Category Archives: Living Among Giants

RUSD UCR Hold Meeting For New STEM High School Project

Save The Date! Tuesday September 25, 2018

It’s time to get informed and organized. It’s critical to show up and bring your questions.

This project will alter the fabric of the neighborhood. It will bring traffic that cannot be mitigated.
So it’s up to us to drive the conversation about mitigation.

Riverside Unified School District and UCR will be holding the first of two community meetings to discuss the proposed RUSD STEM High School on Tuesday, September 25.

 The meeting will be held at 6:00 pm in room J-102 of the Bannockburn Village, located at 3637 Canyon Crest Dr, Riverside, CA 92507

The Regents of the University of California, on behalf of UC Riverside are partnering with the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) to propose a ground lease of University-owned Glen Mor Intramural Fields on East Campus for the purpose of constructing a new RUSD STEM High School serving grades 9 through 12.

UCR STEM High School Site Proposal

The RUSD STEM High School will be a magnet school for 800 students (half full-time and half part-time) who are pursuing their interests and aptitudes in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The High School would consist of classrooms, administrative office space, a multi-use discovery center, fabrication lab, food service, lecture facilities, a fitness center, outdoor learning areas and associated parking and circulation.

There will be a follow up meeting on November 1st.

For more information on the project, visit: http://ae.ucr.edu/rusd_stem_high_school_958802-community_meeting_flyer_9-7-18_b.pdf

For more information, please contact: Ana Gonzalez Director II, Planning Development Riverside Unified School District (951) 788‐7496 x84003

Raoul Amescua, ExecuƟve Director Real Estate Services University of California, Riverside (951) 827‐2433

Jerrod Walters, Senior Planner Auxiliary Services / Capital Asset Strategies University of California, Riverside (951) 827‐6955

or Jeff Kraus UCR Office of Government and Community Relations (951) 827-7073

Love Riverside UNA Valencia Hills Dr Median Make Over

 We’re planning to add a few cactus and some drought tolerant plants to this forgotten focal point.

A morning make-over. Looking for a few volunteers.

We can use a few with shovels, and a pick up would make quick work of transporting  plant starts.

Start the day at Sherman Indian School, have some coffee and rolls.

Photos and off to an morning make-over.

Contact Gurumantra 951-640-3868

Here’s the project page link for more details:

https://loveriverside.vnexttech.com/communityservice/projectdetails/59d3fe8876a4a2a91cb5aa3a

 

Neighborhood Project Brainstorming Update

We’re starting to collect lots of ideas of self help actions we can take to enhance the quality of life in the neighborhood. Feel free to share yours.

Brain Strom Sticky Notes

  1. To Do Clean up fee assessed to UCR students or perhaps property owners for move out cleanup. Trash, debris, furniture on curbs…
  2. To Do Neighborhood program for dealing with UCR students issues.  Realistically these are non-police issues (parties, noise, parking, etc) for which UCR may have leverage. We need to solve this ourselves rather than allowing the city to pace our solution.
  3. To Do Reduce street width on Blaine between Watkins and Valencia Hill.  Traffic calming, boulevard, etc…  Maybe even convert to angled or 90 deg parking on one side only…the wall of cars that line every street in UNA and elsewhere in Riverside is horrible.
  4. To Do School traffic at STEM and Highland is really inappropriate for the neighborhood. I imagine all the other schools in UNA have similar issues.
  5. To Do Reseed Mt. Vernon Park with native plants.  This will displace Russian Thistle.  There must be some grant money someplace to do this!
  6. To Do Watkins landscape along railroad between Spruce and Valencia Hill needs to be finished.
  7. To Do We need to find a use for the field at Spruce and Watkins before we get a warehouse there.
  8. To Do UCR backlot (corporate yard) fencing.  Green construction fence installed on a permanent basis. 
  9. To Do Gage canal bikeway needs upkeep and improvements.  Also should be extended through UCR and into the Canyon Crest area.
  10. To Do Need a vision for the neighborhood.  Something like the Springbrook Heritage Parklands citizen’s proposal. We need to get off defense.
  11. To Do Need re-zoning and development added to the vision for UNA.   To me this means allowances for small neighborhood markets like the Olive Ave  Market in Redlands.  It also means allowing for greater housing density that still fits with the neighborhood; things like granny flats where lot size permits or duplex conversions, inventive solutions.  We need density WITH CONTROL to raise the value of UNA housing.
  12. To Do Buy up vacant lots, get easements, or knock down “tear down” houses to convert to neighborhood vest pocket parks.  This reserves the property for future good uses.  Every block should have a small public space.  Not a playground; there aren’t many children in UNA anymore…
  13. To Do Our interface with Box Springs could use work.  Likewise the C.  Box Springs is a huge UNA resource; we are the gateway to that mountain.  Why hide it?
  14. To Do UNA should be able to capture new UCR faculty as neighbors much more effectively than any other area of town.  Do we need a name: “University Park”?  Like “the Wood Streets?” How do we make this happen?  Amenities, markets, etc..???

UCR Physical Master Plan Study Is Complete

UCR CampusAfter receiving feedback from approx. 450 individuals, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members, a final report has been compiles to provide guidance regarding UC Riverside’s space needs, transportation, sustainability, safety, and aesthetics.

Below you will find a link to UCR Today’s feature article on the Physical Master Plan Study, as well as a link to the study’s website on UCR’s Capital Asset Strategies page and a link to the study itself.

UCR Today: Look Online for UCR’s Future Design<http://atu.cr/1NPX993>

Capital Asset Strategies – Physical Master Plan Study<http://cpp.ucr.edu/masterplan_study/>

Physical Master Plan Study – Full Report PDF<http://cpp.ucr.edu/masterplan_study/ucriverside_pms_full_report_05242016.pdf>

Also attached is a PDF of the Physical Master Plan Study presentation made at the Steering Committee meeting on May 18th.

Please note that we also have posted summaries of each chapter of the Physical Master Plan Study to the study website, at the URL below.

http://cpp.ucr.edu/masterplan_study/report.html

A PDF of these combined summaries also is attached for your ease of future reference.

A list of frequently asked questions and responses also is posted to the study website, at the URL below.

http://cpp.ucr.edu/masterplan_study/faq2.html

A PDF of these FAQs also is attached for your ease of future reference.

UCR Family Student Housing Complex to Be Closed in Summer 2017

Stem Academy Traffic Plan Update

Stem Academy MapThe Press Enterprise recently ran with the headline: Stem Academy Traffic Irks Neighbors. While quite true, University Neighborhood residents are well aware of the long history of impacts to the community from education.

While most of us relish the benefits from high quality educational resources, we are all too familiar with unintended consequences and negative impacts. Fortunately, having lots of practice working collaboratively, a small group of neighbors has been meeting with stakeholders to come up with a plan that brings some resolution and relief. Here’s a brief summary:

At Dr. Kirk Lewis’ request, a small group of local Mt. Vernon/Watkins residents met with the RUSD staff and Riverside Traffic engineers on Monday night, August 10th.  Our City Ward Representative Andy Melendrez was also at the meeting.  The STEM Academy PTSA president was present.

A recap of Monday’s agenda:

New Student Drop Off Pick Up Area Signs STEM Academy

  1. Activities to date: Parking lot done, lights going in, portables 1 is in place and waiting for a second one to arrive 3 weeks after school starts.
  1. Future of RSA, they are still talking about moving the 9-12 kids to another location. UCR is still being discussed. Interestingly though, when we asked again about the 5-8 grades increasing in size to fill in the loss of the HS students and accomplish a 700 student cap that Mr. Hansen had told us to expect, the Board member present knew nothing about a 700 student cap! This may be good news for us as we continue to pressure them to keep the student population down closer to the 350 the school was originally intended to house.
  1. Presentation of a DRAFT traffic mitigation plan: Traffic engineers presented three plans. (feel free to come see them or wait for the next meeting for a finalized map)  The City’s proposal was to have traffic from the West come to the school up Mt. Vernon from Big Springs Rd, Barret Rd., and Broadbend Dr.  The proposal also includes posting no Parking Signs and Directional signs.  There would be No Left Turn sign upon exit of the school from 7:30 am to 8:00 am and 2:30 to 3:00 pmMonday thru Friday, directing the traffic during school opening and dismissal back down Mt. Vernon to these same 3 access points.  There would be no left turns on to Mt. Vernon East bound on Watkins for traffic from 7:30 am to 8:30 am and 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Monday thru Friday.

City Representative Melendrez suggested we watch the suggestions in action for a month, and then reconvene to discuss the results.

  1. Bussing: Two options were proposed. Cluster bussing from several riverside areas and shuttle bussing from either Goodwin’s or the Newman Center parking lots.

The earliest date of busing would be January, 2016.

  1. Potential staggered beginning and dismissal times

They took our input and suggestions back and will finalize a traffic plan soon. I believe Mr. Lewis wants to meet on a larger scale at the next neighborhood community meeting. That date is September 10th at the church.

William Woodring, Kevin Tippets, Suzette & Herb Chavers, Gurumantra Khalsa, and myself have actual printed documents and maps from this meeting.  William, Kevin, and myself would be happy to share with anyone who wishes to see them. Just let us know.

Notes Sent on Behalf of Mary Simons

Neighborhood Real Estate Update, Open House

Neighbor Open House Invitation

Dear Neighbors,
As a long-term University Hills resident, I strongly believe in sustaining
neighborhood property value.
In a collective effort among University Neighborhood Association and local activists,
we have witnessed a faster increase in home value, compared with the greater Riverside area.
Following my recent sales (425 Maravilla Dr. for $350k and 3224 Celeste for $350k),
I foresee the rising prices have reached a plateau, and should remain stable throughout the next 18 months.
I look forward to seeing you at the open house:
 3355 Santa Cruz Dr.
June 28 tSat. 11am-3pm
Offered at $369,500
This would be a great opportunity for you to invite someone who would make
the perfect new neighbor for you!
Sincerely,
Laura Peng
,
Realtor, UCR Graduate
714.915.0660
www.laurarealty.com
homes@laurarealty.com
Bre: 01928774
,
7545 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 250
Irvine, CA 92618

 

Events Happenings and Heads Up

80 UCR Students Pledged For Neighborhood Clean Up

Pi Kappa Alpha Cleans Up Watkins DriveA major spring cleaning is slated for the neighborhood, Saturday, May 17 th. Here’s how you can help:

  1. Reply with an area in need of some attention.
  2. Contribute to the foodie fund – cash or dish
  3. Tell your neighbors.

 

So far we’ve had a graffiti rock on Coyote Hill, illegal dumping along the trail starting at the Hyatt parking lot, Islander Park, Watkins Driver along Coyote Hill from Piccacho to the freeway ramp. What else?

1st Graffitti On Coyote Hill in  37 years

 

 

 

 

 

Honoring Earth Day

Gathering data may not only be good for the planet, it could become a source of neighborhood bragging rights. Sign up and find out more.

The City of Riverside wants your help! Our community has a chance to become California’s Coolest City by participating in the CoolCalifornia City Challenge.  Now through August 31, sign up and commit to reducing your carbon footprint to help Riverside earn points and compete against other California cities.  The more points Riverside earns, the closer we get to becoming California’s Coolest City.

And, there’s even prize money – $100,000 will be distributed to participating cities!

 

Signing up is easy:

1.   Click here to sign up .

2.   Take the CoolCalifornia City Challenge survey (each survey is worth 500 points!)

3.   Spread the word – Tell other Riverside residents about the CoolCalifornia City Challenge and encourage them to sign up!

Learn more by visiting CoolCalifornia.org , or call 951-826-5817.

Want to help save water, too?  Then check out the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation and sign the pledge.

 

Grow our city’s impact by inviting your friends!  Email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

Plant a Seed Of Energy Savings

You’ve already pledged to honor the planet with everyday, energy-saving actions. Each of your simple deeds adds up to significant reductions in energy waste for our community.

However the biggest little actions you can take grow your community’s commitment to action. Please take one minute to forward this message to a friend and include a sentence about why the Challenge matters to you. If you have five minutes, reach out to five action-oriented friends this Earth Day. 

What is the Cool California City Challenge?

The CoolCalifornia City Challenge is a statewide competition engaging thousands of households in ten cities across California to save energy, reduce their carbon footprints and help build more vibrant and sustainable communities. Participants in ‘the Challenge’ earn points for reducing their household energy use and transportation emissions. Each new participant and point earned in the program results in prize money to fund local sustainability projects selected by the community.

In its pilot year (2012-2013), the program enrolled 2,670 participants in 8 participating cities. The city of Davis was crowned “Coolest California City” and the cities of Chula Vista and Tracy were each named “Cool California City” for their efforts to engage hundreds of households in local sustainability efforts.

Join us in our effort to make every day Earth Day!

Join the East Side and Develop a Healthy Eating Plan for your Neighborhood

Heal Zone Neighborhood  Healthy Eating Plan

15th Annual Primavera in the Gardens and the Gardens 50th Anniversary
Food & Wine Tasting Fundraiser, May 18th, 2014, 2:00 – 5:00 PM

Primavera In the Gardens