Following San Jose’s lawsuit against Santa Clara’s City Place Project, Santa Clara answered with its own California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit regarding San Jose’s Santana West development project.
Santana West is a 13-acre development directly across from Santana Row on Winchester Blvd. and Olsen Dr., just south of Santa Clara’s municipal boundary. It’s slated to have up to 970,000 square feet of office space and 29,000 square feet of retail space. The property includes the Century 21, 22 and 23 theaters–one of which has been named an historic landmark–and The Flames restaurant.
San Jose City Council approved the project and its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on Oct.4 along with a Transportation Development Policy. The transportation plan will fund potentially necessary interchange improvements at Interstate 280, Winchester Blvd. and Moorpark Ave.
Santa Clara sent San José a letter on Sept. 8 objecting to the approval of Santana West. Additionally, on Sept. 20, Santa Clara publically objected to the development at San Jose City Council’s public hearing.
On Nov. 3, attorney Tina Thomas filed Santa Clara’s complaint against the project and its EIR. IN its complaint, Santa Clara claims that San Jose and its City Council violated CEQA and state planning and zoning law by approving Santana West’s EIR. Further, Santa Clara says that the project’s EIR is inadequate and that approving the project is inconsistent with San Jose’s General Plan.
For these reasons, Santa Clara is demanding that san José overturn the project approval and correct the design mistakes in the project plan in order to comply with the law.
“San Jose’s actions will result in irreparable harm to Santa Clara and those who reside, work or own property in the immediate area surrounding the Project,” Santa Clara’s petition states, “as well as the public at large, in that the Project as approved will cause significant environmental impacts that will not be mitigated.”
“Santa Clara has no plain, speedy, or adequate remedy in the course of ordinary law unless this Court grants the requested writ of mandate to require San Jose to set aside its approval of the Project,” the petition says. “No money damages or legal remedy could fully and adequately compensate Santa Clara for that harm.”
All of this sounds very familiar to residents of both cities. In July, San Jose filed a similar CEQA lawsuit against Santa Clara’s 240-acre City Place Project on Stars & Stripes Dr.. Both lawsuits cite CEQA and the cities’ general plans, and demand the respective projects halt work.
The cities’ lawsuits and 15 information requests filed by Santa Clara seem to feed the fire between these neighboring cities. At this rate, neither city is giving up without a fight. Which project will be under scrutiny next?
No hearing dates are set for either case.
Santa Clara’s City Attorney hadn’t issued a statement at the time of publication.
Santa Clara’s lawsuit is case number 16CV302300. Read more about the City Place lawsuit:
You can find out more about the Santana West project here: www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=4934