December Minutes

Richmond Heights Neighborhood Council Membership Meeting
December 4, 2017

Officers Present:
Seren Pendelton-Knoll, chair
Nina Smith, secretary
Rock Brown, treasurer
Daniel McGlynn, communications officer

– Officer Joe DeOrion
– Sara Harrison, Richmond Confidential, (415)390-6603
– Jim Hanson, Pt. Molate Advisory Committee
– Amanda Elliott, Executive Director, Richmond Main Street, (415) 236-4049, 1015 Nevin Avenue, Ste 105, Richmond CA94801

1. Officer Joe DeOrion reported on crime stats: there was an armed robbery at the B of A ATM on MacDonald, after dark, about 5 or 5:30 as the bank was closing. Be careful and aware. A neighbor had a 91 Accord stolen on Sierra. Older cars are easier to steal especially Hondas and Toyotas. It is worthwhile to replace the lock cylinders on those cars. Discussion of need for additional officers in Beat 7.

2. Sara Harrison explained about Richmond Confidential, a news site focusing exclusively on Richmond and run by students at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism. She is working on an article about how Richmond is developing and changing, especially at how gentrification is affecting Richmond. She is exploring what Richmond looks likes now by visiting the Neighborhood Counsels and photographing the members and/or officers. She’ll take a photo at the end of the meeting inviting people to participate if they wish. See

3. Jim Hanson, a neighbor living on Sierra, is a landscape architect who has been active on the Richmond’s Point Molate Citizen’s Advisory Committee. He talked briefly about remediation of the soils, clean-up of the hills, waterside workshops, job training for kids, temporary leasing of some of the building space. Zoning for this area hasn’t happened yet. Last year the Council asked the Planning Commission to proceed with zoning and community meetings are going to be scheduled on the issue. January 18th the Planning Commission will receive comments from the community about what we’d like to see in terms of Pt. Molate’s development. First of 3 public meetings about how Pt. Molate should be zoned will sponsored by the Planning Commission starting in spring. Jim will communicate with us about the dates, including the January Planning Commission meeting.

4. Amanda Elliott, exec director of Richmond Main street, explained the organization’s purpose and jurisdiction: their jurisdiction is from Barrett to Bissell from 16th to 6th (?) Street.

The overall mission is to clean up and keep downtown safe and work on blight. Richmond Main Street is part of the national Main Street that addresses development, design, promotion and marketing of downtown urban areas.

The “Clean and Safe” initiative meets on the 3rd Wednesday or each month at 3:30. They meet with the police and address safety and cleanliness issues around downtown.

They sponsor multiple events. This coming Thursday is a fundraiser at East Brother for the upcoming holiday festival in collaboration with the Arts center on 12/13, 4 – 8 at East Bay Center for Performing Arts, 339 11th Street.
They’re working on developing a coffee shop and co-working space for business incubators near the downtown BART station to hold events, classes and an open working space focusing on local entrepreneurship and small business development. The master lease was recently signed and it has been approved by the BART Board. They will break ground in January or February. The hope is that it will bring more people into downtown.
They are also working on the 2 blocks vacant for close to 10 years at 12th and Macdonald trying to facilitate developing it for mixed use housing and retail.
Ernst Valery is the lead developer on these projects. He is getting investment for 400 units of housing: 120 in the first phase. There will be 60,000 square feet of retail. They anticipate it happening over the next 2 years and expect it to change the make-up of the downtown. The residential component will include about 30% affordable housing. Not sure how many of the units will be for sale or rentals. He has been engaging with the community seeking community input.

Other projects they are working on: developing more affordable and other housing on the other side of BART; supporting local entrepreneurs with classes.

They are always looking for volunteers.
See their Website to find out about all their activities and events:

They host regular festivals and other events including Healthy Village Festival in June.
Richmond Main Street holds a stakeholder meeting in the first quarter of the year: information will be forthcoming.

They have a pending application to UCB to have a MBA student work with them on a new health and wellness initiative.
There are 5 open seats on the Economic Development Commission. 2nd Wednesday 11:30 – 1:30. She encouraged people to apply via the Mayor. Encouraged us to push our agendas to the City Council.

5. Future meeting ideas:
– Cordell passed out information about Contra Costa Civic Theater. He mentioned possible future agenda items: Ceasefire, Richmond Promise.
– someone to talk about San Pablo Avenue development. Planning Department.
– Nell mentioned an online survey for residents to give input on San Pablo Avenue development: The survey is now closed but information is available at their website:
– Planning Commission: interest in having them attend our Neighborhood Council again
– Jim Hanson said currently no Pt Molate Advisory Committee but he offered to give a presentation about Pt. Molate.
– City Manager & Mayor talk about budget at 2 June RHNC meeting.

6. Treasurer’s Report: $951.91 balance currently. Need to authorize $40.

Reminder: not meeting in January. Next meeting on February 5, 2018.