Per the Association of Bay Area Governments, every city in the Bay Area needs more housing.
Santa Clara has had several dozen residential projects on the drawing board that would meet our City’s need for more housing.
However, as Councils change, the complicated process of approval for new projects and ones in process have a higher bar to reach.
It would be rather difficult to think of any project in our City over the last 50 years that didn’t have some form of opposition.
Opposition has always been a significant ingredient of any major development.
You may recall the divisive nature of Levi’s Stadium. From the moment this project was proposed, to the day Measure J was approved, the stadium was viewed as controversial. This was reflected in the popular vote with 40 percent of those casting ballots being against it. Not as close as our last Presidential race–an indication there was considerable opposition.
Even rather innocuous projects can bring out opponents to offer dozens of reasons why it should not be built.
High profile projects like the stadium and Santa Clara Square had some opposition but every project in town is now receiving intense scrutiny.
Irvine Company, was the first to be affected when their El Camino project at Benton was met with defiant neighbors and a non-receptive Council. Recently, Prometheus was obliged to pull their application for 168 units at the old Moonlite Lanes bowling alley site. Prometheus indicated it was the first time in 20 years they had done this. John Sobrato, the dean of Santa Clara Developers, met with total rejection of his plan for homeless housing at San Thomas and Monroe. Tuesday night, Summerhill was turned away in their attempt for approval of a 160 unit, mixed use project on the El Camino.
The major ingredient to these designed development disappointments was determined by dissatisfaction of nearby residents.
Residents are raising a ruckus and revolting.
Casting consternation and challenging change, concerned citizens call for compliance to our City General Plan.
Consider quietly the creation of this code as a recommendation. It is not the Bible.
It is a General Plan because it is not a specific plan.
By the way, it is so old, it should no longer be called a General Plan but more like a Sergeant Plan. It is really under ranked and over-rated.
Meanwhile, back at the drawing board, developers will now need to sit in a lot of kitchens chatting with the neighbors about their new projects. As a camel was designed by a committee, a pretzel was designed by government regulation.
Council decisions will be more complicated and less predictable due to the adoption of neighborhood rule.