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Mostly Developer Meetings Noted for City Council on September Calendars

September calendars continue the pattern of mostly developer meetings, interspersed with public meetings and events.

 

Mayor Lisa Gillmor

Immediately after Labor Day, Gillmor met with San Jose resident *Kirk Vartan to discuss the “Agrihood project:” 160 mixed-income apartments, 165 affordable senior apartments, 36 townhomes and approximately 1.5 acres of agricultural open space at the former BAREC site. Gillmor also recorded a meeting with CORE Companies owner David Neale on Sept. 25 to discuss the project.

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Immediately following her meeting with Vartan, Gillmor met with Silicon Sage Builders about development projects. Silicon Sage is currently building the four-story, 44 condominium and 14,477 square feet of retail space project at 1313 Franklin Street and the four-story, 28 unit project that includes office space at 1460 Monroe Street. It is unclear if the meeting was about Silicon Sage’s current projects or new business. The meeting included Silicon Sage’s CEO Sanjeev Archarya, COO Jeff Douthit and Director of Acquisition and Forward Planning Shaivali Desai.

Gillmor met with The Related Companies’ Executive VP Steve Eimer about City Place on Sept. 7, as well as Santana and representatives from Republic Metropolitan on Sept. 13 about the Santa Clara University (SCU) student housing project for 230+ units and 44,000 square feet of retail on 2.4 acres of City-owned land and Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA).

One day later, Gillmor recorded a meeting with Irvine Company’s Carlene Matchniff, vice president of entitlements and public affairs, regarding updates on development projects. Irvine is currently building the massive 2,200 apartment, 40,000 square feet of retail, 4,500 square feet of office space and 38,000 square feet of amenity space near Santa Clara Square off Scott Boulevard and Bowers Avenue.

Later in the month, Gillmor met with Muslim Community Association (MCA) President Kamal Koraitem, Chairman Munther Qtaish and Consultant Muhieddine Maaz about the MCA project to expand its K-8 school.

Near the end of September, Gillmor notched a meeting about “city wide (sic) parking issues” with residents Rich Bonito and Howard Myers, and met with Ray Hasimoto, principal and land development manager at RHM, and Erik Hayden of Hayden Land Company about the 3035 El Camino Real (ECR) Development. There’s no record of a “Ray Hasimoto” at an RHM, but there is a Ray Hashimoto at the San Jose-based HMH Engineers. Hayden Land Company will host a community meeting on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at 3360 Cabrillo Ave. to discuss its proposal to rezone 1.88 acres at ECR and Calabazas to accommodate a three or four story, 42-unit residential and six live-work condominium project.

Most of Gillmor’s remaining calendar listings in September were public meetings or events.

 

Vice Mayor Kathy Watanabe

Watanabe also recorded an early September meeting with Vartan to discuss the CORE Companies project.

Watanabe filled rest of the first half of September with mostly public meetings and events, but did make time to meet with resident Bob Wu and Tu Vong — listed as a director of social services without any organization identified — about senior issues.

The Vice Mayor also attended an “Agents of Change Monthly Meeting” with Congressman Ro Khanna and members of his staff on Sept 22. She followed that meeting up by attending Khanna’s town hall that afternoon and Khanna’s congressional debate on Sept. 29. Watanabe has been an ardent supporter of the Congressman, organizing community meetings and campaigning for him during his unsuccessful 2014 run and victorious 2016 campaign.

 

Council Member Teresa O’Neill
As the most accessible Council Member, O’Neill began the month with her monthly resident Q&A on Sept. 2. O’Neill is the only Council member to hold open meetings allowing residents to air their concerns and ask questions about the state of the City.

Two days later O’Neill met with Vartan — immediately following Gillmor’s meeting with him — also about the CORE project. O’Neill also recorded a meeting about the agrihood project with CORE Companies’ Senior Development Manager Vince Cantore on Sept. 18.

Also on Sept. 4, O’Neill met with Old Quad Residents Association President Adam Thompson and Architect Rob Mayer regarding the Santa Clara Train Station. The next day O’Neill met with SV@Home’s David Meyer, Pilar Lorenzana and Kathy Thibodeaux — a board member and registered lobbyist for Olympic Residential (Greystar Real Estate) — and Tim McEnry of Marwood Assets Management about “key development issues in Santa Clara.”

On Sept. 6, O’Neill had an introductory meeting with SCU’s Vice President of Finance and Administration Michael Crowley. The meeting was also attended by SCU Assistant Vice President of University Operations Chris Shay.

On Sept. 10, O’Neill met with Santa Clara Unified School District’s (SCUSD) Public Information Officer Jennifer Derrico regarding SCUSD “matters,” although it’s likely the meeting was in relation to the district’s $720 million bond measure on the November ballot because O’Neill also had calls about the campaign on Sept. 12 and 19.

Later that day, O’Neill met with Jarryd Davis, public policy director for Booster Fuels about “Booster Fuel’s [mobile re-fueling service] operation specific to the City of Santa Clara.” Booster made several presentations and proposals to the City Council in 2016, but the Council declined to approve Booster’s operation in Santa Clara. However, after the Council decision, Booster arrived at an agreement with the Santa Clara Fire Department on all safety questions — the business is now operating in Santa Clara.

On Sept. 17, O’Neill met with Josue Garcia — current director of Santa Clara County Residents for Responsible Development and former VP of the State Building & Construction Trades Council —about “upcoming developments in the city.”

Although the meeting could pertain to physical developments, this meeting could have been a guise for Garcia to meet with a Council Member about developments after the dissolution of the City’s Chamber of Commerce, as Garcia is listed as a member of the 2018 The Silicon Valley Organization Board of Directors. The SVO is potentially one organization that could take over chamber operations for Santa Clara. SVO President and CEO Matt Mahood recorded a meeting with Gillmor in August to discuss “general relationship building” and “City of Santa Clara permitting process.

The rest of O’Neill’s meetings were public meetings, public events, ticketed events, VTA meetings, a meeting with City officials and Santa Clara Valley Water District about the Freedom Bridge, and a planning meeting with Santa Clara Fire Department’s Driver/Engineer Chris Eichorn about the upcoming Firehouse Run

 

Council Members Debi Davis, Patricia Mahan and Pat Kolstad

Davis kept her September calendar light, only recording four public meetings, three public events and one afternoon listed as an “invited guests” event.

Mahan, too, maintained a light September, notching three public events, three public meetings and an introductory meeting with SCU’s Crowley and Shay.

Kolstad had the busiest calendar of the three. In addition to an introductory meeting with Crowley and Shay, he attended the San Jose/Santa Clara Treatment Plant Advisory Committee meeting (with Watanabe) and met with Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency’s CEO and General Manager Nicole Sandkulla and Santa Clara’s Director of Water and Sewer Utilities Gary Welling about “the region’s water supply reliability challenges.”  Kolstad’s remaining calendar listings included five public meetings, one public event and one invited guests event.

View all calendars at santaclaraca.gov/government/public-calendars-of-certain-city-officials. To date, no Council Member calendar has been edited to reflect previously unreported meetings or for errors.

 

*Kirk Vartan is the leading proponent of CORE Companies’ Agrihood project on Winchester (the former BAREC site). But Vartan has never registered as a lobbyist despite functioning in that role in everything but name during the almost four years since he proposed the development.

In September he met with half the City Council about the project and has met with Council Members at least 15 times since Council calendars were made public. 

Vartan is also the founder and leading member of Catalyze SV, an organization committed to “sustainable, equitable and vibrant places for people in Silicon Valley.” Last January Gillmor found time to speak to Vartan’s organization.

 

Correction: Lenka Wright, Director of Communications with the City of Santa Clara, reached out to the Weekly and clarified that the Council Calendars need to be up by the tenth business day of the month, not the tenth of the month. The article has been corrected to reflect this error. Additionally, Council Member Teresa O’Neill was contacted to clarify some errors that were published regarding her calendar entries. 1) O’Neill met with Tim McEnery of Marwood Associates, who is not former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery. 2) Booster Fuels is now operating in the City of Santa Clara. 3) Josue Garcia is a member of the SVO Board of Directors, not the SVO Foundation Board.The article has been corrected to reflect these errors.

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