In the News

DSC_0001 WToday we had KUSI’s the Turko Files come out to interview residents about what we are trying to accomplish with the SANDAG BRT. Turko and his camera man braved the weather to give us a chance to tell more everyone what’s going on here. As far as I understand our story will run next week, Wednesday or Thursday. When I know for sure I will provide info on date and a link. We had residents from both communities come out for the chance to speak with him even with the rain. He mentioned coming back a second time when the weather is not so wet for a few more shots. I’m not 100% sure.DSC_0006 W

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DSC_0004 WThis is really exciting but remember you NEED to make your comments on the EIR and the more involvement we get the better. Thanks so much to Alex from Treviana, you are making it happen and I know we all greatly appreciate it.

Follow up since the SANDAG meeting on 2-19-2013

It was nice to see so many new faces at the SANDAG public meeting on February 19th. I was hopeful when going to the meeting that SANDAG would at least make an effort to address our communities concerns but when I arrived we all found out aggravating news. When they decided to complete a new EIR, (environmental Impact Report) we ended up with three viable options for the BTR between our communities. The original two lane and pedestrian walkway bridge, a single lane lane and pedestrian walkway bridge, and taking the Olympic Parkway from East Palomar to the Otay Ranch mall option. SANDAG at the insistence of our Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox is going forward with the original option. No compromise and no changing their plans. They will admit that construction will cause significant impacts on our two communities in particular but maintain that a BTR traveling every ten minutes from morning to evening will have acceptable impact levels. They say that but when I ask every SANDAG representative if they would buy and live in either complex I get a “No,” 100% of the time.

Let’s look at the EIR,

DSC_0009 WHere it is printed out in it’s full glory.

You can read the whole thing online here;

http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/SouthBay-BRT/south-bay-brt-intro.aspx

Now I am no engineer or city planner by profession so a lot of this is way beyond my pay grade. This thing is massive, and we are only given until March 29, 2013 to make public comment for a 60 day review period. What I think sticks out to me when I talked to SANDAG representatives was that the Olympic option was not preferred since the bus route would travel on city streets, would add 2 Minutes (yes just 2 minutes), to the route time, and it was not their original plan. So they will disadvantage Chula Vista residents for their flawed original plan but will not choose an option where everyone (riders and Chula Vista residents) would benefit. I am speaking of the Olympic Parkway option. Further more you may have heard about SANDAG involved with lawsuit, here is a quick link,

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/dec/07/sandag-will-try-settle-transportation-lawsuit/

Well we happen to be a part of this 40-year transportation plan. If a judge ruled to strike this plan why are we continuing to spend so much time and money to go forward with this BTR? On top of the issues we have brought to light with the current proposed plan. If you don’t care about how close a 7 year old sleeps next to massive busses then do you care about YOUR MONEY being used for something that didn’t stand the test of a lawsuit? Sometimes I feel SANDAG is trying to push though this plan asap so that no one notices that they shouldn’t have. The Chula Vista City website still says it’s a Trolly line while SANDAG plans for a BTR.

“Development in these villages will be clustered around a “core” area within the village reflecting varying design character and densities. The plan will create tree-lined streets, and pedestrian plazas and buildings to complement human, rather than automotive activity. The plan provides a range of transportation alternatives to the automobile, most notably transit and pedestrian-oriented activities. Many of these villages will be connected by the future extension of the San Diego Trolley LRT. The village cores will also provide amenities such as commercial, parks, and schools within a short walking distance from the residences. In addition, the plan includes a proposed urban “center” which will contain a variety of office, commercial, high-density residential uses. This urban area provides a unique functional and symbolic center for Otay Ranch.” – http://www.chulavistaca.gov/city_services/development_services/Planning_Building/Planning/Community/Otay.asp

Jesus City of Chula Vista, update your damn site because when I purchased I actually read this when I was researching the area and thought, “Yea a trolly line” with no indication something was planned within 11 feet of my living structure.  Not to mention confusing the heck out of me about what was going where.

Please give this EIR a look over for yourself. Get your comments in ASAP. Don’t assume others will do it because they won’t. Send them off to:

Andrew Martin, Associate Environmental Planner SANDAG

401 B Street, Ste. 800 San Diego, CA 92101

Andrew.Martin@sandag.org

619-699-1905 (fax)

What we need to see happen. Write Mayor Cox, attend the city council meeting an comment during the public comment time, attend SANDAG meetings. This is a lot and we need people and residents to work together to make sure we are not thrown under the bus.

Public Meeting on South Bay BTR Project

Hello all it’s been silent here for a while now, I know.  it was only since January 29th when the Draft EIR (Environmental Impact Report) was released for public review that I began hearing more information come out of SANDAG about the BRT between our communities. Tonight they are having a meeting about the EIR at Heritage Elementary School, 1450 Santa Lucia Road Chula Vista, CA 91913 from 6pm to 8pm. Please see if you can attend to start letting them know which of the three alternatives that they are proposing would work for our communities. The meeting is not reflected on SANDAG. If you would like to read the EIR before you go here is the web-address,

http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/SouthBay-BRT/south-bay-brt-intro.aspx

Hope to see you there, and who is ready to get mobilized again. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Noise Pollution and Our Communities

Hello everyone,

I was lucky to get some points from a Treviana home owner about noise pollution and I wanted to pass along some things to consider in regards to the proposed BTR between our communities.

From the San Francisco Department of Public Health: 1 bus = 20 cars in noise level based on a “sound plan”. (I am not sure what type of bus was used to make this number) With this increased level of noise pollution people reported having their sleep distrubed by traffic noise (35%) or having to adapt to the traffic noise in the homes (37%)

According to the Environmental Protection Agency:

Noise-induced stressors cause chronic elevated blood pressure, coronary disease, ulcers, colitis and migraine headaches. (EPA, Noise Effects Handbook, 1979)

World Health Organization: Anything above 55 decibels (Which will be created by the construction of this bus project), causes a disruption of sleep in turn causing fatigue. Other factors include: irritability, temporary memory loss, family disturbance due to a decrease of tolerability, lower school and work performance, and overall rise in mental health problems.

From the Washington Post, June 5th 2007: Noise pollution affect happiness. happiness related to satisfaction. This includes felling happy and satisfied in your marriage. They found higher divorce rates in areas with high noise pollution.

Children also suffer from the effects of noise pollution. Chronic road noise can affect cognitive performance of children including attention span, concentration, remembering, poorer reading ability, and poorer discrimination between sounds.

From the London Health Commission, Evans and Colleagues (2001): They examined two comparable groups of children living in noise conditions and found that children in the noisier neighborhoods had elevated resting systolic blood pressure and an elevated heart rate reactivity while taking a reading test and had higher self-reported perceived stress scores in comparison to those in less noisy neighborhoods. Further, girls displayed diminished motivation in standardized behavioral protocols.

From New York researchers: Showed that by the time the students reached sixth grade, those whose classrooms faced the train were a year behind those whose classrooms were on the quiet side of the building. After noise reduction materials were installed in the classrooms and around the tracks, reading scores in the two groups equalized, strengthening the case that noise was the culprit.

Higher levels of noise correlates with high blood pressure within the community, which could potentially lead to more frequent emergency response crews driving though the communities adding more noise to the mixture.

Increased hypertension = more heart problems for members of the community whom are easily affected by stress. Its simple the higher the noise level the more stress it creates.

The American Home Survey conduced by the US Census Bureau in 2005 via the Washington Post: They concluded that one third of the residents leave their homes because of continuously generated noise levels.

Another Resident and his “Disclosures”

I have a copy of what a fellow Treviana resident wrote in regards to the disclosures given to him when he bought. I’ll let him “take it away” in his own words,

Thank you and good afternoon.

The first thing I would like to address is the idea that the residents of the Treviana and Monet developments want to stop or hinder the Rapid Transit Project. We’re just “Nimby,s. Not in my back yard” This could not be further from the truth. We have no problem with the Transit Project. In fact, some of the residents could , and presumably would use the bus line. Our issue is the 150 or so feet of land that divides our respective developments. We call it the green belt. Our concern is that the ramp and subsequent bridge over SR125 will damage our property values and quality of life. Also, we were not really told what was to be constructed along the green belt. As part of my original Purchase Agreement, I was give a Disclosure Agreement for Treviana at Lomas Verdes. That’s the official name of the document. This five page document, in part, discusses various uses of the land around my development: SR125, Brown Field, the private Catholic School and so forth.

I’d like to read the part of the Disclosure that discusses Public transportation:

Trolley Line: A future trolley line is proposed to be located on Palomar street. The median within East Palomar street contains a right-of-way for a proposed trolley line and station. Final design of the alignment has not been completed, but preliminary studies contain segments at street grade with elevated segments to clear roadway crossings. For more information, please contact Chula Vista transit.

Nothing about the green belt. Reading on…

Transit: The Metropolitan Transit Development Board (“MTDB“) may operate a Bus Rapid Tranit (“BTR“) line in which may be constructed by MTDB in the future within the East Palomar Street, with a transit station for the MTDB located most likely on East Palomar Street between View Park Way and Magalena. BTR is a new transportation technology, similar in appearance to a bus, that uses rubber-tired vehicles to operate a light rail/trolly level of service.

(A brief interruption – It says East Palomar STREET, the green belt is NOT a street. East Palomar ENDS and then there is the green belt.)

That’s it.

Now at the SANDAG meeting on April 2, 2010 acknowledgments of various mistakes were made. I think we all understand that this project involved a great deal of money and changes are a really big issue, but I would like to pose a question:

Given the acknowledged mistakes made in planning, disclosure, and construction can we sit down like adults and work out a compromise to everyone’s satisfaction or do you as the ultimate body simply tell us, “this is what’s going to happen, live with it.”

I thank you for your time.

I think he shows how disclosures were not always clear. There is real world distinction between East Palomar STREET, which ends and then a green grassy area between two communities. Is a grassy slopping tree filled area a street, no. Is the vegetation different in the grass belt then the rest of the East Palomar street right-of-way, yes. You might think this is nit picky but isn’t a home buyers disclosure important enough to be so? Is your home not worth having the city, the builders, developers, city planners, and sellers dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s? I don’t ascribe to an ideal set where people are not important. Money should be a second concern to humanity. I say should because it doesn’t always happen but we should work as individuals and communities to try.

On April 28th, 2010 I took a screen shot to show everyone what the City of Chula Vista has on their website in regards to our neighborhood development and a BTR. Surprise, it doesn’t say BTR but STILL as of today, after how many years describes public transit to be fulfilled by a trolly. I just checked and as of today it is still discribed as such. Please feel free to see it for yourself, and click on the pictures to see a larger image.


http://www.chulavistaca.gov/city_services/development_services/Planning_Building/Planning/Community/Otay.asp

Here is where it doesn't talk about the BTR but the trolley line.

Here is the whole page.

The Alternate Routes Chosen are out!

The extended Environmental  Impact Report (EIR) is finished will begin for the 3 Route Alternatives slotted to travel through our communities. Tonight there is a Sandag meeting scheduled about this pivotal report and the alternatives. Please attend this meeting if you can. There will be one more coming up for us to show that it is important for our communities that the route NOT travel through them.

Please forgive my error about the EIR. I was in a hurry and did not take the time to correct this.

NOTICE OF
PUBLIC MEETING ON THE
SOUTH BAY BRT PROJECT:
FEBRUARY 17, 2011
from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Please join SANDAG to learn more about the South Bay BRT project, including the environmental review process and the route alternatives selected for further evaluation.

McMillin Elementary School
1201 Santa Cora Avenue
Chula Vista, CA 91913

http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/SouthBay-BRT/south-bay-brt-intro.aspx

I’ve been informed that this is the point where we need to really inundate them with  more people showing up, calling, and writing. This is the homestretch for us.

New Signs along the grass way

Hello everyone. I hope you get to enjoy some of today’s beautiful weather like I just did. I was out walking the puppy and I was able to see SANDAG or McMillian placing new signs along the green belt to eliminate some of the confusion about the route for the BTR. Well I asked the SANDAG rep who was sitting in the shade of the Treviana trees why their work truck for building the signs was parked on the Monet property. I told him that our property is permit only. He responded “I didn’t know it was permit parking.” First our properties should not be used for ANY construction of the BRT to be respectful of our communities. Second every spot on our Monet property is painted with “Permit only Parking” and at the entrance to our complex there is a sign that states permit parking only all others will be towed. (Correction it says, TOW AWAY no public parking.) His remark was said with a smile, how nice. I asked him how was he going to stop further construction crews, equipment, etc. from using our property because it is conveniently abutting the proposed route through our communities. You should always begin in the manner you intend to proceed I explained to him. After that he turned a little deferential and said he didn’t think about it that way and he would take that into consideration. Why is it they can proceed as they want and only after the fact say, “Well yeah, we should have thought about that.” They know this is a contentions manner for our communities but they don’t really seem dedicated to proceeding in a manner that would allay our fears and concerns.

Note I have attached the a picture showing the clearly labeled permit parking spots and the work truck parked in one as the worker is digging a hole for the sign. The SANDAG rep is out of frame to the right but you would recognize him if you have gone to the meeting with SANDAG and the scoping meetings. I believe his name is David Hicks I will double check this. Click on the image for a larger version.

As to other information about what’s going on I haven’t heard much but maybe this is a sign we need to make some noise again. You can respond in the comments section with ideas and comments.

I Extend another invitation to my fellow Monet residents to please contact me about creating a group representing their fellow Monet residents in regards to how they feel about a BTR traveling through our and the Treviana communities. E-mail me at MonetResident@yahoo.com.