As BHNA moved into 2017 the organization needed to streamline to operate effectively, with the understanding that we all lead very busy lives. To do so, we opted for at least 4 general meetings per year (instead of 10), as we acknowledged the importance of keeping our association strong in the face of the many challenges our community will be facing. BUT YOUR HELP IS ESSENTIAL, TOO!
BHNA serves a critical role in working with the San Mateo United Homeowners Association to represent YOU, and additionally to work toward transparency in our local government.
Our city (and region) is currently faced with a wide array of challenges, including more higher density development, reduced parking, reduced impact assessments, un-checked eminent domain, raising of building heights (this expires soon!), re-routing of commuting traffic through traditionally quite residential streets, etc.
YOU CAN SEE WHY OUR NEED FOR A STRONG ASSOCIATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. Our governmental representatives base their decisions on what they hear – BHNA is seen as a primary leader and a voice of reason who takes the representation of our neighbors seriously. Without it, many decisions will be passedwithout community representation.
Please let us know if you would like to be a part of this organization! Every person counts – and you can play an important role in your community.
… A Big BHNA Thank You to Mayor Joe Goethals for speaking at our January General Meeting!
The BHNA hosted new Mayor Joe Goethals at the January General Meeting. In his presentation Mayor Goethals touched on many of the issues that will challenge us this year, including flood zone concerns, traffic and housing issues, use of Measure S funds, a $900 million investment in our wastewater treatment plant, and the importance of recreation in our city.
Many of these topics generate more questions in the minds of residents. In regard to the wastewater treatment plant upgrades, how will we come up with the remaining $300 million to pair with the state’s investment of $600 million? And is the 13 million gallons daily figure (to be recycled) actually attainable?
Mayor Goethals named about a half dozen agencies related to traffic. But how well are those agencies communicating and working together? The answer to that question will very well determine much of our city’s future. Traffic forums currently being held in our community offer residents a voice to say what their local woes are and how they wish to solve them. Goethals pointed out that people have many ideas about specific mitigations they would like to see. However, some ideas may not be approved by Public Works – such as speed bumps or islands, which won’t be placed on streets designated as a ‘main use’ for emergency vehicles. Don’t miss the opportunity to contribute your thoughts at your local forum.
Goethals had many positive reflections on renewable energy, traffic calming via grade separations at 25th, 28th and 31st Avenues respectively, train electrification, our low unemployment rate and increasing job growth. The Mayor took note of additional audience concerns, including the cost of CalTrain and whether neighboring cities communicate regarding their development plans. We hope to learn more about many of these follow-up questions as the year progresses.
SMPD will be speaking to BHNA at Feb General Meeting
In our February General Meeting we will welcome a representative of the San Mateo Police Department who will update us on recent developments and answer your questions. With the recent rash of bold home burglaries where people were at home we wanted to have SMPD discuss their efforts and provide guidance on how to keep same and what to watch out for. We look forward to learning more in our informative section of our meeting
Neighborhood Watch Block Captains are kept constantly updated on crime trends and safety information through Community Alerts, and are responsible for insuring their neighbors are receiving the information as well.
Block captains also organize neighborhood meetings or discussions to talk about neighborhood safety issues.
Get familiar with your neighbors and help keep your block safe as a team!
Lt. Art Sanchez – Neighborhood Watch Contact
The Neighborhood Watch program is total resident participation and involvement in a police community cooperative battle against burglaries or other neighborhood crimes. Its primary purpose is personal and property protection for you and your neighbors.
As an extension of the eyes and ears for your police department, your involvement will directly affect the crime rate in your neighborhood.
A Board of Directors made up of concerned residents oversees the program with support from the Neighborhood Policing Unit.
SMPD’s Patrol Lieutenants are assigned Policing Areas within the City, and are points-of-contact for neighborhood issues.
We all know that it has become very expensive to rent or buy a house in San Mateo. Long-time renters find they no longer can afford to live here; non-profit organizations, schools and many other employers have trouble filling vacancies because of the high cost of housing; commuting times and distances are getting longer. Housing all the people that are attracted to our county by the booming economy is a formidable challenge. — Joshua Hugg – LinkedIn Profile
At our February General meeting Joshua Hugg will discuss the local, regional and statewide forces that have made San Mateo County such an expensive place to live. Joshua has been involved in local housing issues for more than a decade, advocating for affordable housing through the Housing Leadership Council and as a member of several San Mateo City Commissions. He presently serves on the San Mateo Sustainability Commission and on the boards of the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center and the Home Association of North Central San Mateo.
At our November General Meeting we learned about progress in the electrification of Caltrain and about the revised plans for the north block of Hillsdale Mall.
Casey Fromson, Caltrain’s Government Affairs Officer, reported that 62,000 riders, including 6,000 bike riders, use Caltrain daily, with 60% commuting northbound and 40% travelling south. Usage
has increased significantly since 2010, and Caltrain has purchased additional cars, which will help alleviate some of the over-crowding. Federal regulations require that improvements to prevent human error and enhance safety through a smarter gate system be completed in 2016, and Caltrain is on track. 2020 is the deadline for going live with new electric trains, which will attain 79 mph, allow six trains/hour per direction, and start and stop faster than the current diesel trains, permitting more stops as well as more trains.
Bob Webster, President of Bohannon Properties, provided an update on the Hillsdale Mall Project, which was first considered more than nine years ago. Two major goals for the current Hillsdale Mall plan are sustainable design and the creation of a community that cannot be found on the internet. Consequently, a major focus will be entertainment and food. There will be a Luxury Cinema, a bocce ball/bowling alley venue, and a fitness club. Plans also include four or five full service sit-down restaurants and a central plaza with outdoor dining and a fountain.
The traffic situation will be improved by a roundabout instead of the five-way stop that is now at 31st and Edison. 31st Avenue will be narrowed into one lane each way, and the sidewalks will be widened. Green features will include a grey water system, solar system, LED lighting, high efficiency HVAC, and electric vehicle charging stations.
The speakers at the September Meeting were Audrey Ng, Ed Coady and Dr. Joan Rosas, who discussed Measure X, and Maureen Freschet and Larry Patterson, who presented the City’s views on Measure S.
Dr. Rosas informed us that SMFCSD now supports 12,500 student and is projected to add 200 students per year; existing facilities cannot accommodate these numbers. If approved, Measure X would generate $148 million in locally controlled funds to address the needs of the schools. It will levy a tax equal to approximately $14 per $100,000 of assessed property value (not market value) and will last for as long as the bonds are outstanding, i.e., 30 years. Measure X requires 55% approval.
To determine how best to meet the expected capacity needs, the Next Steps Advisory Committee was formed 18 months ago. Audrey and Ed reviewed the committee’s outreach to the community and the results of their efforts. The committee conducted 121 different group meetings with a large variety of stakeholders. It found consensus to build new capacity where the student growth is expected. In our area, gyms and classrooms are needed at Abbott and Borel. There was discussion about selling district properties not presently being used, including the “Knolls” campus, as well as alternative uses, such as building housing for teachers. Members inquired why new developments do not include new schools. Dr. Rosas explained that the required environmental impact reports do include impact on schools, and that developer fees are assessed. However, the fees are set by the state and not by the city, and they are inadequate to finance the needed additional capacity.
Mayor Freschet discussed the history of Measure S, which is a continuation of Measure L, passed in 2009 to help San Mateo recover its financial strength. That was successful, and the City now has a three month budget reserve. However, Measure L sunsets in 2017. The proposed Measure S will replace it.
City Manager Larry Patterson explained that we need this dedicated funding source because we don’t have enough dollars to cover what needs to be done, and delays will result in increased costs down the road. Measure S funds mainly will be used for: (1) Failed Street Program: $1.5 M per mile is the current cost for failed street reconstruction. 19 miles of streets currently are classified as failed in San Mateo, but the available budget is only $4.5 million; (2) Flood map: San Mateo needs to implement improvements in flood zones at a current cost of $23.5 million; and (3) Public Safety such as dealing with gangs, homelessness and property crimes. A Citizens Advisory Committee will be created to oversee this 30 year measure.