The stadium parking saga continues, now the city is looking to develop our only open space or, alternatively, neighborhood parks. Tragically, the City has a history of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut or more aptly, to wreck a neighborhood. In “Downtown: Why There’s No One There,” Carolyn Schuk wrote that in 1960, the City, lured by federal funds, tore down many historic buildings under the downtown Urban Renewal Plan (URP). At the time, Frank Barcells complained that the extent demolition was unnecessary: “all the building owners had to do was clean up the buildings and bring them up to code.” At one city council meeting, Bill Martin Jr. was arrested for failing to yield to podium in protest of the URP.
Fast forward: the City is now trying to fix this mess and make downtown Santa Clara a destination like its neighbors’ with historic downtowns. It could have done this way back in 1960 by just fixing up some old buildings. Do not let Santa Clara make the same mistake by destroying our last bit of open space or our neighborhood parks.