DRAFT City Manager's Weekly Report: January 24, 2020
Read below for a roundup of City of San José news and happenings this week.
The Sharks Foundation Provides Grant for San José Library’s New Children’s PlaySpace: The Sharks Foundation is kicking off its February Education Month campaign by providing $200,000 to the San José Public Library – its largest Community Assist Grant of the 2019/2020 season. This will fund the new Wee Explore PlaySpace in the Children’s Room of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. This new play space will ignite the imagination of children through a variety of educational elements, which will also help develop important early literacy skills. To celebrate the partnership and upcoming renovation, a community groundbreaking event will be held on Jan. 31 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the King Library’s Children’s Room. The celebration will begin with opening remarks from City Librarian Jill Bourne, Sharks President John Tortora, and District 3 Councilmember Raul Peralez, followed by story time with a Sharks player, a photo opportunity with Sharkie, giveaways, crafts, and refreshments. For more information, visit www.sjpl.org/WeeExplore or contact Nancy Macias, Public Information Representative, at 408-808-2092.
City Launches ADU Amnesty Program, Participants May Save More Than $10,000 in Fees: For property owners who constructed or converted space into an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) without a building permit, the City now offers an ADU Amnesty Program. The Planning, Building and Code Enforcement (PBCE) Department launched the program this week, following the City Council’s direction in early January. The goal of the program is to improve the safety of these unpermitted residences and help expand the City’s legal housing stock. Owners of unpermitted units can explore the program without disclosing their name and address by reviewing a Self-Assessment Checklist (also available in Spanish and Vietnamese), and can call 408-535-7770 to speak with the ADU Amnesty Coordinator without any obligation. The City Council approved the program as a limited-time opportunity ending in January 2022 offering a waiver of the illegal construction penalty for all applicants. Those who rent their unit and who qualify for the Business Tax Financial Hardship Exemption will also have their business tax, permit, and park/school impact fees waived, resulting in savings of $10,000 or more. While program participants must correct any hazardous conditions as soon as reasonably possible, new state laws allow for a five-year delay of enforcement on non-hazardous code violations. PBCE staff will publicize the program through a variety of outreach tactics. For more information and the trilingual checklists, visit the ADU Amnesty webpage at www.sanjoseca.gov/ADUs or contact Rachel Roberts, Deputy Director, at 408-535-7719.
San Jose Fire Department Partners with the American Red Cross to Sound the Alarm: On Jan. 18, the San Jose Fire Department (SJFD), the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter, and community volunteers gathered to install 202 combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors as part of the national Sound the Alarm program. A total of 62 homes in the Coyote Creek Mobile Home Park participated with volunteers installing the alarms. This means 246 residents are now safer due to working smoke alarms in their homes. The next Sound the Alarm event is scheduled for Feb. 29 at Colonial Mobile Home Manor. For interest in volunteering, contact the San José office of the American Red Cross at 877-727-6771. For more information, contact Erica Ray, Public Information Manager, at 408-794-7045.
New Brochure Explains Rules for Auto Repair Work in Neighborhoods: PBCE’s Code Enforcement Division has produced a new trilingual brochure featuring Rules for Auto Repair Work in Neighborhoods. Staff will use the brochure to help San José residents understand the kinds of auto repair work that are allowed on a driveway or in a garage, backyard, or side yard. Two key messages are that auto repair businesses are not allowed in a residential neighborhood, and that to prevent pollution, repair work must not occur on the street, sidewalk, parkstrip, or any unpaved surface. Hard copies are available at the Code Enforcement counter, 4th floor of City Hall, or can be found online at www.sanjoseca.gov/codeenforcementhandouts. For more information, please contact Rachel Roberts, Deputy Director, at 408-535-7719.
Intergenerational Connections Thrive in San José: The City of San José is prominently featured in Encore’s Gen2Gen Cities Guide, highlighting our intergenerational programs connecting seniors and youth, two vulnerable populations, to inspire empathy and belonging. The report provides a glimpse into the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) Department’s Gen2Gen programs at community centers and volunteer opportunities for older adults. Gen2Gen is a key component of the Age-Friendly San José Initiative working to advance a City for all ages and abilities. For more information, contact Neil Rufino, Deputy Director, at 408-535-3576.
Get Your Business Loan Ready: Small businesses are encouraged to attend a Jan. 28 workshop from the Alum Rock Santa Clara Street Business Association on how they can prepare to successfully borrow money for uses such as growth, expansion, relocation, or emergency expenses. A guest speaker from The Opportunity Fund will cover what lenders look for in applicants, how credit scores impact loans, what is needed for applications, and how to select a reliable banking partner. To maximize the availability of these workshops, the Business Association will host English and Spanish versions supplemented by City staff to help Vietnamese speakers. This workshop is part of a series of City-supported anti-displacement workshops to advance small business resiliency. Advanced registration is recommended at https://bit.ly/377fDxb. For more information, contact Dhez Woodworth, Economic Development Officer, at 408-794-1231.
Several Parks Listed as Must-see Destinations by Tourist Magazine: San José parks are featured as top destinations in VacationIdea.com’s 19 Best Things to Do in San Jose. The award-winning Municipal Rose Garden lays claim to San José’s top attraction. Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is ranked No. 7. The Heritage Rose Garden and History Park also made the list. According to The Trust for Public Land, nearly 8% of San José tourists visit a park, trail or community center during their visit. They contribute $120 million annually to the local economy and generate nearly $5 million in local tax revenue by visiting parks. PRNS provides exceptional experiences and destinations for all to enjoy. For more information, contact Justin Long, Deputy Director, at 408-793-5579.
San José Fire Department Enhances Safety with Communications Technology Upgrade: SJFD’s Communications Division utilizes internationally recognized protocols to triage fire and medical emergency 9-1-1 calls. On Oct. 30, 2019, the Communications Division upgraded to the most recent version of the Fire Priority Dispatch System (FPDS), which continues to uphold and improve upon our standards of excellence regarding caller, bystander, and responder safety. The FPDS updates allow our dispatchers to provide potentially life-saving instructions in a wider variety of situations than previously available, while also enabling SJFD to pre-plan standard responses to those situations. San José Fire Communications runs a Quality Assurance Program to maintain the highest level of protocol compliance and is proud to share the overall Compliant and High Compliance percentage of emergency 9-1-1 calls in the first full month of the updated FPDS. Compliant and High Compliance was at 98 percent in Nov. 2019 and 97 percent in Dec. 2019. Having such a high compliance percentage in the months following a major protocol update is remarkable and speaks volumes about our dispatchers' dedication to providing quality service to our community. For more information, contact Erica Ray, Public Information Manager, at 408-794-7045.
To stay up-to-date on events, visit the City’s online calendar.