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OMVNA Newsletter

November, 1998
Volume 10, Number 8

Charting our Course: Directions for OMVNA in 1999

Presenting … OMVNA Officers, 1999

Introducing our Newest Steering Committee Members

Mercy/Bush Park: Almost There!(?)

More Organic Veggies in 1999

Restorative Justice Project

The Old Mountain View Neighborhood is bordered by El Camino Real, Shoreline Boulevard, Evelyn Avenue, and Highway 85. The Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association consists of residents interested in preserving the quality of life in our neighborhood. Together we can make a difference—join us!

Charting our Course: Directions for OMVNA in 1999

by Maarten Korringa, OMVNA Chair

Has the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association "wimped out?" Have we grown from a fighting, aggressive young organization into a bloated middle-age one? Have we sat on our hands while developers pushed ever-higher density housing into our neighborhood, and watched as our streets choked on the traffic?

OMVNA has, in fact, been accused of sitting on its hands, of being absent when decisions were made and complaining about them after the fact. The OMVNA Steering Committee rarely hears from residents who have concerns about upcoming issues. Too often, by the time the issues come to the attention of the Steering Committee, they are a "done deal." We are rarely proactive, and often reactive.

My goal for 1999 is to make OMVNA more proactive. To achieve this, we need to do three things:

  • Determine what issues are important to residents, and find out on which of these issues there is a clear consensus that OMVNA can support. How? By soliciting this information from residents rather than waiting until the issues are brought up in the monthly meetings.
  • Maintain good communication with City staff and work out possible conflicts in a positive, constructive manner. How? By taking advantage of OMVNA's seat on the new Downtown Committee to give us more of an insider's advantage.
  • Develop a means for mobilizing concerned neighbors when an important issue comes up for a vote so that our opinion can be heard very clearly.

As we head into December, OMVNA traditionally sets goals for the coming year. If you have suggestions for neighborhood improvements, want to share ideas for social events, or support a cause that is of value to the neighborhood, please let us know. Come to a monthly meeting or contact any Steering Committee member. We want to hear from you!

Presenting … OMVNA Officers, 1999

Steering committee officers:

Maarten Korringa (Chair)
Garth Williams (Vice-Chair)
Tim Johnson (Secretary)
Aaron Grossman (Treasurer)
Chris Whitaker (Community Liaison)
Anita Grossman (Newsletter Editor)
Jean McCloskey (At Large #1)
Greg Fowler (At Large #2)

Other officers:

Julie Lovins (Newsletter delivery Coordinator)
Maarten Korringa (Webmaster)

Introducing our Newest Steering Committee Members

Chris Whitaker, Community Liaison - Chris grew up in Palo Alto and moved to Mountain View two years ago. After graduating from college in San Diego, he returned to the Bay Area to become a Sales Engineer for Linear Technology. His interests include the environment, travel and outdoor activities. He plays basketball and enjoys mountain biking and water sports. His main concerns related to Mountain View are controlled growth, parks and open space and downtown revitalization including the Evelyn Avenue Corridor.

Jean McCloskey, at Large - Jean is very excited to be part of the OMVNA. She has a bachelor's degree from San Jose State University and a master's degree from the University of San Francisco. She has worked at Hewlett-Packard for 18 years and is currently on a leave of absence to be at home with her two-year-old daughter Quinn. She values the sense of community she finds in Old Mountain View and wants to preserve and improve our lovely neighborhood.

Greg Fowler, at Large – Greg has lived in this area since 1976, when he moved from western Michigan to do graduate work in engineering at Stanford. He and his wife Julie Lovins bought a house in Old Mountain View in 1981, and the neighborhood has been very much a part of their lives ever since then. Greg works as a software engineer in San Jose and commutes by bus, train, or sometimes computer. When not working, he tries to contribute to the community in whatever way he can. Greg and Julie are a stone's-throw from the downtown traffic circle, so Greg is particularly interested in the relationship between the residential and business districts.

Mercy/Bush Park: Almost There!(?)

by Ronit Bryant

The empty lot on the corner of Mercy and Bush looks just the same as it has for the past several years. The small oak trees are becoming medium-sized oak trees--but there's still no sign of a park.

Development of a minipark in that location is on Tier Two (of four) on the City-wide list of open space needs in the City's recently-updated Parks and Open Space Plan. But development of a Mercy-Bush Park is listed as an unscheduled project in the City's 1998-2003 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). So what will it take to build the park?

One promising avenue is through the accumulation of recreation in-lieu fees. These fees are collected by the City every time a residential unit is added to the City's housing stock. The intent of the fees is to help mitigate the additional pressure that new residents put on City recreation facilities and open space areas by acquiring land for parks and funding improvements to park, recreation, and open space areas. The City has a complicated formula for calculating the size of the fee, taking into consideration the fair market value per acre of the property, the number of units per acre, and the total number of units. The larger the development, the larger the rec in-lieu fees. If the development is large enough, the developer may choose to allocate land for use as a public park (instead of paying these fees).

The City has been collecting in-lieu fees for many years. But, until recently, much of the money from developments all over town went to cover a debt the City owed to itself for the purchase of the Cuesta Park Annex. In 1997, the City passed a new ordinance, directing that in-lieu fees go specifically to develop parks in the neighborhoods where the developments are occurring. As a first priority, the money goes to projects within half a mile from the developments; the second priority is projects within a mile of the development; and finally, if there are no projects within that radius (and there usually are), the money goes to other projects. The map shows our neighborhood, with the Mercy/Bush site at its heart. Essentially our entire neighborhood fits into a circle whose center is Mercy/Bush and whose radius is half a mile.

Since 1997, $85,589 have accumulated from residential developments in our neighborhood and been allocated to future development of the Mercy-Bush Park. The City estimates that the final cost of this project will be $500,000. But residential development is ongoing in our neighborhood--and a current large one brings hope that we will see construction of Mercy/Bush Park beginning sooner rather than later.

At the November 18 meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Commission will be discussing a staff recommendation to designate $414,410 from the development of 650 Castro to development of a minipark at Mercy/Bush. If the Commission accepts staff’s recommendation, the matter will be brought before Council in December.

That's not quite the end of the process, however. Development of a minipark at Mercy-Bush is still an unscheduled project, and Council will have to decide, as part of its current CIP process, whether and when to schedule development of the park. Check the Council agenda to see when this issue will be discussed.

More Organic Veggies in 1999

by Julie Lovins

Hard as it is to think about January when it's not yet Thanksgiving, it is time to mention an upcoming event: signing up to get prepaid, super-fresh, seasonal organic produce on Saturdays, delivered to Old Mountain View.

Some of us have been enjoying this experience (complete with a newsletter full of ruminations and recipes) for months, and I will be distributing re-signup forms automatically within the next few weeks.

For the rest of you, I can now provide local references - your neighbors! The signup period will cover January 9 through May 1 (17 weeks, or you can select every-other- week boxes). Call me at 964-0368 for more details, or send email to

Restorative Justice Project

by Maarten Korringa

"Let the punishment fit the crime!" Does a jail term or a fine make amends for the harm done by a criminal? Perhaps fines and sentences serve as deterrents, but rarely is the victim of the crime compensated by the wrongdoer. The Santa Clara County Probation Department's Restorative Justice Project is a program that holds youthful offenders directly accountable to the victim and to the community for damage they have caused.

Designed for first- and second-time juvenile offenders, the RJP involves the local community in determining how the victims and the community can be compensated. Neighborhood Accountability Boards, consisting of local residents serving as Probation Department volunteers, decide how compensation will take place. Not only does the program serve the interests of the community, but it also serves the interests of the offenders, who have to confront directly the harm they have done.

To bring the RJP to Old Mountain View, volunteers are needed to serve on the board. We have a relatively low-crime neighborhood, so the commitment is not a great one. Training is provided. Neighbors interested in this unique way of working with youth should contact Melissa Ramos, RJP Community Coordinator. She can be reached via her pager at (408) 388-2939.

The Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association Newsletter
is published by a volunteer editorial committee & distributed to some 1900 homes and businesses by volunteers.

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The opinions printed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the OMVNA Steering Committee.