04-23-13 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: April 23, 2013

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

MEETING TYPE: BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Paul Bowers
Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Stan Mofjeld
Rick Sloan
Mary Ann Winters

1. Welcome from Chair Gay Jones

2. County Supervisor Don Nottoli

Supervisor Nottoli stated that the County Department of Transportation is planning to plant short trees on the south side of Folsom Blvd. between Butterfield Way and Bradshaw Road. He also stated the Bradshaw Landing project is “still alive” but slowed by the economy.

3. Commander Rosanne Richeal, Sacramento County Sheriff and Rancho Cordova Police

Commander Richeal stated that they are aware of problems with the “Blow Lounge” on Folsom Blvd. She also stated that theft is increasing immensely, but they do not really know why. One possibility is “realignment” of State and County incarceration responsibilities. Some people are being released early, and many were imprisoned for theft. She urged people to participate in Neighborhood Watch programs, and to let the Sheriff’s department know what is happening in terms of crime, so they can send people out. She also stated that they still have a Problem Oriented Policing (POP) team that can deal with specific issues such as nuisance abatement and transient camps.

4. Deputy Chief Chris Holbrook, Metro Fire Department

Deputy Chief Holbrook stated that funding for the fire district is down by $24 million/year. They have received concessions from unions, especially in regard to retirement. Due to a Federal grant, they have 44 new firefighters starting service. He also stated that response times have improved.

5. Division Chief Carl Simpson, Sacramento County Code Enforcement

Division Chief Simpson stated the Code Enforcement enforces Sacramento Municipal Codes concerning abandoned vehicles, junk on properties, etc. Sometimes they do not have the tools to deal with problems caused by businesses, such as loud music coming from the “Blow Lounge.” The Sheriff’s department has received many calls, but can’t always confirm the noise level. Possibly there are other issues there, such as underage smoking that could be investigated. Possibly also they could talk to the property owners and get limits on noise or hours.

6. General Discussion of Issues

A lively discussion of various issues ensued.

POP officer Tyler Neff stated that they have asked officers responding to complaints about the “Blow Lounge” to contact Bonnie Domeny and find out if the music level is OK. He stated that they need documentation, and appreciated that the Domenys had allowed officers in their yard.

One audience member stated that he understood that a six feet tall masonry wall is required behind the strip mall, and this has not been done. Carl Simpson stated that they are exploring that avenue. Another audience member stated that acceptable noise levels vary by time of day. Jay Domeny stated they appreciated Tyler Neff’s effort to come in their house, as the noise is all through the house.

Another audience member stated that massage parlors and a pawn shop are getting dumped in the area, and asked if there are limits on some kinds of businesses, such as number of massage parlors. Carl Simpson stated that that is a Planning Department issue. Don Nottoli stated that pre-existing liquor licenses are in place. He also talked about the recycling business that was causing concern at the last BRECA General Meeting, which has now gone, and stated that they often chase such businesses from one location to another.

Discussion returned to the Blow Lounge, and Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Stephens commented that people who live behind the Lounge need to get together and document the problem.

Another audience member stated that she lives on Sparks Way, and there is a house with a camper and dead BMW in the front yard. She stated that she believes people are selling and using drugs in the camper, and that 40-year old people on bicycles come and go. Another audience member stated that she lives on Linda Rio and there is a motor-home that often parks on the street, then goes away for a while, and then comes back again. Deputy Stephens commented that he would give them his contact information. They need community help to work on issues: he emphasized “report, report, report.” His e-mail is wstephens@ sacsheriff.com, and his phone is 875-5710. If it is an emergency, and the person is calling from a cell phone, 911 goes to the Highway Patrol, but one can also call 874-5111, which is the Sheriff’s emergency line. He also stated that there is a bimonthly neighborhood meeting hosted by the Sheriffs and Rancho Cordova Police.

Another audience member commented that there is no bus service from the Rancho Cordova Library to the Butterfield Light Rail Station, and children have to walk a long distance. Don Nottoli stated that he had talked to Mike Wiley (General Manager of Sacramento Regional Transit) about this, but that previous bus use was low, so it is hard to argue for resuming service. He also commented that the bus would be cheaper than a new light rail station at the Library.

Commander Richeal commented that the Sheriff’s Department has only one deputy on property theft, who is centrally located, and they receive 15,000 calls (not clear over what period). They do triage, and look for patterns of reports.

Another audience member asked how the POP officers are different from regular patrol officers. Deputy Stephens responded that regular patrol officers respond to calls for service, but that POP officers concentrate on particular problems.

Another audience member asked what is the situation with regard to the proposed Riverstone Square and The Landing developments. Don Nottoli responded that for commercial properties the conditions stay in place for a long time, if they can live with them. Judy Robinson (County Planning) added that the State legislature has approved subdivision map extensions, and Riverstone Square has received three renewals for two years each. The property is listed for sale, but no developers have appeared.

Another audience member asked how to get gaps in the sidewalk on Folsom Blvd. filled in. Judy Robinson responded that there had been workshops recently concerning Folsom Blvd., and sidewalks were identified as a high priority. They are applying for CalTrans grants for “complete sidewalks.”

Another audience member asked what is the time frame for the bushes on Folsom Blvd. Don Nottoli responded that they should be planted this fall.

7. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 28, 2013, at the Rancho Cordova Library

04-24-12 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: April 24, 2012
PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE: BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Jim Morgan
Stan Mofjeld
Rick Sloan
Mary Ann Winters

1. Welcome from the Acting Chair Kelly Cohen

2. County Supervisor Don Nottoli

Supervisor Nottoli touched on a number of areas of concern to the community. He noted that upcoming changes to the Supervisorial Districts were influenced by citizens’ input, in particular the desire to keep communities south of the American River together due to shared interests. He stated that the County budget continues to be difficult, and that the County is trying to provide services with reduced resources. He also noted that BRECA has had an influence on local matters, such as the landscaping at the north-east corner of Butterfield and Folsom.

3. Commander Rosanne Richeal, Sacramento County Sheriff and Rancho Cordova Police

Commander Richeal first introduced the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officers with her, Charles Gayley and Sergeant Wayne Stevens. She then addressed a number of questions that had been suggested by BRECA. She stated that, statistically, people in the area are safer now than 5 years ago, due to an overall national decrease in crimes. She suggested looking at SacSheriff.com for crime mapping, and handed out a map of the locations of recent crimes in the area. She stated that neighborhood watch groups are important. Sergeant Stevens stated that there are monthly meetings at the Sheriff/Police station for neighborhood watch and community members, with schedules on the Ranch Cordova Police web site. The officers repeatedly emphasized “report, report, report” as they have no way of knowing if crimes are occurring unless people report the crimes.

Commander Richeal commented that the motels on Folsom Blvd. in the area were responsible for over 100 calls last year. She noted that the police helicopters are based at Mather Field, which is why people in our area hear them frequently. One of the officers with Commander Richeal stated that there is a situation with 911 calls from cell phones, which all go the California Highway Patrol, who do not know the area. He suggested cell phone users call the Ranch Cordova emergency line at 874-5111.

Sergeant Stevens stated that there are problems with transient (homeless) camps. These are difficult to deal with due to limited staffing and the requirement that the homeless people be able to recover any seized property. Officer Gayley noted that they had cleaned up three camps on Folsom Blvd. in the area last week.

A member of the audience inquired about people pilfering from recycling bins. Sergeant Stevens commented that the impact on recycling was minimal, so there is little incentive to put resources on the problem. The exception is if someone comes on private property to do that, which could be a prelude to burglary. In that case, the incident should be reported to police or sheriff. Another member of the audience commented that there is a recycling center at Folsom and Bradshaw, which encourages pilfering. Supervisor Nottoli commented that this is a widespread problem and the County recently adopted new rules about where recycling centers can be located.

4. Lieutenant Richard Desmond, California Highway Patrol

Lieutenant Desmond stated that the California Highway Patrol (CHP) does traffic enforcement in the unincorporated County. Within Ranch Cordova traffic is handled by the local police. There are some grey areas. For example, if something is stolen from a car, it should be reported to the Sheriff. However, if the car is stolen, it should be reported to the CHP. For traffic complaints, such as speeding or loud cars, call 464-1450. This month the priority is distracted driving, such as using a cell phone or texting that is not “hands free.” He noted that there is an exception in the law, and one can make an emergency call (911) using a regular cell phone.

5. Barbara Fairbanks, Sacramento County Code Enforcement

Ms. Fairbanks stated that the Code Enforcement phone is 875-5656. Code Enforcement covers a number of areas, including junk and rubbish, illegal parking, problems with rental houses, housing issues, vacant houses, weed abatement, and various other nuisances. However, there are only 12 officers for all issues in the County. In response to questions from the audience, she stated that there are different ways to approach housing issues, including letters to the property owner and renter, and, after 15 days, enforcement. She stated that during fire season the fire department can become involved in weed abatement if weeds are too close to a house. She stated that on private property, the County usually does not cite unregistered vehicles. A trailer unattached to a vehicle on the street will get a ticket, but this is done by Parking Enforcement, not Code Enforcement. Barking dogs are a nuisance, but not handled by Code Enforcement. Supervisor Nottoli suggested calling animal control. Ms. Fairbanks stated that drug problem houses are the responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department. Also, groups of neighbors can use small claims court to go after owners. She also stated that one can call 1-800-252-4613 to report wayward shopping carts.

6. Jim Rodems, District Administrator, Cordova Recreation and Park District

Jim Rodems, District Administrator for the Cordova Recreation and Park District, reviewed “what’s new” in the District. Mr. Rodems was recently appointed to his post. He stated that the District has been in “budget turmoil” with both layoffs and hiring for vacant positions. He stated that safety in parks is critical, and that they work with the Sheriff and have private security. They are trying to get all the lighting in the parks working, but don’t want too much light, as it attracts troublemakers. One need they have identified is for more community meeting rooms. In response to a question about off-leash dogs in parks, Mr. Rodems stated that there is a need for better signage in the parks. Staff people can tell dog owners to leash their dogs. For Parks issues, call 362-1841 or e-mail

7. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 22, 2012, at the Rancho Cordova Library

12-20-11 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: December 20, 2011
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Stan Mofjeld
Rick Sloan

  1. Welcome from the Chair
  2. Discussion of Topics – Note: topics were requested by people in attendance at this meeting
    1. Neighborhood Flooding History
      Maryann Frantz requested information on flooding history of the neighborhood.  In particular she was interested in standing water last year around Butterfield Way and Yuma Circle.  It was stated that there have been incidences of standing water due to insufficient capacity of the local storm drainage system.  Also, a few years ago, there was a flood event around Mira Del Rio Dr. and Stoughton Way from sewer pipes that cross the river.  This was due to a confluence of unusual events, including a heavy rain and incomplete sewer pipes near the sewage treatment facility.  It was noted that there have not been any instances of flooding from the American River since the levee was constructed in the 1970s.
    2. Soil Born Farms
      Maryann Frantz stated that people from Soil Born Farms can pick excess fruit from people’s trees in the neighborhood.  It was suggested that this could be put into the Newsletter.
    3. Increase in Regional Sewer Rates
      Kelly Cohen stated that she had seen in the newspaper that Regional Sewer rates are projected to increase greatly.  Jim Morgan commented that the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWCB) had imposed more stringent operating conditions on the Sacramento Regional Sewer District.  These conditions include reducing ammonia and microorganisms that can cause illnesses in the outflow.  It is projected that these will necessitate a tripling of Regional Sewer District rates.  Joe O’Connor noted that there is a problem with lack of prioritization: this may not be the most important problem for the Delta, but it is one that there is a legal mechanism for addressing.
    4. Tree Round
      Fernando Alexander inquired what the “tree round” is all about.  It was stated that it is a slice from the biggest oak tree cut down to make way for the new Mayhew-Gristmill levee.  It is on display outside the library.  There are various ideas for a plaque to explain what the tree round is about.  Jim Morgan pointed out that the tree did not have to be cut down, and could have been saved by having a short segment of camouflaged flood wall instead of levee.  However, the Corps of Engineers did not want to do this.
    5. California American Water Rates
      Jim Morgan requested an update on California American (Cal Am) Water rates.  Gay Jones stated that Cal Am is continuously pushing for higher rates.  Joe O’Connor reviewed the status of the Cal Am rate request.  He stated that there is a complicated system of regulation by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  The Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) has conducted an independent evaluation of the rate increase request.  The new rates were to have been in place by January 1, 2012.  However, it appears they may not be in place until March of 2012.  If so, the rates would be made retroactive.  There is a new application for a capital structure with a higher cost of capital.  Cal Am and the DRA have come to a compromise agreement on this issue.  Present cost of capital is 8.04%.  Cal Am had requested an increase to 9.68%.  The DRA argued that there is minimal risk, so cost of capital should not be that high.  A rate of 8.41% was agreed to, and will be presented to the CPUC for approval.  The schedule of hearings for the main rate request has not yet been set.  Possibly there will be a decision in March.  Originally Cal Am had requested a 40% increase over three years.  The DRA is now recommending 10-11% over three years.Jim Morgan asked what BRECA can do about this issue.  Joe stated that there is nothing to be done about the cost of capital.  However, after there is an “action” by the Administrative Law Judge of the CPUC, it will go to the full CPUC and BRECA can write a letter to the CPUC.
    6. BRECA Banner
      Rick Sloan stated that he has a bid for a BRECA banner and a table cloth with a banner.  The total cost would be $250.  Rick made a motion to approve this expenditure.  Stan Mofjeld seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
    7. Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Officer Presentation
      Gay Jones stated that the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officer can come to the April BRECA meeting.
  3. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on January 24, 2012, at the Rancho Cordova Library

12-28-10 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: December 28, 2010
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Stan Mofjeld
Rick Sloan

  1. Welcome from the Chair
  2. Discussion of Topics
    1. Speed Bumps
      Kelly Cohen reported that the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan, a set of speed bumps, had been approved by the Board of Supervisors.  A vote (by mail) conducted by the County had a 70% response rate and was 76% in favor of the plan.  Work should start this coming summer.  Kelly described the different kinds of speed bumps: speed tables, humps, and lumps.
    2. Crime Check
      Kelly Cohen reported that data for the BRECA area indicate that about 9 or 10 crimes per month are typical.  Kelly distributed a handout showing the locations and types of crimes for 9-24-10 to 12-1-10.  The most common crimes were burglaries from residences, businesses, and vehicles.
    3. Riviera East Park Playground Equipment
      Stan Mofjeld reported that at the beginning of the year one set of playground equipment had been removed from Riviera East Park.  BRECA has lobbied the Cordova Recreation and Park District (CRPD) to replace the equipment.  Despite funding difficulties, it is now anticipated that new playground equipment will be installed by late spring of 2011.  There will also be improvements to the walkway and access.  Gay Jones commented that the CRPD had secured a good deal for the equipment, which is priced about one-half off.  There was discussion about lights being out in the Park.  Rick Sloan (a CRPD Board member) indicated that he will inquire about this problem.
    4. Flood Protection
      Jim Morgan reported that most work on the Mayhew Levee and Drain projects is complete.  Consequently, most people in the former 100 year flood zone are now out of the zone, and can drop flood insurance or secure flood insurance at a lower rate.  BRECA urges people to keep their flood insurance.Jim Morgan also reported that the major remaining issues for the projects are the lack of tie-in from the upstream end of the levee to high ground, and restoration of the Kansas Access staging area.  These two issues became stalled earlier this year, and BRECA requested and had a meeting with Supervisor Don Nottoli and staff for the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA).  It was agreed at this meeting that the upstream end tie-in will be added to the list of Lower American River projects that are to be completed in the future as funding permits.  A list of these projects is to be published on the SAFCA web site.
    5. California American Water Rates
      Joe O’Connor reported that California American (Cal Am) water rates had increased about three fold over the last several years.  Cal Am is asking for an additional 43% increase in the next three years.  Cal Am is a utility that is regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  The Division of Ratepayer Advocates will conduct an independent evaluation of the rate increase request.  Increasing costs are driven by deferred maintenance by the previous owners (Citizens Utilities), as well as additional state requirements, and changing to more use of surface water.  Cal Am is allowed an 8% profit on justifiable costs.  There will be public hearings and opportunity for written comments.  Joe stated that it is a good idea to attend hearings and comment as it draws attention to concern about the rate increase.Joe also commented that the new rate structure is 70% by volume, while about 80% of costs are fixed costs.  There was discussion about going to a public agency rather than a private supplier.  However, this can be quite expensive as the existing owner must be bought out.  Also, there is a tendency to under-invest to keep rates low.
    6. Regional Parks
      Gay Jones reported that Sacramento County budget cuts had a severe impact on the Regional Parks.  In response, a “Grass Roots Working Group” was formed to obtain stable and adequate funding for Regional Parks.  The Working Group is considering several alternatives, including an independent parks district, a dependent parks district still under the County, and a ballot vote to force the County to spend a specific amount on Regional Parks.  There was discussion of some issues, and general support for adequate funding for Regional Parks.
    7. From the Floor
      Stan Mofjeld stated that he is concerned about possible loss of the Park and Ride at the Butterfield Light Rail Station due to construction of high density apartments.  Joe O’Connor commented that the objective is to get Federal subsidies to expand Light Rail.
  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on January 25, 2011, at the Rancho Cordova Library