Wednesday, June 14, 2006


The San Jose City Council approved a plan to build 14 homes plus a half-acre park on the Fleming Avenue property now occupied by The Lord's Baptist Church early Wednesday morning. The unanimous approval, led by East Side councilmember Nora Campos, came at the very end of an exhausting 5 hour meeting that went well past midnight. Once again, Fleming neighbors made a strong showing and voiced their concerns of over-development and unbearable traffic.
The 14 home/park proposal was clearly a compromise measure forged by Campos after numerous meetings with neighbors and the developer, Braddock and Logan. But considering the fact the original plan was to build 21 homes on the lot, it can be considered a major victory for neighbors.
Just before the meeting, Campos issued a four-page memo to the council stating her preference for the home/park idea, plus a long list of traffic calming measures that will begin to take shape this summer. The calming measures include:

-new speed limit signs by August 2006

-upgrade existing crosswalks at Fleming and Mahoney to school crosswalks by July 2006

-conduct a study looking at a possible four-way stop at Fleming and Neves Way

-deploy traffic radar trailer to various locations on Fleming

-work with SJ Police to increase speed enforcement on Fleming

-study appropriateness of the current speed limit by September 2006

-install wheelchair access ramps at Fleming/Story/Marchant court

-resurface pavement on Fleming near Fleming court

-continue work with Caltrans to address traffic back up on Fleming by improving signal timing at Alum Rock intersection

While some neighbors were disappointed that any homes were approved for the lot, the plan softens the blow that more traffic will bring. It does give Fleming some badly needed attention, and an open space that could serve as a neighborhood meeting place and break up what would have been wall-to wall homes on the narrow lot.

The proposed park will be located near the Fleming Avenue entrance to the new development. It will be built by the City and would be designed based on feedback from the community.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Please plan to attend Tuesday night's City Hall meeting in which the development on Fleming Avenue will be voted on by the full City Council. Council members will be voting on a proposal to build 14 homes on the site of The Lord's Baptist Church. The council will be presented with two alternatives: 14 homes with a small green space or "pocket park" or 14 homes with no public green space, just homes.

Several neighbors have voiced concerns about having a park in the neighborhood due to possible problems with undesirables. That's a valid concern, but I think the benefits of a park outweigh the negatives. The strongest reason for a park, in my opinion, is that having it will pave the way for traffic calming measures on Fleming. Traffic and safety have been our number one concern since day one. The park will give the powers that be, an edge in demanding that traffic issues be dealt with quickly.

On the aesthetic side, I think having a small green space will break up what would be wall to wall homes on that side of Fleming. I would prefer that the number of homes be cut down to 10, but under the current plan, that appears to be unlikely. Another reason is that a park would give our neighborhood a focal point to help define our neck of the woods. Plus, it would be nice to have a place where neighbors could meet and discuss issues. We hope to keep the momentum of our collective efforts going after this proposal is voted on. There will surely be more developments on the way, and we need to keep fighting for our rights to a safe neighborhood.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Hundreds of our neighbors turned out for the grand opening of the new Alum Rock Village Farmers' Market at James Lick High School. San Jose City Councilmember Nora Campos and her staff helped usher in this colorful new outdoor market specializing in the freshest organic fruits and vegetables, flowers, crafts and of course, kettle corn! It was the first of its kind event in our area, complete with the festive sounds of Mariachi Mexicanisimo. Many of our neighbors have been missing the once popular produce stand at McKee and Toyon, which closed down a few years ago. This is a great alternative and a fun place to walk and mingle with friends and neighbors. The Farmers' Market will be open every Sunday morning from now until November, so come out and support this great new asset in our neighborhood!