There was a joint meeting between Vallejo City Council and the Planning Commission on Monday, January 7, regarding the fairgrounds redevelopment project (Solano360).
County consultants presented an amendment to Vallejo's general plan, plus the EIR and financing plan, which were made public just two months ago. The entire process is being fast-tracked. The County is bypassing the normal review process because it was granted a right of expedited permitting. If you agree that the plan is a bad deal for Vallejo—it's actually a bad deal for the whole county—there's very little time to put on the brakes.
REP. MIKE THOMPSON TO HOST GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION PUBLIC FORUM
In light of the events in Newtown, CT, in December, Mike was chosen to lead a Congressional Task Force on gun violence prevention. We're having a series of public forums to solicit input and hope you can make it Wednesday in Vallejo.
WHO: Rep. Mike Thompson, Congressional Gun Violence Prevention TaskForce Chair,
Law enforcement officials, mental health experts, school officials, elected officials, community members
January 7, 2013 Joint Meeting of Council and Planning Commission
By Monica Tipton
After a lengthy presentation by a series of guest speakers, Mayor Davis once again begins his lecture by stating that the citizens of Vallejo are both ignorant and inattentive to his teachings. The topic this week was Solano 360. He wants us to believe that he knows everything that needs to be known about this project, and that we should just listen to what he is saying to get a clear picture of the scope of this $90 million project that is in alignment with the City's outdated 1983 General Plan. He is telling us that we will all benefit from investing in a fantasy all-purpose fairgrounds/retail/amusement park/restaurant row/parking complex/transit center on a piece of prime real estate owned by the County and financed by a series of assumed revenue sources that will reach its full fiscal return in about 50 years after contributing to traffic congestion, further reduction of city services, and reduced air quality. What did he just say??? This writer will be 110 years old. Can't wait for my dividend...
ATTENTION ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE FAIRGROUNDS AND VALLEJO'S FISCAL HEALTH
The Planning Commission and the City Council will be sitting in a special session tomorrow (1/7/12) for the latest redevelopment plan. This plan will require the City of Vallejo to issue $24 million in bonds with no reliable way of repaying these notes. Indeed, the notes will have to be repaid after the County absconds with an undetermined percentage of any Sales tax revenue generated by the property and remitted to the City.
The County has already wasted over $4 million on no bid contracts with consultants. One phase included Brooks Development which went broke owing the County over $200,000 in property taxes on the General Mills plant redevelopment.
So far, the County cannot even keep Lynch Canyon open year round but can waste these dollars on an incredible risky plan for a site that could be a jewel for Vallejo.
Please come the Special Meeting tomorrow at 7 pm at the Council Chambers 555 Santa Clara St.
The Big Box Beat
With Joe Feller----Aging Punk Rocker and Entrepreneur
A Look at Small Business--Big Box Development--and What it Means toYOU!!!
The Winco Decision
Happy New Year All
Well, last year ended in a bang when our duly appointed Superior Court overturned the certification of the EIR for a new Winco Store on the Elks Lodge property at Redwood St. and Admiral Callahan Lane.
Having been involved in several land use fights, I cannot say if this is a sweeping decision or not. In my humble (and non legal) opinion, this ruling is fairly technical and narrow. Basically, the court felt that Winco and its consultants did not adequately review or provide information in three areas. These are carbon emissions, noise and vibrations. I mean to imply these are "technical violations" in that the court was specific that the letter of the law was not covered in these areas. For instance, in the section that I understood the best, the noise levels would be remediated by a "feasible" remedy, i.e. a sound wall. But the EIR itself cast doubt on the feasibility by implying concerns about utility easements and other issues which could stop the building of a sound wall. So, (as I believe the court is asking), why didn't the consultants find out about these issues and report on them so that citizens could make an informed decision?
Vallejo PD announces $10,000 reward for arrest and conviction of suspect in Christmas Eve hit and run that left 54 year old victim in critical condition. VPD press release HERE
Police, DOJ to hold series of Community Meetings
By Marc Garman
January 2, 2012
Changes happen slowly. Especially in institutions like Vallejo's Police Department. However, it is possible for change to happen. The need to improve the dialog between the police and the community has been underscored by a series of tragic and unfortunate fatal police shootings in recent years, specifically the shootings of Guy Jarreau and Mario Romero.
The tension between the Vallejo PD and members of the community has been building visibly for many years. Most Vallejo police officers don't live among us. We usually don't know them personally. Many community members see police as highly paid outsiders who come into our city, tell us what to do and sometimes kill us without satisfactory explanation. Whether this is true or not is largely a question of perspective, nonetheless it is hard to argue against a need for better communication as a vehicle for change. The recent appointment of Joseph Kreins as Vallejo Police Chief has already seen positive changes impossible under the tenure of former Police Chief Nichelini. Kreins has made a good start, but it will take ongoing community involvement in conjunction with Vallejo's police officers to make a difference. To that end, community members, city officials, Vallejo police officers and the Department of Justice have begun a series of community meetings. The first meeting is to be held at the Union Baptist Church, 128 Encerti Ave. Saturday January 12 from 10 AM to NOON. This is the neighborhood where Mario Romero lived and unfortunately died. The meeting is an open public meeting; however, a series of meetings will be held in each Vallejo neighborhood, so it is strongly recommended that you attend the meeting held in YOUR neighborhood to address YOUR neighborhood issues.
12/30/12 -- Took a walk along the tracks between Lemon St. and the old General Mills plant this morning. Old and rusted ribbons of steel connecting been there, with will be, or might not. Good place to think about the past year and the one about to start.