City Manager's Blog - July 15 - July 26, 2019
Welcome to the latest edition of the City Manager's Biweekly Blog, a summary report of updates related to City projects, responses to City Council inquiries, and events and activities of interest to the community. View a printable version of the the latest biweekly blog. To view past posts or subscribe to receive these on eNotify, please visit SantaClaraCA.gov/cmblog.
Community Letter Regarding Revitalizing the Downtown: On July 25, City Manager Deanna J. Santana issued a community letter with an update on the Downtown Precise Plan and the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process to obtain a consultant firm to support the preparation of the Precise Plan. View the community letter available on City News. For more information, contact the City Manager’s Office at 408-615-2210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charter Review Committee Public Input Sessions for District Elections: The City Council placed an advisory measure on the November 2018 ballot to determine if the voters wanted to engage in a public process to draft charter amendment language regarding district elections. Santa Clara voters approved Measure N, with more than 70% of the vote, on Nov. 6, 2018. The advisory ballot measure (known as “Measure N”) read as follows: “Shall the City of Santa Clara engage the voters in a public process to draft a Charter Amendment ballot measure to elect its Council Members, other than the Mayor, by district?” The first Charter Review Committee meeting was held on July 18 at City Hall Council Chambers. The upcoming public input sessions include:
- Thursday, Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m. Central Park Library, Redwood Room, 2635 Homestead Road. Santa Clara
- Saturday, Sept. 21, 12 - 2 p.m. Northside Branch Library, Community Room,695 Moreland Way, Santa Clara
- Thursday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m. Mission Branch Library, 1098 Lexington St., Santa Clara.
- Thursday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m. Northside Branch Library, Community Room, 695 Moreland Way, Santa Clara.
To gather as much input as possible, members of the Charter Review Committee will be hosting informal, drop-in Listening Sessions throughout the city. Below is a list of currently scheduled Listening Sessions:
- Saturday, Aug. 3, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Mission Branch Library, 1098 Lexington St., Santa Clara (Classroom). Hosted by Charter Review Committee members -Sudhanshu Jain & Stephen Ricossa
- Saturday, Aug. 17, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Mission Branch Library, 1098 Lexington St., Santa Clara (Classroom). Hosted by Charter Review Committee member - Katherine Almazol.
2019 Annual Clean-up Campaign Survey Results: Another Clean-up campaign has come and gone, and the survey results are in. The City received 401 responses, and below is a summary of the results:
- 55.7% extremely satisfied
- 36.3% satisfied
- 5.5% dissatisfied
- 2.5% extremely dissatisfied
Thank you to those who participated in the survey and to those who used the services. This year, crews collected 4,300 tons of general household rubbish and 323 tons of clean yard waste for composting. For more information about this program, contact the Department of Public Works at Environment@santaclaraca.gov or at 408-615-3080.
July is Parks Make Life Better Month: The Parks & Recreation Department’s mission is to support a vibrant, active quality of life for all ages, abilities, and interests of the Santa Clara community through excellent parks and recreational facilities, community services, programs, and events. Santa Clara's parks, playgrounds and open space provide:
• Access to the serenity and inspiration of nature
• Outdoor space to play and exercise
• Facilities for self-directed and organized recreation
• Positive alternatives for youth
• Activities that facilitate:
- social connections
- human development
- the arts
- lifelong learning
How do parks make your life better? Here are some ways: take your dog to a dog park, run or bike on a County or City trail, take your family to the park for a picnic, visit with other parents with your child at the local playground. Take advantage of the many resources that County and City parks have to offer. Get outside and play by visiting one of our parks!
Senior Center BBQ: On July 25, 85 guests enjoyed a barbecue at the Santa Clara Senior Center. Join us for the upcoming Senior Center Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, Aug. 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., located at 1303 Fremont St. For more information, please call 408-615-3170.
Senior Center Patrons Learn About UV Safety Month: On July 23, the Santa Clara Senior Center hosted a monthly table talk with UV Safety Month as the focus. Patrons had the opportunity to meet with the Senior Center Health & Wellness Program RN to learn more about UV radiation and how to protect your eyes. Since diseases like cataracts and eye cancers can take many years to develop without protection, we could be adding damage that increases our risk for these serious disorders. For information, please call 408-615-3170.
Central Bikeway Study: In May 2019, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) was notified by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) that VTA’s Bicycle Superhighway Phase 1: Central Bikeway Feasibility Study and Alternatives Analysis project will receive grant funding through the Caltrans Sustainable Communities Grant program. Grant funds will be used to identify a preferred alternative for a continuous, 10-mile, low-stress bicycle superhighway that follows the El Camino (SR 82)/Central Expressway/Caltrain corridor and connects residents and workers to trails along San Tomas Aquino Creek, Guadalupe River and Coyote Creek as well as to the Berryessa BART station in East San Jose. VTA will lead the study and work closely with staff from the City of Santa Clara, City of San Jose and Santa Clara County to analyze various alternatives. A major component of the study will be extensive community outreach to solicit feedback and comments. This study will begin in October 2019 and it is expected to take two years to complete. For information about this VTA project, contact Lauren Ledbetter, Senior Transportation Planner with the VTA’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program at 408-321-5716 or email Lauren.Ledbetter@vta.org.
City Green Fleet Policy: The City adopted a new goal and priority for Sustainability at the City Council Strategic Session. As part of the new Sustainability goal, the City will implement a Green Fleet Policy to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Consistent with the City‘s Climate Action Plan, the City shall make every effort to purchase and use the lowest emission vehicles/equipment available while considering the vehicle’s life-cycle, cost and the ability to support City operations and services. This includes optimizing the fleet size, selecting the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective vehicles, reducing the cost of operations and maintenance, and complying with all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions requirements. Through the implementation of a Green Fleet Policy, the City will manage a diverse fleet of both vehicles and heavy equipment while minimizing the impact to the environment. See the Green Fleet Policy to learn more. For additional information, contact the Department of Public Works at 408-615-3080.
City Council adopts Santa Clara EV Readiness Blueprint: In 2018, California established a goal to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles on the road to 5 million by 2030. With grant funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC) and input from the community, Silicon Valley Power along with various City departments collaborated to create the EV Blueprint. The blueprint is comprised of 14 initiatives and will help lead and support increased EV adoption and the benefits to ensure Santa Clara is set up for EV readiness by 2030. Download a copy of the Council-adopted blueprint on the Silicon Valley Power website.
Manuel Pineda Appointed Chief Electric Utility Officer: Manuel Pineda was recently appointed Chief Electric Utility Officer for Silicon Valley Power. He has been serving in this role in an interim capacity for the past six months and, after an extensive nationwide search, has been appointed to the position permanently. In his new role, Manuel will also continue to serve as an Assistant City Manager and contribute to the overall advancement of key citywide projects.
Use Fans to Beat the Summer Heat: Operating a fan is an efficient way to beat the summer heat and help you feel up to four degrees cooler. They use a lot less energy than an air conditioning unit, which helps to reduce your electric bill. Silicon Valley Power offers a rebate of $35 per ENERGY STAR qualified ceiling fan. These fans are about 60 percent more efficient than conventional ceiling fans with an integrated light fixture. More information can be found by visiting siliconvalleypower.com/fan. For questions, email email@example.com or call 408-244-SAVE (7283).
CURRENT JOB OPENINGS
Join the Center of What’s Possible! The City is currently hiring for the following positions; to view job descriptions and for information on how to apply, visit santaclaraca.gov/jobs.
- As-Needed Communications Coordinator
- As-Needed Instructor/Lifeguard
- As-Needed Recreation Office Assistant
- Code Enforcement Technician
- Crossing Guard
- Deputy Fire Marshal I
- Journey Lineworker
- Management Analyst – Public Works/Engineering
- Per Diem Police Officer Special Events
- Police Officer (lateral)
- Police Training Coordinator
- Recruit Police Officer
- Traffic Control Special Events
- Tree Trimmer II
LEVI’S STADIUM RELATED UPDATES
The International Champions Cup soccer event returned to Levi’s® Stadium on Saturday, July 20. Benfica played Chivas de Guadalajara. There were no significant police events. For more information, contact the Police Department at 408-615-4700.
Upcoming Stadium Events
- Aug. 10 – 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys – preseason week 1
- Aug. 18 – The Rolling Stones ‘No Filter’ Tour
- Aug. 29 – 49ers vs. Los Angeles Chargers – preseason week
- Sept. 22 – 49ers vs. Steelers
UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS
Be a Census Taker: Learn more about how you can help get everyone counted by working for the U.S. Census Bureau in support of the 2020 Census. On Saturday, July 27 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Central Park Library lobby, Census Bureau representatives will be on hand to share ways to earn money while helping your community. Find more information, visit www.2020census.gov/jobs or stop by on Saturday!
2330 Monroe St. Community Meeting #4: The developer will host a community meeting with an update on the affordable housing project on the corner of San Tomas Expressway and Monroe Street. The developer will share revisions based on community input and provide an updated project schedule. The community meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 30 at 6 p.m. at the City Hall Cafeteria, 1500 Warburton Ave. For more information, contact Robin Zimbler at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-319-6959.
Drop-In Tech Help: Need tech help? Our teens can help you with any question you have! The Santa Clara City Library is offering technology aid for your computers, tablets or phones with local tech savvy teens. The next drop-in tech help is on Tuesday, July 30, from 4- 5 p.m. and every Tuesday in the Technology Center on the 1st floor at Central Park Library. This program will be first-come, first-served and we ask that you please bring your own device to the session. For more information, visit sclibrary.org.
Community Meeting for Agrihood Project (1834 Worthington Circle): On Wednesday, July 31 from 6:30 – 8 p.m., the applicant, CORE, will host a community meeting to discuss the architecture of the project at the Central Park Library, Redwood Room, 2635 Homestead Rd. The planned development zoning of the site, which allows a residential mixed-use development consisting of up to 160 mixed-income apartments,165 affordable senior apartments, 36 townhomes and approximately 1.5 acres of agricultural open space, was approved by the City Council in January 2019. The meeting will focus on the architecture and site design of the project. For more information on the proposed projects, visit the website.
Second Sundays at Everett N. “Eddie” Souza Community Garden: Every second Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m., gardeners meet to share their harvests, seeds and culinary creations. Last Sunday, the Pollinator Posse, an advocacy group from the East Bay, brought Anise Swallowtail caterpillars and taught community members how to create native habitats to preserve the declining butterfly and bee populations. Participants watched a Swallowtail flutter over a flowering fennel plant and lay a single egg. The community garden coordinator is now caring for that egg and plans to start our own Santa Clara Pollinator Posse. Eddie Souza Park, located at 2380 Monroe Street, had another guest on Thursday evening, July 27, who talked about the biggest thing since organic fertilizer called biochar. To find the next topic for the August 2nd Sunday Garden Share, visit SantaClaraCA.gov/communitygarden. For more information, call Derek Bryant, Community Garden Coordinator, at 408-615-3743.
Old Quad Neighborhood Zoning Code Update: The City is holding a community meeting regarding the Zoning Code Update for the Old Quad Neighborhood on Monday, Aug. 5, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Clara Senior Center, Room 222. This meeting is a follow-up to a series of meetings held in Fall 2018 seeking input on potential changes to the Zoning Code-related development standards for single family residences such as dormer sizes, front porches, second story additions, setbacks and accessory dwelling unit height allowances. This meeting will not include short-term rental regulations or occupancy criteria in single family residences/ boarding house topics. For more information, contact Community Development at 408-615-2450.
National Night Out Against Crime: National Night Out is a crime prevention event sponsored nationally by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored locally by the Santa Clara Police Department. National Night Out will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 6- 8:30 p.m. and is designed to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships. Neighborhoods participating in National Night Out are asked to join a citywide effort to promote a community against crime. Light up your street by turning on outside lights and spend the evening with your neighbors, local Police and Fire Department, and City of Santa Clara and Santa Clara Unified School District representatives. Register your neighborhood for free, which allows Police, Fire, City and School District representatives an opportunity to attend as time allows. The deadline to register is July 25. For more information, contact the Police Department at 408-615-4700.
Bucks Creek Hydroelectric Project Relicensing Public Scoping Meeting: On Aug. 7 from 3 to 5 p.m., the City will hold a public scoping meeting on the relicensing of the Bucks Creek Hydroelectric Project. The meeting will be held at Silicon Valley Power, 881 Martin Ave. in Santa Clara. The Bucks Creek Hydroelectric Project is owned by the City of Santa Clara and is located in Plumas County. The City is not proposing to add capacity or make any major modifications to the project or its operations under the new license. More information is available here: siliconvalleypower.com/svp-and-community/projects.
Community Meeting Regarding Triton Museum of Art Parking Lot: On Thursday, Aug. 8 from 6-8 p.m., a community meeting will be held in City Council Chambers, 1500 Warburton Ave., to discuss noise and nuisance related issues that have occurred in the Triton Museum parking lot. Community members are invited to attend the meeting to offer suggestions and discuss viable solutions. For more information and to RSVP, please contact the Police Department at 408-615-4872.
Santa Clara City Library’s Northside Branch Celebrates Five Years of Operation: On Saturday, August 10 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., the Northside Library Branch will host a 5th anniversary celebration and mark the occasion by expanding operational hours from 50 to 58 hours each week. Beginning Sunday, August 11, the library branch will be open for the first time on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and open one hour earlier and close one hour later on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
To commemorate the five-year anniversary and extended hours, the Northside Branch Library will host a celebration onsite at 695 Moreland Way. The schedule of events includes:
- 10:00-10:15 a.m. – Welcome and Recognition of 5-Year Anniversary
- 10:15-11 a.m. – Puppet Arts Theater presents The Three Little Pigs Puppet Show*
- 11 a.m.-12 p.m. – Bay Area Hula Show
- 12:15-1 p.m. – The Bubble Lady*
*These events require pre-registration. To register, visit SClibrary.org or call the Northside Branch Library at 408-615-5500.
Zoning Code Update Study Session: As preparations are underway for a comprehensive update to the Zoning Code, the City Council and Planning Commission will hold a joint study session on the Zoning Code update at 6 p.m. on Aug. 20 in the Council Chambers. Santa Clara’s current Zoning Code has not been comprehensively updated since it first came into effect in 1969. The joint study session will highlight proposed new zoning districts, simplified processes, new standards for single-family districts, and code changes to encourage placemaking. To allow time for more review and comment on the Zoning Code update, additional study sessions focused on topics including potential short-term rental regulations and occupancy criteria in single-family residences will be scheduled for the fall. For more information, contact Community Development at 408-615-2450.
Direction on the Freedom Circle Specific Plan: At the Aug. 27, 2019 meeting, City Council will receive an update and provide direction on the Freedom Circle Plan Specific Plan. In August 2018, the City began the planning process for the Freedom Circle Specific Plan to establish a land use plan and policies for the redevelopment of low-intensity office and industrial parks in northern Santa Clara into high-density mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhoods. The Specific Plan process for the 136-acre Freedom Circle area was initiated largely in response to a General Plan Amendment application submitted by Greystar Development for their Freedom Circle property. While Greystar Development continues to be interested in redeveloping their 16.6 acre property in the Freedom Circle Specific Plan boundaries, two property owners also participating in the Specific Plan - the Sobrato Group and Irvine Company - have recently withdrawn from the Specific Plan process. At the meeting, City staff will seek direction from the City Council for the continued preparation of the Specific Plan including alternative approaches.
California High Speed Rail Authority Project Update and Outreach: On July 2, 2019, the California High Speed Rail Authority (Authority) released the recommendations for the State’s Preferred Alternatives for the high-speed rail routes in the two Northern California project sections (San Francisco to San Jose and San Jose to Merced). The Authority has launched a comprehensive outreach campaign throughout the summer to gather community feedback for the Authority Board of Directors to consider when giving staff direction in September.
In the San Jose to Merced project section, Authority staff has recommended Alternative 4 as the State’s Preferred Alternative. Alternative 4 utilizes a blended configuration between San Jose and Gilroy in the existing Union Pacific Railroad corridor before continuing to a dedicated high-speed rail alignment through Pacheco Pass. In the San Francisco to San Jose project section, Authority staff recommends Alternative A as the State’s Preferred Alternative. Alternative A includes a light maintenance facility on the east side of the tracks in Brisbane and does not include additional passing tracks in the middle of the corridor.
In September, staff will present its recommendation and the feedback received during outreach and will seek direction from the Board of Directors on which alternatives to identify as the State’s preferred routes. These alternatives will be incorporated into the draft environmental documents that are due out in December 2019 for the San Jose to Merced project section, and in March 2020 for the San Francisco to San Jose project section. All alternatives will be evaluated equally in the Draft environmental documents, but by identifying the State’s Preferred Alternatives the Authority will be able to guide reviewers to where the current analysis suggests the program may be headed.
The following is a list of scheduled open houses in August. Meeting material will be posted in advance on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website.
All open house events are from 5-8 p.m., with a presentation beginning at 6 p.m.
- Aug. 6, Adrian Wilcox High School, 3250 Monroe St. Santa Clara
- Aug. 8, IFDES Lodge-Portuguese Hall, 250 Old Gilroy St. Gilroy
- Aug. 12, Bay Area Metro Center, Yerba Buena Room, 375 Beale St. San Francisco
- Aug. 15, San Jose City Hall, Council Chambers, 200 E. Santa Clara St. San Jose
- Aug. 19, Sequoia High School, 1201 Brewster Ave. Redwood City
- Aug. 21, Los Banos Community Center, 645 7th St. Los Banos
For more information, visit the project website or contact Ricci Graham, Public Information Officer with the California High Speed Rail Authority, at 408-277-1086 or by email at email@example.com.
Coffee with a Cop: The Santa Clara Police Department will host “Coffee with a Cop” on Friday, Aug. 30, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Peet’s Coffee in Rivermark Plaza, 3932 Rivermark Plaza. The event brings police officers and the community members they serve together – over coffee – to discuss issues and learn about policing. For more information, contact the Police Department at 408-615-4700.
Citywide Garage Sale: The next citywide garage sale takes place on Saturday, Aug. 10. The garage sale is a great opportunity to turn unwanted items such as clothing, furniture and home decor into cash while preventing usable items from ending up in the landfill. Residents can register online for individual, multi-family or block garage sales. Garage sale registrations will be displayed on an interactive map and available on Friday, Aug. 9 at SantaClaraCA.gov/GarageSale. To register, visit SantaClaraCA.gov/Register. For questions, call 408-615-3080 or email Environment@santaclaraca.gov.
Concerts in the Park: Join us for the next one on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 2:30 p.m. at Central Park, 909 Kiely Blvd., with a free performance by Limewire. Grab a lawn chair, blanket, and your family and friends for the final Concert in the Park for the season. For more information, visit the website or call 408-615-3140.
Santa Clara Summer Camps: From sports to art to theatre, Parks & Recreation is your one-stop shop for children summer camps for ages 4-16 with activities including recreation games, swimming, field trips and making memories with new friends all summer long! Register online at SantaClaraCA.gov/Class-Registration. For more information, call 408-615-3140.
Roberta Jones Junior Theatre 2019-20 Season: The Roberta Jones Junior Theatre (RJTT) recently completed their 50th Anniversary Season with the colorful, calypso-flavored musical “Once on This Island, Jr,”. RJJT will present four musicals in the 2019-2020 season:
- Charlotte’s Web – Nov. 15-24, 2019
- Disney’s Mary Poppins” - March 27-April 5, 2020
- Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids - June 5-7, 2020
- Disney’s Frozen Jr. - July 28-30, 2020
Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival: Located in Santa Clara’s picturesque Central Park, the 39th annual Art & Wine Festival will be held Sept. 14 and 15. A fun, family-friendly weekend with over 165 local and national artists, three live entertainment stages, an array of popular festival food, shaded beer garden, local wines, Kids Kingdom, Toddler Town and more. Interested artists and sponsors may find information and applications online at SantaClaraArtandWine.com. For more information, call 408-615-3140.
UPCOMING COUNCIL CALENDAR/AGENDA ITEMS
Visit the Tentative Meeting Agenda Calendar for dates of upcoming Council Study Sessions, Joint Council/Commission meetings, as well as Council Public Hearing and General Business agenda items online at Legislative Public Meetings on the City’s website. As you can see, while tentative and subject to change, it provides key policy items that the Council/Board will need to dedicate time to deliberate and that may take considerable time during the upcoming meetings.
Deanna J. Santana, City Manager