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Council Meeting Diary

The City Coucnil is preparing to once again talk about the General Plan, which will guide development in Fremont through 2030. No Ishan Shah today. But Fremont Citizen’s Network President Kathy McDonald is here. That could be a sign that she’s the group’s mystery City Council candidate. Or it could mean that she’s not that into Ladies Figure Skating.

I’m into figure skating, especially since I’m from the same town the greatest figure skater ever,  2002 Gold Medalist Sarah Hughes.

Before I came here, I was at Mission Coffee, where I ran into former City Council Candidate and Former Minute Man Charles Bartlett. He said the local Minute Man contingent has mostly moved into the Tea Party movement.
Meanwhile you might remember that Bartlett and other Minute Men / Ron Paul Supporters had gained control over the Alameda County Republican Party.

Well the Republican rebels didn’t have enough money to fight the lawsuit, so they lost on appeal, Bartlett said. The legal defeat meant they lost a majority on the Alameda County GOP’s Central Committee, he added. Without a majority, the rebs quit, and two of them, according to Bartlett, Walter Stanley and Dave Latour started the local Open Carry movement that we’ve been writing a lot about.

Anyway back to the General Plan Vision Book, which is supposed to let Joe and Jane Fremont better understand what this General Plan thing is all about.

 Once more, Fremont’s going to be model for going from a car-oriented suburb to a slightly less car-oriented suburb.  Sustainability is the theme. This will be the first general plan with a sustainability element.

“Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents; it was loaned to you by your children.” That’s the quote of the day, courtesy of the Web site “Urban Design Quotes. Mayor Wasserman called it marvellous. I think we’re going to boil quinoa and douse ourselves in patchouli during the next break.

The new General Plan will say that in a truly great city, residents should be able to live happy and full lives without a car. Plan still calls for some kind of rapid bus for Fremont Boulevard.

The city keeps calling Fremont Boulevard the city’s spine. But if it’s a spine, there’s no vertebrae. You can walk a good four minutes along the boulevard in Centerville between side streets. Not very pedestrian friendly.

Fremont is aging. To counter that, Fremont will have farmer’s markets and hiking trails.

Fremont still wants to revitalize the elusive goal of revitalizing town centers, like Centerville and Irvington.

City wants to establish art zones.

More quotes :The 20th century was about getting around, the 21st century will be about” something else … I missed it. Something about enhanching urban areas.

Another paraphrase of a quote: “How can I look at my grandchilren in the eye and know all that was happening and did nothing about it.”

In a nutshell, the city staffers are saying Fremont’s going to be a little less car oriented, a little more desnely-populated in pockets of the city.

It’s question time. No it’s compliment time.

Wieckowski says this Vision Book, which I couldn’t print out today, will become commonplace among planners.

Bill Marshak isn’t that impressed with the Vision Book. You can read his opinion in a local periodical, whose initials are almost identical to TCB. 

Now it’s time for Anu Natarajan. She’s the one who asked for a vision book because she thought people could grasp it better then a dense, hard-to-read general plan.

She says format of the Vision Book is great, but all the pieces aren’t woven together. “It’s not telling a compelling story yet.”

The introduction doesnt’ really tell readers the vision for Fremont, she says. Some parts have too many specifics. Fremont shouldn’t be defensive about providing less parking, she says. She has a lot more comments, but, from what I’m reading, they can’t compare to Yu-na Kim’s performance in Vancouver.

Now it’s time for Wasserman, who thinks the Vision Book is a great document. He says intro could have been a bit stronger. We’re done. Anyone who wants to see this Vision Book, click here. Meeting’s over.

Matt Artz

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/ Marty

    Did everyone hear that Danny Glover is on a commission to save NUMMI? If they really cared they’d send Mel Gibson.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/bottomline/detail?&entry_id=57824

  • http://www.ishanforcouncil.com Ishan Shah

    Couldn’t make it today =[ Doctor’s office…

  • VOR

    “Fremont still wants to revitalize the elusive goal of revitalizing town centers, like Centerville and Irvington.”

    I thought they were districts. If they are towns then maybe we should disband the city of Fremont and allow them to really be town centers; free to strike out on their own and develop independently. Currently it’s like having five siblings –not including the stepchildren Pac Commons and Ardenwood– trying to get their parents to spend money on them while the family house (think city center) has never been built.

    Elusive is a good descriptive adjective.

  • Californiaguy

    Fremonts Vision is for a Bart station in Irvington.
    I would rather see a light rail system from Auto mall and Fremont Blvd to Fremont and Docoto Road. That would follow Fremont Blvd.
    That will get people out of there cars, Light Rail not another Bart Station.
    I think the only ones that want a Bart station in Irvington is Developers, you know the guys that decide who will win the council election with there monetary backing.

  • VOR

    Businesses like light rail because it says permanent. Cities that have introduced light rail have seen business along the routes grow much faster than other areas. It is the vertebrae needed for the “spine”, aka Fremont Blvd.

  • Marty

    If a north-south bicycle and light rail corridor was realized, perhaps on Fremont Blvd, and then supported by more east-west paths a la the Alameda Creek trail, I think this idea of less dependence on cars is possible.

    There is land available for the east-west corridors where 84 has been slated to be built along Isherwood. There is a similar “green belt” south of Stevenson. These commuting paths would allow many to access the bayside industrial areas and allow some safe way to traverse Fremont in all directions — for running errands, eating out, catching an A’s game — all without using a car. The east-west paths would also satisfy the “linear park” concept mentioned in the Vision Book.

    Otherwise, just building a bunch of high density crap with no parking spaces is going to do nothing for congestion.

    An aside, I see somebody on the planning department reads the “Clusterf**k Nation” blog, as Jim Kunstler is quoted on p 31, right above a picture of the atrocity at Niles and Rock ave, which is presented as “Well Designed Urban Landscape”.

  • Bruce

    Marty: good comments… Regarding light rail, there are cities that use “rapid bus” systems where the boarding stations and dedicated lanes make the service as good as light rail at a small fraction of the cost. Besides, as a cyclist I’d prefer not to have to watch out for tracks in the road.
    Now I have to look up Niles & Rock ave…

  • Ashley Butler

    Re: your mention of Mr. Bartlett; Minutemen, Tea Baggers, Ron Paulists, Birchers, Palinistas, GoProud, Dittoheads, who can keep the players straight anymore without a scorecard? Whatever happened to the GOP litmus test? Meanwhile, Steele is busy draining the party’s coffers:

    “Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is spending twice as much as his recent predecessors on private planes and paying more for limousines, catering and flowers – expenses that are infuriating the party’s major donors”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33324.html

    Party on!

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/ Marty

    What, as opposed to a unified progressive front? You’re ridiculous, Ashley.

    Meanwhile, your beloved union leadership is making inroads. As the nation around them experiences unprecedented unemployment as wage cuts, Albany, NY police union leader says:

    “I’m not running a popularity contest here . . . If I’m the bad guy to the average citizen . . . and their taxes have go up to cover my raise, I’m very sorry about that, but I have to look out for myself and my membership.”

    http://www.cbs6albany.com/video/?videoId=65105872001&lineupId=1143371293&play=now

  • Ashley Butler

    We Democrats are famous for embracing our wierdos – when you have a big tent, there’s room for a lot of clowns.

    If the GOP had sense, they’d get Scott Brown out on SNL in his pink leather shorts:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-39557-Boston-Elections-2010-Examiner~y2010m2d24-Senator-Scott-Pink-Shorts-Brown-vote-for-Jobs-Bill-affects-Election-2010

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/ Marty

    Pink shorts is new to me Ashley. You must be incensed.

  • bs

    ha… i read through all the comments and nobody bit the bait when you tagged someone not from fremont as the greatest figure skater ever.

    but even they must know… as much as K.Y. has done for her community including the incredible playground in central park… the undeniable greatest figure skater ever comes from right across the columbia river from the city i now call home.