Scanned and reposted by San Lorenzo Express



August 5, 1999

Present: Members: Mary Reynolds, Tina Cheung, Travis Thoms, Harry Gin, Mary Ann McMillan, Mel Brookman, Frank Peixoto, Millie Arieta, David Sloan, Pat Piras.
County Representatives: Gail Steele, Darryl Gray.
Resident Guests: Anne Brichacek, Keith Barros, Kathie Ready, Ann Marie Mrak, Adolph Stafne, Adelene Peixoto, Ron Groves.
Reporter: Carol Robinson, Daily Review.
Staff: Nancy Van Huffel, Kathleen Harrigan.

Opening Comments: None

Approval of Minutes and discussion of Protocol: Chair Thoms announced that Barry Weiss' minor corrections were sent to the Association and were incorporated in the minutes. He noted that the resignation from Howard Beckman was not attached to the minutes and should be included with the next meetings agenda/minutes.

Mc Millan made a motion to approve the minutes, Brookman seconded the motion. The motion passes unanimously.

San Lorenzo Village Specific Plan Process: Darryl Gray handed out a draft of the Specific Plan and announced that there had been soi-ne changes from the original draft. Gray stated that he had received some comments from the community with respect to the membership. Those comments suggested having four (4) community representatives and one member for this task force to represent the San Lorenzo Youth Commission, which they included in the draft. The other change is the role of Village Homes Association and the County Staff. The new draft allows for representation for Association Staff (the Administrator) and two (2) slots from the County Planning Department. The county is also looking to get someone from County Public traffic division to be a member of the panel as well as a representative from AC Transit so that public transit can have input to the planning process.

Gray stated that the committee may want to consider not only having four (4) community members, but also some alternates, in case these members cannot be present. He emphasized that it is important to identify these members as quickly as possible, and that it was his understanding that questionnaires had been made available to interested parties. Gray said it is unclear who will ultimately choose the members, he said either the Association Board or Gail Steele's office could take the lead role in choosing these members. Once members from the community and a youth representative are chosen, they will have some training prior to being on the committee to get them familiar with planning terminology and other information pertinent to issues that will arise during the development of the plan.

Gray asked the group to look at the long and short term goals and objectives outlined on page 3. He asked the committee whether these goals were acceptable to it. He also stated that the boundaries for the specific plan have changed since the initial draft. Originally the county was looking at the west side of the Square only where the old Mervyn's was. Currently it is considering all the Bohannon properties to the left and right of Hesperian Blvd. As well as looking at the Shopping Center and Storage facility to the north of the area. The Lorenzo Theater would also be included in this plan. Gray said the county wanted to look at the long term goals for this entire area which will affect the Square. He stated that he had presented this idea to the Historical Commission earlier in the afternoon, prefacing the outline with the fact that nothing has been approved at this point. Gray said that it may be more beneficial to have one process/study working together rather than two (2) parallel processes going on at the same time.

Gray stated that the time line is as previously outlined. The boundaries need to be looked at by the committee tonight as well as discussing who would be choosing the community and youth members. The long and short term goals should also be looked at by the coimnittee.

Gin asked what the criteria would be for the selection process. He also questioned what the charge of the committee would be in light of the task force and its participation for the plan for the Square. Would the task force take over much of what the Business Developi-nent Committee (BDC) is doing?

Boundaries of the Plan: Van Huffel questioned the resolution adopted by the Board in terms of the boundaries. Gray stated that the resolution was with respect to the moratorium [on new development] on the west side of the Village Square. These new boundaries are related to the study for the specific plan and have nothing to do with the previous moratorium adopted by the Board Of Supervisors and the Village Homes Association Board.

Mc Millan asked to have clarification of the exact boundaries that the committee is looking at with respect to this Specific Plan. Gray stated that county staff is recommending to include all the boundaries owned by the Bohannon's including the west and east side of the Square, the shopping center which houses Lamps Plus and Winchells, the Lucky shopping area as well as the shopping center across from that property which houses the storage unit and other shops. These boundaries would also include the fire station and the Village Homes Association Office, Hall, and the Library. Gray reiterated that the moratorium would not be expanded, these properties would possibly be considered within the Specific Plan. Reynolds asked what would happen if a new business was to want to locate in this area during this time. Gray stated the same process that currently occurs would remain. Allowable use would be considered and whether a conditional use permit was required or not.

Van Huffel stated that she was confused about bringing up boundaries again. She would like to see the pros and cons of including/excluding areas. She said she has no idea as to what it means to expand the boundaries at this time and would recommend that anything the committee agreed upon tonight with respect to boundaries would come before the full Association Board for final approval. Gray explained that the reason the boundaries for the plan need to include properties to the north, is that if staff is going to look at issues such as traffic circulation and types of land uses that can fit in the Square, it makes more sense from a study standpoint to include all those areas that will directly affect the square. If staff focused only on the specific square area, this area would not be a reasonable enough nexus to base the plan upon.

Reynolds thought this was a good idea and said she did not understand the argument against expanding the boundaries. Piras stated that her understanding is that because this is a planning process it is preferable to be more expansive than too limited.

Gray apologized if staff gave the impression that it was going to concentrate only on the moratorium area with respect to the plan. He referred to page 5 of the draft plan, which talked about all the stores in the square area, including those to the norfli. Staff intended to come back and ask the panel what its preference for the boundaries of the plan would be. McMillan said she felt it was a good idea to study the entire area, especially when considering traffic for the area and how it will impact the Square. Steele pointed out that the planning area was lost/unclear when the moratorium was presented and she stated that a clarification should be presented to the Association Board with respect to the boundaries before moving on so that the process is not hindered by any misunderstandings. Steele stated that it makes sense to look at the whole area when developing this plan but that all parties need to be clear as to what area the planning process would include. Robinson asked if the Bohannon Organization was aware of the area being proposed. Gray stated that Sorenson had spoken with the Bohannon's about the plan and that nothing was set in stone at this time. The idea of including the areas north of the Square was another option for the panel to consider. Barros stated that the plan should not have tunnel vision with respect to the Square and that looking at the whole area is needed.

Reynolds makes a motion to recommend to the Association Board that all areas north of the Village Sqtiare as well as both the east and west sides of the Square be considered when creating the Specific Plan. Mc Millan seconds. The motion carries unanimously.

Supervisor Steele stated that Gray should contact Bohannons regarding the areas the plan may include with respect to their property and any changes to the original draft should be brought to their attention.

Short and Long Term Goals: Arieta questioned wily this was being discussed again, her impression was that the goals were approved by the Board at the last meeting. Gray stated that he was told that the long/short term goals were reviewed, but never formally adopted. He pointed out that goals were discussed when this idea was first presented to the BDC and the Board, but nothing had been formally adopted. Thoms read long term goals (see attached). Thoms stated that he felt that the long term goals were too profit-oriented. He stated that he felt the main focus for these goals should be to improve San Lorenzo and the quality of life for its residents. Gray questioned whether goal #2 did not address Thoms concerns. Barros suggested that goal #3 be amended adding after the clause "enabling residents to shop at home" "to improve the community's quality of life."

Van Huffel stated that redevelopment must be buried in the short term goals of the process because this would be the financial component to implement the plan. Should the community not wish to go with redevelopment for the area, then additional financial means can be explored, but there needs to be a financial component as to how the plan will be carried through. Gray stated that a study for redevelopment is already underway for parts of Hayward, Castro Valley, and unincorporated San Lorenzo. He stated that redevelopment will be discussing the Village Specific Plan and other plans as it does its study and redevelopment does not need to be discussed in this Village Plan. Van Huffel stated that Dalton had stated that the redevelopment would be specific to the businesses for the area and as such she did not see how it could be separated from a major plan being developed for the Square. Gin suggested including an exploration of public/private partnership in the goals/plan to address this issue. Groves said that his understanding was that if redevelopment does not kick in, the Bohannons will have to make a decision as to how to attract businesses. An anchor tenant will bring other stores in, but ultimately it will be up to Bohannon. Gray stated that there is a connection between redevelopment and the plan, and that redevelopment would generate the revenue to help implement the plan. Van Huffel stated that she feels it needs to be outlined in the plan, if people decide that they want it or don't want it, then other financial resources need to be explored. Steele pointed out that if the community wants redevelopment it can run concurrrent to the plan. Piras suggested that these concurrent steps with the redevelopment process be discussed at each of the Task Force meetings.

Thoms read the short term goals. Gin suggested the wording to say "produce" instead of "reproduce" the brochure. Rerynolds stated that number 4c should be up to broker and not the community. Gray stated that training sessions could educate residents on how to approach businesses. He stated that the task force will have training, however if the BDC wants this training the county can provide this. Arieta statetd that many of these short term goals were drawn up by Weiss prior to having the Task Force and many do not apply now. Gray stated that this is just one draft form that the Task Force, Community, Board, and BDC can have input on. Gray stated that #4 is only for those sitting on the panel. Goal #5 is not part of the specific plan, but part of what the BDC is doing. Goals 7, 8, and 9 are applicable to the Task Force. Van Huffel stated that goal #6 should be part of the plan. If after the plan is created and the committee has no way of implementing it, what good would the plan be. Mc Millan suggested that members undergo (on a voluntary basis) an education process, so that when the task force reports to the BDC it has a better understanding of what is going on. Steele stated that it is unclear as to what goals are for the task force and which are for the BDC. She suggested that Gray make a chart separating the goals of the two committees. Steele recommended that the committee accept the goals in principle with revisions to the short term goals.

It was suggested that the subcommittee be McMillan, Weiss, and Brookman and anyone else speak to Gray and herself to clarify the short term goals, rewriting them and come back to the BDC in September with these revisions.

Mc Millan made a motion to accept the long term goals of the plan and approve short term goals in principal with some fittitre revisions. Gill seconds. Motion passes unanimously.

Gray stated that he will make some suggestions, charting the goals/revisions, and getting input back prior to the next Board meeting.

Task Force Appointments: Van Huffel stated that she had talked with many people regarding appointments and most wanted the majority of the community appointments to come from the BDC, with one representative from the Youth Commission and the possibility of one community member at-large. Van Huffel stated that she thinks the task force should be a balanced committee. Chair Thoms asked for any suggestions from the committee. Reynolds stated that she felt it would be fair to let County staff and Steele choose the committee members. Steele stated that she felt the Homes Association Board should take part in the selection process and perhaps someone from the BDC who is not going to be on the Task Force. Piras suggested that someone from the business community may need to be part of the Task Force to add a business perspective to the committee.

Van Huffel suggested that all BDC members take a list of all members from the committee who want to be on the Task Force and then give preference as to who should be on this committee. Chair Thoms asked how many alternates would sit on the committee. Four regular seats and two alternates? Van Huffel stated that she currently has eight applications from members/participants of the BDC. Those are Weiss, Davis, Arleta, Reynolds, Piras, Groves, Peixoto, McMillan. Does the BDC want to recommend representatives to the committee choosing members?

Gin makes a motion to vote by ballot tonight and send the results to the Board/County committee choosing the members. Motion dies for lack of second.

Peixoto made a motion that all applications be forwarded to the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association and that they along with Supervisor Steele, and County Planning staff will select members and alternates. Arieta seconds. Ayes: Sloan, Cheung, Thoms, McMillan, Brookman, Peixoto, Arieta, Piras. Noes: Reynolds, Gin. Motion carries.

Van Huffel questioned how many members would be on the committee. Steele stated that she hoped that all BDC members would contribute to the process, so that it would not get "elitist". She stated that everyone's opinion should be important. Steele said that there are eight people that are all willing to sit on the task force from the BDC and they should understand that if they serve on this task force they need to attend each meeting. Sloan stated that perhaps there should be four members and four alternates so that each of these interested could be involved. Steele said that each alternate should be connected to a certain member. She stated that she serves on many committees where her alternate sits in for her on an every-other meeting basis. The attendance for the Task Force could be the responsibility for each member and his/her alternate and they could work this out between themselves.

Sloan makes a motion to recommend four community members and four alternates be appointed to the Task Force. Reynolds seconds the motion. Ayes: Sloan, Cheung, Thoms, McMillan, Brookman, Peixoto, Piras, Reynolds, Gin. Noes: Arieta. Motion carries.

Role of the Business and Economic Development Committee - Chair Thoms stated that he would like to put this item over to the next agenda due to time. Piras noted that initially the committee's goals and objectives need to be discussed and then the short term goals can be dealt with. Van Huffel stated that it should be noted that the goals be discussed with reference to the committee's role.

Arieta moves that the item be tabled until the next meeting. Piras seconds. The motion passes unanimously.

Discussion of Merchant's Association - Van Huffel said that she had met with the San Leandro Chamber and they were willing to have San Lorenzo Village, Cherryland and Ashland join their chamber as an adjunct of their group. The Chamber suggested that a one-minute survey be sent to businesses in San Lorenzo to see if they would like a subcommittee to be formed representing these areas for the chamber. Van Huffel stated that one advantage to joining an existing Chamber is that the membership has already been established. She said that the Association would make the community hall available for these meetings. Gin questioned whether the chamber would be part of the planning process for the area, hindering any planning for the area. Van Huffel stated that no planning process would be involved, but that the Chamber would be a vehicle to assist the businesses in our area.

Piras made a motion to allow the San Leandro Chamber to send out the one-minute questionnaire to businesses in the unincorporated San Lorenzo Area. Arieta seconded the motion. The motion passes unanimously.

Other - Thorns asked for future agenda items. He stated that he is putting together a sample packet that small businesses can use regarding financing etc. which he will present at a future meeting. Cheung stated that Co-Youth representative Emmanuel Santingin wanted to give a presentation to the BDC at its next meeting.

Meeting Adjourns - Chair Thoms adjourns the meeting at 9:00.

Providing maximum benefits to the
property owners, the San Lorenzo
Community and the County as a whole

The Business and Economic Development Committee (BDC) has identified some of the long and short term goals, and evaluation criteria to determine the success and effectiveness of the specific plan.


1. Attract desired, economically viable, businesses of the type identified in the Vision Plan.
2. Design of the Square to be pedestrian friendly, park-like environment with a unified architecture and design.
3. San Lorenzo to have a thriving shopping area that is part a successful corridor from 'A' Street to San Lorenzo Creek, enabling residents to "shop at home".
4. Bohannon Organization to have an exciting thriving shopping center, that is attractive to quality tenants and enables them to make a profit.
5. Alameda County to receive increased tax revenue.


1. Reproduce the brochure of a vision for the San Lorenzo Village Square.
2. Adopt a outline for a planning process to develop the specific plan.
3. Finalize the brochure to include
a. Comments from the Committee and Scott Bohannon at the meeting of May 4, 1999
b. Prepare a map of the Village/Plaza area.
4. Committee to undergo the following training sessions.
a. The Planning Process / County Requirements- Alameda County
b. Understanding the East Bay Commercial Real Estate Market
c. flow to approach prospective businesses successfully - Bohannon Organization, Alameda County, San Leandro Chamber of Commerce (This training has been arranged by Carole Davis)
d. Redevelopment possibilities - Alameda County
e. Developer costs, requirements and other needs - Bohannon Organization
5. Finalize list of prospective/desired businesses (this work has begun successfully with the Business Attraction Subcommittee and is immediately available). This list would be continually updated.
6. Develop a strategy to approach identified businesses.
a. Bohannon, County and Committee to work in unison
b. Focus is to develop ways to assist the Bohannon Organization.
7. Include current San Lorenzo merchants in our process to -
a. Obtain their expertise - both business and San Lorenzo expertise
b. Assure them that we are as interested in retaining quality businesses as we are in attracting new businesses.
c. Committee to evaluate type of current businesses to include a wider variety as we attract new businesses (i.e.- already have plenty of Beauty Shops?)
8. Obtain updated demographics for San Lorenzo
a. Demographics should be professionally developed.
9. Contact potential businesses


The purpose of this specific plan is to implement the Eden Area Plan, which is an element of the Alameda County General Plan. The County has already adopted specific plans for the Castro Valley commercial area, and the Ashland and Cherryland commercial areas.

As a tool to provide a comprehension framework for identifying goals for economic revitalization of the Plan Area, this specific plan is intended to guide future private and public actions within the San Lorenzo Village Square. An overview of the different plans already in place is as described below.


           AREA PLAN           PLAN                PLAN


    PLAN                  SPECIFIC PLAN