Scanned and reposted by San Lorenzo Express



January 26, 1999

Meeting Called to Order: 7:05 p.m. By Nancy Van Huffel for Chair Travis Thoms

Present: Jim Spears, Mary Ann McMillan, Lisa Gudjohnson, Harry Gin, Roberta Furger, Mel Brookman, Howard Beckman, Travis Thoms, Mary Reynolds
Excused: Millie Arieta, Carol Divis, Jack Mackinnon, Pat Pebelier, Frank Peixoto, Pat Piras, Barry Weiss
Unexcused: Diane Jenkins, Sharon Stout, Nita Tolson
Staff: Nancy Van Huffel, and Kathleen Harrigan
Guests: Melissa Becker, Kimberly Becker, Chris Smyer, Cheryl Weldon, Christine Wagner, Diane Piastrelli, Denise Lucas, Michael Pina

1. Business Proposal by Cafe Frodo Joe:
Janelle Sausser presented her business proposal to the Committee. Her coffee shop will in the Hacienda shopping center next to Liz Nails. This space is 1250 square feet and will have counter space and tables enough to seat 30 people inside. There will also be outside seating. Ms. Sausser stated that she is committed to hiring from the San Lorenzo Community and that her number one focus will be to give quality, friendly service. Two-percent of her sales will be donated to Animal Rights groups. Ms. Sausser stated that there will be a limited menu dedicated to the sale of coffee, teas, pastries and cakes. Committee members questioned the availability of parking and what the hours of operation would be. Ms. Sausser noted that Rasputin's will be moving out of this shopping center in the near future and that this will allow for adequate parking for her customers. Business hours will be from 5:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. initially, she plans to hire 15 people, so that there will always be at least 2 people on duty at any time. Howard Beckman questioned whether the lease was competitive with other available sites in the area. Ms. Sausser said that the lease was competitive and that her company is negotiating a 5 year lease with a 5 year option. Harry Gin questioned what type of incentives were given to her company.

Ms. Sausser stated that her company has 6 months free rent because they are doing their own renovations. She went on to state that her company had to negotiate hard to get the percentage of profits given to the Bohannon Organization down to what they thought was reasonable. Mr. Beckman questioned how Ms. Sausser's company was able to negotiate with Bohannon successfully. She stated that the construction business she was previously employed with had done a lot of work for Bohannon, and thus her company used this as bargaining power with the Organization. It was questioned as to when Ms. Sausser thought the coffee shop would be open. She stated that they were due to finalize the contract with the Bohannon Organization within the next few weeks and would like to open by May or June 1999.

2. Update on Drogress of the County's Policy on Fast Food establishments:
Chair Thoms stated that at the last SLVHA Board of Directors meeting the County's fast food policy was mentioned, and he wanted to bring the committee up to date on when the Planning Commission and the County were meeting regarding this issue. Nancy Van Huffel stated that the Planning Commission plans to hear this issue, next Monday, February 1, 1999 and that the Board of Supervisors will be discussing the issue on Thursday February 4, 1999. She also mentioned to the group that the Unincorporated meeting scheduled for tomorrow, January 27, 1999 will be discussing this issue and will have copies ofthe policy. This meeting will be in the San Lorenzo Community Hall at 7:30 p.m. Van Huffel apologized for not having her draft of this policy for the committee, but did not think the committee would be discussing it in detail. She stated that the policy will not effect the move of KFC, because any existing businesses would be grandfathered in. She encouraged members to attend the upcoming meetings for further information.

Questions were brought up as to when the Rite Aid proposal would be going to the Planning Commission. Van Huffel stated that this issue has not yet been scheduled for the zoning/planning agenda. Howard Beckman questioned what the status of the Chevron proposal was. Van Huffel stated that the last she had heard was that Chevron had hired a traffic engineer to review the project. It was questioned as to what the status of the move for KFC was. Van Huffel stated that it was due to go back to County Zoning on February 10, 1999.

3. Discussion and comments on the Board's revised version of the Committee Charter:
Howard Beckman stated that he had a problem with the change in the Charter that states "Committee members shall not undermine the work of the Board or the Committee. Members who misrepresent the work of the Board or Committee or present false informaton to any party may be removed from the Committee by the Board". Mr Beckman asked who made the recommendation for this change on the Board. Van Huffel stated that she did not remember who specifically made this recommendation, however, she knew why the item was added. She indicated that the Association received a call by a resident who was very upset about receiving information that if Rite Aid came into the area property values would go down. She indicated that the Board does not want false or misleading statements on any issues from committee members who are representing the Board.

Roberta Furger questioned when the Board discussed the Charter. Van Huffel stated that Board members were sent the original immediately after receiving for their review. The Board then met prior to the Board meeting in a work session and spent over an hour discussing the Committee's Charter. From that discussion, changes were made and officially approved at the Board meeting which followed. Van Huffel stated that the work sessions are open to the public as are the Board meetings. Roberta Furger said that she agrees with Mr. Beckman that this clause is too broad and there needs to be a distinction and/or clarification of this revision that states "When individuals who represent the committee ... they must not..."

There was a consensus that the Committee refer this particular revision of the Charter back to the Board for clarification.

4. Formation of "Vision Plan" for San Lorenzo Square:
Chair Thoms noted that each of the member's packets had included a copy of the specific plan for the Ashland/Cherryland Area. There was a discussion about whether this plan should be used as a template for the vision for the Square area. The consensus from the committee was to focus on specifics of the San Lorenzo Square and what the committee would like the area to look like with respect to the landscaping, architecture, parking and other concerns. The committee opened this item up for discussion and residents and committee members mentioned the following: an emphasis on small businesses, a "tree-lined" vision to fit in with many of the residential areas; an emphasis on landscaping/open space with adequate parking. It was mentioned that perhaps the architecture should be in the style of the 50's or 60's, as many of the houses were built during this time period. Diagonal rather than parallel parking; the businesses should meet the needs of both the young and the old in the area; have broad sidewalks, lainp posts, old fashion signs; be "kid-friendly", and balance the 'cute' with the practical.

Chair Thoms stated that he did not think the committee should be too specific due to the fact that the land is owned by Bohannon, however, they can give the Organization some general ideas. Howard Beckman stressed the importance that any business should be one that would trade off community needs with the regional market. He also stated that the Square should have some architectural integrity and that it should not only have small businesses but be an area of "mixed business use" with retail, small businesses and even the possibility for residences. A resident suggested that businesses that come into the square should participate in the community like the Mervyns' Corporation.

Mary Reynolds noted that if Rite Aid goes into the square, the committees' focus may need to change. Roberta Furger noted that many people on the committee have strong opinions about Rite Aid, however the committee should remain focused on a vision and if Rite Aid comes into the square, then it can reevaluate some of its vision. Chair Thoms stated that it is important for the committee to mobilize its vision so that it can have some leverage with the Bohannon Organization. Nancy Van Huffel said that the committee must take into the varying points of view of the community regarding tlle square areas. Howard Beckman stated that it was important to get feedback from the Board as well as the community. Roberta Furger mentioned that parking has got to be considered when deciding on a vision for the square and that the Lorenzo Theater parking has always been a problem. Chair Thoms stated that he did not think that the other side of Hesperian was considered part of the area that the Board wanted the Committee to focus on. Nancy Van Huffel clarified that the Board considers the whole "square" area, including the Hollywood Video Store and the theater as part of the Square.

The Committee had a consensus as to the following 'visionary ideas' for the Square:

Nancy Van Huffel suggested that the committee needs to keep in mind the survey it did with respect to businesses and that ninety three percent of homeowners wanted another department store in the area. The committee discussed what types of services should be representative of the community and discussed the importance of businesses that would make the area attractive. Mel Brookman pointed out that it is important to keep in mind that larger corporations are more stable than smaller "mom and pop" businesses. The larger corporations can take a loss for a year or more, whereas the smaller businesses may have to pull out of the square if they have financial problems, leaving the area with another vacant store. It was noted that the committee must be open to both small businesses as well as large department stores for the area.

Chair Thoms discussed the idea of how the committee can improve the area around the Square to make it more attractive. What about some of the run down residences? Van Huffel said the Association resolves more than 500 CC&R problems a year. However, if when homeowners are elderly, or do not have the funds to repair or work on the condition of there home, the Association has ongoing problems due to a lack of volunteers to help correct the problems. Howard Beckman recommended that at the next meeting the committee leave time on its agenda to discuss specific things that need to be looked at for this plan to succeed, but which are not within the purview of what the committee has been instructed to do by the Board.

Chair Thoms stated that he would set aside part of the agenda to discuss this issue and informed all members that he would forward and outline of the committee's "vision" as discussed in this meeting to each of them.

5. Meeting Adjourned - Chair Thoms adjourns meeting at 8:51 P.M.