Grand Neighborhood Alliance Meeting Notes for 11/3/11 (taken by Wendy DeBoer)
Representative for Riverside Public Library spoke in favor of Measure I. It will be on the November 8 ballot and supports the Riverside libraries. Will continue funding for library programs without raising taxes. Funds can only be used for library and locally. Please vote yes!
Councilman Mike Gardner encouraged residents to vote and indicated that absentee ballots may not get counted if sent in too late but before the 8th. A large portion of the library budget comes from Measure C and I (if passed by voters).
Grand Area and Ward One update from Mike Gardner
Progress continues to be made on Tequesquite Park. Have received bids between 6 and 6.5 million dollars. There is 4 million dollars budgeted, and another 2 will come from the general fund. Mike encouraged folks to send letters of support for the park to their councilmen/women.
Q: What is happening with the Jurupa Grand shopping center?
A: It is still in escrow. The buyers are also purchasing a property at Arlington that has issues that have prevented the joint escrow from closing. However, in conversations with the buyer’s representatives, Mike has been reassured by their willingness to meet with the subcommittee (and later with larger group) to discuss improvements.
RPD Update from Officer Mike Dillon
Occupy Riverside has occupied much of RPD’s time. They moved the tents off of the downtown mall today. RPD conducted a clean-up of the Santa Ana River bottom about a month ago. There is a County employee who is responsible for monitoring the trail. She was assaulted by someone with an axe in the river bottom.
Mike Gardner added that there were recent arrests made by RPD of a couple who seemed to play a very large role in mail theft throughout the city. He also added that there is a project to restore native habitat near 5900 block of Old Ranch Road.
Q: How much is this costing and won’t it help to fuel fires?
A: It is costing “a lot,” however, the native plants will do a better job of preventing fires than non-natives.
Officer Dillon reported on the GNA Block Walk in October 2011 which was very successful. He also discussed the effectiveness of the noise ordinance. When residents are cited, the fine is substantial and if they don’t pay it, it is attached to their utility bill so there is motivation to keep quiet.
Q: What should I do if I hear gunshots but don’t know exactly where they’re coming from?
A: Call the non-emergency number and report it. Chances are others will call and that will help the police pinpoint where the shots are coming from.
Q: Why don’t the police respond to calls about fireworks?
A: Unfortunately, they are not top priority for RPD to respond to instantly, however, residents should call because the house responsible for the fireworks will get a visit from RPD the next day to advise them against fireworks.
Patricia Lock-Dawson, PLD Consulting, on the Santa Ana River Trust
See SART flyers at end of post for details
The goal of the trust is to make the SAR trail a good neighbor. PLD applied for a small grant for a section between Martha McLean and Tequesquite park to increase use and make improvements. At this point, the trust is only engaged as a study.
The trust grew out of intercounty partnership to get the trail done. Like a “friends of” group to encourage use and make a more positive feature of city. It was established just this year. Seeks to work with the community and improve access. There will be five community meetings between Nov. and April. Other agencies such as Riverside Land Conservancy and Flood Control are involved.
Resident comment: There is plenty of trail access. Our area doesn’t need more. Would like to see the Trust improve what we already have.
Resident comment: I live where the proposed path for increased access would be. Already dealing with multiple problems due to transience from river bottom: urinating on yard, sleeping on easement, trash, theft. It is a constant battle. Has had to install flood lights and own dogs are constantly barking because of traffic from river bottom to shopping center. Would not in any way support putting a formal access path between Old Mill and Carlingford easement.
Ralph Nunez: This is a good opportunity for the community to voice its concerns.
Resident comment: There are six public access points to the trail. Why not improve those six instead of adding more?
Resident comment: The easement/road is a private road. Wouldn’t the city have to acquire the road through eminent domain? A: Yes. Owner could deny the plan.
Resident comment: Access is not an issue. Should not be a focus of the trust to create additional access. Safety is the issue. The current trail and access points should be better maintained and made more secure, safer.
PLD: The intent of the Trust is to make the SAR safer and increase usage. She encourages everyone to attend the community meetings.
Eliza Echevarria, Riverside County Transportation Commission, on the 91 Fwy HOV Lane
Click on HOV flyer for details. See also websites: http://www.sanbag.ca.gov/projects/mi_fwy_215-sb-riv.html
Sales tax passed in 1998 and 2002 supports the construction of an HOV lane on the 91 freeway, from Adams St to the 60/215/91 interchange.
The project has environmental clearance and is partnering with Caltrans.
Will cost 279 million and already have funds to support project, funded by a state bond. Won’t begin to see construction activity until Feb/March 2012, with 2015 completion.
Residents should check the www.rctc.org site for updates on the project and flyers at end of post for details
Q: Who created the bond to pay for this project?
A: It’s a state bond that is paid out of state tax dollars.
Q: Does the project take into account increased traffic over time?
A: Yes, the plans are developed with traffic projections of 20 to 30 plus years.
Wendy DeBoer on GNA Business
There will be an Area 1 holiday party on 12/19 at 6pm Fairmount Park
2012 schedule of GNA meetings is listed on our website and on tonight’s agenda
2011 has had many successes and we’re hoping to spread them out to other parts of neighborhood. Would like to create a leadership team made up of folks in different areas throughout Riverside who can serve as GNA representatives and help plan for 2012.
Volunteers for Leadership Team:
Old Mill Road: Geoff Showell and J.B. Harrison
Jurupa Ave: Karen Shiels
Park Cliff: Steve Whatley
Carlingford/Londonderry: Debbie Darling (Londonderry)
Old Ranch Road: Rhonda Marquis
Charlotte Way: Shirley Camp
Tower Road: open seat