Meeting notes for 11.7.2013

GNA Meeting notes for 11/7/2013

City Councilman Mike Gardner (MG) talked about the big storm that hit Riverside on August 29, 2013 and the city’s response to that storm. He mentioned that the old fire station downtown is up for sale and said he would like to see it used as a restaurant in keeping with the vibrant spirit of downtown’s new eateries. The convention center is ahead of schedule and should open in March 2014.

There was an extended discussion of the restriping of Brockton, with Brockton being changed from a four lane road to a two lane road, with bike lanes newly added. A number of residents in attendance questioned the value of the restriping. MG said that this was a very difficult issue to vote on because people felt strongly about it on both sides, with few neutral residents. He voted in favor of restriping for improved safety resulting from inclusion of dedicated left hand turn lanes. The restriping should take place in February or March of 2014. Traffic engineers will be making assessments regarding the impact of the restriping once it’s been done, and it can be changed later if necessary.

The senior housing facility behind the shopping center should begin (according to Andrew Walcker who was present at the meeting to discuss the new homes on Palm) relatively soon with ground expected to be broken in 2 months. This facility has changed ownership with Family Services Association as the new owner.

Justin Scott-Coe (JSC) and MG talked about damage to Bonaminio park as a result of the aforementioned storm. Damage to the community garden was substantial. They lost approximately $5,000 that had put into the garden and a great deal of work had been done. JSC is pleased with the City’s response to storm and efforts to restore the garden. There will be fundraisers for the community garden in the near future. MG talked about the larger drainage issue for the park. One challenge is that the water from the main drainage is slowed down by plants in the river bottom, plants that cannot be removed because they provided habitat for protected wildlife. The city is looking into this issue.

Steve Berzansky and Andrew Walcker of Steven Walker Communities spoke about the plans to build 7 new homes on Palm Ave just north of Bandini. In short, these homes have been very thoughtfully designed with an eye to the area’s historic architecture. A number of residents in attendance were very positive about the design of these homes and praised these plans. The homes are expected to be built in mid-2014, depending upon a number of factors.

The issue of speeding on Palm was raised and MG indicated that since Palm was restriped traffic has slowed down about 5 miles an hour on average. Berzansky and Walcker said that they feel confident that there will not be blind spots or traffic problems caused by the new development entrance at Palm. Questions about the homes can be sent to Steve Berzansky at or 951.784.0844

Area Commander Lt. Vance Hardin introduced himself as well as our area’s new POP officers. These officers were “hand-picked” by Lt. Hardin to serve as POP officers for this area. They have great familiarity with Riverside and are enthusiastic about their relationship with our community.

Their contact information follows:

Lt. Vance Hardin      826-5753

Officer J. Allison      826-5679

Bike Officer Chamroeun Ouk     826-8729

Bike Officer  Rogelio Serrato     826-8714

Problem Oriented Police (POP) Officer Dave Hammer*  826-8728

*not present at meeting

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