Listening, Helping, Leading Re-elect Rishi to Saratoga City Council
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Note: Some responses may be a bit dated e.g status of projects
Question: I have a question on AirBnB rentals. I was going through a post on nextdoor.com today where a resident had posted a link to an article about a Miami neighborhood that went south because of Airbnb rentals. A quick check on Airbnb for Saratoga, that showed about 4 rentals. I believe Saratoga city does not permit short term rentals such as airbnb or vrbo : see below for the link from Airbnb. What does the city do to enforce the code ? Is there an active check on such rentals ? Is there any publicity around the code ? With all the action some months ago about neighborhood watch programs, I think this goes hand in hand with keeping our city safe and pristine. ANSWER:Please email your concerns to code enforcement email@example.com
Question: I like to walk in the evenings. But it gets dark - any suggestions? Answer: I am concerned about the number of folks that don't carry any light source with them when they walk in the evening. If you are on a street that is not well lit, it may be very difficult for a motorist to spot you. And if you do carry flashlights, please do NOT flash them right at a motorist’s face. Waving the light at the ground near them would be better. Please be safe
Question: How is the Anderson Reservoir retrofit project coming along? ANSWER: Yes, we have a very informative powerpoint on the project as well as an FAQ sheet. You can find those materials here here:http://www.valleywater.org/Services/AndersonDamAndReservoir.aspx Question Can I have pet pigs in Saratoga? ANSWER: The City Code is not specific on pet pigs. Section 15-12.020 (Permitted uses in single family residential zones) states. It comes down to pet owners being responsible and not impacting their neighbors. Question How can I launch a Neighborhood Safety Watch? What exactly is this program? ANSWER: Saratoga’s decades long Neighborhood Watch Program is considered one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear in our neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch Programs forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get one started in your Saratoga neighborhood Details of this program at www.RishiKumar.com/NSW Question Can we install surveillance cameras in my neighborhood? ANSWER:Thinking of surveillance cameras for your neighborhood? You can join the pilot being run. Review the deck atwww.RishiKumar.com/pilot City is now accepting requests from homeowners Associations (HOAs) for encroachment permits to install security cameras in the public right of way. The first step of the process will require applicants to submit documentation to verify that they meet criteria for an HOA per the City’s standards for encroachment permits for private security cameras in the right of way. Information and the application for an encroachment permit for private security cameras is available on the City’s website at www.saratoga.ca.us/ep You can read the SJM article here Question How can I get critical alerts from the city of Saratoga? ANSWER:Our city uses the county service. You can sign up at www.Tinyurl.com/AlertSCC which will take you to the county site Question How can I get involved with our city? ANSWER:Happy to discuss how you can join one of our Saratoga Commissions listed here You can also join the Safe Saratoga Citizens committee facebook.com/groups/safesaratoga Here are organizations to consider joining Saratoga Historical Foundation http://www.saratogahistory.com/membership.htm Hakone Garden http://www.hakone.com/get-involved/become-a-member.html Saratoga Sister City is looking for board members. Contact Ginger Lai <email@example.com> Question: Is Saratoga planning to address the Leaf blower noise I think it’s a fair assessment that most everybody is annoyed by the excessive and obnoxious sound that most leaf blowers create. They permeate our audible landscape daily. I used to think that maybe I was just unlucky enough to live near commercial properties that employ leaf blowers, until I started to bring it up with others who live in more conventional neighborhoods (and not just in Saratoga of course). What is Saratoga considering to address this noise pollution? ANSWER: Saratoga city staff is planning to submit a report to city council on this topic. If you are interested on this topic contact Crystal Crystal Bothelio <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ANSWER: Checkout the January 2018 newsletter - find it by clicking newsletter from the top menu Question: When is the Quito bridge project likely to start? ANSWER: Quito bridge project will start next year sometime in Spring, and will be done in ~8 months. Quito Road will be paved from Sobey Rd to Vessing Rd. as part of the bridge replacements. Question: Saratoga is planning to pave roads this summer? ANSWER: Due to the Prospect road median project, our Public Works team will spend time with this project and will look at paving projects after they are done, likely Spring 2018 Question: Is there a free wood chipping program run by the county? ANSWER: The Santa Clara County FireSafe Council (SCCFSC) is offering free chipping of debris piles that are the result of clearing defensible space on your property. This service is available for residents that live in High or Very High designated Fire Hazard Wildland Urban Interface areas. In general, this includes wooded hillside areas in South County. The debris piles must be from clearing defensible space within 100’ for your home or an access road. There are a number of requirements related to this service. For information on eligibility and program requirements, please go to their website at:https://www.sccfiresafe.org/santa-clara-county-fuel-reduction-programs/hazardous-fuel-reduction-programs Also, South County residents should check the community chipping schedule to see when their neighborhood is scheduled for chipping. That schedule and a link to maps of fire hazard areas can be found on their website: https://www.sccfiresafe.org/planning/south-santa-clara-county/364-south-santa-clara-county-chipping-program-for-2017 Question: What is the latest on the Fredericksburg Drive Railroad Crossing? ANSWER: Fredericksburg Drive to Guava Court Railroad Crossing (Blue Hills School Crossing) Update – by Iveta Harvancik Public Works staff continues to work with both approving agencies, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), and is making steady progress. The conceptual engineering crossing design was prepared and reviewed by the CPUC and UPRR in February and March. A formal application for the crossing opening was submitted to the CPUC in April. In the meantime, the City is working on waiving the current UPRR rule to close three existing crossings in order to open one new crossing. A diagnostic meeting to evaluate all existing crossings within the City limits was held with representatives of both agencies, and a list of deficiencies at the existing crossings was compiled. If the City commits to improve some crossings, the UPRR will consider waiving the 3:1 requirement. The next step is to have all parties agree on the level of improvements at the existing crossings. Question: What is the latest on the Prospect Median Project? We are giving Saratoga's Prospect Avenue a huge facelift with the Prospect median project. Make it safer for cars making turns, for pedestrians, beautify it, plant drought tolerant vegetation in the median. Project will start in the next few weeks and will take 10 to 12 months. Details at www.saratoga.ca.us/prospectroad Question: There is traffic congestion at Scully Avenue and Kevin Moran Park during soccer games. Can you please look into it? In response to a few complaints regarding over-use of the sports fields, traffic problems, parking issues, and off-leash dogs, staff sent emails to the registered sports user groups requesting they notify their membership about the traffic concerns and remind them of the need for compliance with ordinances and park rules. Staff investigated a report of professional soccer groups using the park for practices. It was determined that the identified group, ProUSA Soccer, is a direct affiliate of the American Youth Soccer Organization and was legally using the field. Staff also performed two separate site visits, but did not observe any violations. Question: Where can I find some Saratoga relevant landscaping information page? A new page has been added to the City’s website with information about the trees and plants the City selects for its landscaping throughout Saratoga. This new resource will also be shared with the America in Bloom judges, and a printed flyer will be made available. Thank you to Kevin Meek for being a valuable resource during the creation of this page! The page can be viewed at http://www.saratoga.ca.us/citylandscaping Question: I am traveling this summer? What are some precautions should consider taking to ensure that I don’t experience a break-in ANSWER: Please read safety tips below if you are planning to go on a vacation Tips such as setting up vacation patrol when you are gone... Most important - let your immediate neighbors know that you are gone, and for how long Leave your contact info with them If you don’t have the contact info for your immediate neighbors, then let your zone Block Captain know (if you have a Neighborhood Watch program established in your neighborhood). Your block captain already has communication setup with your zone neighbors and will let them know To find your block captains, contact your Neighborhood Safety Captain If you don’t have the contact of your Neighborhood Safety Captain, contact me; I may be able to help point you. For a complete list of safety tips visit www.RishiKumar.com/tips
Question: Where can I find sand bags for my home? We are experiencing a pretty wet season! Good thing given the drought, but stay safe, avoid flooded zones, report fallen trees and power lines, and use sand bags around your home if needed. Saratogans report local street flooding by calling (408) 868-1245 and if after hours (408) 299-2507. If flooding, contact the local flood plain manager by calling (408) 868-1274. Are you looking for sand bags? Saratogans can go by Redwood Middle School city yard parking lot and pick up free sand bags. Here are the other county locations http://www.valleywater.org/sandbags/ Here are 2 good links http://www.saratoga.ca.us/whatsnew/winterstorms.asp and this SCVWD page http://www.valleywater.org/Services/FloodProtectionResources.aspx Question: How can I launch a Neighborhood Safety Watch? What exactly is this program? Saratoga’s decades long Neighborhood Watch Program is considered one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear in our neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch Programs forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve. Contact email@example.com to get one started in your Saratoga neighborhood Details of this program at www.RishiKumar.com/NSW
Question: How do I report hate crime? Report any hate crime herehttp://www.dfeh.ca.gov/hate-violence/ Question: Immigration checks in Saratoga? In light of the recent developments and actions by the President specifically around immigration, can I expect that the Sheriff's Department West Valley Division to indiscriminately stop, and question citizenship? Answer: We follow the General Order Policy. We will not initiate police action to discover the status of a citizen. Leave that to federal authorities. We will only check for drivers license" Question: COUNCILMEMBER KUMAR HAS AN EMAIL GROUP “KEEP SARATOGA GREAT” IS THAT INSPIRED BY MR. TRUMP? Some friends and supporters with good intentions have referred to my KEEP SARATOGA GREAT campaign line with concern. Rest in ease...This is my election campaign line from 2014, before Mr Trump decided to make a run. Did he get inspired by my campaign line? Not for me to speculate :-) I disavow any and all possible connections, have NO relationship or alliance with Mr Trump or his campaign.
Question: I NOTICE DOGS NOT ON LEASH. IS THAT ALLOWED? That is a violation as per Saratoga city code. Suggestion - call the Sheriff's non-emergency number 408 299 2311 and report it. Typically these types of calls are handled by San Jose animal control. Sheriff does frequently respond since animal control does take longer to respond. Animal control will either give warnings or cite the offenders.
Question: I SEE OWNERS NOT PICKING UP DOG WASTE LEFT BEHIND We prohibit this as part of city code in parks. Please report it by calling Telephone Number 408.868.1214 (hotline). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Webpage (including complaint form): www.saratoga.ca.us/enforcement At your yard? We don’t have a provision yet
Question: : Should we report solicitations at my door? We highly recommend that you report all solicitation and suspicious behavior to the Sheriff. Call the Sheriff's non-emergency number 408 299 2311 and report it. For businesses out soliciting, you should ask for a City of Saratoga Permit
Question: WHAT IS THE BLUE LIGHT AT THE SIGNAL LIGHT ON QUITO/POLLARD? When sheriffs are monitoring the intersection, the blue light lets them see (from the opposite side of the traffic light) someone running a red light
Question: ARE THERE WATER FILLING STATIONS FOR SARATOGANS? Our City staff recently completed the installation of two water filling stations to increase healthy drinking options for Saratoga residents at locations where there is potentially heavy foot and bicyclist traffic. The two locations include Congress Springs Park and Blaney Plaza. County PICH (Partnership to Improve Community Health) grant funds paid for the units and the installation of the water filling stations. The water filling stations have three tiers that allow residents to drink from the fountains, refill their water bottles and also give their pets water from an outlet at the bottom of the station.
Question: : I really want to have competitive cable/high speed service, and have options. Can the city enable that? A:Given our population, the economics does not work well for another company like Verizon to jump in also - and compete with AT&T, Comcast. There is significant investment in infrastructure needed and Verizon (or any other company) would focus on high population densities first. With Google fiber, our city did not have the financial prowess to invest into Google fiber, that some other cities were able to make. Thus we did not make the list the first time around. But we will apply again at the soonest opportunity and I think Google Fiber would be great for our city. I will let you know how things progress
Question: IS SARATOGA THINKING MICROGRID? I HEAR OF OTHER CITIES ROLLING OUT MICROGRIDS FOR EMERGENCY SHELTERS, FIRE STATIONS etC. At a prior city council meeting, I have proposed a Microgrid concept for Saratoga for our emergency shelter. Our Community Center serves as an emergency refuge in the event of a disaster, like a major storm or earthquake and a micro grid can be configured to supply clean power to the Community Center in the scenario of an outage. A Microgrid solution is currently being deployed at 3 Fire Stations in Fremont for critical facilities such as Community Centers, Fire and Police stations, and Medical facilities. The essence of their solution is intelligent software that integrates and manages the power from: Solar PV arrays, Battery Storage Systems, and the Grid itself. Yes, such innovative approaches for Saratoga would also help reduce our monthly expense
Question: HOW DO I REGISTER MY SURVEILLANCE CAMERA? The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with CrimeReports.com. for reported crimes in your area. CrimeReports.com hosts a Camera Registration Program. By registering the location of your home security cameras, you might assist the Sheriff’s Office in supplying information needed to catch criminals that have burglarized your neighbors. Having camera footage of suspects is one of the most valuable tools law enforcement can use to identify criminal suspects. Your information is kept secure and never made public. To register your security camera, go to www.CrimeReports.com and click on the “register my camera” link. Then select the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office as your local law enforcement agency.
Question: HOW DO I GET CERT FOR MY NEIGHBORHOOD? WHAT IS CERT? This training provides training to help with any emergency like earthquake, fire escape plan, missing person, lost child, bio/chemical attack, emergency evacuations, neighborhood safety and so much more. CERT is a great way to be organized as well as trained by professionals. You become a huge asset to your neighborhood once trained. A special Saratoga CERT Leadership meeting will be held on Wednesday November 16 at Saratoga City Hall from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Saratoga CERT Leadership meetings are open to everybody in Saratoga CERT. Questions? Contact Jim Jim Yoke,Community Education Services, Santa Clara County Fire Department email@example.com 408-887-7818 cell KI6HKZ
Question: What is the latest on the request to reduce air traffic noise? Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Jackie Speier (CA-14), and Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) released the updated final version of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) response to recommendations made by the San Francisco Airport/Community Roundtable and the Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals.- https://eshoo.house.gov/uncategorized/eshoo-speier-panetta-release-updated-faa-responses-on-aircraft-noise-concerns-in-three-congressional-districts-14-18-20/
The FAA developed this document “Initiative to address noise concerns of Santa Cruz/ Santa Clara/ San Mateo/ San Francisco”. as a result of meetings with elected officials and community leaders over the last several months. Congresswoman Eshoo is also introducing legislation that would require FAA to plan with communities before implementing changes and also to restore the EPA’s Office of Noise abatement and Control - that was defunded more than 3 decades ago. Stay tuned - we are pushing this issue Join this group Quiet Skies NorCal http://www.quietSkiesNorCal.org
Question: : Where is the plan for Saratoga Roads Re-Paving/ Construction? A: Google "City of Saratoga Pavement Management" and you should find a city of Saratoga web page that describes our pavement management program and click on "PCI List of Streets in Alphabetical Order" to find your street. 70 is a good PCI number that our city aspires for with our roads. If you don’t find your street listed and if you have any questions, please contact our Public Works Department
Question: : How do I book the Multi-purpose room or any other room at the Joan Pisani Community Center? A: Please call Nina and setup an appointment Nina Walker Facility Coordinator City Of Saratoga 19655 Allendale Ave. Saratoga, CA. 95070 408.868.1259
Question: I'm planning to book the multipurpose room at Joan Pisani center for a party, and wondered if you had any cost-saving insight on booking the place. Answer: You can get 10% discount for Saratoga residents 50% discount if you run through a non-profit. Email Nina Walker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Question: : How can I be pro-active and prepare myself for the El Nino season that we are seemingly bracing for? A: You should see a video released soon with detailed information and links. Residents can report fallen trees, landslides, and flooding on roads and public property in the following ways: • Emergencies: Call 911 • Weekdays between 6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.: City of Saratoga at (408) 868-1245 • All other times: Santa Clara County Communications at (408) 299-2507 Every citizen of Saratoga should be signed-up with ALERTSCC to receive alerts via email, phone call, and/or text message. Sign up at alertscc.com
Question: How can I get a noise permit for a outdoor party Google - “Noise Exception Permit Application city of Saratoga”. You should find the city of Saratoga page for “Event Permits”. You can print the Noise Exception permit form from the city website, fill it, write a check for $50 and drop off to city office. Yes, we are exploring making this an online permitting process
Question: There is vegetation on the median of Saratoga Sunnyvale that is impacting the views and the left turn onto Williams and Walnut from Saratoga Sunnyvale. Please help us make the left turn safely. Trimming will improve the vision of traffic Answer: The public works director's team successfully finished the project
Question: I plan to dig my yard for some yard work? Do I need to call someone to ensure I don’t hit a gas line? Answer: CALL 811 “Call Before You Dig” and let them know please. They will come out and mark your yard for no charge.
Question: When I exit Highway 85 into Saratoga, I notice the exit ramps area is not maintained Answer: The 85 exit ramps are maintained by Caltrans. The best way to increase maintenance is for the City to do the work, but that is complicated because of ownership issues and associated costs. This will be brought up at the next meeting with CALTRANS by our Public Works Director
Question: Do you have any suggested Saratoga groups I can subscribe to? Answer: Discussion group for Saratoga Residents - Facebook.com/Saratogans http://Groups.google.com/group/Saratogan Email group for Saratoga Union School District https://groups.google.com/group/susdparents Email group for Saratoga’s High School District http://groups.google.com/group/shsparents Saratoga Chamber of Commerce events https://www.facebook.com/groups/saratogachamber Saratoga’s Open Mic / Entertainment events Email group: http://Groups.google.com/group/ValleyTalent http://Facebook.com/ValleyTalent Saratoga’s Bollywood Workout/Yoga Facebook.com/SiliconValleyBollywood http://groups.google.com/saratogabollywood
Question: I found a dead bird in my yard and reported it to the County's vector control unit. They picked it up and tested it and found that it had West Nile Virus. A little research reveals that this is a pretty bad mosquito borne illness that kills people. I don't know what sort of outreach the City is doing with the County, but thought you would want to know that we have West Nile Virus in town Answer: Santa Clara County VCD has detected the first West Nile virus positive birds of 2015. The three American crows were found on March 19th in San Jose (zip 95124), March 20th in San Jose (zip 95123), and on March 20th in Cupertino (zip 95014). Dead birds can be reported online at www.westnile.ca.gov
Question: What is the black stuff at the median of Lawrence Expressway? Answer: These are tire “Chips” - coming from vehicle tires that are recycled. The reason we do is because tires are the largest and most problematic source of waste. Also because, our Expressways (8 expressways, 62 miles in the county) do not have a funding source except gas tax
Question: I would love to see a dog park in Saratoga. Answer: Dog Park's are generally expensive - and high maintenance. Does not fit in with a minimal service city like ours.
Question: Does it cost our neighborhood to put up a neighborhood safety watch sign? Answer: No! The city installs it for free, but your neighborhood needs to follow the steps involved.
Question: Status of Prospect Road project? Answer: See the latest newsletter for update
Question: How will Proposition 64 / Marijuana Proposition impact Saratoga? Answer: On January 1, Proposition 64 will take effect in California. In June 2017, the Saratoga City Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting all commercial sales and outdoor cultivation of marijuana within the City of Saratoga. This step is expected to eliminate the public safety and health risks associated with outdoor cultivation and commercial marijuana activities, including burglary, trespassing, robbery, and chemical or pesticide use that can harm people and the environment. This will also reduce opportunities for people under 21 to obtain marijuana, which aligns with the City’s updates to its tobacco policies to protect youth from smoking and reduce overall exposure to secondhand smoke.
Question: What is the latest on the Air Traffic noise over Saratoga? Answer: Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Jackie Speier (CA-14), and Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) released the updated final version of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) response to recommendations made by the San Francisco Airport/Community Roundtable and the Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals.- https://eshoo.house.gov/uncategorized/eshoo-speier-panetta-release-updated-faa-responses-on-aircraft-noise-concerns-in-three-congressional-districts-14-18-20/
The FAA developed this document “Initiative to address noise concerns of Santa Cruz/ Santa Clara/ San Mateo/ San Francisco”. as a result of meetings with elected officials and community leaders over the last several months. Congresswoman Eshoo is also introducing legislation that would require FAA to plan with communities before implementing changes and also to restore the EPA’s Office of Noise abatement and Control - that was defunded more than 3 decades ago. Stay tuned - we are pushing this issue Join this group Quiet Skies NorCalhttp://www.quietSkiesNorCal.org
Question: I am going to be on vacation in December. What deterrents should I place around my home?. Answer: Are you planning a vacation during the holidays? You will find some interesting tips and measures to take before you leavehere Please take steps to place deterrents in and around your home. You can review safety tips atwww.RishiKumar.com/tips . Please take action now, adopt some protective measures to protect your home Hereare the the crime stats from 2016. Also,here is the deck that was presented by Captain Urena at a recent Neighborhood Safety Watch certification meeting Question: How can I optimize the use of water in my yard? ] Answer: Mulch is good. A layer of mulch several inches thick will gradually decompose, feed the tree, retain soil moisture, improve soil texture and pH, create an environment that stimulates root growth, and can even destroy disease organisms. Mulch can consist of a mixture of chipped wood, leaves, and branches obtained from tree companies. This material is typically free and often better than that purchased from a nursery.
Question: How can I contact the Santa Clara County Agricultural org? Contact the Santa Clara County Agricultural Commissioner at 408.918.4600
Question: What should I do if I experience flooding or other hazards during a storm this winter? Answer: Flooding, fallen trees, power outages, and landslides are all possible outcomes of storms. It's always best to prepare ahead of time.
If you live in a flood-prone area, please prepare your property in advance. A free, 24-hour sandbag station is available right outside of the City's Corporation Yard (19700 Allendale Ave.) where you will find bags, sand, sandbag fillers, and shovels. There is a 25-bag limit per household. You can find information on proper sandbag techniques on the Santa Clara Valley Water District's website at www.valleywater.org/sandbags
You can report fallen trees, landslides, and flooding on roads and public property to the City of Saratoga by calling 408.868.1245 between 6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. At all other times, contact Santa Clara County Communications at 408.299.2507. Report power outages and damaged power lines to PG&E at 800.743.5000. You should also call 911 to report downed power lines and in the event of any other emergency. For more information, visit www.saratoga.ca.us/WinterStorms
Question: What are the options if someone’s home was lost in the recent California fire? Answer: Under California’s Revenue and Taxation Code for Disaster Relief, affected property owners, such as those in the recent Northern California fires and now the Southern California fires, who have suffered a calamity that destroys their property may be eligible for property tax relief. To qualify for property tax relief, property owners must file a claim with the county assessor. If the loss estimate is at least $10,000, the property will be reassessed according to its damaged state and property taxes will be adjusted accordingly. This reduction will be effective from the month in which the damage occurred, and will remain in effect until the property is rebuilt or repaired. When the structure is rebuilt in a like or similar manner, the property will retain its prior value (Proposition 13) for tax purposes. This property tax relief is available to owners of real property, business equipment and fixtures, orchards or other agricultural groves, and to owners of aircraft, boats, and certain mobile homes - it is not available to property that is not assessable, such as state licensed mobile homes or household furnishings.
Question: What is the latest on the Saratoga to the Sea trail? Answer: Saratoga-to-the-Sea Partnership Agreement Recently, Public Works received the partnership agreement with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District involving Measure AA funding for the Saratoga-to- the-Sea Trail. Staff has scheduled this item for approval at the December 20 City Council meeting. Concurrently, staff is drafting an RFP for the trail’s design contract with help from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District staff.
Question: What is latest on Prospect Road project? Answer: Prospect Road Improvement Project-by Macedonio Nunez The underground subcontractor will begin installing manholes and drain inlets on Prospect Road on Monday. The contractors have been saw-cutting asphalt only to the extent needed for the underground sub. This strategy will allow the use of the existing pavement and curb and gutter to capture rainfall as long as possible.
Question: How does Saratoga notify residents in the case of an emergency or with alert notifications? Stay connected and alert in the eventuality of an earthquake, flood etc. https://www.sccgov.org/sites/alertscc/Pages/home.aspx
Question: What are my winter emergency resources? Flooding, fallen trees, power outages, and landslides are all possible outcomes of winter storms. It’s always best to prepare ahead of time. If you live in a flood-prone area, please prepare your property in advance. A free, 24-hour sandbag station is available right outside of the City’s Corporation Yard (19700 Allendale Avenue) where you will find bags, sand, sandbag fillers, and shovels. There is a 25-bag limit per household. You can find information on proper sandbag techniques on the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s website at www.valleywater.org/sandbags You can report fallen trees, landslides, and flooding on roads and public property to the City of Saratoga by calling 408.868.1245 on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. At all other times, contact Santa Clara County Communications at 408.299.2507. Report power outages and damaged power lines to PG&E at 800.743.5000. You should always call 911 to report downed power lines and in the event of any other emergency. For more information, visit www.saratoga.ca.us/WinterStorms Watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48kek5wck8M
Question: One of our clients wants to use his house in Saratoga as an office. 6-10 people. ANSWER No person other than a resident of the dwelling shall be employed in the conduct of a home occupation.
---Excerpts from our code ---- 5-40.010 - General regulations. All home occupations shall comply with the following regulations: (a) There shall be no stock-in-trade other than products manufactured on the premises. (b) A home occupation shall be conducted within a dwelling by an occupant thereof, and shall be clearly incidental to the use of the structure as a dwelling. (c) A home occupation shall not be conducted in an accessory structure and there shall be no storage of equipment or supplies in an accessory structure or outside the dwelling. (d) There shall be no external alteration of the dwelling in which a home occupation is conducted. (e) The existence of a home occupation shall not be apparent beyond the boundaries of the site. (f) Medical offices for doctors, dentists, osteopaths, chiropractors and other practitioners of the healing arts are not permitted as home occupations in any A, R-1, HR, R-OS or R-M district. (g) No person other than a resident of the dwelling shall be employed in the conduct of a home occupation. (h) A home occupation shall not create any noise, odor, dust, fumes, vibration, smoke or radio or television interference beyond the boundaries of the site. (i) Not more than one truck, of not more than one-half ton capacity, and no semi-trailers, incidental to a home occupation shall be kept on a site. (j) A home occupation shall not create pedestrian, automobile or truck traffic significantly in excess of the normal amount in the district. (k) There shall be no display of merchandise, products or other material or equipment for advertising purposes. (l) Professional or administrative offices wherein clients or prospective clients are regularly met upon the premises shall not be permitted as home occupations in any A, R-1, HR, R-OS or R-M district. This prohibition shall not apply to the sale of dwelling units out of a temporary office established in a model home when properly authorized by a use permit.
Question: How can I prevent mail theft? ANSWER: There are many ways you can do so:
Do not send cash in the mail
Pick up mail promptly after delivery, and never leave mail in the box overnight
Drop outgoing mail directly at the post office when possible
Install security cameras capturing your mailbox
If you're expecting checks, credit cards or other valuable parcels, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail if you can't be home
If you don't receive an expected check, credit card or other valuable parcel, contact the issuing agency immediately
When going on vacation, tell the Post Office so they can hold mail until you return
If you change your address, immediately notify the post office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.
Question: Can I have other people work in my home that functions also as an office? ANSWER: No person other than a resident of the dwelling shall be employed in the conduct of a home occupation. ---Excerpts from our code ---- 5-40.010 - General regulations. All home occupations shall comply with the following regulations: (a) There shall be no stock-in-trade other than products manufactured on the premises. (b) A home occupation shall be conducted within a dwelling by an occupant thereof, and shall be clearly incidental to the use of the structure as a dwelling. (c) A home occupation shall not be conducted in an accessory structure and there shall be no storage of equipment or supplies in an accessory structure or outside the dwelling. (d) There shall be no external alteration of the dwelling in which a home occupation is conducted. (e) The existence of a home occupation shall not be apparent beyond the boundaries of the site. (f) Medical offices for doctors, dentists, osteopaths, chiropractors and other practitioners of the healing arts are not permitted as home occupations in any A, R-1, HR, R-OS or R-M district.
(g) No person other than a resident of the dwelling shall be employed in the conduct of a home occupation. (h) A home occupation shall not create any noise, odor, dust, fumes, vibration, smoke or radio or television interference beyond the boundaries of the site. (i) Not more than one truck, of not more than one-half ton capacity, and no semi-trailers, incidental to a home occupation shall be kept on a site. (j) A home occupation shall not create pedestrian, automobile or truck traffic significantly in excess of the normal amount in the district. (k) There shall be no display of merchandise, products or other material or equipment for advertising purposes. (l) Professional or administrative offices wherein clients or prospective clients are regularly met upon the premises shall not be permitted as home occupations in any A, R-1, HR, R-OS or R-M district. This prohibition shall not apply to the sale of dwelling units out of a temporary office established in a model home when properly authorized by a use permit. Question: What are some simple tips for fire safety? ANSWER: #1 Notify authorities if you see people burning debris, playing with fireworks or driving off-road vehicles in dry, grassy areas or trees on power line. #2 Develop an evacuation plan for family members. identify a meeting location outside your home and neighborhood #3 Create a fire-safe zone around your home, where dead vegetation and other flammable materials have been removed #4 have your address clearly visible from the street to help first responders #5 Maintain two emergency kits, one at home and another in your car. #6 Take videos and photos of everything for insurance purpose. Copies of insurance policies, wills, passports, drivers licenses and social security cards placed on the cloud NOTE: If the home burns, it’s unlikely stuff stored in a fire safe will survive For help developing a personal wildfire action plan, visit tinyurl.com/ReadySetGoPlan.
Question: What is Saratoga's Weed & Brush Abatement Program? How is it related to fire? ANSWER: In Saratoga, there are two programs that help prevent wildfire by reducing the amount of flammable vegetation and debris. The first is the Weed Abatement Program managed by the City of Saratoga in partnership with the County of Santa Clara via contract. All properties in Saratoga are subject to this program. The second is the Brush Abatement Program/Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Preparedness Inspection managed by the Santa Clara County Fire Department. Only properties in the WUI area are affected. There are a number of things you can do to make sure your home is fire safe and in compliance. Keep tree limbs at least 10 feet away from chimneys or stove pipes. Also, remove dead vegetation from landscaping, and clear leaves from roofs, eaves, and gutters. The deadline to meet Weed Abatement requirements is April 15, and properties on the list will be inspected after that date. If properties are non-compliant, they may be subject to fees and other penalties. For more information and a full list of program requirements, visit http://www.saratoga.ca.us/weed_brush
Question: How can I prepare for the cold spell? ANSWER: 1. Dress warmly in layers to avoid hypothermia. 2. Bring pets and potted plants inside - cover outdoor plants. 3. Check on isolated or medically fragile family, friends and neighbors. For Santa Clara County cold weather resources visit: http://bit.ly/Cold_Weather_Resources
Question: What is Saratoga Emergency Response Team? Saratoga Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a key part of the City’s disaster response strategy. The Santa Clara County Fire Department offers multiple CERT training academies throughout the year where participants learn about personal preparedness, organizing resources, basic medical operations, basic search and rescue, fire extinguisher use, and basic damage assessment. All training academies are open to those who live, work, or volunteer in Saratoga and the communities served by Santa Clara County Fire Department. The next academy will be held at Los Altos Hills Town Hall beginning March 5. Students must attend all seven sessions to receive a certificate of completion. For more information on CERT and all upcoming academies, visithttp://bit.ly/2gxf07l Question: What is Saratoga’s Franchise fee that I see on my water bill and Comcast bill? 2017 franchise fees collected Comcast - $ 370,238 (5%) AT&T - $ 75,411 (5%) SJWC - $266,522 (2%) 1957 Franchise Agreement between the City and SJWC which provides for a 2% franchise fee. In 2017 the City received $266,522 in franchise fees from SJWC. In 2006 the State took away cities authority to have separate video franchise agreements through the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (DIVCA). They also set the franchise fee rate at 5% for video services. Franchise Fee is a general fund revenue source that is applied towards the general operations of the City. I’ve attached an excerpt from the City’s FY 207/18 adopted budget which illustrates our general fund revenues by category. We are expecting to receive approximately $2.3 million in franchise fees this FY which represents approximately 11% of our general fund revenue.
To all my friends, supporters, neighbors, community members/leader - I truly appreciate you being part of this journey. I couldn't do this without you. Thank you for your support! - Rishi Kumar