The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

New Hotel Will Be Built on Former Site of Lillie Mae’s and Old Coleman Still

Santa Clara’s Planning Commission has recommended that the City Council approve plans for a 396-room hotel on the intersection of Coleman Avenue and Brokaw Road The hotel will be a combination of extended stay and limited-service hotel rooms. It will have a bar and restaurant with live, indoor music.

Parking at the site will include several EV charging stations. It will be valet only with mechanical lift spaces. Developers and city planners say because the site is less than a mile from the CalTrain station, future BART station and several bus routes, parking should not be an issue.

Several commissioners expressed concern about traffic in the area, especially with Costco in the lot kitty corner to the planned development. City planners say new left turn lanes will be added in both directions on Brokaw and there will be no parking on Brokaw. A third through lane added on southbound Coleman to help alleviate congestion.


City planners say some of the other traffic issues in the area were dealt with in the Gateway Crossings plan.

The development will mean the demolition of two long time properties in Santa Clara that were most recently occupied by Lillie Mae’s House of Soul Food and the Old Coleman Still.

“The only drawback that I can see is losing the two restaurants. I know there’s some historical value in the Old Coleman Still and Lillie Mae’s as well,” said Commissioner Ricci Herro. “I don’t know how successful those businesses have thrived over the years — I know they’ve changed hands quite a few times — it’s just that after being here your whole life, you’re used to seeing those buildings and those restaurants. It will be sad to see them go, but I’m really excited at the prospect of bringing a nice hotel.”


Agape PlaySkool Hearing Continued

The commission continued the hearing on a plan by Agape PlaySkool to develop an outdoor play area for kids at 3700 Thomas Road. Commissioners were concerned about fencing and safety given that a portion of the site runs along Montague Expressway.

“As much as we’d like to approve and enable your dreams to come true, it is a very significant safety concern for children in that area. Most certainly, could any car at 30-40 miles per hour turning into that area losing control? It’s enough,” said Commissioner Yashraj Bhatnagar.

“If we can’t manage safety, sound and air for these kids being outside for that long time, I can’t support the proposal,” said Commissioner Lance Saleme.

Commissioners asked the petitioner to return to the commission at the Oct. 27 meeting with an air study, as well as more sufficient plan for fencing to protect the children from any expected car collisions.


Addition to House on Golden State Drive Denied

Commissioners heeded the advice of the City Planning Department and denied a request for an addition to the two-story, single-family home at 3467 Golden State Drive. The petitioners wanted to turn the property into a 6-bedroom, 4-bathroom house with a two-car garage. The addition would have caused the home to exceed the City’s 40 percent permissible lot coverage.

Commissioners said that’s simply too much given the similar houses in the area.

“I feel for the applicant, but this really is an awfully big house for the lot size,” said Chair Nancy Biagini. “I know that there have been non-conforming conditions in the past and there have been exceptions, for good reasons, but I don’t see this as fitting in with the neighborhood and for that reason I can’t approve the variance this time.”

The next Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 6 p.m.


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