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NWGNA Meeting, 1/03
"Flood Zone Resurvey"
by Tom Smith, Secretary
February 2003

North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association
Word of Faith Church
January 28, 2003
7 – 9 pm

Call to Order: 7:05 pm, Alison England, President

Item 1: Flood Control – Gary Jansen and Ed Rast
Gary and Ed have extensively researched the local flood control issues and presented the challenge as well as some of the recommended solutions to this issue. A list of questions and concerns was collected so that a City of San Jose official can answer them at a subsequent NWGNA meeting.

Some of the issues regarding the local flood control zone:

  • -the map of the flood control zone was completed in 1982—before the
    Guadalupe freeway was built. The map therefore is not current and
    warrants further review.
  • -there are approximately 4000 homes in the flood control zone and most of
    this water comes from Ross Creek and not the Guadalupe River.
  • -past flooding shows that areas in the current flood zone do not flood and
    that conversely, some areas not in the flood zone do flood. An argument in
    favor of updating the flood zone map.
  • -The City of San Jose has adopted the FEMA policy that allows for the current flood zone area as specified on the 1982 map. The City would
    receive FEMA funds in the event of a flood in this designated area.
  • -Congress has the power to change the flood zone.
  • If you are a homeowner in the flood zone area and want to expand or add
    improvements to your home in excess of 50% of the value of the home’s structure (not to include the land), then you must fill in your basement according to the current code. The City keeps records of total improvements for 10 years. Assuming the average value of your home’s structure is $150K, then you would be required to fill in your basement should you improve your home by more than $75K within a ten year period.

Some preliminary solutions were proposed. This is a complex issue and there are some items that can occur concurrently. There are ways to get involved as an individual, as a neighborhood association, and as a larger political block. Gary and Ed requested that those who want to get involved to please contact them.

Possible solutions:

  • -individual homeowners can file a elevation certificate with the City of San
    Jose. Not everyone qualifies but some may get a reduction in residential flood insurance.
  • -Work with Ken Yeager (district 6 Councilman), the developer, and the owner of the recently purchased property on Minnesota and Alma Avenues.
  • Requested that levee be regarded.
  • -Pursue a "lowmar"—a letter of map revision to challenge the current flood zone map.
  • -Get the cost to resurvey the current flood zone.

Action: Gary and Ed to research the issue and ensure factual information. Their plan is to place this information on our recently created website (now at

Item 2: Fourth of July block party – Alison England
We have an application in for a grant for a neighborhood party for the fourth of July. Party will be on Delmas Avenue. This will be the first organized social event for the association.

Item 3: Hummingbird Park – Alison England
Park opening targeted for early March 2003.

Item 4: NWGNA has a new website
The website currently at:
will be accessible from:

Item 5: Holiday Garland – Alison England
The garland needs to be de-installed. All interested parties to met at
The Word of Faith church at 9:30 am on Saturday February 1st.

Item 6: Landscaping on Fuller Plaza
Budget is cut so the committee needs to review the plan and make changes.
Current estimate is $1.3 M and the most we can spend is $600K.

Saturday, February 8th is the area’s dumpster day cleanup. Fliers to be mailed this week.

That's all, folks!

Copyright 2003