11 June 2009

SJ Neighborhood Committee meets

The Merc's John Woolfork reports on the first meeting of the 30-person committee put together to go over community issues for the Diridon South ballpark site and surrounding neighborhoods.
The City Council last month enthusiastically approved a set of principles meant to guide any future negotiations with the team, such as a pledge that any stadium be privately built and actually make money for the city in tax revenue.

The committee's 30 members include transit officials, neighborhood leaders, representatives from the group that runs the nearby HP Pavilion and nearby businesses such as Adobe Systems. Also on tap are town-hall meetings in all 10 council districts in September and October.

Reed told the committee he spoke with Wolff earlier in the day and that the team owner was "still optimistic" about San Jose's prospects for working out the territorial issue. Reed said he hopes to have a decision from baseball authorities by the end of the summer to meet the city's deadline for putting a ballpark on the ballot. But he said he wants the city to be prepared if baseball gives the green light by working out concerns and showing support for the project.
While it's clear that the Diridon/Arena area will get a facelift should the ballpark and HSR move in, the fate of the Delmas Park neighborhood to the immediate east is less certain. One of the chief requests I heard from Delmas Park residents in the past was to close down Park Avenue to traffic on gameday. The closure would benefit the residents by discouraging outsiders from parking in the area, while also creating a much wider pedestrian thoroughfare between Downtown proper and the ballpark. Park Avenue is also somewhat blighted, with several properties on the street and on Delmas Avenue boarded up. There's also a lack of uniformity with yard setbacks intermingled with commercial properties that should be addressed. It's a stark contrast from the other side of Hwy 87, where Park Avenue is a truncated boulevard with palm trees in the median. It's a shame that something like a ballpark or HSR would have to be an impetus for a major change, but that's often what happens in redevelopment.


FC said...

Interesting that Wolff is talking about resolving the TR issue, when MLB 's Blue Ribbon committee is still putting together their report. Has Wolff already turned his attention to SJ?

Anonymous said...

I like the city of SJ approach--pulling together a group of stakeholders,listening to concerns and identifying solutions--also like the tone of the stakeholders--looking for the win-win.

ML--just curious--article stated 50% of the property is acquired--believe that it is much more than this with only the welding company and AT&T potentially outstanding--any updates?

Jesse said...

Yeah I was under the impression that 9 of 14 acres were acquired already.

Jesse said...

actually the article says half the properties, not half the acreage. I misread that too.

Joe Liebling said...

It would have been nice for the Merc to either publish a list of the committee members (preferable), or at least link to a City of SJ web address that would have it. They fill up the paper with so much trivia and crime lately, but don't really inform us that well.

Interestingly, that article has only generated two comments on the Merc website -- apparently this blog attracts more engaged people than the big daily paper does.

Jesse said...

Blogs do everything better now. When I go to the A's site, sfgate and Inside Bay Area sites and cant find information on the A's fourth round pick Max Stassi, I know I can go to athelticsnation and get a complete breakdown on his game.

Anonymous said...

@JoeLiebling: see for that list and for more information from City and RDA.