Meeting Minutes, November 4, 2013

Officer Elections: 14 neighborhood residents present for quorum.
Nominated and seconded:
President: Owen Martin
Vice-President: Rock Brown
Secretary: Nina Smith
Treasurer: Christine Hayes
Slate accepted unanimously.

Bioswale: San Pablo Avenue Green Stormwater Spine:
Lynne Scarpa, City of Richmond, environmental manager, (510-307-8135) runs the storm water program.  The City is required to create a “green streets” where water is taken off of the street and clean it up by channeling it through sandy soil and green plants.
Josh Bradt, project manager, San Francisco Estuary Partnership, 510-622-5048, jbradt@waterboards.ca.gov. He does water quality partnerships with local governments and is working on this Richmond project. 
The McBryde-Andrade green street is right by our neighborhood: San Pablo between McBryde & Andrade.  Mr. Bradt gave a presentation about the project showing previous projects in El Cerrito and Emeryville.  Similar projects are happening in other major cities throughout the country.
The purpose of these projects is to allow more water to go into the earth naturally rather than polluting the bay through overflow as a result of so much of the ground being covered by concrete and pavement.  “Slow it, spread it and sink it.”  Creates rain gardens and green space for treatment.  Business owners donating part of the parking lot and several parking places will be sacrificed.  AC Transit is requesting that the bus stop will be moved out further so that the buses will have to stop in the right lane of traffic which was an issue about which concerns were raised by several residents present. 
The Richmond project is part of a larger San Pablo Avenue Green Stormwater Spine which will retrofit street/sidewalks at 8 sites in 7 cities – every city along San Pablo Avenue is participating.  Our site is the first step.  This is a pilot project which will lead the way and eventually be required by the Water Board in order to save our water resources.
The cost is being paid for by EPA, mitigation funds from CALTRANS, and the Dept. of Water Resources.  Current estimate for construction is $400,000 and construction is expected to start in the spring of 2014.  The design incorporates the elements of the Livable Corridors project.

Questions and discussion from the audience:   Anyone with concerns and questions should email Josh Bradt.  He and the City would be glad to work with who ever has specific concerns.

Bill Koziol Green Remedy Marijuana Dispensary Collective
Background: Green Remedy non-profit marijuana collective operating with a permit since January 2012.  One of 6 permitted dispensaries in the City of Richmond.  Governed by a Board, some paid, some volunteer advisors.  Bill used to live in this area although he now lives in Crockett.  Two of the Board members are current Richmond residents; two of their managers are Richmond residents.  Some of the staff came to our meeting and were introduced to the meeting.  Currently being forced to move from current location because the building is in foreclosure. There has been no increased crime as a result of their operation in Hilltop.  They have 18 employees, 16 full-time, including 12 Richmond residents.  Bill says that if they cannot move those people will lose their jobs.  There will be security guards hired. The building will be unmarked except for the address; there will be no sign indicating that it is a marijuana dispensary.  Bill said that their average sale is $40.  There is no on-site consumption or growing.  Business Hours: 10 am to 8 pm at a maximum; they shut down earlier during winter.  If there is a profit in a given month the surplus goes into a community development fund and stays there.  They cannot withdraw funds from this fund even if future months bring a deficit.  Their plan eventually is to have grant money from this fund available to community organizations.  Talked to neighboring businesses and reported that overall they are supportive.
Questions and Discussion:
Time frame: 2 to 3 months to rehabilitate the building prior to moving in. 
# of clients: 1900 Richmond resident and a total 9000 members of collective.  Some come one time and don’t come back.  80 – 200 people come on a busy day. 

Motion: That the Neighborhood Council write a letter to the City Council opposing the location of this marijuana dispensary in our neighborhood.  Seconded. 

Substitute Motion: That the Neighborhood Council write a letter stating that we welcome of the dispensary moving to our neighborhood.  Seconded.

Votes: 13, 5, abstain 2. Substitute Motion passed.

Meeting Adjourned.

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