Members Present:

Jonathan, Pearlin, Susan, Ken, Michelle, Penny, Becky, Angela, Bill

Ice Cream Social next Saturday afternoon, Sept 17

* Ken will talk with Kirsten to help build community. Pearlin will check in with her too.
* Pearlin needs an easel: tried using NextDoor to no avail. Hefalump. Angela will ask Magdalena.
*Will we have a bathroom key? Pearlin will check. Also can ask woman about easels.
*Ice cream truck again.
*Will have city council candidates there. That’s why tables are needed.
*Police dept? Ken will ask.
*We will have a registration table.
*When people check in – “Would you like someone to contact you re: neighborhood association”
Or “ Are you interested in learning more about the neighborhood association?”
*Volunteers to help with registration: Angela, Bill, Susan, Penny,
*We will have our own waste station for garbage and recycling.
*Michelle will create a Facebook Page for the Neighborhood Association.
*Many thanks to Pearlin for her great work in putting it all together!

The Intersection at Park and Page Mill

Ken has been attending meetings of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee, which has begun discussing options for this intersection; the intersection is crucial for our neighborhood, being a primary ingress and egress route, especially for bikes and pedestrians. Currently, intersection involves a bike lane and several traffic lanes. City is floating the idea of a roundabout. Would make it very different for cars coming from CA ave bc of merging with roundabout traffic who are turning right (instead of having one lane for right turners and another lane for people going straight, which is the current situation). Also, the bikes going straight from CA ave will have trouble with the cars that are wanting to turn right. The city will probably be asking for public input. Ken is not sure what the right answer. Another answer might be a traffic light. Argument against that would be that it’s a designated bike boulevard and this would stop the bikes on their way.

How do we figure out what is the best option? We all have our own opinions about what would work best, but we are not so sure that the roundabout. Many of us would prefer a light. Would be best for us as a neighborhood to tell the city what we think. Susan pointed out that people don’t always understand what the different/new traffic signs mean and need education.

Becky wrote a letter to the city from us as a group about this intersection a year ago.

It would be great to have an option to comment at the Ice Cream Social. Angela, Susan and Penny will come up with a simple way of doing a sort of straw poll at the Ic Cr So, listing the various options as well as some ways to get involved. Get a list of people who would be interested in this or any intersections. People can contact: Transportation@CityofPaloAlto.org. They can also voice their opinions and requests on 311 (http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/services/paloalto311/make_a_service_request.asp) under streets and roadways.

Re traffic signs and markings. We can invite a traffic markings person from the city to come to speak with us on a weeknight. The challenge is finding a date for us to get a large number of people together.

This issue is under “Hot Topics” on our website.

Boulware Park

The Palo Alto Parks commission has come out with a new master plan. Jonathan reported that in the comments section on Boulware Park there is “support for a Pump Track.” That comment should have been put under Bol Park. Peter Jensen says there are no plans for a Pump Track at Boulware Park. On our website is a summary of our comments re Boulware Park. Jonathan will send us a link to the summaries by the city.

We discussed a potential expansion into the empty ATT lot adjacent to Boulware. Jonathan said that neither the city real estate people nor the Park Commission was willing to take the first step. Becky said we need to get the ball rolling and find out if ATT is interested in selling the land. Maybe we have to get a city council member interested. We must get moving before they get a developer interested in building more housing. City has mentioned wanting to expand park areas. We must be proactive, stating what we want rather than what we don’t want.

Housing Issues

There are 3 public city council forums coming up: Some televised – live and also archived. Encourage people to have election parties to discuss local issues and candidates.

One family on Curtner is having to move because landlord is planning to remodel and raise rents a lot. Can the city do anything? Maybe we should put together a renters’ Group that would have a voice that would be stronger than individuals complaining in isolation. Most apartments do not have on-site managers. Michelle might begin to get a renters’ association or group together to share ideas. – Maybe send something out on NextDoor. Maybe Kirsten can throw that out on the poster on Saturday.

Becky wrote a letter to the Parmani people based on our discussion last month. Architect wanted to come today but our position is that we are against spot zoning and waivers.

3755 Page Mill – old VTA property. 60 microunits is the current proposal – requires exemptions, exceptions and spot zoning. Tomorrow night the owners and contractors are doing a pre-screening for the city. Original zoning is Public Facilities. Owner bought knowing that it was PF and assumed that they could get an up-zoning. City council is starting to pull back on the changes in zoning. Legality, zoning problems – PA neighborhood association is against it, but is for microunits in general, if put in a better location. Article in the weekly about it. Underparked. When a developer buys a property that has a bad zoning, and is able to get it changed, it’s unfair to the community since we cannot know what to expect. Sends the message: Money talks but people don’t matter.

Ken: there will be a time when our neighborhood will benefit from a residential parking program. RPP. It takes a long time to get one established, so maybe we should start now. Chris Donlay perhaps got too busy, but he is the Ventura parking expert. There are plenty of people we can talk to. City knows that businesses need parking space and so are a bit resistant.

Michelle: What if we proposed to City Council that they create a set of criteria to be met if they are going to allow more housing – so that developers know what is expected. Ken says they are discussing it. Becky says that until they come up with their criteria they are allowing all kinds of permits and exemptions. Comprehensive Plan.

Pearlin – Difficult to find out what Scenario 5 and 6 are.
Becky – I fixed the links on the neighborhood website.

Becky encouraged everyone to organize pre-election parties to share information about the state and local propositions and candidates. Could give each person a Proposition or Candidate to research and then share observations.

Our next meeting will be Sunday, October 2, 1:30

Respectfully submitted, Sept 24, 2016 by Angela

Minutes of the Ventura Neighborhood Association Meeting September 11, 2016

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