April 17, 2020

Policy Rundown – April 17, 2020


Welcome to SV@Home’s Policy Rundown, your need-to-know overview of important housing policy actions and developments from the past two weeks.

Housing Policy and Land Use: What’s moving forward? What’s not?

Some actions are on hold

San Jose’s Four-Year General Plan Review Task Force meeting scheduled for April 30th has been canceled.  A timeline for resumption of Task Force meetings has not been determined. Still to be discussed– opportunity/plex/missing middle housing, Coyote Valley and capacity shifts, and Evergreen- East Hills development policy & transportation policies.

The San Jose Diridon Station Area Advisory Group meeting that was scheduled for March 18th was canceled, but planning for the station area continues, with city staff releasing new analyses and presentations on development capacity, transportation improvements, and open space as well as a new community survey.  When you take into account housing developments already underway in the Station Area, the City’s analysis puts us close to our goal of 15,000 homes, so we’re looking forward to the next round of discussions! SAAG meetings scheduled for June 17th and August 10th are still tentative and subject to change. Stay tuned for SV@Home’s take and recommendations for next steps.

The decision on a Commercial Linkage Fee (CLF) in San Jose, originally expected this month, has also been postponed. Initial stakeholder review of the Nexus and Feasibility studies was canceled in March when the shelter in place order was first implemented. Once we get past the immediate COVID-19 crisis and commercial building resumes, the need for housing affordable for new workers will still be high. More to come.

But others are moving forward

Over in Cupertino, Sand Hill is moving ahead with the demolition of Vallco Mall to make way for the Vallco Town Center (and 2,402 new homes, 50% of them affordable!). They just completed demolition of the bridge over Wolfe Road. Check out the video here.

In Mountain View, the City’s comprehensive anti-displacement strategy is taking on a new level of importance and advancing. The Council is scheduled to take up the first part of the new strategy, updates to the City’s Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance (TRAO), in May. Stay tuned for more information.

A number of other major land use planning areas are continuing their community engagement online. Check out the latest community surveys and presentations for Sunnyvale’s Moffett ParkPalo Alto’s North Ventura, and Santa Clara County’s San Jose Hospital site.

This week, San Jose leaders approved a zoning change to allow tiny homes/ADUs on wheels around the city.  According to industry experts, tiny homes can be installed in 30-45 days and cost less than $100,000, a significant savings over a traditional ADU. Check out SV@Home’s letter here.

Casita Coalition—the Casita Coalition, a statewide network that was organized to advise, guide, and focus efforts to increase the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units and other forms of small, infill housing in California, has a new website. Check it out here!