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Santa Clara City Desk: July 24, 2013

Santa Clara City Desk

SVP Scholarship Winners Announced

In November 2005, the Santa Clara Council established the Silicon Valley Power Scholarship Program. The program provides tuition, technical grants and internships to students with a goal of entering a field related to energy services, public power, or the power industry. To qualify, students must be Santa Clara residents and taking courses at an accredited university, two- or four-year college, or technical school.

To date, the program has awarded $142,000 in scholarships, SVP Manager of Customer Services Larry Owens told the Council last week at the presentation of the 2013 scholarships. “We are so pleased to see the excellent success of this program and the growth of this award,” he told the Council.

This years scholarship winners include four Wilcox High School grads – Kristin Oswald, Kawal Preet and Lincoln Tran – and two Institute for Business and Technology (IBT) students – Christopher Blancett and Brian Shields.

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Development Agreement Will Improve Great America and Mission College Intersection

Last week the Council considers a Development Agreement (DA) with Sobrato to improve traffic flow at the roadway intersection of Great America Parkway and 2441 Mission College Boulevard.

The DA is designed to provide road improvements that will be needed to support several development projects in that area that may not reach the Council for approval until next fall. The DA is “a mechanism” to start the road improvements in advance before building permits are issued for the proposed site development – typically when road improvements are required.

This DA lets the City acquire approximately 12,000 square feet of frontage to construct a third left turn lane westbound on Mission College Boulevard to southbound Great America Parkway and a right turn lane westbound Mission College Boulevard to northbound Great America Parkway.

New Home for Franklin St. Victorian

Last week the Council approved rezoning that would allow the historical Queen Anne Victorian house from Adoption of a Resolution rezoning the property located 985 Lewis Street from 743 Franklin Street to be relocated to 895 Lewis St. The Franklin St. house is being moved and renovated as part of Santa Clara University’s Art and Art History building project. The house was used previously by the university for offices.

In addition to the move, the project includes renovation that will enable the house to once again be a residence, adding a one-car garage, and reconfiguring parking to provide three additional parking spaces, as mandated by city code. Restoration work will use traditional materials and detailing. The renovation also will raise the house slightly – from two steps to three – to conform to building egress and life safety standards.

“The site is within the Old Quad, among [similarly] historic homes,” said architect Sal Caruso. “The project will return the building to its historic purpose and use as a home.”

Alameda Parking Improvements on Drawing Board

Parking on the Alameda between Mission and Hilmar Streets has been a contentious issue for several years as patrons of Alameda businesses cruised nearby streets looking for parking. The area was built in the 1920s, before current day parking mandates. Now, that conflict may have a partial solution.

At last week’s Council meeting, Santa Clara Director of Public Works Rajeev Batra presented a plan for adding new parking places on the existing median island and changing parking from parallel to diagonal at the intersection of The Alameda and El Camino Real, and on The Alameda between Mission Street and Hilmar Street. These additions will double the number of parking spots in the commercial area to 45. The work is planned to finish in Spring 2014.

The city is also continuing to investigate a long-term parking solutution for the said City Manager Julio Fuentes, including buying land on The Alameda for a parking lot. “The staff deserve a commendation on this one,” said Council Member Pat Kolstad. The dispute about neighborhood traffic and parking has been going on for over a year.

Smarter Traffic in Horizon

Two Santa Clara “intelligent traffic signal” projects on Lafayette St.will be funded with $272,000 of Vehicle Registration Fee revenues in the coming year. Part of future intelligent traffic systems, intelligent signals can monitor traffic and adjust signals to reduce bottlenecks.

MOU With PSNSEA

At its closed session, the Council approved a Memorandum of Understadning (MOU) with the city’s bargaining unit #10, Public Safety Non-Sworn Employees Association (PSNSEA).

The two-year contract provides an 8.64 percent wage adjustment, effective Dec. 2012, with no further wage adjustments. Like other agreements negotiated this year, it includes 40 furlough hours in the first year and increases in the amount the city pays for employee-only Kaiser medical insurance premiums. However, increases in Kaiser employee-only rate paid by the city will be retroactive to Jan 1, 2013. The contract also includes a chemical testing policy.

Commission Openings

On Aug. 20 the Council will be interviewing to fill vacancies on the Senior Advisory and Civil Service Commissions. Senior Commission interviews willl be at 6:00 p.m., and the Civil Service Commission interviews will follow at 7:00 p.m. The next week, Aug. 27, the Council will conduct interviews at 6:00 p.m. to fill vacancies on ths Historcial and Landmarks Commission and the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Committee. For more information and to download an application, visit www.santaclaraca.gov/index.aspx?page=378.

Requiescat in Pace

The July 16 meeting was adjourned in memory of Barbara Blanc, a teacher in Santa Clara Adult Ed. “She touched the lives of her students in a very special way,” said Mayor Jamie Matthews.

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The Mlnarik Law Group, Inc.

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