Friday, May 26, 2006


A small grass fire on steep hillsides behind several large homes jangled nerves and raised the concerns of Fleming area neighbors. The fire was touched off at about 2:00 Thursday afternoon behind several homes near Mahoney and Country Tree Lane. A quick response by San Jose Firefighters averted a disaster. The grasses have been unusually tall this spring, due to the heavy winter rains this year. Firefighters say this should serve as a reminder that the threat of fires in our area will be high this year, and hillside homeowners should cut grass and provide a defensible space between the wildlands, their residences and their neighbors. CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


In a stunning and unusual move, the San Jose Planning Commission refused to take a position on Braddock and Logan's proposals to build 14 homes on Fleming Avenue. The commission could neither support the plan, or kill it outright, so they left it up to the City Council to decide what is in the best interest of the neighborhood. Both plans--one which includes 14 homes and a 1/3-acre pocket park and the other with just 14 homes on slightly larger lots--will be headed to City Council on June 13th for a final decision.

After hearing testimony from the developer, property owners and concerned neighbors, the Commissioners were split. "I'm really, really concerned (about these plans)," voiced Zito. "In a perfect world, the infrastructure would be in place first," he continued." Commissioner Campos agreed and added, "The question is when will it go in?"

Several neighbors applauded the developer and sellers for their ongoing negotiations, but refused to back down from their main position that 14 homes is still too many on the exhausted county road. Citing a dangerous intersection, increased traffic and inadequate road conditions, speaker after speaker urged the Commission to reject the proposals. The speakers were calm, but adamant while building their case, showing color photos of the regular 1/4-mile morning back up, a diagram of the narrow street and 9 crashes that have occurred within yards of the proposed new intersection.

"What is the plan to fix Fleming?" asked a baffled Zito to planning staff. The staff could only point to an ongoing study by the Department of Transportation that is not complete, blaming the delay on the multi-jurisdictions that oversee Fleming Avenue.

After the lengthy public comment and discussion from Commissioners, Levy made a motion to accept the recommendation from planning staff to allow 14 homes without the park to be built. It took three pleas from Chair Dhillon to hear a second, finally Zito made the second "for the sake of proceeding," he said. Commissioners Levy, Dhillon and Pham voted yes, while Campos and Zito voted against the motion.

The matter will be heard by the City Council on June 13th.

Monday, May 22, 2006


The San Jose Planning Commission will take up the issue of building 14 homes on Fleming Ave. on Wednesday, May 24th, at San Jose City Hall. This is the third planning commission meeting on the subject since January. In the two previous meetings, commissioners sent the developer back to the drawing board to resolve several issues. Dozens of Fleming neighbors have attended the meetings, and we have been the single biggest group at both the meetings we have attended. Let's keep the heat on! To read the Planning Staff's recommendation, please click on

Developer Braddock and Logan will present 2 plans to the Planning Commission, one with 14 homes and a 0.35-acre pocket park, and the other with just 14 homes on slightly larger lots. Planning staff will make a recommendation to support the plan with only 14 homes and no public green space.

The bottom line is that we could have a development similar to the one under construction at Alum Rock and Fleming (next to the Jordan School) on Fleming Avenue. These plans offer no street improvements to our neighborhood.

Can Fleming Avenue handle the additional traffic?

While the plans offer no street improvements, Councilmember Campos indicated that having a pocket park on Fleming Avenue would greatly increase the chances of putting traffic calming measures in place. Possible measures include more stop signs, crosswalks and lowering the speed limit. Nonetheless, a new and dangerous intersection will still be in place if this plan moves forward.

Is having a public green space a compromise that we can live with?

The green space would provide a much needed buffer between the street and big homes. If approved, the walk-in park would take the place of four residential lots located closest to Fleming Avenue. We, the neighbors, would have a major say as to what we would and would not like to see there. It would be maintained by the City and close before dusk.

In your opinion, is one of these alternatives acceptable to our neighborhood? If these plans are unacceptable, what is an acceptable alternative?

Ask yourself, "What can I live with?" "What is in the best interest of my neighborhood?" This is where opinions will vary, but all need to be heard, so a win-win solution can be reached.

These are the issues we must speak to at the Planning Commission meeting tomorrow.

Our item is placed mid-way on the agenda. If you choose to speak, you need to fill out a speaker's card and give it to the tech on the floor. You will be allowed 2 minutes to make your point.

If you need a ride, please respond to this email. To make comments, please use the space below.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 19, 2006


About 40 Fleming neighbors gathered last night to hear a tag-team presentation from Carol Hamilton of the City's Planning Department and Jim Sullivan of Braddock and Logan. "We're not here to discuss whether this property will be developed, but how it should be developed and what the design will be," Hamilton said.

Sullivan presented two plans to build 14 homes on the 2.66 acres lot at 143 Fleming Avenue. One design included a nearly 1/2 acre green space, while the other has larger lots and no public green space. Hamilton stated the City Planning Department will recommend the plan with no park for approval. According to Hamilton, maintaining a pocket park of less than one acre would be "too inefficient" since there are limited resources.

However, in a meeting at City Hall with 5 neighbors earlier in the day, Councilmember Nora Campos said she could support the park plan. She also said if a majority of neighbors were to support the park plan, she would be willing to commit funds for park maintenance for a minimum of two years. Perhaps most importantly, she said having a park would greatly increase the possibilties of creating more traffic calming measures on Fleming Avenue. "This is the kind of creative solution that I know about because of my 10 years experience...They will ask me, 'Is this a route to a park?' and I can say, YES!" Some traffic calming possibilities discussed during the meeting with Campos included crosswalks, flashing lights, lowering the speed limit, and electronic speed monitoring signs.

Also in the works is a comprehensive traffic study by the City Department of Transportation to analyze road conditions, jurisdictions, and traffic flow along Fleming Avenue. The study analysis will be complete in 2 to 3 weeks, according to Campos.

Neighbors were split regarding the future of the lot. Some were in favor of the park, while others thought the green space would attract an unsavory element to our neighborhood. However, one thing remains constant: neighbors are all too aware of the traffic and safety dangers along Fleming Avenue. All agreed that adding more and more developments would only make a bad situation worse.

The San Jose Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the two proposals next Wednesday, May 24th at 6:30pm at San Jose City Hall. They will make their recommendation to the City Council which will have the final say on June 13th.

You can view the proposal on the planning department's website:

Go to and click on hearings and meetings. Then click on the Planning Commission Agenda for May 24th (item PDC05-061) .

Please plan on attending the meeting next Wednesday. In the past, a large neighbor turn-out has resulted in two delays and a reduction in the number of homes. We can make a difference!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Here is your opportunity to voice your opinion about the two new proposals Developer Braddock and Logan has submitted to the City. Each plan is designed to bring 14 new homes to our neighborhood on the lot of the current church at 143 Fleming Avenue. However, one plan includes a 1/3 to 1/2 acre "pocket park," while the other does not. Please plan on attending the neighborhood meeting on Thursday, May 18th, at 6:30pm at The Lord's Baptist Church.

Friday, May 12, 2006


There has been a lot of discussion about attaching a possible pocket park to the proposed 14 home development on Fleming Ave. Here is an example of a new pocket park that just opened on William Street in downtown. O'Donnell's Gardens Park is 1/2 an acre, which is the approximate size of what has been discussed for Fleming, although the Fleming proposal may shrink to 1/3rd of an acre to accommodate larger setbacks on the proposed homes. The park is located at 6th and William near San Jose State University.

Neighbors on William Street fought eight years to get this. At this point, we have not been promised anything, and the discussion about whether there will be a green space attatched to the development remains up in the air. Several neighbors have some very justified concerns about attracting an unsavory element to the neighborhood. Others say it would be an asset and provide a buffer for the 14 home development. More photos to come.

Friday, May 05, 2006


In response to strong neighborhood concerns about the development on the Lord's Baptist Church, the developer, Braddock and Logan and the San Jose Planning Department are reaching out to our community. They have scheduled a meeting at the Church itself to go over issues such as housing density, the status of the pocket park, traffic studies, etc. Let's have another strong showing, to send the message that we care about our neighborhood, and want what's best for the area over the long term. PLEASE PLAN ON ATTENDING!

Neighborhood Meeting with Braddock and Logan
Thursday, May 18th, 6:30pm
The Lord's (Korean) Baptist Church
Purpose: to see the revised plans Braddock and Logan intends to present at the NEXT Planning Commission meeting (see below).

Planning Commission Meeting
Wednesday, May 24, 6:30pm
San Jose City Hall

By the way, this is the ONE YEAR anniversary of my PARKED SUV being rear-ended and totaled by an unattentive driver on Fleming Ave. It was an event that proved to me our once friendly country road was changing for the worse.