Meeting agendas and notes of the River Oaks Neighborhood Association.

Recording of July 1st, 2020 Meeting

posted Jul 2, 2020, 4:37 PM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association   [ updated Jul 2, 2020, 5:09 PM ]

July 1, 2020 Meeting

Police Non-emergency number    408-277-8900
Crime Prevention Unit                  408-277-4133

If you see a fire in Coyote Creek, call the fire department. Even if it is just a camp fire it could get out of control - especially now that it's fire season.

Below is the brochure on coyotes in Coyote Creek.

July 1st, 2020 Meeting - YES, we are meeting via ZOOM.

posted Jun 27, 2020, 11:04 AM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association   [ updated Jun 27, 2020, 11:13 AM ]

Guest Speaker: Captain Michael Kihmm SJPD

Capt. Kihmm will be addressing any concerns you have in NSJ regarding public safety.

Please send in questions in advance. Our time is limited and we want to try to cover as many concerns as possible.
You can submit questions here: 

Zoom meeting info:
Meeting ID: 818 0458 9286
Password: 753320

You will also be able to ask questions through the chat while the video is live, but we will be addressing submitted questions first.

Due to COVID-19 the April Meeting is Cancelled.

posted Mar 11, 2020, 6:32 PM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association


For more information, please go to: 

For information regarding the Corona Virus, please go to the CDC site:

Feb 2020 Meeting

posted Feb 6, 2020, 9:52 AM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association

Huy Tran presented a slide show on the topic of the new housing laws and how they affect North San Jose, and all of the Bay Area, and how the new traffic standard of VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) instead of LOS (Level Of Service) plays into that.

5/3/2017 -- Board Meeting Minutes

posted Nov 18, 2017, 2:05 PM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association   [ updated Nov 18, 2017, 2:05 PM ]

River Oaks Neighborhood Association
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Elan Meeting Room, 7:00pm-8:00pm

From RONA: President Jean Marlowe, VP Mike Bertram, Secretary Laura Carns
From City of San Jose, District 4 Office: Councilmember Lan Diep, staffers Chris Rork,
From County of Santa Clara, District 3 Office: Mike Donohoe
and 10 other community members.

  1. Vlad Rankin gives an update on Agnews School. 
    1. Schools open delay to 2020. Construction logistics issues, avoid mixing students and construction site, safety issue. They have not started demolition, still working on state requirements for waste removal. 
    2. Water tower — if it costs more tham $1M to keep it, will have to get allowance to remove it.
  2. Q&A with Lan Diep. 
    (Please note both questions and answers are paraphrased to the best of our note-taker's abilty to keep up with the fast conversation. Lan's answers are italicized.)
    1. Newby Island Landfill Expansion. Expansion 32k residents to petition to stop expansion. City approved expansion anyways. Do you approve of this dump nearby? 
      1. It’s a height permit allowance. Planning commission then maybe council approval. It needed more room to have space until it’s permit expires in 2021-ish.
      2. This used to be industrial land. These landfill and recycling center & wastewater plant all were there before housing was built.
      3. What can you to stop this expansion? The permit has been issued, there’s nothing city council can really do at this point.
      4. Milpitas stopped sending trash to Newby. Can’t we do something similar? Carbon footprint of shipping trash is not nice.
      5. Newby Island is needed to keep rates low, but my rates keep rising. Why can’t we keep cost low? San Jose residential goes to Zanker facility, which is a one-of-a-kind facility, amazing 95% recycling is recycled, 75% of waste is reused somehow. Only a small amount goes to landfill. They break even, not making a profit. 
      6. Complaints about recycling center having horrible customer service. Not cleaning up after trash escapes when moving it to truck. Breaking bins, missing bins. Why did they get 5% raise???
      7. … Lots more complaints… Discussion cut off after 20 minutes….
      8. Odor could be from wastewater, recycling, landfill. Study by city points finger at the Zanker recycling plant that opened 2013. 
    2. NSJ community planning. What’s the status about community center, library, retail, health care? When is NSJ a community? What is planning commission doing?
      1. City can’t do central planning, we just do zoning and incentives. The issue is lack of density. Not enough people for retail to be profitable; business campus mentality doesn’t help. When we did the plan in 2005, the neighboring cities sued us because of traffic. Settlement via redevelopment agencies. So now the traffic impact fee is only on the San Jose lots, not in the neighboring community land. 
      2. What about the sense of community? Especially parks, why is Essex taking so long?
        1. It requires the private investment. But it’s a struggle because if we lower fees we can’t pay for lawsuit and everything else.
        2. Trying to renegotiate the terms of the lawsuit settlement.
        3. Rule is we can only build 10% retail on a plot. We want this as an economic engine — jobs! We’re working on changing the rules to increase the %age and to allow them to detach the retail into a separate building. (Not like the hidden Specialty’s at Trimble & First.)
        4. Trying to get a “Bridge Library” — aka mini-library + school library — at Agnews School.
        5. School district has assured that they’re looking at doing a community center.
      3. Disappointed in the city’s actions. 
      4. Reworking NSJ EIR for more housing? That effort died as far as CM Diep knows.
    3. Getting the impression that NSJ is a totally disadvantaged area. “Nothing can be done.” Property values are 25% lower than similar property that don’t have landfills. What is the plan to increase property values? Can’t we close the landfill? The landfill didn’t stink 10 years ago, now it’s every week. 
      1. Lots of things go into property value. We haven’t done enough previously. A lot of that has to do with not attracting business & investment. A council member has to both attract business and also handle constituent services. The brunt of NSJ has fallen on mayor’s shoulders in the past. CM Diep will try to step up and see it succeed. 
      2. Wastewater plant is undergoing a giant capitol improvement. Drying beds will be going inside.
    4. What is policy on city reporting crimes to residents? We’re worried about the strong-arm robbery in Villagio? What’s happening with police, we’re not seeing the additional drive-bys?
      1. I don’t know there’s a policy either. We don’t micromanage policing. There are plenty of online ways to notification. 
      2. Pension battles are slowly being settled. Now starting to rebuild police force. 20% raise to offset the recession pay-cuts and pension cuts. Police unions are happier now. We’re now attracting more applicants. Negotiated with unions to give Community Service Officers more responsibilities so we can fill the gaps. Please report crimes, because that’s based on heat map of crime reports. Our resources are limited. 

7/6/2017 -- Board Meeting Minutes

posted Jul 15, 2017, 11:08 AM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association   [ updated Jul 15, 2017, 11:15 AM ]

River Oaks Neighborhood Association
Wednesday, July 6, 2017
Elan Meeting Room, 7:00pm-8:00pm

MINUTES (kindly provided by Rick Collins)

  1. Santa County Creeks Coalition - Richard McMurtry
    Overview of plants and animals. Purple like a sunflower is salsify. Other side (of the creek area from River Oaks area were given remediation in the 1990s. We learned some of the plant types in the Coyote watershed area: There are two varieties of wild blackberries, two types of walnut trees one on each side. Many of these plants are fruiting now. Cottonwoods, native to this area. 

    July 22nd - Saturday, there will be sponsored activities and volunteers working between Tasman and Montague. There will be upcoming plant surveys for what is there, and not, and get rid of some non-native plants. They often are problematic causes for flooding and fire prevention. 

  2. Non scheduled speaker
    A person spoke to the group about problematic teenagers in the area. She felt that renters in the area should not be able to send their children to the upcoming schools at Agnews. 

  3. Santa Clara School District - Larry Adams
    We received an update on the new schools at the Agnews site.
    1. Construction three new schools on the Agnews project. 
    2. Went out with requests for building. 
    3. LPA Architects. Office in San Jose and based in southern California. 
    4. Preliminary program and education specifications. 
    5. Size and what type of schools and educational programs in those schools. 
    6. Not ready for design of schools and rather the information to see what kind of buildings and cost estimate. 
    7. General education bond from June 2014 for funding. $200,000,000. 
    8. Funding expected to be sufficient for elementary and middle schools but appears to be some issues for the comprehensive secondary school funding. 
    9. First phase of secondary school may not open as the fully comprehensive plan. 
    10. Planning and ready for state agency review. 
    11. It is expected that the process of cleaning on the site will begin this fall. Some existing structures will need work. Chemicals and toxics in the land will then need to be processed. 
    12. Then the new building will commence with the elementary and middle schools. 
    13. Design for the proposed comprehensive secondary schools may not have enough funding at this time. 
    14. Break ground a few months after that. 
    15. September 2020 is the planned opening of, at least, the elementary and middle schools. 
    16. Many new trends for the schools. Special Ed has higher proportion of classrooms 
    17. There have been some meetings for joint use library, use of fields, community usage for meetings, etc. 
    18. Larry said getting these schools on line has been almost a ten year journey but momentum is picking up. 
    19. Toxic land clean up starting this fall (2017) and cleaning up the site through the winter. 
    20. Park and Recs are supposed to have some say in planning the 20 acres. 
    21. They have a new employee on board for that coordination. 

  4. Iris Chang Park and why it is taking so long. 
    1. The city and Epic have disagreement of how they will handle the differences. 
    2. Mostly concerning about what to do with the current area installed design features and how they will be handled as the final designs are planned. 
    3. City does not have the $800,000 for fixing. 
    4. City is trying to get more land details. 
    5. Essex doesn’t seem to be “cooperating” neighbors. The following paragraph was recently released from the city that helps to explain the delays in finishing the park behind Epic. 
      1. “The City and Essex have different interpretation on the language in the land dedication agreement about removing the previous improvements and transferring the "clean" site for park development. The whole park site was lime-treated to increase the soil stability for using as the parking lot before. The top 18" layer of the lime-treated soil has high PH value which is not suitable for planting, and it is also not permeable just like a concrete layer. The City has considered the lime-treated layer as part of the previous improvements and would like the developer to remove it and import clean planting soil. However, the developer thought they has met all the requirements by cleaning up the above ground debris. Removal and importing soil would cost about $700k. The City definitely does not have the extra $800k to improve the site alone. Staff has been negotiating with the developer on how to resolve the soil issue and finding additional funding. In the recent meeting, we have come to an agreement on sharing the cost verbally and are currently in the process putting it in writing. Hopefully we will get it resolved and complete the design plans accordingly soon. Also City staff has learned the lesson and will add more details when negotiating the land dedication agreement with the developers in the future.” 

  5. River Oaks Parkway maintenance for medians. 
    1. Very brief discussion on lack of design consistency.

6/7/2017 -- Board Meeting Minutes

posted Jul 15, 2017, 11:00 AM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association   [ updated Jul 15, 2017, 11:09 AM ]

River Oaks Neighborhood Association
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Elan Meeting Room, 7:00pm-8:00pm

From RONA: President Jean Marlowe
From City of San Jose, District 4 Office: Charisse LeBron,
From County of Santa Clara, District 3 Office: Mike Donohoe
From Santa Clara Water District 3: Dick Santos
From Santa Clara Unified School District: Assistant Superintendent Andrew Lucia,
From Office of Congressman Ro Khanna: Cassandra Langer,
and community members: Vlad Rankin and others.

MINUTES (kindly provided by Jean Marlowe)
  1. Guest Speaker - Andrew Lucia
    Assistant Superintendent, School Support and District Development
    Santa Clara Unified School District

    There will be a special board meeting happening next week, June 13th at the Board room on Lawrence. At the meeting, the board will further study options to address possible over-enrollment of the 6th and 7th grades at Don Callejon School during the 2017-2018 school year. They are looking at 2 options: Lottery and Portables. Overloading is a problem for the next 3 years and it is not going away. That is a concern and something has to be done per Andrew. See below attachment of the slide show presented last night.

  2. Vlad gave us an update on a new Bond Measure for $800,000,000/ $60.00 per $100,000 per assessment on your home Levy. (per the Santa Clara Unified School district). It seem they need more money to build the 3 schools at Agnews and they want to build at a minimum price point. Valad gave me a Financial Stewardship and Taxpayer Accountability package put out by the SCUSD. I and Valad and Dick said no way will they get away with building cheap. Our neighborhood has said from the beginning it was to be first class with the latest technology for the students. That meeting will be held on June 15th at the Board room on Lawrence 

  3. Mr. Santos gave us a flyer of the Santos Family Free Car Show in Alviso on September 2nd from 7am to 3pm

4/5/2017 -- Board Meeting Minutes

posted Apr 14, 2017, 6:29 PM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association   [ updated Apr 22, 2017, 4:16 PM ]

River Oaks Neighborhood Association
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Elan Meeting Room, 7:00pm-8:00pm

Minutes kindly provided by Rick Collings.

  1. Introduction Tom Cabel - Milpitas Odor Group
    1. expand life of landfill to 2042 estimated because group didn’t have any firm data
    2. approach now to get the people to voice concerns to elected officials
    3. they want to remain independent
    4. gave a list of things they are objecting to
    5. don’t care about the technology being discussed but they are caring about the odor
    6. want to put public pressure on site management to change their behavior if they can’t close them down
    7. Milpitas filed a lawsuit over the smell but were denied
    8. See their slides here.
  2. Women’s History Month update from Jean. 
    1. We had an explanation about the recognition. Jean received an appreciative round of applause from the attendees at the RONA meeting.
    2. Jean will email about the recognition info to the RONA list.
  3. Agnews - Re: Community Room
    1. We did not get much of an update. There is a lot of unsettled information about what will be built and when.
    2. Two schools to start and a third later?
    3. Probably going to be extended for finishing farther out than the previously thought of 2019 completion.
    4. Jean will email “Larry” for possible more information
  4. Charcot OverPass
    1. Discussion started and then some attendees became confused between school issues and the overpass. We tried to get the attendees back on track without a lot of success.
    2. We were able to get some information from our local reps.
    3. Plan from 2012 and will likely be implemented, timing unsure at this point.
    4. The overpass is part of the Master Plan that was already approved.
    5. Will keep an eye for more information
    6. Slides here.
  5. River Oaks Parkway Park
    1. working on the park area that borders the road
    2. Jean trying to find out where the rest of the money has gone
    3. not enough workers
    4. Asking for more information
  6. Introduction of our new city council member Lam Diep
    1. Introduction for our new council person Lam Diep to the neighborhood
    2. May 3rd at Elan
    3. Trying to get it organized
    4. Further information will be forthcoming.
Edited 4/22/17 to add Charcot slides.

3/1/2017 -- Board Meeting Minutes

posted Mar 2, 2017, 9:51 PM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association   [ updated Nov 18, 2017, 1:46 PM ]

River Oaks Neighborhood Association
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Elan Meeting Room, 7:00pm-8:00pm

From RONA: President Jean Marlowe, Secretary Laura Carns
From City of San Jose, District 4 Office: Councilmember Lan Diep, staffers Chris Rork,
From Santa Clara Water District: Dick Santos
and community members: 
Jim Canova.

  1. River Oaks Park Maintenance Issues
    Jean got a response from Rafael Gomez of the Parks Depth. He has collected some of the information but not all. Currently taking care of the flooding has higher priority. He can confirm that the Irvine funds are being used for River Oaks Park, and that the Irvine funds are not enough to fully pay for maintenance. The city is making up the difference. RONA will continue to ask for a full accounting of the details.

  2. Agnews School Campus Construction
    Larry Adams has said they will be asking the Board to award a contract to the architect at the February 9th meeting. It will take 1-2 months from there to get organized, so expect the community outreach to start up again in the April/May timeframe.

  3. RONA would like to set up a community meeting with Councilmember Lan Diep, and invite the entire neighborhood for Q&A session. The current plan is to have it scheduled as part of the May 3rd RONA meeting. Board needs to put together flyers. It was also suggested that we pre-solicit the questions, that way if research is required on CM Diep's side, he has time to do that.

  4. The Urban Land Institute brought some of the country's best urban-planners out to brainstorm ideas for improving North San Jose. You can read about it here.

  5. Jim Canova reporting back on the District 11 idea: The last time the city redistricted, it was Measure F in 1978. That was a city-wide ballot measure. We'd have to do something similar. As the council grows it gets unwieldy as a committee... one idea: pursue a redistricting rather than adding districts.

  6. FloodingRONA's Secretary Laura Carns wrote up a brief overview of the events of last week. 

  7. Flooding: The Board had a conversation with Rick Santos of the Santa Clara Valley Water District and Councilmember Lan Diep. The focus was kept to a positive discussion our neighborhood and how the situation played out in our area. (Editor's note: This conversation was very fast-flowig, here are some of the heavily paraphrased and out-of-order comments):
    1. From Mr. Santos: 
      1. This flood was the same as 1983, 1997: Andersen fills up and then we get more rain. 
      2. It's everything south of Trimble that's a problem. SCVWD has tried for years now but never got the federal matching funds to improve those sections. 
      3. RO levees have 3 feet of "freeboard" -- ie there should always be 3 feet of height before the river goes over the levee. Many points south of us will fail before that last 3 feet is used. If you see other standing water, it's not the creek; it's storm drains backing up ("ditchwater").
      4. SCVWD is evaluating everything they did, every communication, looking for improvements. 
    2. From CM Diep: 
      1. City is working on plans to have a much improved emergency alert system, but that's a long way off and will take funding. Reverse 911 is one of the options.
      2. City has lots of underfunded maintenance projects. Two of the top-priority ones are in NSJ:
        1. Alviso's Gold St pump -- funds approved, getting permits now, will construct in 2018
        2. Charcot/Zanker intersection improvements
    3. From Laura:
      1. For a medium-term alert solution, have you thought about using HOAs as the equivalent of a telephone tree? They're highly localized, have all the contact information they need, and have a stake in the game. (Both Santos and Diep liked that suggestion...)
      2. The NOAA and other agencies were issuing warnings for the whole Creek but it was hard to know how to interpret them. Better communication from SCVWD on the 3 feet of "freeboard" would have eased some concerns here. 
      3. ROP has relatively poor connectivity to the street grid, which could be very bad in an evacuation scenario. Does the city have a plan?
    4. From Mr. Canova: ROP has the best flood protection on the Coyote, and it's due to years of work from Mr. Santos and people like him. Thank you!

2/1/2017 -- Board Meeting Minutes

posted Mar 2, 2017, 2:28 PM by River Oaks Neighborhood Association   [ updated Mar 2, 2017, 2:28 PM ]

River Oaks Neighborhood Association
Wednesday, February 2, 2017
Elan Meeting Room, 7:00pm-8:00pm

From RONA: VP Mike Bertram, Secretary Laura Carns
From County of Santa Clara, District 3 Office: Mike Donohoe
From City of San Jose, District 4 Office: Councilmember Lan Diep, staffers Ana & Chris,
From Santa Clara Water District: Dick Santos
and community members: 
Rick Collings, Vlad Raykin.

  1. River Oaks Park Maintenance issues.
    1. No response yet on maintenance cost breakdown. 
    2. Short-term plan to pull out all the plants on the margin and replace with chips. This is the interim step along the path for the long-term plan of replacing with drought-tolerant plans.
  2. Renovation Drive Update
    1. Two of the four buildings on campus are receiving "new skin" aka exterior makeovers to match the other two previously renovated exteriors. 
    2. The tenant has moved out and now demo can begin on the 4th building.
    3. Next month will start work on the parking structure.
    4. Site hours are M-F 7am-7pm. Any issues/concerns contact Devcon Construction 408-942-8200.
  3. Special Maintenance District 19 -- it pays for the ROP median. We've seen them renovating this landscaping. What's the long-term plan? Can we get an accounting of the spending vs tax revenues here?
  4. Agnews School Campus Construction -- any update? When can neighbors participate?
    1. We can ask Jim Canova of the school board.
  5. Rumors of more NSJ housing ahead of NSJ Vision 2030 plan's Phase II.
    1. (note that much of this is paraphrased from CM Diep's remarks at the meeting): 
      1. CM Diep is not aware of any proposals, and nothing matching the rumored "40 acres in Alviso". CM Diep stated he was not pushing for changes to the NSJ plan. He stated it's a complicated issue, the Bay Area needs more housing but not immediately in NSJ. If there was some sort of proposal that combined retail/services with housing, that might be of interest. But again, CM Diep is not aware of any proposals at this time. Alviso is below sea level, so there's no push for more housing there because of the flood risk. He is not a supporter of the option to put in housing instead of Top Golf, Alviso needs the jobs. CM Diep says he has nothing to sell or pitch. 
      2. Broadly (emphasis his) speaking, Bay Area needs more housing. As inventory goes up, the cost will go down. But San Jose and NSJ are not necessarily the place to put it. San Jose is a bedroom community, we need to focus on getting more jobs. San Jose is suing over the Santa Clara City Place project, which has a lot of retail but little housing. Santa Clara and Milpitas need to step up and build housing. 
      3. Flexible for starting Phase II early, but it needs to be for the right incentive, aka retail. If an opportunity is proposed, CM Diep will negotiate and involve the community. No plans on the table now.

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