Tag Archives: Ag Park

June 2015 Meeting Agenda

Map and Directions To Crest Community Church

1. Introductions

2. Perris Valley Metrolink Update –                                                                     15.min. 

There is a quiet zone scheduled in the University Neighborhood along the Perris Valley Line which will affect the crossings at Marlborough, Spruce, Blaine, and Mt. Vernon.  The work required for this quiet zone will not begin until sometime next year, when the Perris Valley Line is complete.  The City of Riverside will be the lead agency on the project, therefore, I will be sending out updates once the project begins.

3.  UCR Update – Jeff Kraus                                                                                15 min.

4.  UNET Report  – Celeste Neiman                                                                   15 min 

 5. Blaine Street Speed Limit                                                                              15 min.

Blaine Street is classified as an arterial roadway and requires a Traffic and Engineering Survey to establish the speed limit.  Attached is copy of the existing speed survey on file for Blaine between Mt. Vernon and the 60 Freeway which shows that the recommended 40 MPH speed limit was reduced from the 45 MPH 85th% speed results from this survey .  Note that the survey was taken in August of 2008 and will expire this year, thus we will be resurveying the street sometime this month.   Neither the roadway geometrics or circulation element has changed in the area and Public Works doesn’t foresee a change to the speed limit with the new survey.   Nonetheless, we will be happy to keep you informed of the results of the upcoming survey.

The speed feedback sign now on Watkins Drive was recently relocated from Canyon Crest Drive due to traffic signal installations along Canyon Crest Drive.  These devices are typically used to enhance driver awareness of their speed on streets with demonstrated speeding problems and because they are costly they are often utilized after other alternatives have been unsuccessful in addressing a speeding issue and budget allows for the purchase and installation costs.

The vast majority of the speed feedback signs in place throughout the City were grant funded and were required to be placed on non-federally funded streets.    We can certainly start with requesting enforcement which is an initial tool if you can please let us know the peak time frames that you are noticing speeding and the specific area along Blaine.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.  We will await your response regarding the speeding before we request enforcement.

Sincerely, Dawna Fuller Engineering Technician Traffic Engineering Division Public Works Department City of Riverside  (951) 826-5907 dfuller@riversideca.gov

Blaine Between Mt. Vernon & Fwy 60 8-7-08


6. Watkins Drive Clean Up – Sat. June 20th, 8 a.m.

Meet At Piccacho and Watkins Dr. 

Wear sturdy shoes, bring water bottles.

7. Ag Park  City Council June 23rd                                                                       

8. Call For Drought Tolerant Plants for Mt. Vernon & Big Springs Median Makeovers

Contact Gurumantra gkhalsa@NutritionNews.com or 951-640-3868

9. National Night Out  – Tuesday August 4th, Islander Park Pool

Potluck – Pool Party.  Discovering Neighborhood Treasures





AG Park Residents Call To Action

Our city council recently tabled a vote and moved the item to the 9th meeting; Penny Newman, Executive Director for the Executive Director at Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ),  says more time is necessary before taking this critical vote.


There is an update on Ag Park/Arroyo Park.


Where                Terrace Elementary School

When                  Wednesday, May 27th

Time                   6 – 8 pm


Several TV news stations have been invited.

Below is an email sent to RRR members and local residents

Dear RRR members and friends within Riverside,

Are you wondering what is happening with the Ag Park?  Here is an update:

  • Steve Cox (owner) has changed the name from Ag Park to Arroyo Park
  • Tuesday April 28th, there was (is) to be a vote on the CFD (“Community Facilities District”. Staff saw a power point presentation last week by community members (who feel that additional testing is necessary).
  • Staff agreed that a vote on a CFD is premature and will recommend to our City Council that this vote be trailed to June 9th. (See below for definition of Community Facilities District)
  • This Tuesday at 3 pm, the Council Agenda is asking our city council to vote on the CFD; the hope is that they will follow staff recommendation to trail this vote to June 9th, in the evening, at the 7 pm Council meeting.

o   Why is this significant?  This vote will allow Steve Cox (the sole property owner) to vote to enact this “tax” to his “development of homes”; if our council votes in favor of the CFD, most likely Cox will go forward with development before any other discussion can be heard on the property…once he pours cement, do you see the project halting even if the “discovery” of toxic particles is discovered?

  • May 12, the Council plans to discuss Ag Park (Arroyo Park) in the evening.This could change, but that is what they are shooting for.
  • Who is working for YOU and the community on this to help our Council with their decision?Penny Newman (see below for information on Penny Newman) and concerned community members.
  • Ward 7 resident and RRR member, Jim Martin, speaks out at a City Council meeting: (you can watch it on youtube.com at the following link)

o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCSGkIyB4RM&feature=youtu.be

This is a HOT topic; in more ways than one!  The problem:  most people are not aware of the history, discovery or current status of this property or the possible vote this coming Tuesday.  I have enclosed some information that will help you get “up to speed”; is written with a bias (most information does have a bias), but it (as stated) is factual.

Please read the PDF and if you feel that you would like the Council to delay its vote this Tuesday until further OUTSIDE testing is done, PLEASE email your City Council and ask them to delay the vote until the 9th of May when more information will be available for them on safety issues.  There is no harm in this small delay and it could prove beneficial for all of those who live near the park. Get the maps and history here:AG PARK (1).


If you want to contact the City Council members, it is EASY!  Select reply all; every council member will receive your email. State:

  • your name,
  • address
  • the desire to trail this vote or to go forward….

the decision is yours.  Keep the same subject in the subject line, which is:  “Ag Park/Arroyo Park Update”.

It is not often that your voice is heard; often it is because you have not been informed and the vote has been taken before you KNEW there was a vote.  This is your opportunity to be heard; take it!

The staff feels that they will recommend trailing this vote; they heard COMPELLING information regarding the safety of this property and they want our City Council to hold their vote until more information is available.  If you feel the same, ask your City Council to hold their votes and trail to the June 9th City Council meeting.  It is important for our elected representatives to know what their constituents want; it allows them to make choices for you as well as the betterment of the city.

Sharon Mateja

Chairperson RRR

Residents for Responsible Representation

We The People Grand Jury Convened On Ag Park AG PARK (1)If there are questions, modifications or corrections to this email, please contact me directly.

Still No State Report On Cleaned-up AG Park Site


 Riverside residents Marilyn Whitney, left, George Robbins, Tatiana Sandoval, Orlando Recinos and Maria Castro hold pictures of what they say is contamination of the site behind them in February. Following a state-approved environmental cleanup, a developer is building homes on the site.


Riverside officials have been asking the state Department of Toxic Substances Control to talk about a former sewer plant site where the department oversaw an environmental cleanup. Here is a timeline of the issue.

April 2014: State toxics officials certify that contamination is cleaned up at the site and homes can be built.

September 2014: Residents begin telling the City Council of health problems they attribute to the contamination.

February: City officials ask the state toxics department to give a presentation on the cleanup.

March: Department Director Barbara Lee visits the site and meets with residents.

Wednesday: Residents will stage a rally and panel discussion about the contamination and cleanup.

June 9: The City Council will have a public hearing on forming a special taxing district to pay for infrastructure for homes to be built on the site.

Riverside officials have been waiting since February to hear from a state agency about how it handled environmental cleanup at a former sewer plant that some residents say is still contaminated.

And they’ll continue to wait, because the state Department of Toxic Substances Control has not yet scheduled a meeting with the city, officials said Friday.

The department oversaw a two-phase cleanup at the site between Rutland and Crest avenues known as the ag park, where a sewer plant operated from 1942 to 1965 and some residents allege toxic material was dumped. State officials certified in April 2014 that the cleanup was complete and the land was suitable for development.

Residents from the surrounding neighborhood have said contamination from the site gave people tumors, cancer and other illnesses. Property owner Henry C. “Chuck” Cox, who is developing homes on the site, says he followed a state-approved cleanup plan and no contamination remains.

Because some Riverside officials still have questions, they asked state toxics officials to come to a City Council meeting and review the cleanup process. In April, the council postponed a hearing related to homes planned for the site so they could talk to toxics officials first.

“We have a new director, so before she made any decision she wanted to review the data,” state toxics department spokesman Tim Reese said, referring to Barbara Lee, who was appointed to head the agency in October.

Lee visited the site and met with concerned residents and environmental activist Penny Newman in March.

Though it’s unknown when toxics officials will make a presentation to the council, city officials may go ahead with a June 9 hearing on forming a special taxing district to pay for amenities in a housing tract planned for the site.

Using a fact sheet released last fall by the state toxics department, city staff will report to the council on the site cleanup and let the council decide whether to proceed with the hearing on the taxing district, Assistant City Manager Al Zelinka said.

But Newman, who heads the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice in Jurupa Valley, said the city should stop any development from moving forward and have the site and surrounding neighborhood independently tested to ensure all contamination has been removed.

She has provided data on the site to state toxics and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials, she said.

“Many of them feel they didn’t have all of the information on what has happened at the site,” she said.

Cox, the developer, said that although he’d like to get the taxing district approved, the city and state delays haven’t interfered with his plans for the site. Sewer lines have been installed, and curbs were built last week, he said.

Zelinka said state toxics officials haven’t given the city any reason to doubt that the site cleanup was adequate.

“We have no basis as a public agency to accept anything other than their certification,” he said.

Newman and neighbors of the site are planning a rally and panel discussion Wednesday to air their concerns and “demand that we get some answers to all the questions that have been raised,” Newman said.

Contact the writer: 951-368-9461 or arobinson@pe.com