|Scanned and reposted by San Lorenzo Express|
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
SAN LORENZO VILLAGE HOMES ASSOCIATION April 6, 2000
Present: Members: Kathie Ready, Jack MacKinnon, Tina Cheung, Anne Brichacek, Mary Reynolds, Mary Ann McMillan, Travis Thoms, Ann Marie Mrak, David Sloan, Pat Pebelier, Ron Groves
Residents: Waymond Todd, Keith Barros, Susanne Regnier, Marilyn MacKinnon
Business Owners: Shirley Perea, Dr. Winston Yee
Others: Carol Robinson (Daily Review), Kathleen Harrigan and Nancy Van Huffel (Staff)
Chairperson, Kathy Ready opened the meeting at 7:10 p.m. There were no opening comments. There were no new nominations for new members.
Approval of Minutes A motion to approve the minutes from the March 2, 2000 meeting was made by Pebelier and seconded by McMillan. The motion passed unanimously.
REPORTS FROM STANDING COMMITTEES
Summary and Comments from subcommittee on redevelopment: Pebelier announced that the Town Hall meeting was very successful. Those in attendance were in favor of including the proposed residential area in the project, but wanted the first priority to be the vacant Village Square. Groves stated that the town hall meeting confirmed what the Task Force has been pushing for. He stated that each time there is a meeting with public input he is encouraged with the direction the Task Force is taking. McMillan stated that Bohannon's attendance has been important so that the Organization can hear what residents are saying about the Village Square area. She is concerned with the boundary lines for redevelopment in the San Lorenzo area. The area would encompass part of the unincorporated Hayward area called the Royal Sunset area. Reynolds stated that she did not think that it was a negative thing to include this area. She stated that the properties in the Sunset area turn over a lot quicker than areas in San Lorenzo so it could be financially beneficial to include those areas.
Ready stated that she had spoken with the owner of Ceasar's Chicken who has complained about the vacant lot next to his restaurant for years and has had no assistance from either the County of the City of Hayward. She stated that if this area is part of the redevelopment area it may help get it cleaned up and developed.
Subcommittee targeting other problem-commercial areas: There was no report from McKinnon and Reynolds. Ready asked whether the county had sent a letter to the property owner of the shopping center on Bockman Rd. The cargo trailers are still in the parking lot, visible from the street. Ready stated that the county should be contacted prior to the next meeting. Harrigan stated that she would make a call to Stacy Sorenson for an update for the status of enforcement. Reynolds stated that something must be done about all the major shopping centers in San Lorenzo and the way they look. She said it is very important that the BDC keep on top of just what each owner is doing to help clean up these properties.
Subcommittee spotlighting neighborhood businesses - Ready stated that she received a thank you call from the man who owns the hobby shop in the Lorenzo Shopping Center. He was very pleased with the article. Ready asked for any suggestions from the members for the next article. Harrigan stated that she did get a call from the Pizza/Donut shop in the Channel Shopping Center. They are a relatively new business and have been participating in school events in the area. Mrak stated that there is a hair salon across from St. John's parish called "From Head to Toe". It is a small business whose owner grew up in San Lorenzo.
MacKinnon noted that Round Table Pizza is no longer in the Bohannon Shopping area near Citi Bank. The new business is called "Hard Rock Charlie's BBQ-n-Pizza". Mrak asked what the status was on the buildings in that same shopping center that were damaged in the recent fire. Pebelier stated that her understanding was that there was structural damage done to the buildings which they did not originally see and it would take at least four months to fix this damage. Post and Parcel has moved across the street next to "Best Dressed Kids". It was unclear as to what the other businesses were doing in the interim.
REPORTS FROM SPECIAL COMMITTEES
Report on the San Lorenzo Village Specific Plan Process: McMillan stated that the group is trying to put the plan down on paper. There will be one or two more meetings. She presented an architectural design highlighted in one of the local papers. The design was Victorian from the period of 1860 to 1870. McMillan said this design was very interesting and is similar to the type of architectural style the Task Force wants for some of the buildings in the Village Square.
Groves presented an article which highlighted a problem in Lafayette. The town had developed a shopping center with a small town Victorian type feel, however the broker soliciting businesses into the center was getting chain type stores to come in and this upset many of the citizens who wanted the center to be more unique and cater to smaller businesses. Groves said that he has brought up this issue at the Task Force meetings, noting that even if the architecture is designed to create a small town feel, the businesses the broker solicits into the area may not be small, but chain-type stores. The community needs to be aware of this possibility. MacKinnon stated that Chain Stores tend to maintain their property better, due to the fact that they need to meet a certain criteria to keep their franchise going. Reynolds stated that she does not agree with this. She has witnessed small businesses in San Lorenzo who take a lot of pride in their stores and keep them up well.
Ready stated that she was upset when the Bohannon Organization suggested putting a grocery store into the Village Square. McMillan reported that it is a possibility, however the Organization does not have a commitment from Albertson's or any other grocery store. Groves stated that he hoped the grocery store would be where the Sanwa bank and the liquor store are currentyl located. The store could be used as the anchor to draw in other tenants. The Task Force has stated that the shops on the other side near the theater could be small and trendy and work off of the theater. Groves would be concerned as to what Bohannon would do with the vacant Albertson's building. If a large chain was put into that area it would not be a good mix with the other businesses. Reynolds stated that the Bohannon Organization was not clear on what it wanted for the center and she is skeptical as to what will happen. Groves agreed that the county had asked the Bohannon's to add to the existing businesses to attract more upscale retailers, however the Organization has yet to make that commitment.
Mrak asked as to whether Trader Joe's has been solicited. The nearest store is in Emeryville and she thought that if San Lorenzo could get a store here it would be an anchor to other businesses.. She said that she heard the store wanted to go into Alameda, but the city is being difficult. Groves stated that Bohannon had talked with Trader Joe's who had claimed San Lorenzo's demographics did not meet their criteria. Groves pointed out that Starbucks had also been solicited by Bohannon, however it declined. When it moved into its current Hesperian location, the county as well as the property owner had become involved to make it worth the company's efforts to move into that site. Groves stated that the community could do the same thing with the Bohannon's. He said the land use has not even been considered. Once that is determined, Supervisor Steele stated that she would help further the process to solicit stores into the Village.
Barros stated that San Lorenzo is an ideal location. It is between 880 and 238 and many people would rather shop here than go over the hill to Castro Valley.
Report from Harry Gin/Ann Marie Mrak Christmas in April Program: Mrak reported that she has not heard anything from Gin or Pacheco. She mailed in the applications that she include only a dozen residents thus far. The people who have signed up in San Lorenzo will work in the area, and if there are not enough local residents, volunteers from other areas will work in the area. Mrak was unclear as to whether Washington Mutual was going to donate funds to the program, they had been asked by the group for financial assistance. She stated the group still needs more volunteers.
Cheung stated that the youth participation is going to be low due to the fact that there is another community event going on that same day. There was also some problem having high school clubs participate. Mrak stated that there was a lack of communication between the school district and the program. Mrak said that Pacheco should have met with school officials to answer their questions about liability. There are other school districts whose students have participated in the past without any problems. Cheung stated that the school district is working out ways so that groups can participate next year.
Thoms suggested soliciting the local Boys and/or Girl Scouts. Mrak stated that the youth must be at least 14 years of age.
Lorenzo Manor Shopping Center Reynolds said that at last BDC meeting a motion was made and passed by the members to suggest to the Board of Director's that it forward a letter in opposition of the proposed color red being painted on the Lorenzo Manor Shopping Center, and that a more neutral color be chosen that would blend with the surrounding businesses. She stated that at the last Homes Association Board meeting this motion was not addressed and she wanted to know why.
Sloan stated that the BDC motion was made prior to anyone viewing the red in the shopping center the owner had referred them to. He said that he thought the red would be a bright-true red color and not terra cotta red. Reynolds stated that the motion the BDC made was never addressed and voted upon by the Board. A completely separate motion was made by the Board members and voted upon.
McKinnon stated that he furnished photographs to the Administrator showing that the red being considered was not a real red but more of a terra cotta red. It was pointed out that these pictures were passed around at the Board Meeting.
Ready stated that the motions from the BDC should be considered by the Association Board and voted upon prior to any other motions being considered. The motion that came from the BDC was not recognized at the last Board meeting and specifically voted upon. Another motion was made, separate from the committees. She stated that the issue is not that the Board agree with the committee's motion, but rather that it recognize the committee's motions/recommendations. Ready suggested that the Board adopt a policy of recognizing the committees motions/recommendations.
Reynolds stated that business owners concerns should be seriously considered when looking at proposals for shopping areas. Pebelier stated that business members had been considered and that the picture of the suggested red for the shopping center was shown to businesses in the center who stated they did not think it was bad. Sloan concurred that the business owners have not been ignored. The reason the Board was discussing the red was due to Perea's concern with the red roof.
Groves asked if the Warehouse store had been contacted, the red roof could create a problem with their lease agreements with the owner. It was unclear as to whether the architect had contacted the business, however the red would not be extended to this store.
McMillan suggested a subcommittee be set up between some BDC members and the Board members to discuss the motions passed at the committee meetings. Ready pointed out that the Board members get a summary of the minutes prior to the Board meeting and can review the motions at that time. She said the motions are in bold print and stand out from other discussions in the meeting minutes.
McMillan suggested that an outline of the motions be presented to the Board prior to its monthly meeting, with bullets highlighting the discussion leading up to the motion. Ready stated that it would be difficult for staff to do the bullets, the summary and the minutes. She stated that the motions are already in bold type and Board members should be able to review them without a separate outline. The BCD's Chair's Report should not summarize the motion but state it as proposed in its entirety so that the Board could vote on it accordingly. Mrak stated that in addition to the motions being in bold in the minutes and the Chair reading them to the Board, they should also be on the Board's agenda.
The consensus of the committee was to continue presenting the motions in its meeting minutes in bold type and to recommend to the Board that it agendize the Business Development Committee's Motions on its Board Agendas as well as the BDC chair read the motions from the last meeting in the Chair's report at the Board Meetings.
Thoms questioned whether the Lorenzo Manor Shopping Center owner had been contacted with respect to the Board's decision. Sloan and Pebelier were uncertain as to whether she had been contacted with their decision.
Thoms made a motion to suggest to the Board of Directors that no communication be made to the owner andlor architect regarding the Board's approval of the roof color until all the facts could be reviewed about the proposal Reynolds seconded the motion. (Thoms noted that if the communication has already occurred this motion would be withdrawn). The motion carried unanimously.
Rental Properties - Groves stated that there is a rental property across the street from him that is a constant problem with respect to maintenance of the property. He stated that currently there are weeds from the back yard that are growing over the fence as well as a problem with the storage of debris inside the residence. Groves pointed out that for many of these landlords, rental properties are a money making business in which they are not necessarily held accountable to maintain. He suggested that the group be able to treat these landlords in the same way it would treat a business that is not maintaining its property. He wanted the committee to discuss the problem with the Association Board and Administrator to see if anything could be done about these landlords.
Sloan pointed out that the Association has no jurisdiction over business properties, but can cite owners if the problem can be seen from the street. Groves stated that it would be interesting to see if by treating the rental properties as businesses they could be forced to do more to keep up their properties.
Groves made a motion to ask permission from the Association Board of Directors for the Business Development Committee to scrutinize rental properties as businesses and to look into what can be done to make landlords improve the upkeep of these properties. Thoms seconds the motion. The motion carries unanimously.
Membership Qualifications - Ready stated that she had been approached to suggest that San Lorenzo Businesses be automatically appointed as members to the BDC. Thoms pointed out that this would be a problem due to the fact that all members can vote and if a business was automatically a member, it would have the same power as those who have been coming to meetings for months. He suggested that business members could be appointed but only under the same criteria any resident would have to go through to apply. Ready tabled further discussion on the item until another meeting due to time. There were no objections to the tabling of the item.
Ready stated that she would like to clear up the membership roster and questioned how many meetings a member could miss. There were questions about the amendment to the committee's charter. Thoms stated that he would bring the Charter to the next meeting.
Change of Meeting date for the June 2000 Meeting - Ready announced that there is another function going on in the Hall on the committee's scheduled June meeting date, Thursday, June 1. She asked the group whether it would consider rescheduling this meeting date.
The consensus of the group was to hold its June meeting on Wednesday, May 31 at 7:00 in the Community Hall.
Announcements/Adjournment McMillan announced that she and Betty Moose attended a San Leandro Business Council Meeting. The group would like to host a San Lorenzo Heritage Festival sometime later this year where it would invite all local businesses to participate. The Chamber would be putting up the funds for the festival and it would be held in the Bohannon Parking lot. They will be a meeting regarding this on, Friday, April 14 th at Frodo Joe's Cafe at 8:00 a.m.
Adjournment 9:03 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by