Community Information Category
As I blogged back in June 2010, the City of Morgan Hill has offered amnesty to property owners who have made modifications to their property without permits. These owners may apply for the appropriate permits without any penalties. Well, time is just about all gone to take advantage of this program and get those permits that you’ve been avoiding – at no additional cost due to penalties. Click here for information on the program.
As a member of the American Association of University Women, AAUW, I’d like to encourage all of you runners – and walkers – to come out and enjoy the 29th annual Wildflower Run in Morgan Hill on April 1, 2012. There is a 2k run for children, a 5k run/walk and a 10k run. If you’ve never participated in this run, I highly recommend it! Serious runners come from far and wide to compete on the flat, fast course through scenic local back roads. But those just wanting to get some exercise and walk or jog are welcome to participate in the run as well.
The Morgan Hill branch of AAUW is dedicated to promoting equity and education for women and girls. Each year our branch raises thousands of dollars through the Wildflower Run to fund local scholarships for women and girls as well as contributing to scholarships for women at the national level.
For more information about the run, click on this link: Morgan Hill Wildflower Run. The weather is supposed to be sunny so I hope to see you at Live Oak High School for the run!
Mushroom soup, french fried portabellos, cajun deep-fried mushrooms, chicken with sauteed mushrooms, portabello burgers, mushroom cheesesteak, stuffed mushrooms and on and on and on. How many ways can you prepare mushrooms??
I happen to love mushrooms so this festival celebrating the fungi sounds mouth-wateringly delicious to me!
This weekend is the 32nd annual Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras to be held May 28 – 29, 2011 in downtown Morgan Hill.
As stated in the event website, “The two-day festival of family-fun includes live entertainment on two stages, arts and crafts, gourmet offerings, mushroom education, strolling musicians, street performers, and several city blocks of unique booths. For children, Munchkinland captivates kids with rides, games and continuous entertainment.”
So come to downtown Morgan Hill this weekend for a “fun-gi” good time. Proceeds from the festival go to scholarships for local high school seniors and to local non-profit organizations.
Morgan Hill Downtown Association is hosting another Downtown Wine Stroll this Saturday, April 30th from 1:00 to 5:00. This is an enjoyable way to get to shop in the unique downtown stores, sip some locally grown wine and visit with friends – all at the same time. Some of the vinters will be present to talk about their wines. This time, nineteen different downtown businesses will be participating. And so far, it looks like the weather will be fabulous for Saturday too!
Get your tickets early ($25 each). A total of 1000 tickets are available – and they may sell out. For more information, click on http://www.morganhilldowntown.org/winestroll_April11.html
The City of Gilroy’ population grew at a fast pace during the last decade according to the State of California’s DOF figures based on the 2010 census. Gilroy grew by 7,357 people, from 41,464 to 48,821. This is a 17.7% increase and is large in comparison to the state as a whole, which grew by about 10 percent since the 2000 count.
Morgan Hill had it’s fair share of population increase over the past decade as well. In the 2000 census, Morgan Hill’s population was 33,556. During the past decade, we saw an increase of 4,326 for a 2010 population of 37,882. This is a 12.9% increase in ten years.
San Martin’s figures weren’t available at the DOF source because they only listed incorporated California cities. Santa Clara County’s population grew by about 6% during the same decade.
Good news for those of you who have done unpermitted work to your property! The City of Morgan Hill is offering an opportunity to those of you who decided to go ahead and do the work – and worry about the permit later. For the next two years, until June 30, 2012, you can make sure that your unpermitted work meets life and safety compliance without having to pay any penalty fees for work already done. As stated in the City of Morgan Hill’s website:
In an attempt to assist property owners in securing retroactive permits for work that has already been performed, a temporary Building Permit Amnesty Program has been implemented. The program will allow property owners that have constructed room additions, remodels, or performed other work that would otherwise require a building permit, to apply for the appropriate permits without paying penalties. The primary objective is to achieve code compliance for life and safety aspects of the code, and therefore reduce liability and increase safety for property owners and/or tenants. This program will only be in effect until June 30, 2012.
All current applicable permit and impact fees would still be due; however, the penalties would be waived–which could mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars in savings.
- The applicant applies for a building permit and all penalty fees are waived;
- The Building Inspector performs a preliminary inspection of the property to determine the scope of the work, and if plans will be required;
- As-built plans are submitted, if deemed necessary;
- If the inspector determines that the unpermitted work will comply with current applicable codes, permit fees are paid, an active building permit is issued to the property owner, and a final inspection takes place.
Codes and Regulations
It will be necessary for the unpermitted construction to comply with all current codes. In cases where there has been extreme divergence from zoning and building codes, the illegal construction will not be permitted. In this situation, the property owner will be required to restore the structure and/or site to its previous condition.”
Mosey on down to Morgan Hill’s charming downtown to experience the annual Taste of Morgan Hill Festival this weekend, September 26 – 27, 2009. The Chamber of Commerce organizes an excellent array of enticing activities and nibbles that draw people back year after year.
The expected 40,000 to 50,000 visitors will get to partake in:
- Fine arts and quality crafts
- Delicious food from local restaurants
- Award-winning wine and microbrew from local wineries and breweries
- Fun rides and entertainment
- Custom and Classic Car Show
- Quilt Show in the Community Center
All of the above including three food courts, two live music stages and a great Kid Zone with rides, crafts and children’s entertainment. What is holding you back?!
The Taste of Morgan Hill is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. Find the fun downtown on Monterey Road between Main Avenue and Dunne Avenue.
2009 Academic Performance Index (API) scores are now available. How did the Morgan Hill Unified and Gilroy Unified School Districts perform?
MORGAN HILL UNIFIED
- Barrett 801
- Burnett 723
- Charter School 881
- El Toro 763
- Jackson 794
- Los Paseos 808
- Nordstrom 871
- P.A.Walsh 731
- Paradise Valley 870
- San Martin/Gwinn 768
Junior high school
- Britton 755
- Martin Murphy 743
- Sobrato 770
- Live Oak 719
- Central Continuation 556
- Antonio Del Buono 767
- El Roble 767
- Eliot 780
- Glen View 757
- Las Animas 814
- Luigi Aprea 857
- Rod Kelly 766
- Rucker 785
- Brownell 751
- Solorsano 810
- South Valley 738
- Gilroy High Not Available
- Gilroy Early College Acad. 894
- MACSA El Portal Leadership Academy 520
- Mt. Madonna 531
Above information taken from the San Jose Mercury News 9/16/2009.
El Toro is the famous Morgan Hill landmark seen from most areas in town. Every spring the Morgan Hill Historical Society sponsors a hike up the 1403 ft. peak. The hike is correctly described as moderate to difficult due to the very steep portion up towards the top. Thank goodness for Boy Scout Troop 799 (of which my son used to be a member) who set up ropes the day before the climb every year to aid in climbing the steep portion.
This annual climb is the only time that the mountain can be climbed officially as it is private land. The group of hikers meets at the library and a local geologist, Peter Anderson, gives an interesting talk on how El Toro was formed. The approximately 200 hikers were rewarded this year with a warm, sunny morning and spectacular views.
Hope to see you on the hike next year!
Several times in the past (July, 2008 and October, 2008) I have written about Morgan Hill’s City Manager speaking at our Wednesday morning South County Realtors Association meetings. Ed Tewes does an excellent job on updating us on the current issues affecting Morgan Hill and environs. As would be predicted, the number one topic was how Morgan Hill is braced to handle the existing economic recession.
Mr. Tewes began with the good news. Although the Santa Clara Valley Water District had been on the brink of enforcing mandatory water conservation, it appears that we may escape that restriction as the latest rainfall brings us much closer to the seasonal normal amount. However, that doesn’t allow us to water with impunity, don’t forget.
One of the questions that the city is mulling over that is of interest to many citizens is whether there should be a movie theater downtown. We have an excellent multi-plex at Tennant Station that should serve the city’s needs. The City Council is considering a downtown cinema, but not at the old Granada Theater site. The new structure would be at the corner of 2nd Street and Monterey Road. My personal opinion is that we shouldn’t stretch our entertainment dollars too thin and shouldn’t over-leverage our tax dollars by constructing a new theater downtown.
The City Manager’s brief presentation then focused on the four areas the City Council was currently considering:
- Capturing new regional economic growth: be prepared to attract future growth by investing in our infrastructure and redevelopment
- Focus on the downtown corridor: subsidize growth and use redevelopment monies
- City Council workings: should all council-members participate in policy workshops rather than sub-committees?
- Ongoing economic issues: how should the city deal with the revenue reduction due to no development fees, lower property taxes, transfer taxes, and sales taxes
The City Manager stated an interesting fact regarding development fees and why there were currently none being collected. For the past 6 months, there have been no new construction building permits pulled in Morgan Hill. This is a record. (As an aside, previously I was a civil engineer and was the Morgan Hill plan check engineer for a brief period. Although I’m sure there are currently tenant improvement permits, remodel permits, and a host of other types of building permits being applied for, it’s hard to fathom no new construction permits.)
The last topic Mr. Tewes covered is how Morgan Hill was handling the economic crisis. There have been staff layoffs and compensation reduction. An interesting turn of events is that the City of Morgan Hill and the City of Gilroy are meeting to discuss ways to share costs and services. The cities will be considering regional fire and police protection as well as shared environmental and recreation programs.