ave., and she’s requesting a review of all transportation needs on SJ’s west side. Doris L: Is there anything happening with a new D1 Decides program? RK: Council has given back $25k per district back to the City. D1 Decides will not be continued. RK: Wants parks better maintained before any new updates are made. Steve L.: How do residents have any input on Urban Villages? RK: Difficult to do as there are so many projects. Steve L.: When is the first meeting on the Saratoga Urban Village? RK: Residents will be informed. Ashti (Eden NA): What is happening with low-income housing at VTA sites? RK: It is taking time, as there are a lot of issues to consider. There are 2 presently. One is in North SJ and the other is along Santa Teresa Boulevard in South SJ. City is trying to move these projects and others along quickly. Betty K.: When will new park on Payne be finished? RK: There is no end date currently. Skip S.: Bike-lanes on Saratoga, does the City plan to extend them? Is there a plan to extend them beyond Prospect Ave.? There are also issues with pedestrians at 3pm at Prospect and Saratoga and Prospect and Lawrence Expressway. RK: I’ve spoken to Saratoga City Council and Supervisor Ellenberg about the congestion. City Transportation and grad students are working on this. Hoping to get County, Saratoga, Prospect HS, and SJ to work together on this. Speaker: When does the EIR come out from Costco? RK: The EIR should come out at the end of September or sometime in October. Wants to look at the boarder picture. She’ll keep us informed. Steve L: There are written responses from Costco regarding trucks on Graves and grocery carts. RK: She has written email to Costco about this. She’s waiting for a reply.

Olympia Williams (Division Mgr. for Trash, Graffiti, and Encampment Management Services): Last year the City picked up 9.2 million pounds of trash, & this year it has picked up 17.0 tons of trash. Don’t put out items labeled “free.” Some of it is picked up by the homeless for their community. The City has removed 2.9 million square feet of graffiti this year. Chris G.: Why haven’t the cities gone to the state legislature to request stronger penalties for perpetrators? Olympia: She’ll get back to us on this. Wants to work on neighborhood association issues and communication. Wants to make grant application process easier. Wants to emphasize graffiti removal. Asheshe (Eden NA): Can we reach out to you to get a dumpster day? Olympia: Yes, but we need 2 volunteers per event. Speaker: Do we still need volunteer hours on grant projects? OW: She’s working on revising the program. Doris L.: Could we use cameras to reduce trestle graffiti? Olympia: Cameras don’t work. Changing catwalks will also impede Caltrans maintenance. Have to coordinate with other transportation agencies. Speaker: Why don’t we work with taggers to stop other taggers? Olympia: Great idea.

Betty K.: We received $1,440 of grant funds. There is money for driveway parties, so please let her know as funds will expire on 12/31/23.

John Oberstar (Baker West NA): Speaking on El Paseo. Sandhill, the developer, has proposed that building three be 1 story instead of 11 with only one level of underground parking instead of 2. Will be no residential units in building 3. The residential units originally in building 3 will be distributed to the other 2 buildings. No building heights are final on the other 2 buildings. Gary C.: The reason for these changes was due to the need to get the Whole Foods building completed.

Chris Giangrecco (Winchester Orchard NA): Winchester off ramp to 280 at Tisch Drive. Project is on track and will be built. Traffic will be a big issue at Tisch and Winchester. SJ DOT has no plan to mitigate traffic. Phase 1 of the Pulte project is complete. The boundaries on the north and west side of the project were not drawn correctly. We don’t know if the Pulte project will be designated as an Urban Village. We need the D1 office to clarify this. RK: Has notified Chris, DOT, about the traffic issue and the Pulte boundary. The Pulte property is currently a private property.

Meeting Adjourned at 11:35 am by Steve Ling.

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