Planned nursery upsets neighbors
“We wanted to be in the (rural area) so our kids could play.”
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#1 Jan 3, 2008
The Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch article about the Planned Nursery on Maple Ave. missed key points. This isnt just about a group of neighbors and their concerns, it is about Santa Clara County Commissioners and elected Board of Supervisors not doing their jobs. In Dec. 06 San Martin residents asked that San Martin Planning Advisory Committee be allowed to comment as to their position of the proposed nursery. Dec. 26, 2006 letter from Dir. Michael Lopez stated that their comments would be taken into consideration. SMPAC was prepared to discuss this issue at their monthly mtg. Bill Shue of the Santa Clara Planning Dept. attended the SMPAC mtgs stating that SMPAC was NOT to discuss the Retail Nursery project nor were they allowed to comment as a collective. Reasoning for this was never made clear and at the following Santa Clara Planning mtg. the Commissioners were told that SMPAC did not have a comment on the project. In Oct. 05 the applicant for this project submitted an Envir. Info. Form with falsified info. The form states that retail businesses are in this neighborhood, project will have no effect on pedestrians, & project will not be located on a dead-end road. At the appeal in Dec. 07 Don Gage was questioned as to why falsified info. was accepted. Staff member Mark Connelly responded,They do the best they can when filling out those forms. The fact is that the homes in this area are owner occupied single family dwellings on a dead-end st. with no retail bus. within the facinity. In 2000 residents on Maple Ave. made concerns known to Santa Clara Commissioners about an applicants request for an Attached Secondary Dwelling. The issue about this project was the home would not be owner occupied as all the other homes on the street are. The property owner had been sited for violations before but the Commissioners approved it anyways. Over the past 7 year the homeowners on Maple Ave. have had to repeatedly notify the County of the continued violations of this property owner. Providing petitions and voicing our concerns of a retail business creating traffic congestion, excessive noise, intersection accidents, etc. did not make a difference to the Commissioners, instead they approved this project with mitigated measures.
At the Dec. 07 appeal Maple Ave. residents asked Don Gage how the mitigated measures were expected to be monitored. Don Gage responded the county budgets for monitoring and it is expected homeowners will alert them to violations. This is our tax dollars at work! The prior complaints and violations that San Martin residents have made to the Planning Department have been meet with band-aids, what is expected to happen when a retail business is built at the end of our street?
We were told by paying $1208 for an appeal the Board of Supervisors would accurately investigate this issue. At the appeal no Supervisor asked any questions nor commented on any of the documents that were provided to them. One Supervisor who voted was out of the room throughout most of the hearing. Don Gage says a nursery already existed at the location of the Maple Avenue site. The fact is the Maple Ave. site has never had a nursery on it, he should recheck his facts!!
As San Martin homeowners our only recourse of action is to sue the County of Santa Clara. As a LAFCO board member Don Gage is in favor of Maple Avenue (AREA 4) being a part of the proposed boundary for San Martin which would maintain an urban buffer and greenbelt. Why is it that as a Board of Supervisor Don Gage would then vote in favor of a Retail Business being built on this very same street? Is he playing both sides of the fence, I wonder?
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