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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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 <email@example.com>
ANSWER: The crimes this 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Webpage (including complaint form): www.saratoga.ca.us/enforcement At your yard? We don’t have a provision yet
Question: : Should we report soliciations 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 408-887-7818 cell KI6HKZ
Question: What is the latest on the request to reduce air traffic noise over traffic? Here is the latest - Our city is putting together a response to FAA document “Initiative to address noise concerns of Santa Cruz/ Santa Clara/ San Mateo/ San Francisco”. The FAA developed this document 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 <email@example.com>
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.
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
OFFICE HOURS 1st Saturday every month, 9AM to 10AM check facebook.com/VoteRishiKumar for details
"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer