Community Advisory Board
May 25, 2005
Members Present: Anne Hudgins, Lee Dibble, Donna Zapata, Derrick Castillo, Letty Romero, Sam Rosales, Cassie Beldon, Nancy Wang, Mike Behler, Rita Runyan, Chris Carrieri, Sally Mullen, Ai-Chu Wu, David Johnson
Excused: Don Taylor, Bonnie Hasenbeck, Alby Manuel
Unexcused: Kidane Tedla, Paul McKairnes, Monica Baldenegro
Guest: Bill Mastick—Design Review Board Member, Michael Ivory – City Transit Planner
Staff: Pat Fruiht
The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Sally Mullen. There was one change to minutes to reflect that the Downtown Committee meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 8 a.m. and Ann attends the meeting.
MID-RISE POLICY UPDATE
Sally introduced Bill Mastick from the Design Review Board, explaining that after the last meeting, several CAB members met with Bill and shared concerns about the mid-rise policy. Bill had explained the history and the policy in a way that helped clarify the intent and nature of the policy.
Bill reviewed the history behind the mid-rise policy explaining that the intent was to clarify the criteria that developers needed to meet in order to develop over 55 ft. (which is the current standard). He shared that there are about four parcels downtown that could meet the criteria at this point for high rise development, but they are not consistent with the General Plan. All the studies in the past 15 years of the downtown core have indicated that the public is interested in more density and a more urban feel in the downtown. A subcommittee drafted the new policy and is in the process of getting feedback. Many of the concerns being expressed relate to " form based code" which addresses the streetscape issues. The form based code or streetscape issues will have a separate process for public involvement.
The concerns raised to date are basically in three areas:
1) should we allow development to 150 feet or 10 stories
2) Fourth Street needs special attention because of the historic nature of many of the buildings
3) the interface with the historic districts downtown need to be carefully addressed.
ACTION: Staff will find out what Maureen's schedule is for feedback on the policy and deadline for comments.
ACTION: Staff will find out if property owners were informed about the draft policy.
CHANGES IN TRANSIT SYSTEM
Michael Ivory, Transit Planner, was introduced. He gave a brief overview of the existing transit system, explaining they have over three million passengers a year - 95% of which are transit dependent. The department wants to change the ridership profile to include more commuters, so they are looking at ways to make the transit system more user friendly for commuters. He is interested in talking with neighborhoods and other stakeholders about changes that could occur in the system and in the routes to encourage more ridership. He asked for CAB's help in working with the neighborhoods. A draft of a new visionary plan for transit will be available in September and he would like to get input from citizens prior to the public hearings.
The CAB shared that one of the issues that came up at area meetings was safety at the transit mall. Michael agreed and stated that the Department is trying to address the safety issues through a variety of ways. Chris commented that the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee will be going to the transit mall some night around 8:30 to see what the issues are.
Economic Development: Mike reported that the committee discussed the work plan and the White House site.
Technology: Ai-Chu indicated that the CAB will be receiving an email about the technology discussion. She also said that she will be gone during the summer in China and asked if there was another CAB member interested in attending the meetings.
Environment: Chris shared that the committee is looking at a variety of issues including, water conservation, open space and green building. The committee hopes to get the green building information on the web soon. Although not an issue that the committee is addressing directly, Chris also mentioned he attended a meeting regarding the Tiger Salamander.
Gangs: Derrick said that the committee meets on June 8 so he will be able to report back at the next CAB meeting.
Downtown: Anne shared that the committee received updates on the high rise policy, the Gateways project and other issues.
Diversity: the committee meets on Friday, May 27. Letty encouraged CAB members to attend the SALVA meeting on Thursday.
Traffic: Sam indicated that the next meeting is June 9. At the last meeting, the group discussed San Jose's Street Smart Program. Nancy and Cassie shared they learned about several programs that might be beneficial to Santa Rosa at a Traffic Safety conference they attended in San Diego.
ACTION: Rita is interested in being on the Traffic and Economic Development Committees. Staff will notify the conveners.
Sally shared the J.C. Neighborhood newsletter and Merit Award nomination form.
Sam attended a meeting about the Cannery development.
ACTION: Send Neighborhood Leaders copies of the CAB agenda so they can attend when they feel appropriate.
ACTION: Put the items that we were unable to cover at the meeting on the agenda for June.