Conceptual Design For Richman Park Area Section 108 Project
Yelena Voronel, Sr. Civil Engineer for the City of Fullerton and Project Manager for the Section 108 Project presented the conceptual designs for the improvements that will be made to the Richman Park Area with the exception of Richman Park improvements. Assisting her with the presentation were Don Wilson, Cornerstone Studios Landscaping and Braden Yu, Lim and Nascimiento Engineering.
She reviewed the design on Valencia between West and Harbor. She explained that a new street will be built called a mid-block street that has been approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as an emergency and vehicular access area. The City is in process of acquiring properties and staff is working with the property owner.
She explained that currently Valencia does not have a median and described plans to install a raised, landscaped median to reduce traffic. The street will be changed to only have one lane going in each direction, an added bike lane, and on-street parking with a new safer design to include bulb-out spaces placed at every-other-three parking space gaps.
Ms. Voronel said that the goal is to convert Valencia Drive into a residential, pedestrian-friendly street; downgrade the street to residential classification. She did not have available the exact speed limit for this new street but explained that they are installing traffic calming features such as median, bulb-outs, etc. to slow traffic in this area. She turned the presentation over to the landscape architect, Don Wilson.
Q: Committee Member Bambrook asked if there would be stop signs at the mid-block break intersection and Committee member Elliott asked if this area would be a two-way drive street.
A: Ms. Voronel replied that this intersection would use an illuminated crosswalk where lights will flash in the pavement and the street would in fact be a two-way street. She did not think a stop sign was warranted but they would revisit it again if the community felt it was needed. It will essentially be an emergency exit so that the Fire Department and residents can have easier access. This section will not have on-street parking and there will be non-symmetrical parkways.
Q: Chairperson Jaramillo commented that after hearing plans of converting Valencia to a residential, slow-traffic street, the construction of the traffic signal on the corner of Highland and Valencia now seemed to be irrational.
A: Ms. Voronel said that the traffic study was done with the knowledge of this conversion taking effect and it was still warranted. She stated that more importantly, the community was very much for this signal.
Q: Committee Member Brannock said that this was questionable since the validity of the number of signatures and the names on the petition were never authenticated. Also, there was never clarification on why the original study did not warrant a stop light.
A: Ms. Voronel said that she could not speak on this and said that at this point the project had already been approved by this committee and by City Council. Ms. Morad also added that these issues have already been discussed and were taken into account along with the high pedestrian activity at this intersection. The ground-breaking ceremony already took place and the construction will be starting in approximately two weeks.
Q: Committee Member Jensen-Purser spoke about the large number of people crossing this street at odd and different parts of the street and expressed concern that the center divider, the pop-out bulb outs, the planters, and landscaping items will only create additional blind spots from where children can run out onto oncoming traffic.
A: Ms. Voronel acknowledged her concerns to be legitimate and assured the CDCC that they will do everything to promote crossing at the crosswalks and will place the landscaping so that it discourages any walking through these sections and does not have places on which to stand. The designs will encourage pedestrians to be directed to the crosswalks.
Q: Committee Member Bambrook asked why the center median does not extend all the way to the intersection to allow for decent landscaping.
A: Ms. Voronel explained that they cannot extend it all the way to allow for a left-turn lane.
Q: Chairperson Jaramillo voiced concern over the new street design accommodating a fewer number of parked cars since they already have parking problems due to the many apartment complex properties on this street. She asked how many parking spaces will be eliminated.
A: Ms. Voronel was not able to provide the number of parking spaces that will be eliminated. She explained that this project came to her when these elements were already approved. Ms. Morad added that the City is also trying to encourage residents to make use of their garages by parking their vehicles in them.
Q: Committee Member Elliott asked if trees will be on parkways or just in holes.
A: Ms. Voronel explained that there will not be parkways. Through experience, the parkway ideas have not worked because due to the high traffic going in and out of the apartment complexes the parkways have been neglected.
Mr. Wilson concurred and explained that it would be useless and a waste to plant something that will not be cared for. In addition, he said they are taking into consideration that these trees have to endure being trampled through and being hit by doors, etc.
Q: Committee Member Bambrook asked what kind of trees would be planted.
A: Mr. Wilson said they would basically use three kinds of trees: Two types of magnolias and Evergreens. These would be hybrids. They will use root barriers to keep roots from traveling.
Ms. Voronel said that this project was done by Land Engineering, consultant landscape artists and deferred the questions to Mr. Wilson. There were further questions for Mr. Wilson in regards to grates, use of cement, and the tree sizes. It was confirmed that they would do what is determined to be the best fit for the area with the funding available.
Q: Committee Member Bambrook asked if the sidewalks were going to be straight and if they were going to be made out of cement.
A: Ms. Voronel stated that there will be four-foot sidewalks with eight-foot, half-circle bulb-outs, with non-inviting shrubs. There will be cobra-type lights between trees.
Ms. Voronel asked for recommendations on the mid-block, two-way street since the project is now still in concept form. She said that they would try to incorporate issues addressed by the Committee.
Q: Committee Member Elliot asked if the mid-block street would have sidewalks and Committee Member Bambrook wanted to confirm that this area would not allow street parking
A: Ms. Voronel said that this street would have a sidewalk with landscaping and no on-street parking would be permitted.
Q: Committee Member Bambrook asked regarding the signage/signals at the corners and Committee Member Jensen-Purser asked about the lighting.
A: Ms. Voronel confirmed that there will be a pedestrian crosswalk and lighting in the corner but that as of now, the alley crossings will not having any lighting or stop signs.
Q: Committee Member Jensen-Purser recommended putting lights in the alley, especially at the intersection. She spoke about the purpose of these designs which was to make the alley more inviting. She was under the understanding that this was the goal along with getting rid of the dead areas so that using the alleys was no longer intimidating. She thought the lighting would encourage people to use the alleys and not go around the whole block.
A: Ms. Voronel noted her recommendations and said they would be taken under consideration.
Ms. Voronel next reviewed the area between Elm and Highland. She explained that this area has parkways that are extremely deteriorated. They have decided to have tree wells and hopefully have enough money to put irrigation to every tree. Their decision was based on the fact that these properties are not single-residents but apartments.
Committee Member Bambrook interjected questioning why trees were being installed without having proper irrigation systems. Ms. Voronel explained that there might not be enough funds to install irrigation systems in this area but they will have funding to install irrigation for Valencia and the mid-block break. This particular area might have to be watered by the Maintenance Department.
She raised the possibilities of installing hardscape accents such as color concrete, etc. but Committee Member Bambrook expressed concern that this will raise the temperature of the city.
There was further discussion amongst members regarding tree suggestions, spacing of trees, and suggestion of benches, etc.
Ms. Morad asked the CDCC to please submit their written comments into staff so that they could submit them to the Engineering design team and to be able to include them in the Citys Consolidated Plan. Ms. Voronel said that they will definitely consider all of these comments and suggestions, given that they stay within budget.
Ms. Voronel spoke about the project being completed in two or three phases. She described two phases as follows:
- Alley improvements, clean up, drainage improvements, etc.
Phase II (this phase will be the most costly)
- All of the improvements to Valencia as presented today
- Construction of existing sidewalk to make wider
- Construction of the bulb-out sidewalks
- Center Median construction
- Install lighting
- Install in-paved lighting
She stated that the expected completion date is Spring 2006 for the Valencia street improvements. All monies have to be expended by June 2007, including those incurred by the Richman Park improvements.
Committee Member Elliott checked with Ms. Voronel to see if the Committee had provided the feedback she expected. Ms. Voronel affirmed that they had. She added that the ideas and suggestions were very helpful since the design team will do everything to avoid accidents.
Committee Member Elliott asked if the two buildings where the mid-block street will be placed had already been purchased. Ms. Morad informed the Committee that the owner was contacted and he has counter-offered. She said the next steps were to have an outside appraiser look at the building and proceed with negotiations since the owner is interested in selling. Staff expects an answer within a couple of weeks after which, the relocation process of the tenants would begin.
Ms. Voronels presentation concluded at 7:25PM.
Review Of 2005-2006 City Department Requests
Staff distributed the updated financial summary report reflecting all of the City requests, the annual entitlement, and the reprogrammable funds. Ms. Morad reported that the amount available this year is $2,060,472 and the total requests are $2,541,450. Therefore, $480,978 more is being requested from what is actually available.
Ms. Morad advised the Committee that all City Department requests are from returning applicants so there were no new requests.
She briefly reviewed each request.
Applicant: Community Services
Project: Fullerton Community Center Project
Description of Project: Community Services is requesting $100,000 to continue the operation of the two Community Service Centers: Garnet and Valencia Community Centers. The funds are used to pay for salaries of the community center coordinators. These centers provide services to low-moderate income residents.
Committee Member Jensen-Purser noted an increase in the City General Fund.
Applicant: Community Services
Project: Fullerton Tool Bank
Description of Project: Community Services is requesting funds to continue the operation of their Tool Bank. The Program is designed to loan out tools to residents in the Lemon Park area which is low/moderate income to help them care for their properties and make home improvements.
Committee Member Elliott asked regarding total deletion of the General Fund. Ms. Morad recommended that Committee ask the applicants these questions during their presentations.
Applicant: Development Services
Project: Code Enforcement Program
Description of Project: Code Enforcement is requesting funds for their ongoing Code Enforcement Program with emphasis on addressing municipal, building and housing code violations. The Program addresses problems affecting health, safety and welfare through the abatement of public nuisances, substandard housing and neighborhood blight. The Program includes three Code Enforcement Officers dedicated to the Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) which proactively addresses problems in low/mod areas. Per City Council direction, the NET Proactive Code Enforcement Program is focused in the area south of Commonwealth between Highland on the west and the railroad tracks on the east. Staff was directed to hire one new Code Enforcement Officer making a total of three officers assigned to the above area. Additionally funding for an additional officer is used to fund Code Enforcement work in the other low/mod areas.
Ms Morad said that the department was increased last year to become proactive. They will bring in pictures to show all of the work they have done in this area and the successes they have achieved.
Applicant: Development Services
Project: Housing and Community Development Administration
Description of Project: Funding for this program will provide for all administrative functions of HOME, CDBG, and other housing programs. Included in the request is $200,000 of overhead costs. Last years request was $359,280.
Ms. Morad said this also covers administrative costs to check that all programs are in compliance.
Applicant: Development Services
Project: Housing Rehabilitation Program
Description of Project: Funding is being requested to continue the Housing Rehabilitation Program . It is estimated that during 2005-06, 35 households in Fullerton will benefit.
Ms. Morad discussed that this program services a lot of the homes that are owner-occupied; most of which are seniors. Examples of services include assisting with emergency situations like roofs that are leaking or caving in.
Committee Members Elliott and Jensen-Purser asked why this request was decreased from $609,350 to $396,350 .
Ms. Morad explained that staff looked at the amount of funding available and realized that there will not be enough. Staff looked at all areas where the department could roll over funds. She said staff arrived at the amount being requested by determining the minimum amount that would be necessary to operate. Also, once the program depletes the funds, staff will reduce the services and monies will be cut from loans and grants.
Applicant: Maintenance Services
Project: Graffiti Removal Program
Description of Project: The Maintenance Services Department is requesting funding to partially fund the Graffiti Removal Program . The anti-graffiti program is a citywide program that provides for graffiti removal from public and private property when visible to the public.
The public service activity limitation applies.
Committee Member Jensen-Purser spoke about how impressed she is with the citys graffiti work over that of other cities.
Ms. Morad reminded the Committee that City Department representatives would be presenting their requests on Monday, March 14, 2005.
Committee Member Jensen-Purser asked if staff ever heard back from the Womens Transitional Living Center (WTLC). As of today, staff had not yet been contacted by WTLC but staff was aware that they had solicited funds from the City of Orange. Ms. Morad shared with the Committee that Hart also presented to City of Orange but presenter was not Ms. Valiente.
Staff will contact WTLC to find out what happened.
Committee Member Elliot asked what percentage less was available this year. Ms. Morad said the new entitlement was 6% less and the total amount available for allocating this year is 20.77% less than it was last year.
There was question regarding President Bushs proposal to eliminate CDBG funding and Dr. Brannock asked if the committee would be eliminated and the timeline.
Ms. Morad explained that President Bushs proposals are for next year. She did not have any further information but referred the committees over to the HUD website: www.hud.gov and www.commerce.gov .
She also explained that the City does not know the formula that the federal government will use to distribute the funds but that the Section 108 repayment loan amount would still have to be paid off each year for the next fifteen years.
Ms. Morad reminded the committee to return the surveys for the Five-year Action Plan and said that staff would send copies out again to make sure everyone had a copy of the survey.