Tributary Creeks- To Dredge or Not To Dredge?

Many of you have read about the Miller’s Creek special taxing district that was created last year. Residents along Miller’s Creek petitioned to create a taxing district giving themselves the power to impose additional assessments on their properties in order to raise funds for the dredging of Miller’s Creek. The board of the District is meeting regularly and moving forward with the process of establishing a budget and beginning studies.

As a result, a number of residents along other creeks expressed interest in possibly doing something similar. I recently held a meeting with interested residents who live along Craig Creek, Miramar Creek and Christopher Creek to explain the process and options. Residents along Craig were interested in dredging, but are not eligible for the taxing district option because the city park is located between their properties and the water. Waterfront owners along Miramar Creek were split with several expressing concerns about wildlife in the marshy areas that have developed over time from siltation. Based on the lack of consensus, the group at the meeting decided to drop the issue at this point.
creek

Christopher Creek residents expressed greater interest in restoring the flow and navigability of the creek. At least some of the siltation issues in Christopher Creek appear to stem from the construction of University Point Pond (a City retention pond) near Walgreens on University Blvd. The City has been working with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Water Management District to obtain approval for a project designed to remediate some of those impacts. The project would make additional improvements to the pond itself but do nothing to remove any of the silt that travelled down and filled in the creek close to San Jose. At the meeting, residents along the creek strongly supported dredging to remove some of the deposited material that is impacting flow. I have asked Public Works to look into the possibility of using the City funds designated for improvements to the pond for dredging instead. Of course, we would want to confirm that the pond is no longer causing additional siltation downstream so that the material that is removed would not immediately return.

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