D1 L.G. General Business Meeting, May 20, 2023, At San Jose West Valley Branch Library

 May, 20 - 2023   Meetings & Commission Reports
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Steve Ling opened the meeting at 9:05 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 5.19.23 is $1,224.72.

Steve Ling: Paid tribute to Richard Kabanek first and former president of the Eden Neighborhood Association and husband of Betty Kabanek our current treasurer. Richard was a regular attendee of the D1 Leadership Group for many years.

Steve Ling: D1 LG priorities: crime, affordable housing, development, rebuilding NAs, utilities, and emergency prep. We need volunteers to help or lead these efforts.

Rosemary Kamai D1 Council Member: Have been having meetings on city budget. The council will vote on Measure E on June 13th. City Manager has budget addendems on the city website. Federal and state Covid funding has dried up. Stevens Creek transit program is in process. Council is looking to bring transit service from Diridon to the airport. Grad students at SJ State have done a lot of traffic studies around the city that have been very helpful. She’s trying to get one for the Prospect/Saratoga area. Looking at a site for next Urban Village (UV). In may occur in D1 or D9. UV is a planning term for a specific geographic area. SJ has defined what it wants in a UV. SJ Planning will finish its analysis for the next UV by Sept. 2023.

Chris G: Residents know that the D1 office is aware of residents’ concerns about UV boundaries. Trying to get the Pulte project (Saratoga/Stevens Creek) boundaries clarified. RK: UVs usually contain many projects within it.

Bob L: The El Paseo project got pushed through with improper review and he hopes this doesn’t happen again. RK: Housing Element goes to city council on June 20, 2023. Proposal currently for Measure E will go to interim housing. D1 and D6 conducted Valley Fair Seniors Walk program in April. SJ trying to get people out to public events. She’ll put upcoming events in her newsletter.

Gary C: Glad to hear that state is going to provide more funds for SJ homeless. Airport to Diridon needs to be completed.

Doris L: Reiterated need for upcoming news events from D1 office. Amy C: Wants more of SJ budget to go toward homeless problem.

Susan Nye: How do we keep track of what is going on with Costco? RK: There will be a traffic study on the Costco project. Still in the process and waiting for the Environmental Impact Report. She wants neighbors to be heard. Nothing has happened since last October.

Gary Smith (English Estates): Has information on lighting. Dropping the lights to 10 feet will not solve the lighting problem.

RK: Ngan Nguyen got promoted to another job. Alex Girsch: Replaced Ngan. Alex will work on Parks & Recs issues.

Jerry G.: Does Measure E allow for diverting funds from affordable housing to homeless shelters? RK: Measure E is a general bond measure and does allow for spending on homeless issues. Also, the mayor & council created a policy on how the Measure E funds will be divided up.

Jerry G.: Saratoga Trail–Authorities aren’t solving the homeless problem. RK: We’re really working on it. Court rulings that have been made saying homelessness is not a crime. Can’t force people to move against their will. Jerry G: Aren’t they trespassing? RK: Yes, except there is no place for the homeless to go, and people can’t be helped who don’t want to be helped.

Chris G: How is the mayor going to solve the homeless parking their RVs on the streets? RK: Working with mayor to find an RV parking site. Some RVs have out-of-state license plates.

Olympia Williams (Division Mgr. for trash, graffiti and encampment management services): Had 16 FT staff 2 years ago and now has 74 FT people and will get 22 FT more next year. Abandoned Vehicle Program. 2200 people are living in parked vehicles. Going forward all personal property must be stored in the parked vehicles. People are moved, but go to other places. Want to get authority on Oct 29th from the city council to abate people from vehicles. Asking for $2M from County and $250M from VTA for trash removal. Housing Dept. really trying to get people into stable, permanent housing. Working with Union Pacific RR to clean up their right of ways. Average tagger is over 40 years old. Jerry G: Lot of requirements for city to pickup free junk. OW: Will take your concern back the to council. JG: What about graffiti in the Burbank area. OW: Has spoken to county offering to help county remove graffiti.

Chris G: Very large RV parked in WONA area. Nobody is in the vehicle. How can your department abate these vehicles? OW: She will ask council for approval to tow inhabited vehicles?

Bob L.: Is there any way to declare a public nuisance to remove homeless? OW: Voices of the neighbors are very important. You must speak up.

Roberta Witte: Too much debris on the streets and green areas. OW: Says call O.W.

Chris G.: Debris in commercial zone and city won’t pick up. OW: Says to email her.

Anita Peterson: Property owners need to be pro-active in cleaning up their properties.

OW: Beautify SJ Grants. She’ll look at this year’s applications to see why some weren’t granted. Re: Neighborhood Commission program will be reaching out to former members for suggestions for the creation of a new commission.

Connie Tietze: Can grantees get extra time to complete projects, maybe thru 2024? OW: OW will follow up on this question. OW: Homeless are moving to smaller cities.

Gary C.: Thanked Olympia for her work.

Attendee: Asked if unspent beautify grant funds can be re-appropriated for next year? OW: She will look into it.

Betty K.: Do we still need insurance for projects? OW: City doesn’t handle the insurance, but she will look into the issue.

District One Division Police Captain, Brian Spears: Crime is low in D1 compared to the rest of the city. There’s an uptick in vehicle and residential burglaries. Burglars knock on doors to see if any sounds occur. Still good to leave a loud radio turned on. Your house’s outside appearance tells a burglar if the house is occupied. There has been an uptick in Hyundai and Kia car thefts. Burglars use a USB plug to unlock these brands.

BS: Evicted resident returned with a gun and machete and went to a residence apartment instead of the manager’s apartment. Police killed the evicted resident.

BS: The Flock camera system captures the back license plate of cars. License plate #s are put in a database and when the camera sees the plate, it alerts SJPD to send their helicopter to follow the car until it stops. Flock has a website. San Jose has a Cam system and a database made of residences’ cameras, but not yet active in D1.

BS: You have every right to defend yourself inside your own home. You can’t shoot someone outside your house, it will be murder. Any device shooting a projectile is an assault with a deadly weapon.

Amy C: The Southern police division has had the Cam program for some time. Will SJ have funds soon for installation of home cameras? Speed camera program passed the Assembly and is before the Senate. BS: Problem with Speed cameras is that it only captures the car, not the driver.

Attendee: Can we find a way to slow speeders? BS: Most speeders live on the street where they speed. We need all of us to tell others to slow down. Sergeant Newton: Traffic enforcement unit is small. Residents can report speeding on the SJPD website. BS: D1 averages 140 traffic tickets per day.

Attendee: Heavy traffic around Prospect HS. We need regular enforcement at Prospect HS.

BS: Will bring another supervisor to our next meeting. If you see one of his staff members, wave and say hello.

Connie Tietze: The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is waiting for Costco to provide an updated plan. New city DEIR manager for Costco project is Cara Hopkins. Alec Memo-Atendia is the main project manager. Have held community meetings with Costco representatives. On-line Costco petition has 2,300 signatures. Total signatures (2,900). See “Save West Valley” website.

Amy C: No news about the park space on El Paseo project. Building 3 is going from 11 to 5 stories. That will shift residential units to other buildings. There is no residential parking minimum.

Chris G: Pulte project framing is done at Stevens Creek/Saratoga. New paving from San Tomas west will occur this year. Wants members to attend a walk through of WONA to highlight its issues.

Doris L: “Hearts for Ukraine” charity will occupy the community room after we adjourn.

Chris G: Make Music Day (6/21) to celebrate world music at the Cypress Community Center.

Meeting Adjourned at 11:30 am by Steve Ling.

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