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Frequently Asked
Questions about North Willow Glen
by Various Residents
March 2003

Is my house in North Willow Glen?
Loosely stated, the boundaries for North Willow Glen are: to the North, Fuller Avenue from Gregory to 87. To the East, Prevost Avenue from Fuller to Willow. To the South, Willow Street from Prevost to Bird. To the West, Bird Avenue from Willow to Fuller. To see the exact boundary, check this map. If you live outside our strict boundary, you're still welcome to participate in the Association. Only residents within the boundary can vote at our meetings, however.

There's a problem on my street.
Will the Association help me?

Yes. Collectively we have a lot of experience dealing with various neighborhood issues and annoyances. To tap that experience (and to get some encouragement to take action) contact us or better yet, come to a monthly meeting.

Where and when are the
Association meetings?

They are at the Word of Faith Church, on the northwest corner of Fuller and Delmas, every fourth Tuesday of the month (except in December). The meetings start at 7 pm and last for about an hour and a half. We're pretty laid back about our meetings, so don't be shy to just drop on by and see what's going on in your neighborhood.

Why should I come to
Association meetings?

You'll learn about the neighborhood you live in. We hear reports from residents and from the police officers assigned to North Willow Glen, so you can stay on top of what's going on.

You'll learn about the progress of neighborhood improvements, and can contribute your own ideas and opinions to shape their progress.

You'll meet your neighbors, who can be a pretty cool bunch of folks. You're likely to meet someone with some wisdom you can use and also someone who could use some wisdom you have.

You'll get a chance to help improve your neighborhood, which will make your friends and family happier and safer, will fill you up with neighborhood pride, send your property values into the stratosphere, and generally make you a more satisfied person overall.

Do you guys actually
accomplish anything,
or do you just talk?

Oh, we accomplish things. At our meeting you'll probably meet people who have been working for many years to get the City's attention and improve the neighborhood they live in. To see a rundown of some of the things we've accomplished, go here. To see the issues we're working on via the Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI), here's the list.

How old is my house?
Houses in our neighborhood range in age from about 1880 to contemporary, but most of them were built in the years from 1902 through the 1940s. The style of your home can be a clue as to how old it is; you can find a handy "spotter's guide" here. To find out its exact age and many other fascinating facts besides, go to the California Room at the Main Branch of the San Jose Library, and ask a librarian to help you.

I hear about 'SNI'. What exactly is SNI?
The Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI) is a partnership of the City of San Jose, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, and various city neighborhoods. SNI brings resources to neighborhoods that traditionally have been underserved by the city, and which stand to benefit substantially in return for the investment.

Much of North Willow Glen is inside the "Greater Gardner" SNI Area. Since 2000, a Neighborhood Action Committee (NAC) composed of area residents has worked to prioritize the wants and needs of the Greater Gardner area and to get SNI funding to address them. The City Council approved funds for our area's most critical issues in January 2002.

What are the Gardner area's top issues? Here's the list.

I want a street tree
in front of my house.
How do I get one?

Good for you! Street trees add a lot of value to a streetscape and are just plain good for a neighborhood. To get a street tree in front of your house, contact an arborist or forester at Our City Forest - call (408) 99-TREES or e-mail your question to Our City Forest usually has trees available, and they work with residents to make sure that trees are properly selected, planted,and cared for. You can learn more at our tree page or by going to

When will someone do something about our streets and sidewalks?! They're all warped and buckled and full of dips.
Repairing our deteriorated streets and sidewalks is the A-#1 top priority of the SNI Action Plan for the Gardner neighborhood - which includes much of North Willow Glen. The first step of the $2.5 million plan was to get a proper Soils Study done (of the Gardner area around Brown Avenue only, unfortunately), which was completed in November 2002.

To no one's surprise, the study found that the clayey soils around here are very expansive - and that they have underlying pockets of peaty and highly organic soil, which tend to either swell or decompose. Add several decades of tree root action and you have sidewalks and gutters that look like rollercoasters and lagoons that form after every rain.

From the soils report, however, we can glean some ways to prevent water from creeping underneath our sidewalks and gutters. So now the trick is to get money to pay for having old sidewalks and streets rebuilt to the new specifications. Folks on Spencer, which is in dire need of repair, have persuaded the Greater Gardner SNI group to expand the scope of action to include their street. Next steps here are for our neighborhood to participate in the negotiations that will determine how the SNI money for street repair ($2.5 million) is allocated, and to pursue other sources of money for repairs (such as from the City itself).

Does our neighborhood
ever get press coverage?

Yes. Check it out.

Copyright 2003