October Minutes

Richmond Heights Neighborhood Council Membership Meeting

October 1, 2018


7 pm Introductions

7:10 pm Richmond Police Department update

7:15 pm Community Warning System Presentation with Genevieve Pastor-Cohen and Adrian Sheppard from the City of Richmond Fire Department, Office of Emergency Services

7:45 pm Officer Elections

8:15 Point Molate Update – Jim Hanson

8:30 Announcements

Officers Present:

President: Seren Pendleton-Knolls

Secretary: Nina Smith

Treasurer: Rock Brown

We had a little problem being locked out of the building and so held our meeting in the parking lot. Luckily there were tables and benches and it didn’t rain. The issue should be resolved by next month’s meeting.

10 residents of our neighborhood council area were present so the requirements of our bylaws for a quorum was satisfied enabling us to hold officer elections.

Police Report: no increase or decline, things are steady. Burglaries, home and auto, are the most common problem. The officer advises window locks, broomsticks in the window – anything to prevent entry through a window. In the car, keep everything out of sight. Be aware of your surroundings. Keep car locked. She reported that a woman was followed by someone who saw her fueling her car at Arco. He followed her to a playground where she left her purse in the car and it was stolen while she was in the playground with her child. Neighbors need to be alert and get descriptions, camera footage.

Genevieve Pastor-Cohen of the Richmond Fire Department presented on the City’s community warning system. She explained the nixle system (City of Richmond’s Official Notification System): text your zipcode to 888777 to receive notifications for that zipcode for urgent, time sensitive information. For non-urgent information they use Next Door and Facebook. If there is a big event, she’ll use all the tools they have. The County operates the sirens and an opt-in text warning: go to cococws.us and sign up. You can receive messages via your home or cell phone. Recently she posted Spare the Air alerts on Next Door.

Fire Chief Shepard also came by. He said they are continuing to develop their system and invited public input on improving the community warning system.

Question asked of Fire Chief about housing proposed for Point Molate right behind Chevron where there is limited access and egress. The Chief said that they are recommending that they put a fire station in that area. The Fire department has a minimum staffing requirement, so it has been fully staffed since 2004/6 despite cuts in other City departments. The Fire Marshall would be the person to address concerns about new proposed developments. They will be working on the Point Molate project with the Fire Marshall to ensure the public’s safety. He hasn’t seen any specifics yet.

Genevieve passed out the Community Guide to Emergency Preparedness.

Wednesday, 10/3, 11:18 am the US will test its national wireless emergency system.

The County’s system doesn’t target one area – it goes everywhere and refers the public to the news.

Question re whether their advice is changing as a result of the increased frequency of wildfires. The Chief said they are revisiting their field modeling. They are doing more frequent vegetation management audits – 3 inspections rather than 1 (May/June; late August; October).

Every household should get literature on what is defensible environment landscaping. Should be a trifold. On website. They should be delivered door to door. The Chief will follow up on that.

The Fire Department chief and deputy chief come to Richmond from the Oakland Fire Department. The Deputy Chief has requested an increase in response if there is an event.

They have increased closeness of cooperation with other fire departments. Now have an automatic mutual aid response.

If landscaping is in a high fire severity district the Fire Department has jurisdiction to enforce but not if it’s not in that district.

CERT training encouraged. Get to know your neighbors and identify who has special needs.

Election for the Neighborhood Council’s Executive Board:

Service on the Executive Board entails email exchanges a few times a month, meeting a few times a year. Seren explained the duties of the Vice-President and the communications officer, both positions currently being vacant as the incumbents have resigned. Nick is willing to train someone willing to serve as communications officer. City mailers can be utilized up to 4 times a year.

President: Nina nominated Seren, seconded by Charles. Elected unanimously.

Vice-President: Charles nominated Jim Hanson. Nina seconded. Elected unanimously.

Treasurer: Nina nominated Rock, Buzz seconded. Elected unanimously.

Secretary: Seren nominated Nina, Rock seconded. Elected unanimously.

Seren will temporarily cover the mailings and website updates. Nick will train Jim and Seren. We will keep asking for volunteers for someone to take the Communications Officer position, which is an appointed position per our bylaws.

New Executive Committee:

President: Seren Pendleton-Knolls

Vice-President: Jim Hanson

Secretary: Nina Smith

Treasurer: Rock Brown

Communications Officer: vacant

Point Molate Update:

Jim Hanson. In June this neighborhood council asked for more informational tours and three council members got a motion passed to put 3 more tours which were well attended. Forums have raised questions about infrastructure costs, and other matters. Since then a planning process proceeded through consultants hired by the City including a financial consultant, a traffic consultant and an infrastructure consultant for a cost of a quarter of a million dollars. Citizens has asked for the results to made available to the public. Jim explained the planning department’s public outreach program. Public asked what should go where. 7 out of 10 tables at the big public input meeting said the south valley should be kept as is for public use. The settlement agreement stipulates at least 670 housing units. At the Winehaven area the people suggested commercial, retail and some housing. Despite this public input, at the third workshop the consultants came back with their conceptual plans which placed housing in the south watershed. It appeared that the Planning Department dictated the results and ignored the public input.

The City has been challenged legally on the legality of it making zoning decisions in a private closed door settlement. Jim disclosed that he’s a plaintiff in that case. Point Molate has never been zoned. The City tried to dismiss the lawsuit and the federal court denied the motion to dismiss and the case will go forward to trial. This Thursday the Planning Commission will be considering the Planning Department’s proposal to put housing all along the water. An alternative plan is to put the development around the Winehaven area exclusively. The Park District has put this area in their regional plan as a park if the City asks for it. Tomorrow night City Council has an agenda item to short-list 4 developers.

Question as to whether a report been issued on the public process. Jim said the only thing available are sketches on the consultant’s website: Search PointMolatevisioning.

Cost of the infrastructure needed to build the between 700 and 1100 housing units required by the settlement is huge. There is a water line but it is not hooked up, an electrical line not hooked up and no sewage line. The consultant estimated cost of infrastructure $100-150 million which the City would have to finance with bonds.

The City is scheduling a special meeting Dec 11 to hear the development proposals for Point Molate.

League of Woman Voters Candidates Forum should be on YouTube. Another Candidates Forum this coming Friday night at Hilltop-Fairmeade.


Wednesday: Coffee with a Cop at Café McBryde Wed. 9:30-11:30 am

October 20, 6 – 8 pm: Crime Prevention awards banquet

Idea for Dec: Cesar talk about Contra Costa College Foundation

California Alliance for Retired Americans: educate especially seniors to not vote against our own interest. They have voting recommendation. Nel passed out voter information cards.


So far the agenda includes the presentation by Republic Services on recycling which was put over from this month and an update from BART.