The Town Meeting held last Wednesday evening provided
an excellent way for the residents of Sunol and Alameda County
officials to meet and discuss various issues and concerns. The
meeting, held at the Sunol Glen School cafeteria, was hosted
by Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steele and was attended by
officials from the county's planning department and public works
This was one of the most informative Town Meetings I have ever
attended and I felt proud to be a part of the community. Just
about every business and local organization was represented
in the 50 or so residents which attended. Unfortunately I received
notice of the meeting after I had already submitted my column
so I was unable to announce the meeting.
Supervisor Steele opened the meeting with an introduction of
the county officials and proceeded to address the concerns and
questions from the community members present. Some of the issues,
questions or concerns included, traffic controls on lower Kilkare
Road, Main Street, Highway 84 and Calavaras Road; the proposed
Apperson Ridge Quarry; the proposed compost dump station; building,
zoning and conditional use permits; Measure D; train use; noise
ordinances; Sunol Community Park maintenance and management;
disaster preparation; flood zone designation; lack of fire hydrants;
and the recent rash of suspicious fires in the area.
As the two hour meeting adjourned there was a round of applause
of thanks to Supervisor Gail Steele and the county officials
for coming out and listening to the community. Some of the residents
in attendance left the meeting with a real positive feeling
that their concerns were going to be addressed and resolved.
It was also suggested that the Sunol Advisory Committee be involved
with the Alameda County officials when addressing these concerns
as well. And of course another Town Meeting will follow and
I will definitely announce it well in advance.
Since July 26 there have been 10 fires, some of which have
been labeled of "suspicious origin", along the Highway
680 corridor which runs directly though the Sunol Valley. The
first of the series of fires occurred near Koopmann Road and
the most recent fires, on August 21, were located off of Andrade
Sunol's Department of Forestry Battalion Chief, Mike Martin,
attended Wednesday's Town Meeting to address the citizens concerns
regarding these fires. He said, "Any information we can
get would be appreciated". Chief Martin also added that
anyone in the community who sees a suspicious vehicle parked
anywhere in the area, to make note of the color, make, model,
number of occupants and best of all the license plate.
As I have said repeatedly, we live in a rural area but most
of us know our neighbors and even know those who live within
miles of us, so if you see someone or something that looks remotely
unusual or out of place, please contact the authorities.
Signs have been posted in the area of Koopmann read which read
"Arson caused fire. If you have information regarding this
fire, call our anonymous hotline 800-468-4408".
There was also a heartfelt thank you and another round of applause
during the Town Meeting for the California Department of Forestry.
Several members of the community expressed their gratitude for
their quick and strong response to the Koopmann Road fire, which
also scorched the land surrounding the residents along Little
Valley Road. In fact Sandy Bohner, resident and owner of Little
Valley Vineyards, expressed her thanks to the fireman with four
dozen freshly baked chocolate chip cookies which she delivered
to their station. We are truly pleased to have the Department
of Forestry as our neighbors and friends.
Tom Harland, one of the organizers of the town's hopefully
new organizations, Sunol Area Residents Association (SARA),
was on hand to remind and encourage folks to attend the meeting
this coming Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Sunol Community Park.
This first meeting will be open to discussion as to how the
Association would form and what goals do they plan on achieving.
Some suggestions are, to focus on communication, discuss important
issues regarding the town, and support civic and cultural activities.
Organizers say this new Association "would not be affiliated
with any existing group and would be open to all who live in
Sunol". For more information please contact Tom at 925-862-2915.