BRECA General Meeting 4-26-16

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: April 26, 2016
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA General Membership Meeting
STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT
Bonnie Domeny
Rene Hamlin
Gay Jones
Carmen Mitchell
Jim Morgan
Andrea White

  1. Welcome from Chair Rene Hamlin
  2. County Supervisor Don Nottoli
    Supervisor Nottoli commented on a number of issues and concerns of the community.  He thanked community representatives for communicating the concerns of the community to agencies and representatives (including himself).  He stated that he has been supportive of the Sheriffs and Code Enforcement, and hopes that we are seeing results in the community.  He commented that homelessness is a problem, manifested in activity on garbage collection days, thievery, and people using drugs.  He stated that the Board of Supervisors has been working on the homelessness problem.  He commented that the community has been diligent in following flood control issues.  The Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) will have a vote by mail soon, seeking approval of a new assessment district.  Some, but not all, of the BRECA area is in the new district.  The Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) will likely be sponsoring a 1/2 cent sales tax on the November ballot to get money for road and mass transit maintenance and improvements.  In order to be on the ballot, it must be approved by the STA Board, several cities in the area, and the Board of Supervisors.  He also commented on the award for Problem Oriented Policing Officer Ralph Garcia to recognize his work in keeping the community safe.
  1. Award for Problem Oriented Policing Officer Garcia
    Rene Hamlin presented a certificate from BRECA to Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Officer Ralph Garcia.
  1. The Landing
    Chuck Shaw, with SyWest development, reviewed the current status of work on The Landing, i.e. redevelopment of the Drive-In theaters.  He stated that a site plan was approved by the Board of Supervisors for about 409,000 square feet of businesses to replace the Drive In theaters.  After the project was approved, a CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] action was filed by neighboring property owners.  This ended with SyWest buying out the owners.  However, it delayed the project by about 5 years.  In the interim, due to the recession, the prospective tenants backed out of the project.  Many of them closed or changed their business models.  SyWest is now trying to find two or more anchor tenants for the project.

    One member of the audience asked how long until the Bradshaw 6 Drive-In closes.  Mr. Shaw responded not this year.  Another question was about whether the Franchise Tax Board staff could come through the project and out at Bradshaw.  Mr. Shaw responded that they would come out at Oates Dr.  The project also includes an additional lane on Highway 50.  Another question was whether there was anything we (the community) could do to help.  Mr. Shaw stated that much of what they do is opportunity driven, and that they need synergy between retail centers and the walk-in theater, otherwise they would open and soon close again.  He also stated that his boss has instructed him to get something done with The Landing.

  1. Complete Streets Master Plan
    Jim Schubert, with Sacramento County Department of Transportation, described the recently approved Complete Streets Master Plan.  He stated that Folsom Blvd. was originally for cars, and therefore incomplete.  He stated that a “complete street” includes facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, cars, and mass transit.  The Board of Supervisors approved the Complete Streets Master Plan for Folsom Blvd. from Watt Ave. to Bradshaw Road.  He stated that the Complete Street would slow down cars and make for a more business friendly environment.  He stated that they may get funding around 2018, and still have to do environmental documents and business coordination.

    A question was asked about Folsom Blvd. from Bradshaw to Ron Beaudry, in Rancho Cordova.  Mr. Schubert responded that Rancho Cordova is working on that area, and expects to bid the project later this year.  Don Nottoli commented that the County has planted some trees on the south side of Folsom Blvd. between Butterfield Way and Bradshaw Road, and that this is part of the Master Plan.  Mr. Schubert commented that they had previous meetings in the community, and incorporated suggestions from the people who attended those meetings, such as wider separation between cars and bicycles, concerns about the left turn from Folsom Blvd. eastbound to the businesses on the north side of the street, and a Light Rail overcrossing at Bradshaw Road (which is not expected to be funded as part of the Master Plan).

  1. Problem Oriented Policing (POP)
    Officer Ralph Garcia, the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Officer, commented that he appreciates the community support for his work, such as the award from BRECA [see agenda item 3].  He stated that he has a 4 person team, consisting of County Sheriffs and Rancho Cordova Police.  The POP team deals with long term community problems.  Homelessness is an ongoing problem.  There are “navigators” who help people who want help with things like getting identification cards.  One example of what the POP team does concerns a house on Alcosta Way that had transients and drug problems.  They used a dedicated community prosecutor to put pressure on the owner. Ultimately there was an agreement with the owner that the owner had to move in to the house as a condition of the agreement.  Another house had a fire, and they got it boarded up.  He noted that all communities have problems with empty houses.
  1. Cordova Recreation and Park District
    Jim Rodems, District Administrator of the Cordova Recreation and Park District, stated that he had been head of the district for about 5 years.  That was when major economic problems hit the district.  Major deficits occurred from 2011 to 2014, but 2015 had a large surplus.  This was due in part to cost cutting measures at the district.  Revenues are adequate for fund current operations, but there is no funding for replacements or upgrades at older parks and facilities.  There are many needs in the parks and facilities, such as maintenance of playground equipment, reducing homelessness and drug use, safety, etc.  The Park District is engaging the communities to prioritize needs.  He requested that people fill out the community survey on paper or on line.

    A question was asked about the walkway on the east side of Riviera East Park, which is in bad shape and needs to be fixed.  Mr. Rodems commented that they are prioritizing repair work, and also doing an Americans with Disabilities Act assessment, but it takes time.

  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 24, 2016, at the Rancho Cordova Library

04-20-15 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: April 20, 2015
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Kelly Cohen
Bonnie Domeny
Rene Hamlin
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Rick Sloan
Andrea White

  1. Welcome from Chair Gay Jones
  2. County Supervisor Don Nottoli
    Supervisor Nottoli stated that the Syufy group is still committed to going forward with The Landing at the site of the drive-in theaters.  They are currently working on redeveloping the Howe about Arden site that they also own.  Some of the use permits for The Landing are expiring, and the Syufy group are planning to renew the permits with similar uses.  Supervisor Nottoli thanked the BRECA Steering Committee and stated that they represent the community well.
  1. East Area Sheriffs and Rancho Cordova Police
    Michael Goold, Chief of Police for Rancho Cordova, stated that community members are an integral part of community safety.  He stated that crime overall is going down, primarily robberies and auto theft.  However, there has been an increase in felonious assault.  Proposition 47, which reclassified some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, has created challenges.  Instead of spending time in jail, the perpetrators now get tickets.  Also, the police have lost the ability to collect DNA samples from this group.There were many questions from the audience, and Chief Goold or one of the police or sheriff’s officers responded.  One question was what about the recycling thieves.  Chief Goold stated that this is going down.  The audience disagreed.  Chief Goold stated that they must catch people in the act.  Taking recyclable materials from County bins is a misdemeanor.  Another question concerned a person on Hyannis Way who takes recycling and also steals bicycles.  Chief Goold said they are aware of the situation.  Another questioner stated that there are also bike thieves on Alcosta Way, and asked if she should send pictures of people.  One of the officers responded yes, but be careful not to make yourself a target.  Another questioner asked how to get through to the East Area Sheriff’s if you see a crime in progress.  One of the officers responded to call 874-5111, option 1.  Another person commented that the police and Sheriffs have been to the Alcosta house many times.  One officer commented that one time they found 12 people living there.  Another question was about increasing the presence of squad cars.  Chief Goold responded that they do not have the resources in the County area.  They are asking for more funding for Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officers, but are now using patrol officers as POP.

    Another question concerned a large property that has been abandoned for about 8 years, and is unsecured and used by homeless people.  The owner was approached, but was unresponsive.  What can be done about this?  An officer responded that this sort of thing is best done through County Code Enforcement.  They can assess fines and get a response.  Supervisor Nottoli commented that there was a house on Mira Del Rio Dr. that was closed and is now reopened, and that administrative penalties can be heavy.  Jose Mendez, with County Code Enforcement, commented that the County sometimes ends up being the property manager, mowing the lawns and doing other maintenance.  Barry Chamberlin, a Supervisor with County Code Enforcement, commented that Code Enforcement does a lot of different things, from rental housing conditions to non-running cars.  He said that the community is their eyes and ears.  County Code Enforcement has 25 people for the whole unincorporated county.  He stated that 75% to 80% of cases are solved with a letter or inspection.  In more difficult situations, there are court processes, but that takes a while.

    A further question concerned the motels on Folsom Blvd., and that there are children there, in what is effectively low income housing.  One of the officers responded that everyone on the Police/Sheriff’s team knows about Vince’s (Motel).  He stated that they go to Vince’s a lot.

  1. County Parks Rangers
    Stan Lumsden, chief of County Parks Rangers, stated that they have 21 rangers.  Two of them are assigned to illegal camping.  At any given time there are about 400 to 600 illegal campers on the American River Parkway.  He stated that the Parkway is very unique, and not many places have anything like it.  If someone sees a problem on the Parkway, they can go to the web site sacparks.net and make a report on the oak leaf.  Parks will respond.  He stated the most common problems are bikes on dirt trails and dogs off leash.  An audience person asked where are bikes legal.  Chief Lumsden responded that they are only legal on paved surfaces or on the top of the levee, which is considered a maintenance road.  Another member of the audience asked if coyotes are protected.  Chief Lumsden responded that coyotes and other wildlife are protected, but coyotes will eat almost anything.  Another audience person thanked Parks for putting a Port-a-Potty at the Gristmill parking lot and maintaining it.
  1. Neighborhood Watch
    Heidi Herrera, Neighborhood Watch co-ordinator for Rancho Cordova, talked about forming a Neighborhood Watch group.  She stated that a Neighborhood Watch involves neighbors getting together and getting to know each other and their routines.  Neighbors can then identify suspicious behaviors.  Actually forming an official group requires getting roster of people and a map to Ms. Herrera.  If someone gets a group of neighbors together, she can come talk to them.A question was asked about getting a Neighborhood Watch sign.  Ms. Herrera stated that it costs $30 for the sign and $15 to put it up.  Another question was how many people in a Neighborhood Watch group.  Ms. Herrera stated that it typically is around 10 to 15 people.  A question was asked about the Alcosta Way house and what can be done.  Ms. Herrera suggested keeping a record of activities and sending the record to the POP officer.  Ms. Herrera also recommended several crime prevention tips, including taking belongings out of your vehicle, leaving porch lights on, and walking around at night carrying a cell phone.
  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 26, 2015, at the Rancho Cordova Library

04-22-14 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: April 22, 2014

PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California

MEETING TYPE: BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Rene Hamlin
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Stan Mofjeld
Rick Sloan
Mary Ann Winters

1. Welcome from Chair Gay Jones

2. Keri Blaskoski, County Department of Planning, Development and Review

Keri Blaskoski, with Sacramento County Department of Planning, Development and Review described current planning efforts along Folsom Blvd., specifically around the Light Rail stations at Butterfield and Hazel. She distributed a handout on the concepts. The County is planning for “Transit Oriented Development” (TOD) around the Light Rail stations in order to maximize Light Rail ridership. In concept, TOD amounts to higher density residential and mixed use (shopping below, residential above) development. One question is what this would look like in the BRECA area. BRECA’s input includes moderation of densities (on the order of 12 to 20 dwelling units per acre), parkland on site, “blend and meld” with existing development, and not over two stories north of Folsom Blvd. and three stories south of Folsom Blvd. The County is working on an environmental document for TOD around the Hazel and Butterfield sites. The County has just received a Cal Trans grant for the streetscape (see Jim Schubert, below). When the environmental document is wrapped up, the County will communicate with BRECA’s working group.

3. County Supervisor Don Nottoli

Supervisor Nottoli stated that he has been the County Supervisor for this area for 20 years. The supervisorial district includes about 300,000 people. County planning wants to be prepared for private sector and public sector investment as the area comes out of the recession. There could be more restaurant and shopping opportunities. He noted that the Board of Supervisors will consider an ordinance banning outside growing of marijuana. It will also consider inside growing and concerns of medical marijuana users. He stated that the County budget situation is improved, and no more layoffs are anticipated. In conclusion, he thanked BRECA and other members of the community for all they do to make the community a better place. (See also questions in item 5, below.)

4. Jim Schubert, Sacramento County Senior Landscape Architect

Jim Scubert, Senior Landscape Architect for Sacramento County, described planned streetscape development on Folsom Blvd. around the Butterfield Light Rail Station. He stated that the County has received a planning grant from Cal Trans, which will be followed with additional grants for construction. This would include street lighting, runoff, and sidewalk projects. A small step now is to plant small trees along the south side of Folsom Blvd. between Butterfield Way and Bradshaw Road. Currently there are larger trees including oaks and walnuts that have to be topped because they are under the power line. The trees to be planted would be smaller trees, such as crepe myrtle, photinia and toyon. The problem at this time is lack of water; there is no budget to bring in water. Possibly they could do truck watering two or three times per week during the summer. They would like to do something quickly, e.g. within a month. Planting would be paid for by a County Road Fund, costing around $15,000.

There were some questions directed to Mr. Schubert. One question was whether the utilities are to be moved underground. Mr. Schubert responded that this would not happen with this project, but might be pursued in the streetscape master plan. A second question was whether the County is planning a sidewalk for the south side of Folsom Blvd. Mr. Schubert responded that this would be in the streetscape plan. Another question was whether the future sidewalk would hurt the trees. Mr. Schubert responded that it might, but that the smaller trees could be transplanted. A further question was whether the older trees would be removed. Mr. Schubert responded that this would be done only if they were beyond hope.

5. Questions for Supervisor Nottoli

Jerry Jaggers, with Friends of the Sacramento Public Library, polled the audience as to how many drove to the meeting (most) and how many people walked (two). He stated that it is a disgrace that there is no public transportation to the Rancho Cordova Library (the meeting site). Supervisor Nottoli responded that Regional Transit (RT) has had cutbacks over the last several years. With the budget improving, they are looking at re-establishing or re-configuring services. When light rail was extended from Butterfield to Sunrise, a station at Horn Road (opposite the library) was considered. However, it would cost about $ 1 million. Buses would be a more likely solution to the problem. Another audience member suggested a shuttle service that would run only when the library is open, on the hour or half-hour. Supervisor Nottoli stated that this was a good idea that he would take back to RT.

Another question concerned the status of The Landing, with approvals expiring and a permit for the drive-in theaters extended. Supervisor Nottoli responded that the state had extended the time periods for entitlements at the city and county levels. It is his understanding that Syufy (owners of the drive-in site) is talking with retailers, and is still committed to redevelopment of the site. He has no idea when the proposed project would break ground.

Another question was whether the designation of residential mixed use in the Folsom Blvd. plans means that the motels would be eliminated. Supervisor Nottoli responded he is aware of problems with the motels, and that if a more profitable project comes along, it could buy out the motels. However, there is no way to force out the motels.

A further question concerned safety on Regional Transit (RT). Supervisor Nottoli responded that he has heard many similar comments, and that RT is working on security issues with additional officers and cameras. He suggested that greater activity on off-peak hours would help suppress nuisance behavior.

6. Sergeant Steve Dutra and Deputy Vitaly Prokopchuck, East Area Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant Dutra from the East Area Sheriff’s Office stated that he is the supervisor of the East Division Problem Oriented Policing (POP) unit. He stated that they receive many requests for help, so it may take a while to respond to calls: they have to prioritize. He noted that they are working with RT in Rancho Cordova and at Butterfield. He introduced officer Vitaly Prokopchuck, who invited questions from the audience.

There were many questions on a wide variety of topics from the audience and responses from Sergeant Dutra and others.

The first questioner stated that she had been calling on a problem house near their house, and had given the phone number of the landowner to the Sheriffs, and wanted to know how many times they had to call to get a response. Officer Prokopchuck responded that they can only do so much with landowners, and the questioner may have to consider a neighborhood lawsuit. Carl Simpson, chief of code enforcement for the County stated that if they get a call on a house that is “VOA” (Vacant, Open and Accessible) they can go out in three days and board it up. He also stated that they try to recover costs from landowners, and know there are problems with transients living in vacant houses. However, they do not do prosecution, and budget cuts limit their ability to respond.

Another person commented that they want to thank the POP officer for coming out and working on people raiding recycling bins. Sergeant Dutra commented that Officer Prokopchuck had come out and cited some people and warned another.

Another person stated that the house across the street from theirs has high turnover in occupants and had been characterized by a Sheriff’s deputy as a “meth flophouse.” She wanted to know what could be done to get rid of the problem. Carl Simpson responded that it sounded like a joint code and POP issue. Code would respond to multi-family issues in a single family neighborhood, while POP would respond to drugs. Officer Prokopchuck stated that they knew the house and had made an arrest there.

Another person commented that the Blow Lounge had put railroad storage containers next to the fence behind their house. Carl Simpson stated that the Blow Lounge is in violation, as the containers are too close to the fence, and they have been cited and have 10 days to rectify. He stated that the owners of the Blow Lounge had used the excuse that the containers were to reduce noise from the Lounge.

Another person asked whether better street lighting would help with problems in the area, and commented that there are no street lights in the eastern part of the Riviera East neighborhood. Supervisor Nottoli stated that it depends on when an area was developed. The standards were upgraded in the late 1960s or early 1970s. He stated that a low income area in the county had received a Federal grant to install streetlights. The project cost was about $370,000, or about $4,000 per streetlight. Sometimes an area can set up a local assessment district to pay for the work.

Another person asked about the hotels on Folsom Blvd. Officer Prokopchuck stated that they have been sending in officers on a daily basis. The owners of the hotels are very co-operative. They have provided lists of guests, and kicked out problem people. Another question concerned who issues vouchers for the hotels. Officer Prokopchuck stated that the State and County issue vouchers, and not all people who get vouchers are bad people. An audience member commented that, for example, if a person’s house burns down the Red Cross will give them three day vouchers. She suggested that maybe a group could be formed to work on the problems at the hotels, and talk with the owners.

Another person complimented the County for coming to pick up a big pile of trash that had been left outside of a nearby house.

7. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 27, 2014, at the Rancho Cordova Library

08-27-13 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES

DATE: August 27, 2013

PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California

MEETING TYPE: BRECA Steering Committee Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Kelly Cohen
Rene Hamlin
Stan Mofjeld
Jim Morgan
Rick Sloan

1. Welcome from Acting Chair Kelly Cohen

2. Minutes of July 23, 2013

Stan Mofjeld made a motion to adopt the draft minutes for July 2013. Rene Hamlin seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

3. Reports

a. Treasurer’s Report

Kelly Cohen (Treasurer) reported that the BRECA bank account had a balance of $3,777.00

b. American River Parkway Coalition

Kelly Cohen reported that at the recent meeting of the American River Parkway Coalition there were discussions of a software program called Parkwatch that the Save the American River Association (SARA) has decided to buy and the upcoming hearing on the County budget, scheduled for September 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

4. Old Business

a. BRECA Picnic

Sunday, September 29, 2013 was confirmed as the date for this years BRECA potluck picnic. Volunteers were taken for various tasks for the picnic.

b. From the Floor

Joe O’Connor clarified that the rate increases in the most recent California American (Cal Am) Water rate application for Sacramento are 10.33% for 2015, 4.04% for 2016, and 3.22% for 2017, for a total of approximately 18.5%. The increases he quoted at the last meeting were for California as a whole. Joe also noted that there are 33 special requests in the most recent application that normally would not be included in a general rate application. The Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) is protesting these special requests. One of the special requests is to consolidate the Sacramento and Larkfield districts. This would have the effect of lowering the rates in Larkfield and increasing the rates in Sacramento. This has been tried before, and is inconsistent with California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) guidelines. Joe also pointed out that there will be an extensive CPUC process with the rate increase request. It will include one or more public hearings before an Administrative Law Judge and an alternative (probably lower) proposal by the DRA. Chuck Pineda stated that large properties north of the American River still have flat rates, and that this is an unfair subsidy. It was pointed out that these properties may not be part of the Cal Am service area, so there would not necessarily be a subsidy. Also, there is a state requirement for all public water systems to use meters eventually.

Stan Mofjeld reported that the survey work on the upstream end of the Mayhew-Gristmill levee by the Corps of Engineers had been completed. Those property owners who did not agree with the Corps’ request for a year of access allowed the surveyors onto their properties verbally for one day. Surveying was done to approximately 30 feet onto the properties. It was suggested that alternative proposals for the tie-in from the upstream end of the existing levee to high ground could be released in about one year.

5. New Business

a. BRECA Newsletter

Jim Morgan stated that he would like to see a BRECA Newsletter for the membership come out in October. There was general agreement with this proposal. Volunteers were taken for articles for the Newsletter.

b. From the Floor

There was considerable discussion about the desirability or lack of desirability of various businesses in the area. In particular, the pool hall and the newly opened pawn shop on Folsom Blvd. were characterized as attracting undesirable people. Concern was also expressed about the clientele of the motels on Folsom Blvd. It was noted that, in the current economic situation, some businesses must cater to lower income people.

6. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a Steering Committee Meeting on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at the Rancho Cordova Library.