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District 9
200 East Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Ph. (408) 535-4909
Fax (408) 292-6471

District 9 2018 April Newsletter

San Jose District 9 - News Communication

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District 9 April Newsletter

In This Edition


Councilmember Don Rocha
San José City Hall, District 9
200 E. Santa Clara St., 18th Floor
San Jose, CA 95113

Phone: (408) 535-4909
Fax: (408) 292-6471 

Dear Neighbor,

A few years ago, the Cambrian Park Plaza site was acquired by Weingarten Realty. Weingarten has submitted a redevelopment plan for the site that includes a 6-story hotel with 238 rooms, 115,000 square feet of retail, up to 364 residential units of up to seven stories in height, and a 3-story, 130,000 square-foot convalescent hospital, all on an 18 acre site.

Weingarten has held several outreach meetings over the past year on their proposal, and the City held its first outreach meeting in February. At these meetings we have heard a consistent concern from the public about the density of the proposed project. It’s very important to me that the City’s outreach to residents on land use projects be meaningful, and that we listen to what residents have to say. I’d like to share with you some of my thoughts on the

Weingarten proposal based on what I’ve heard from residents so far.

Residents have expressed a broad range of concerns during the outreach meetings, but the predominant themes have been around density, height, traffic and parking. In theory, Urban Villages are supposed to encourage multi-modal transportation, but residents have pointed out that the site does not have good transit access. It’s a considerable distance from the closest light rail station on Winchester and bus service is at 30 minute intervals along Union and at 60 minute intervals along Hillsdale. The lack of transit access causes concern that the proposed development will generate a great deal of new auto traffic, which will worsen already congested roads without providing meaningful options for modes of transportation other than the automobile.

The City’s General Plan designates the Cambrian Plaza site as part of the Camden/Hillsdale Urban Village, a growth area that allows for both job and housing growth. Under the General Plan rules the Cambrian Plaza site is potentially eligible for redevelopment with dense jobs and housing. At the same time, however, the General Plan acknowledges that development of Urban Villages like Camden/Hillsdale bring special challenges. In Chapter 6, page 8, the General Plan points out that Urban Villages along suburban commercial corridors may be “less directly connected to transit” and that their “typically more suburban settings may create some challenges.” It notes that “transit-oriented sites should be given the greatest priority for locating new growth.” Our strong economy has created demand for new commercial services and new housing. I understand the General Plan strategy of attempting to meet this demand in Urban Village areas, but I agree with the concern we’ve heard from residents about attempting to add significant density into a suburban context. As the General Plan itself acknowledges, developing dense projects in suburban areas without good transit access can bring serious challenges. Given these challenges, I believe Weingarten should consider options for a reducing the density and height of the development. The purpose of the City’s land use process is to take input from the community and to consider different project options. Given the feedback we’ve heard from the community so far I think we have an obligation to explore a lower density and lower height project.

Aside from density, I also have concerns about the site design for the project. The General Plan does potentially allow for development on this site as a Signature Project, but the General Plan requires that Signature Projects demonstrate “high-quality architectural, landscape and site design features.” While I appreciate Weingarten’s proposal to include a public park as part of the project, I’m not yet convinced that the plan for the park meets the standard for high-quality site design. The park is relatively small, is located between the residential components of the site, and isn’t easily visible or easily accessible from the street. I think there’s a legitimate concern that a park of this nature could be viewed more as an amenity for the inhabitants of the residential developments on the site than as an amenity for the public. Weingarten should consider a more prominent location for the park and potentially an increase to its size as a way to demonstrate high-quality site design. I believe that well-designed open space in combination with attractive, neighborhood-serving retail (such as unique restaurants) has the potential to create a gathering place for our community and benefit existing residents. Providing that kind of an amenity should be a priority for this project.

As I mention above, our strong economy does create demand for new commercial services and residential units. People who work in Silicon Valley need places to shop, to recreate, and to live. Meeting that demand does require new development and does require some amount of change. We probably couldn’t succeed at stopping change even if we wanted to, but I think we can succeed as a community in ensuring that when change happens, we are able to maintain our quality of life and ensure that new projects include meaningful benefits for existing residents. I will strongly encourage both the City and Weingarten to pursue those goals with this project.

I’d like to close by thanking the members of the community who have shared their opinions on this project. Ensuring that those opinions are heard by the City and the developer is a priority for me. I know that there are many other concerns with the project besides the ones I have discussed here. I wanted to start by focusing on density because I think that is a major concern that touches on many other issues, but if this project continues to move forward I will work to ensure that the full range of community concerns are listened to.

If you’d like to contact my office on this or any other issue, please feel free to reach out to me at (408) 535-4909 or by email at


News & Announcements
Join Councilmember Rocha at the Great American Litter Pickup!

Celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up one of your Neighborhood Parks:

  • Houge Park: White Oaks Avenue
  • Butcher Park: Lancaster Drive
  • Branham Park: Tupolo Drive 

Lunch on Don will follow.

RSVP through our Eventbrite page to let us know which park you'd like help clean.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

8:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Represent District 9 in SJ Youth Commission

Learn more about local government and civil service while beefing up your college resume! There will be a District 9 seat opening on the Youth Commission for a term ending May 31, 2019. Representatives MUST live in the District for which they are applying to qualify. For additional information, please contact Commission Secretary Betty Ramirez. Applications can be submitted online.

Application deadline is Sunday, April 8 at 11:59 PM 

In addition to the Youth Commission, the City is also recruiting for a number of other commissions, including the Planning Commission.  Commissions are a way for residents to volunteer their time to help advise the City Council on policy matters and to make decisions on City issues.  The community input provided through Commissions is an important part of the City’s decision-making process.  A flyer listing all commission vacancies and explaining how to apply is available on the City website.

San Jose Giants FanFest and Exhibition Game

Meet the players and attend a special preseason press conference on Tuesday, April 3 when the San Jose Giants face the Sacramento River Cats at 6 PM. As part of FanFest activies, all fans can meet the team and receive autographs from San Jose Giants players, coaches and Gigante beginning at 4 PM in the City National Bank Futures Club.

Visit the team's website for more information on this event and tickets to future games.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

4:00 PM Autographs and Fan Activities

6:00 PM Giants v. River Cats

San Jose Municipal Stadium

588 E Alma Ave

San José, CA 95112

Storm Updates and Resources

Though winter storms are likely behind us at this point, rains can still come in April. While unanticipated stream or storm drain blockages could always cause localized flooding during a rainstorm, we do not anticipate any creek flooding issues through the end of the season. In any case, it pays to be informed.

Visit the Santa Clara Valley Water District's website for flood safety tips, current reservoir levels, stream flows, and maps to free sandbag sites.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please email Deputy Administrative Officer Rachael Gibson, or call 408-781-4739. 

Need Food in District 9? FISH Food Pantry Has You Covered

Unfortunately, hunger is a ubiquitous issue in Silicon Valley. Even in seemingly affluent neighborhoods, families struggle to afford the rent AND life necessities like food. Thankfully, Second Harvest Food Back and the folks at South Valley FISH Food Pantry are doing their part to help neighbors in need of some relief.

The FISH Food Pantry is open every Thursday from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM and the last Saturday of the month from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM. The pantry is located at 5151 Carter Ave, San Jose, CA on the St. Timothy's Lutheran Church campus.

FISH Food Pantry also provides groceries to low-income individuals and families located in the following zip codes: 95013, 95110, 95111, 95118, 95119, 95120, 95121, 95122, 95124, 95125. If you are in need of help and want to call in to set up an appointment, please call (408) 669-4949.

Flooding, Earthquakes, Wildfires - Prepare for the Unexpected

Personal emergency planning is the strongest defense we have against natural disasters.

We encourage all Santa Clara County residents to sign up now for AlertSCC and ReadySCC. These free preparedness tools will help protect you and your loved ones. Disasters may not give a warning - but we can plan ahead!

Are You Ready for the Magnificent 7 Parks Challenge?

With 28 regional parks encompassing 52,000 acres, Santa Clara County Parks are full of hidden hiking gems. Start 2018 by getting out of your routine and try a new trail (or seven!). Seven magnificent hiking adventures, all nearby, have been handpicked to get you outside and experience new terrain and spectacular vistas. And to entice you to hike the Magnificent 7, a commemorative t-shirt awaits those who complete the #PixInParks challenge! Learn more on the County Parks website.


Friends of the Cambrian Branch Library are back with their yearly Spring Book Sale!! Treasures and bargains may be found among the 4,000 books, CDs, DVDs and gift quality selections ranging in price from .50, $1.00, $2.00 and more on specials. Thanks to hard working volunteers and generous donors, you will find a great array of titles that are sorted for easy browsing and shopping. 

All proceeds from our sales and from the year-round open BOOK NOOK pay for programs, supplies and books for the library.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM 

Cambrian Branch Library - Library Community Room

1780 Hillsdale Ave.

San José, CA 95124

Volunteer at AHUMC's Warming Center for Homeless Women

Almaden Hills United Methodist Church is hosting a warming center for homeless women and is looking for volunteers to help. You don't need to be a member of the church or any church at all.  The shelter will run through April 7 and is open from 7 AM to 7 PM on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There are various ways for each volunteer to support this effort: Some can cook, others can listen, provide company and help in many other ways.

Please sign up or contact Bruce Eshleman for any questions or concerns.

State Route 87 Survey

Highway 87 is one of San Jose’s most vital corridors, bringing travelers to destinations downtown, as well as to the airport, and serving as an important connector between US 101 and State Route (SR) 85. It also experiences some of the worst congestion in Santa Clara County. VTA is currently conducting a study of SR 87, with an aim to identify innovative solutions for improving traffic flow during peak hours.

Please consider taking VTA’s short survey to share your travel habits, thoughts, and opinions as they pertain to Highway 87. Your input can help shape future transportation improvements. 

Neighborhood Commission District 9 Caucus

Are you part of a neighborhood group or organization in San Jose's District 9? Come to Camden Community Center on May 1 and be part of the process to select our next set of Neighborhood Commissioners who will be representing and helping District 9 residents as liasons to the Council Office for the next four years!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

7:00 PM 

Camden Community Center

3369 Union Ave

San José, CA 95124

Community Forums on Bascom Avenue Complete Streets Study

Join project staff in discussing the Bascom Complete Streets Study at two community forums scheduled this April 18 & 19 at 6:00 PM. Your feedback gathered during the first round of public meetings and through an online survey was incorporated into the design alternatives. These changes will be on display for review. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

6:00 PM 

Bascom Community Center

100 South Bascom Avenue

San José, CA 95128

Thursday, April 19, 2018

6:00 PM 

Farnham Elementary School

15711 Woodland Road

San José, CA 95124

Help the National Association of Letter Carriers STAMP OUT HUNGER!

This year marks the 26th anniversaty of one of America's great days of giving - the NALC 'Stamp Out Hunger' Food Drive. On Saturday, May 12, letter carriers across the country collect from our customer's non-perishable food donations. These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people in need, and there are many in San Jose and in the country who need our help.

If you'd like to participate in this year's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 12 and your letter carrier will do the rest.


If you are a homeowner over the age of 65 OR a homeowner that receives Social Security disability benefits, you may qualify for an exemption from the $85 Campbell Union High School District (CUHSD) parcel tax. This parcel tax was renewed in 2013 by Measure E. The tax funds are used to restore and maintain current school programs, reduce class sizes, enhance campus safety, and recruit and retain qualified teachers.

As of 2017, you only need to fill out the form once and you will be exempt every year until this parcel tax sunsets in 2023.

Steps to obtain the form and request exemption from this parcel tax:

1. Determine if you are in the CUHSD boundaries

2. Download, print and fill out the PDF form

4. Provide copies of the requested supplemental documents

5. Mail it to: CUHSD - Parcel Tax: 3235 Union Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124

SJCity FIT Fitness Programs

Do you like working out? are interested in instructor-led classes? Spin, Stretch, Yoga, and Zumba our a few of the classes offered through the PRNS SJCITY FIT program. Classes are offered at Almaden, Bascom and Camden Community Center. Drop-in and pick classes based on your needs. Monthly, or yearly memberships are available for purchase. For more information, please call Camden Community Center at 408-559-8553, or visit any of the locations listed.

Summer Jobs with Parks and Recreation

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services is looking for qualified candidates to fill Lifeguarding, Recreation Leader, and Family Camp Counselor positions, which facilitate meaningful and fun summer programs for participants of all ages across San José. Visit our Careers website and select Open-Competitive Recruitments, to apply for these available positions.

SJPD District 9 Public Safety Town Hall

The San Jose Police Department and the Office of Councilmember Don Rocha would like to invite you to a Public Safety Town Hall for residents of District 9 who have questions about crime in our neighborhoods as well as the state of the Police Department and the plans for its continued advancement. Feel free to pass the word on to neighbors.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Camden Community Center

3369 Union Ave

San José, CA 95124

Going NATIVE Gaden Tour

Since 2003, the Bay Area’s pioneering Going Native Garden Tour has showcased gardens featuring California's native plants. This community-based tour is free of charge to the public. Each year’s tour features 40-70 gardens, most of them private home gardens, which are open on tour day in a do-it-yourself, open garden format.  The gardens on the tour demonstrate reduced water use, reduced chemical and pesticide use, improved habitat, and the unique aesthetic appeal of gardens designed with California native plants.

Over the years, we’ve had thousands of visitors view the gardens. Many of these visitors are either familiar with native gardens or passionate about them. We believe attracting people who may not have previously considered native gardens, will help to educate and inspire them to replace some or all of their water-intense lawns and other non-native landscaping. 

Register to receive the list of gardens by visiting the tour website or email any questions.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Gardens in: San Mateo, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Gardens in: Cupertino, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Campbell, San Jose, Morgan Hill, Gilroy

Submit Nominations for the 2018 Cornerstone of the Arts Awards

Do you know a leader or organization that has

impacted San Jose's cultural life?

The San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs and the Arts Commission are pleased to announce the 2018 nomination process for celebrating exemplary leaders. The annual Cornerstone of the Arts Awards honors those who have had a significant impact on San Jose's art and cultural landscape. 

For more information and to learn how you can submit a nomination, please visit the Office of Cultural Affairs website, or contact Arts Program Coordinator Tina Iv at 408-793-4348 or by email.

Submit your nomination by May 11, 2018!

Happy Hollow Edzoocation Spring and Summer Camp Registrations Now Open

Zoos and aquariums play an important role in conservation education, and Happy Hollow Park & Zoo encourages children of all ages to embrace their wild side at upcoming spring and summer camps. Registration is now open, and the camps are uniquely themed to provide interactive learning experiences. Spring camp runs from April 2 to April 6, 2018 and campers will be learning about rainforest animals. Summer camp begin June 11 and run through August 17, 2018.

Download the MySanJose App

The City of San Jose is proud to present My San Jose, a state-of-the-art mobile tool that allows you to quickly and easily report common service requests such as potholes, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, streetlight outages, and illegal dumping. You can also report through the web portal at the app today.

Host a Neighborhood Watch Meeting

Did you know... Most residential burglaries occur during daylight hours?  How burglars can tell at a glance which homes are easy targets?  What to do if you see a suspicious person on your street? That crime rates in Neighborhood Watch communities can be greatly reduced through the simple, common sense measures you can learn by attending a Neighborhood Watch meeting?

SJPD is anxious to help residents implement Neighborhood Watch in their own neighborhoods. For more information or to set up a meeting, call 408-277-4133.

Junk Pick-Up Program
Large Item Pick-Up

San José residents in homes with garbage cart service can schedule two free junk pickup appointments per year of three large items each.  Free large item pick up does not apply for areas in the unincorporated County. Call to schedule your pickup:

- Downtown, north, east, and south San Jose:

Call California Waste Solutions at (408) 213-7800

- West San Jose:

Call GreenTeam of San Jose at (408) 282-4400

Not sure? Look up your recycling collection company. Visit for more information.

Other Upcoming Events


Abandoned Vehicles (408) 535-3500
Code Enforcement (408) 535-7770
Crime Prevention  (408) 277-4133
Homeless Concerns (408) 975-1440
Homeless Helpline (408) 510-7600
Illegal Dumping (408) 535-3500
Librarian (408) 808-3080
Police Emergency 911 (408) 277-8911 (cell phone)
Police Non-Emergency 311 (408) 277-8900 (cell phone)
Park & Trail Concerns (408) 793-5510 (voicemail only)
Permits (408) 535-3555
Streetlight Repair (408) 794-1903 (7 am - 4 pm), (408) 277-8956 (after hours)
Traffic Lights (408) 794-1900

Contact the District 9 Team

Shirley Goings Executive Assistant
Peter Hamilton Chief of Staff
Scott Hughes Policy Aide
Frank Ponciano Policy Aide
Carol Stephenson Policy Aide


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