Reposted by San Lorenzo Express



June 19, 2015

1.0 MEETING CALLED TO ORDER – The Regular meeting of the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association Board of Directors was held Thursday, June 19, 2014. Vice President Auten called the meeting to order at 7:44 p.m.

1.1 SALUTE TO THE FLAG – Vice President Auten lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance.

1.2 ROLL CALL – Directors Wes Auten, Steve Kirk, and Cheryl Hoffmann were present. President Catherine Kavasch and Director Kyle Carlson were excused.

*6.1 House of the Month – 17241 Via Alamitos, Award Presentation (Timed Agenda Item 7:45 p.m.) -– The homeowners were not present. Vice-president Auten announced the winner of the House of the Month and noted their award would be mailed to them.


2.1 Approval of Board Meeting Minutes #1378 on May 15, 2014 -– Director Kirk moves to approve, Director Hoffmann seconds, the motion carries with two (2) in favor, one (1) abstention (Auten).

2.2 Disposition of Executive Session #1379 on May 22, 2014 -– Vice President Auten stated that this meeting was a discussion of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Mercy Housing and the Association.

2.3 Approval of Executive Session Minutes #1379 on May 22, 2014 -– Director Hoffmann moves to approve, Director Kirk seconds, the motion carries unanimously.

2.4 Approval of Work Session Minutes #1381 on June 10, 2014 -– Director Hoffman moves to approve, Director Kirk seconds, the motion carries unanimously.


3.1 Community Engagement Committee (CEC) –- Director Hoffmann reported that the next event would be a Board Meet and Greet/Ice Cream Social on August 21, 2014. Staff has invited some special guests to attend this event and is waiting on their confirmation. The next meeting will be July 9, 2014 where the committee will discuss the September 12, 2014 Movie Night, the Halloween Parade and Extravaganza and settle on a date for the 2015 Business Expo. She encouraged residents to attend and get involved.

3.2 CC&R Ad Hoc Committee –- Director Hoffmann reported that the committee continues to make progress on the Front Yard Policy. They are hoping to make it more concise and user friendly for both homeowners and staff.


4.1 CHP -– No report. No officer present.

4.2 Sheriff's Department –- Deputy Culley reported on two (2) incidents this past month, both involved stolen vehicles. One stolen on Robscott Ave. and the other on Hesperian Blvd. Both vehicles were recovered. The suspects fled, but were later apprehended.

The Sheriff's Annual “National Night Out” event will be held on August 5, 2014, at St. John’s Catholic Church from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Monday, July 30, 2014, there will be a CALEA (Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) event at 4 p.m. in the San Lorenzo Community Hall. CALEA is a three-year accreditation program that assesses and then grades all aspects of the Sheriff's Department. This meeting is open to the community and will have CALEA assessors in attendance to take public input and comments about the Sheriff's Department. The Sheriff's recently hosted a San Lorenzo safety presentation with approximately 50 people in attendance. They hope to get more Neighborhood Watch Groups to form in the area.

Director Hoffmann said that a stolen vehicle was located near her house and she thanked the Sheriff for handling the situation quickly and professionally. Director Kirk asked about the success of the Cop Shop Flea Market. Deputy Culley said the event was very successful, all spaces were sold and they will be having another Flea Market on August 17, 2014 at the same location.

A resident asked for the Sheriff's assistance in getting brighter streetlights installed in San Lorenzo neighborhoods. He said that in the 70's many of the streetlights were taken out due to the energy crisis. With new energy resources like solar power and LED lights, he saw no reason for poor lighting in the neighborhoods. Deputy Culley said he would relay these concerns to his department. The Administrator read a letter from a concerned resident. The letter spoke of a problem with excessive street parking on Via Rincon. This parking occurred during the day when most residents are at work. The resident cited the number of vehicles and residents allowed per household; the widening of driveways; and ride sharing, all as factors contributing to this parking problem and wanted help.

Director Kirk asked if a resident widens a driveway beyond the width of the garage, does this legally constitute a driveway and thereby limit street parking. Deputy Culley stated that in most areas of San Lorenzo the curbs are rolled, so if a driveway is widened, it takes away on street parking. He said he would look into this issue further to see if the County has any restrictions for limiting off street parking.

A resident asked that the Sheriff ticket people parking on Via Arriba. Cars are parked into the sidewalk and make it difficult to walk. Deputy Culley reminded residents to call the Sheriff's office when you see cars up on the sidewalk.

**6.2 Variance – Addition to Front of Property – 1941 Keller Ave (Timed Agenda Item 8:00 p.m.)

The homeowner presented her designs to the Board showing the current and post-addition front yard elevations. Pictures were displayed showing the location of the front line of her house with the new addition in comparison to her neighbors’ homes on either side. The Board had concerns over the addition's proposed side access door and the wet bar. Board members were concerned that these two elements in the design would make it very easy to convert the addition into an illegal in-law unit. Director Hoffman pointed out that Clause VI, section (a) of the CC&Rs state that "... no addition to any building of any kind . . . shall be erected, placed or maintained on any lot between the front street line of such lot and the front line of the dwelling originally constructed on such lot . . . ."

The homeowner said that the County would not allow an addition in the backyard because the San Lorenzo creek has an encroachment that prevents them from meeting the County's minimum set back requirements. She asked if an exception to the CC&Rs could be made because of this restriction of any back yard addition.

Director Kirk moves to continue the item to the July 17, 2014 meeting to consult with the Association Attorney and get a legal opinion. Director Hoffmann seconds, the motion carries unanimously.

**6.3 Variance – Fence in Front Yard, 17089 Ganley St. (Timed Agenda Item 8:15 p.m.) -– The homeowner presented pictures and plans of a front yard fence he constructed at his property prior to getting Association approval. He stated that the fence was created for safety to prevent his young daughter, from running into the street. He is on a corner lot with both his front and a large portion of his side yard exposed.

The fence is made of redwood, is three (3) feet tall and made of split rails. He said that he had taken his plans to the County and was told that he was not required to get a County permit because the fence was not over three (3) feet in height and did not block the site of oncoming traffic. The Board noted that the fence is well constructed and does improve the property, however, it encouraged all homeowners to first submit plans prior to any construction. A resident said it does not matter how well constructed this fence is, the CC&Rs stated that all fences must have a ten foot setback from the street. Other residents said that this fence does improve the property and an exception should be granted.

Director Kirk moves to approve the variance, Director Hoffman seconds. Discussion followed:

Director Kirk stated that the fence is very nice and an improvement to the neighborhood. Director Hoffmann said that she understands that the CC&Rs take precedence over policy, however, someone must have thought the Board could make exceptions because the policy states: ". . . fences . . . whether open or closed, may not be erected, placed or maintained on any lot between the front street line of such lot and the front line of the dwelling originally constructed . . . . However, due to recent court decisions, the Board believes it may permit some variance to this policy if to do so would promote or protect privacy, utility or safety . . . ."

The motion carries with two (2-Auten, Kirk) in favor, one (1-Hoffmann) against.

4.3 Supervisor Wilma Chan –- District Representative, Karina Rivera reported that the Mercy Housing Project is in its final stages of approval. The Planning Commission recently approved the project and it is set to go before the Board of Supervisors (BOS) on June 24, 2014. Supervisor Chan recently donated $500 to San Lorenzo's Relay for Life. The Alameda County Fair is here and Supervisor Chan gave some buy-one-get-one-free tickets to the Association for its homeowners. Rivera introduced Rachel Osijima, Director of the Alameda County Art Commission who gave a brief update on the progress of the artwork for the San Lorenzo Library. The artist Steven Galloway was asked to make some changes to his original proposal and she brought handouts related to these changes with updated imagery.

Director Hoffmann said she liked the improvements to the artwork. Director Kirk asked whether the Art Commission would be expanding its art to the Mercy Project. Director Hoffman stated that she had looked into this idea, and there was a cost issue related to expanding the art to the Mercy Project. Director Auten asked Osijima to look into this further to see if all avenues have been exhausted.

Director Hoffmann asked Rivera if she knew anything about the possibility of a legal challenge to the Mercy Housing Project. Rivera stated that did not know, as she is not in charge of that project. The Administrator said she could elaborate. The Mercy Housing Organization applied to the County for a conditional use permit (CUP) allowing for the construction of a 77 unit- four (4) story, senior housing facility, which was recently approved by the Planning Commission. An appeal was filed against the granting of this CUP and would be heard by the BOS. The appeal is based on the Planning Commission having no legal authority to override the San Lorenzo Specific Plan, which calls for mixed-use development at that site. The Mercy Housing project is solely residential. Should the BOS approve this CUP, there is the possibility of a lawsuit being filed. The Mercy Housing Project appeal will be heard by the BOS in Oakland on June 24, 2014 at 9 a.m.

A resident stated that for the past few months he has been attempting to get Supervisor Chan to support the idea of an Eden Area Municipal Advisory Council (MAC). He asked Rivera if she knew the Supervisor's position on the matter. Rivera said she did not, but would be meeting with the Supervisor tomorrow and would get back to him.

4.4 Zoning Enforcement -– The report was left on the back table.

5.0 FINANCIAL REPORT (motion required)

5.1 Approval of May 2014 Expenditures -– Director Kirk moves to approve the May 2014 Expenditures, Director Hoffmann seconds, the motion carries unanimously.

6.0 OTHER BUSINESS (motions may be required)

*6.1 House of the Month – 17241 Via Alamitos; Award Presentation (Timed Agenda Item 7:45 p.m.) –- See above timed agenda item.

**6.2 Variance – Addition to Front of Property-1941 Keller Ave (Timed Agenda Item 8:00 p.m.) –- See above timed agenda item.

**6.3 Variance – Fence in Front Yard, 17089 Ganley St. (Timed Agenda Item 8:15 p.m.) -– See above timed agenda item.

6.4 EALI –- The Administrator announced the next meeting of the Governance Working Group and will be held on Thursday, June 25, 2014 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Castro Valley Library. Residents who have attended one (1) prior Governance meeting will be allowed to vote. Members will be prioritizing the goals for the Working Group moving forward. One of the items being considered is the idea of an Eden Area MAC (Municipal Advisory Council). It is important that residents from San Lorenzo, Ashland, and Cherryland attend so that the Eden Area can get its priorities on the table.

A resident stated that every one of these governance meetings has been held in the Castro Valley Library. He said that he knows the Administrator has been trying to schedule these meetings at the San Lorenzo Community Hall, but County staff will not get back to her. It is important that San Lorenzo residents attend these meetings and voting so our priorities can be addressed.


7.1 Operations –- The Administrator reported that the Association installed new-engineered wood fiber in the playground on May 31, 2014. The Mercy Housing Project goes before the BOS, next Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Construction on the San Lorenzo Library expansion is underway. The Association is looking to purchase new software for its database and staff has reviewed six (6) different products thus far. The Administrator said that she hopes to bring three (3) of these products to the Board for a final decision, within the next few months.

The Administrator stated that she and Director Kirk recently met with a UC Berkeley professor from the Landscaping and Architectural Design Department and a representative from They discussed developing a course for an upper division class to be taught this coming Fall. The purpose of the class would be for the students to create three (3) or four (4) prototype front yard landscaping designs specifically for our San Lorenzo area. These designs would be economical, water efficient and eco-friendly. The Association will apply for a mini-grant to help with the cost of this project and will seek other sponsors for the balance of these costs. The hope is that the Association can educate homeowners on eco-friendly landscaping designs as well as offer them an affordable way to implement these designs. The Association will be converting some of its landscaping to drought resistant as an example of one of eco-friendly designs, and hopes to host a Landscaping Expo next year, where these prototype designs will be unveiled.

8.0 LIENS AND VIOLATIONS REPORT (motion may be required) -- No liens have been released since the May 2014 board meeting.

May 2014 Violation Report

Number  Violation                              No. of Letters

1/19    Inoperable Vehicles in driveway               1
2/22    Recreational veh in front/side yard           4
6       General maintenance of property               0
7/20    Unpaved parking                               4                   
10      Yard maintenance                            101
13      Holiday lights                                0
14      No signs                                      -
15      Building maintenance                          0
18      Lean/miss fence                               -
21      Working on vehicles                           0
23      Dogs/cats more than 2                         -
24      Barking dogs                                  0
25      Prohibited animals                            1
26      Excessive noise                               0
27      No home business                              1
28/99   Other                                         7
30      Multiple violations                          25
31      Plans needed                                 12

Total                                               162

Director Kirk moves to approve the liens and violations report, Director Hoffmann seconds, the motion carries unanimously.


9.1 Disposition of Executive Session #1380 on May 22, 2014 –- The Administrator reported there were 25 hearings, one (1) fine review and four (4) assessment reviews at this meeting. Eight (8) homeowners appeared. Four (4) matters were closed, two (2) were carried over for 3 weeks to remove trailer and boat; thirteen (13) were fined; two (2) were carried over until May 29, 2014; two (2) were thank-you-but edge and weed the sidewalk; one (1) was carried over 30 days; one (1) was continued to the June hearing; one (1) was continued to the regular board meeting in June for a variance. The decision for the fine reviews were as follows: Two (2) of the assessment reviews had no reduction in fees and two (2) of the reviews had a $25 reduction off the lien fee only.

9.2 Approval of Minutes of Executive Session #1380 on May 22, 2014 –- Director Kirk moves to approve the Minutes of Executive Session #1380 on May 22, 2014, Director Hoffmann seconds, the motion carries unanimously.

9.3 Disposition of Executive Session #1382, June 19, 2014 -– The Administrator reported there were 38 hearings, and three (3) fine reviews. Five (5) homeowners appeared. Twenty (20) were closed; one (1) was carried over 30 days or fine; six (6) were fined; one (1) was carried over 30 days to relocate playground equipment; two (2) were carried over 30 days for plans; three (3) were thank-you-but -weed the sidewalk and driveway; one (1) was thank-you-but -30 days to submit landscaping and driveway plans; two (2) were thank- you-but -weed driveway and bushes and one (1) was continued to the July hearings. The decision for the fine reviews was as follows: One (1) had no reduction in fines; one (1) fine was reduced to $300; one (1) fine would be reduced to $500 after the homeowner submitted plans for approval and completed the approved work.

Director Kirk noted that there were only four (4) homeowners present; one (1) was the son of the homeowner.

9.4 Approval of Minutes of Executive Session #1382 on June 19, 2014 -– Director Kirk moves to approve the Minutes of Executive Session #1382 as amended on June 19 2014, Director Hoffmann seconds, the motion carries unanimously.

10.0 PUBLIC COMMENT – Items Not on the Agenda A resident wants Bohannon to repave the parking lot in front of Kavanagh Liquors. A resident commended the Board for its careful consideration of the variances as related to the CC&Rs.

11.0 BOARD REPORTS –- Director Kirk stated that the Association has reimbursed two (2) homeowners for going through the proper permit process to cut their front yard trees. Director Hoffmann thanked the Administrator and her fellow Board members for contacting the staff at the Cleveland Wrecking Yard Company and encouraging them to plant trees to screen their facility from the surrounding neighborhood.

12.0 ADJOURNMENT -– Vice-president Auten adjourned the meeting at 9:38 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Steve Kirk

Recorded and Transcribed by: Kathleen Harrigan
Reviewed by: Susan Kleebauer, Administrator