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Association History

CHAPTER 4 - Founding of SHPNA

As stated in the last installment, we were suddenly faced with a real challenge to the preservation of the quality of life for almost every part of the SHPNA neighborhood from St Leo’s all the way to Naglee and north and south from San Carlos to Stockton Avenue as well as other residential and commercial side streets that linked in to the neighborhood.

Word came from City Hall sources that the then mayor, Tom McEnery wanted a sports facility in downtown San Jose . The value of a sports arena was declared to bring increased visitors to downtown San Jose, which would increase tax revenues, encourage greater numbers of restaurant patrons and, best of all, propel the City of San Jose into the big leagues for a stellar national reputation.

As discussions progressed, it was becoming increasingly apparent that the preferred location for the sports facility was within walking distance of our neighborhood. With that location in mind there were many environmental impacts that needed attention and remediation. Primary among these were traffic, parking, access and security. Other critical environmental problems was the location: it was directly under the incoming flight path for planes approaching the San Jose International Airport;  there were and are major underground  utility lines; it is in close proximity to the Guadalupe Creek and the site included toxic contamination from previous uses of this previously zoned heavy industrial site.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 December 2010 21:03 )


CHAPTER 1 - The Early Days of SHPNA

After years of being asked to write an account of how and why the Shasta Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association came into being; Jeff Rogers, currently President of the Association, convinced me it was time to tell the story.
Several decades have passed since the birth of the Shasta Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association and this account of those days may leave out some important notes of interest. But, even so, I will make every effort to include as much as I do recall. It is somewhat of a long story and is an account of an exciting, rewarding, neighborhood wide desire to preserve this very lovely neighborhood.
It was while recovering from a life altering illness and no longer working that I became aware that a number of the essentials of a neighborhood were being threatened.
How the neighborhood looked and felt was especially obvious to me since, with a cane, I could only slowly walk from my home to the then Safeway grocery store and other businesses in the shopping center at the intersection of Shasta and San Carlos. Most of us who have a job must face almost every day getting home from work for the evening meal, some family time, rest and an early start the next day with little time to really look about or notice much other than the time of day and the amount of traffic on the roadways.

CHAPTER 2 - The first gathering of neighbors: who came and what happened?

Ten neighbors were left a flyer and where personal contact could be made; were told to invite others who may be interested in attending a gathering regarding the neighborhood. Since Shasta and Hanchett Avenues served as “Neighborhood Collectors” for traffic, it was residents living on these two streets that were notified. We, the late Lois Columbus and I, decided that it would be best to have the meeting on a Saturday morning at 1650 Shasta. It was held in the month of October  
There were no refreshments.  Our then San Jose City Councilperson, Nancy Ianni, her Aide, Linda Crabill and City Transportation Engineer, Larry Moore arrived promptly that Saturday morning as promised. Councilwoman Ianni had assured that me that even if only four people showed up she and her staff would be at the meeting! I started the meeting and, not knowing many who did come, asked each person to identify who they were, their street and house number, how many years they had lived in their home and what they liked about the neighborhood and what they did not like or was of concern to them.

CHAPTER 3 - The formation of SHPNA

It was almost 6 months after the very first meeting that we had our second gathering that had been requested by Shasta Ave resident, Ron Ruiz. Upon notification of another neighborhood meeting, our Council person, Nancy Ianni, said she would be there as would her aide Linda Crabill and then San Jose City Manager, Gerald Newfarmer.
Almost 75 neighbors came and with that number we had to gather in our backyard. With this meeting we were made aware of the extent of the needs in our lovely but somewhat neglected neighborhood. As previously mentioned, traffic was a major concern; speed, cut through commuters hurrying to work and reports of serious auto accidents.   How could we deal with these problems?
It was at that gathering that we were surprised to hear that a high rise was planned for the Alameda at the intersection with Julian. Mary Sweeny who lived near the Alameda and still lives there not only informed us of the proposed development but had, in hand, the grand design of that planned development. It was an impressive high rise that had the effect of an arrow shot through the neighborhood.
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