Scanned and reposted by San Lorenzo Express



November 4, 1999

Present: Members: Travis Thoms, Mary Ann McMillan, Met Brookman, David Sloan, Pat Pebelier, Ron Groves, Barry Weiss, Jack MacKinnon, Tina Cheung, Anne Brichacek, Kathie Ready.
County Representatives: Gail Steele, Lou Andrade
Resident Guests: Anne Marie Mrak, Adolph Staff
Bohannon Representative: Scott Bohannon
Staff: Nancy Van Huffel, Kathleen Harrigan.

Approval of Minutes: Ready made a motion to approve the minutes, McKinnon seconded the motion. The motion passes unanimously.

Comments from the County concerning the San Lorenzo Village Specific Plan Process: County staff member Lou Andrade displayed the four draft plans for the Village Square Specific Plan.

He stated that the economist did a trade analysis for the San Lorenzo area and found that the community could only support 180 thousand square feet in retail, given the existing businesses which currently surround the Village Square area. The total square footage for the plan area is 240 thousand square feet. The economist suggested that 180 thousand feet be used for retail, 40 thousand be used for a "civic" area and that the additional 20 thousand be filled in with housing. Ready questioned why the county thinks that the San Lorenzo area cannot support more retail and stated that she feels the report is flawed. Andrade stated that the economist is basing his report on today's market and that his report is accurate given that distinction. Ready pointed out that if we have more housing in San Lorenzo it, will make it more dense and we already have traffic problems in the area.

Groves pointed out that the economist's statistics stating that there are on average 2.5 persons in each home in San Lorenzo are higher than in most nearby cities. Bohannon pointed out that San Lorenzo does have a large population with a disposable income. He stated that retailers have not wanted to come into the area due to the fact that they are concerned about their ability to survive given the other developed areas nearby.

Weiss pointed out that San Lorenzo has more than an average amount of children per household as well as more than average retail space to develop. He asked the group what pieces of the four plans they liked. Weiss stated that none of the plans are set in stone, and it is important for the Task Force get input from the BDC and the community as to what parts of the plans presented are acceptable and which are not. Thoms stated that be liked the current location of the Homes Association's Office and community center and did not want to see it moved. He said that the architecture of the building fits in with the style of the homes and should remain that way. Resident Anne Mrak stated that she liked half of draft plan number four (4). She liked where the community center was separated, however, she did not like the configuration of the other side.

Van Huffel pointed out that to move the library, the homes association building, and the fire station would be very costly. She had done some research and said that the county would be moving approximately 95 hundred square feet and the cost would be approximately 9 to I 5 million to move all these buildings. She pointed out that 1/3rd of the money needed to move the library would have to come from the county or the unincorporated San Lorenzo community.

Bohannon asked at what point the Task Force will be looking at the financial models as to how to implement the chosen plan. Andrade stated that at some point the parties involved, i.e. the librarian, a HARD representative etc. may need to sit down and see how to funds would be raised. Bohannon stated that it is important that at the end of the project the group understands what is and isn't financially feasible. He stated that the architect was not charged with figuring out the financial feasibility.

Andrade stated that once the plan is developed various financial vehicles can be looked at. One may be a park bond. He pointed out that it is much easier to get grants with a configuration or plan already in place. Andrade stated that if there was additional housing in the area, more fees could be acquired.

Mrak questioned how the theater would fit into the plan and how fees would be acquired to support the theater. Andrade stated that the theater's use has always been considered as that of a theater or public use facility. McKinnon stated that the theater could be used as new offices for the Homes Association and Community Center. He stated that in this way the commercial area could be expanded and potentially located in one main area.

Groves pointed out that the relocation of the Chevron gas station is missing in each of the draft plans. He stated that this is something which needs to be addressed.

Subcommittee on redevelopment issues: Pat Pebelier announced that the county will be presenting its feasibility study for redevelopment in the San Lorenzo area on November 16, 1999. Pebelier stated that the San Lorenzo Square commercial area would be the first area that the county would look at and then other commercial areas would be brought into the plan, such as the Channel and Bockman commercial areas. Weiss questioned whether redevelopment would be a separate plan from the Specific Plan that the Task Force is currently looking at. It was pointed out that redevelopment could be a funding source for the Specific Plan created by the Task Force. Van Huffel pointed out that what the county will present on the 16th is merely a study plan for redevelopment in the area.

Summary and Comments from Subcommittee targeting other problem commercial areas: MacKinnon stated that due to his work schedule he and Reynolds have not been able to start targeting commercial areas. They will be doing this in November and will start on Washington Ave. and continue throughout San Lorenzo. They will bring back a report at the December BDC meeting.

Report from Harry Gin regarding neighborhood clean-up proposal: Ann Mrak reported for Gin who was out of town. Mrak asked the BCD committee if they had any questions/comments regarding Gin's proposal that was distributed to each of them with the meeting agenda. Thoms questioned the time line. If it is January to March 2000 when does the group start soliciting volunteers? Mrak stated that she had contacted a member of Castro Valley's Chamber of Commerce, James Pacheco, regarding Castro Valley's Christmas in April program. Pacheco had suggested that his program could be a referral service to the program Gin is proposing for San Lorenzo. Mrak stated that the BDC invite this man to a meeting to speak about the project which is ongoing in Castro Valley. Mrak also suggested that the committee look at getting the schools involved and other businesses to "adopt" a certain section of the community for litter removal. Cheung had stated that the San Lorenzo Youth Commission is working with Supervisor Gail Steele to plant more trees in areas/residences that do not have them in San Lorenzo.

McMillan suggested that James Pacheco with the Castro Valley Chamber be invited to the next BDC meeting to discuss his project in Castro Valley. The consensus of the group was to invite Pacheco to its December meeting.

Summary and comments from the Subcommittee Spotlighting Neighborhood Businesses in the Village Briefs: Kathie Ready stated that she is preparing an article for the November/December Newsletter. Scott Bohannon stated that he had met with the Forum editor Karen Kaiser regarding submitting articles in its San Lorenzo newspaper. Bohannon stated that the editor was willing to expand the newspapers but to distribute it less frequently. Kaiser had stated the dynamics in the business community in San Lorenzo do not warrant an expansion of the paper with its current monthly distribution. Bohannon stated that Kaiser will submit a proposal and was encouraged to meet with BCD sub-committee regarding this proposal.

Nomination of Chairperson: Chair Thoms opened the floor for nominations for a new Chair for the BDC. MacKinnon made a motion to nominate Kathy Ready as the new Chairfor the BDC. Weiss seconded the nomination. The motion carries unanimously.

Adjournment: Chair Thoms adjourned the meeting at 8:55 p.m.