All Part of the Master Plan…

Ever wonder about the “Method to the Madness” of price reductions?

At first glance, reducing a price may seem counter-intuitive to protecting property values in the neighborhood or community.

However, if a property is on the brink of foreclosure, it is best to get the property sold at a reduced price rather than the property being reduced even further as a bank-owned property.

The property featured in this post is on the same block where we ourselves live. Do we care about property values on our block?

An emphatic YES!

READ HERE for an earlier post about the disparity between short sale values vs. foreclosed property values.

The neighbors stepped up to help!

In an amazing show of community pride on July 23rd, umpteen neighbors of the Historic Prospect Hill Neighborhood participated in the clean-up of this early 20th century gem that we have listed for sale.

On behalf of the entire neighborhood, we wish to thank the following individuals for their sweat and hard work:

  • Walter Butler
  • Mae Garcia
  • Darrell Graham
  • Dee Dee Ligibel (Grand Terrace HOA)

There were other neighbors who helped too by offering their waste bins to recycle the green waste and we thank Mae Garcia for enlisting their assistance:

  • The Aprim family
  • Nellie Bordador
  • The Domingues family
  • Zina Fierro
  • Dr. Ralph Herndon
  • Sid & Syleste Jordan
  • Edith Macabe (& James)
  • Cathy O’Connor
  • Lacey & Ryan Sutherland

We were out there from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and hauled away FOUR pick-up truckloads of debris, filled up FIFTEEN of the neighbors’ waste bins (including three of our own).

Due to having such pride in the accomplishment, neighboring HOA President Dee Dee Ligibel of the Grand Terrace neighborhood drove by later that night and saw a deer munching on the greenery, no doubt attracted to the yard by the smell of freshly cut shrubbery. (Could it have been a blessing by the Sierra Club group that visited the property while on a walking tour of Prospect Hill?)

The lot of us got our necks and arms sunburnt, fingers blistered and had a good night of sleep afterward. Prospect Hill, this could not have happened without you! Our gratitude to each and every one of you for your contribution to helping make Prospect Hill beautiful!

-Anna May, Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association Director (since 2004)

-Greg Jones, Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association President

Letter to the Planning Commission, February 9th, 2011

Dear Planning Commissioners,
The Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association (PHNA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed Mission Corridor Specific Plan.  The goals of the overall plan are to be applauded.  As the plan is implemented, it is certain to have positive and long lasting impacts on the quality of life for our businesses, residents and visitors.  Our neighborhood appreciates your efforts to ensure the Plan is thoughtfully considered and its importance in shaping the future livability and productivity of our community.
PHNA is limiting our comments to the areas of the plan that will directly impact our neighborhood.  Who better to comment on the impacts of the Plan than those most affected by it, yes?  Our Board requests the Planning Commission consider the following:
1.  PHNA generally supports the “Preferred Regulating Plan” approach to Variable #1, Street Design.  While it would be wonderful to reduce the number of lanes, increase the width of the sidewalks and install a narrow median strip, this alternative would not be consistent with the overall plan for either density nor future mixed use/redevelopment of the corridor.  We, however, would like the actual design to incorporate the extension of the medians across Sunset and Simon Streets and perhaps Rose to eliminate southbound left hand turns into the neighborhood.  This would also eliminate Northbound left hand turns and improve both traffic flow and safety along this stretch of Mission Boulevard.  From the neighborhood’s standpoint, this would significantly reduce the amount of cut through traffic in our neighborhood currently experienced and that expected by the mini-loop project.   The median extensions should be included in the traffic analysis portion of the Environmental Impact Report to be accomplished.  The broader and continuing question about the impacts of the mini-loop on our neighborhood will still require further study at some future time, but the EIR for this plan must also evaluate any changes to use, density, zoning and enhanced public space on traffic.
PHNA would also like to emphasize the installation of improved street lighting along the northerly stretch of Mission Blvd, consistent with downtown design guidelines.  This portion of Mission Boulevard serves at the entrance to our City, and deserves to represent the City well.  At the northerly end of the boulevard, we suggest an entry feature be included in the landscape plan marking one’s arrival in our beautiful city. 
2.  One of the more distinguishing characteristics of this historic, downtown neighborhood, are the views available to residents of the western portion of the hillside.  The building heights along the Mission Boulevard frontage are of concern to the neighbors. PHNA understands that residential density will be necessary to reinvigorate the corridor, and mixed use may require additional height to create the mix of commerce and residential uses that will enliven this part of our neighborhood.  However, this should not be at the expense of one our oldest neighborhoods in the city.  The three story limitation on heights should be maintained from A Street north to the City limits as an overlay for the T-5 zone.  In fact, I suggest that the three story designation be made clearer and the restriction be in feet above grade, rather than as a “story” limitation.  For example, parking could be placed below grade and not impact above grade heights.  The policy decision for the Commission here regards views, not the number of stories for new buildings.
3.  PHNA supports the expansion of the civic space from A Street north to the “Big Mike” property.  We were disappointed the City didn’t acquire the Big Mike property, which was recently on the market as part of advancing this plan and had been voiced both by the Commission and the City Council.  However, the goal remains and we would like to see more civic space in our neighborhood.  We would hope that plans for this space would include active uses to encourage positive activities rather than downtown loitering.  Design is everything!
Again, thank you for the opportunity for our neighborhood to share its views.  We care deeply about the flavor, character and future of our downtown neighborhood and trust that you will consider our comments carefully in your deliberations. 
Greg Jones
President, PHNA