Welcome to SV@Home’s Policy Rundown, your need-to-know overview of important housing policy actions and developments from the past two weeks. As we enter the month of July, most City Councils have started their summer breaks and will not reconvene until August. This means the next several weeks will likely be quieter than normal on the policy update front, but we expect many critically important items to be high on Council agendas come August and the Fall, so stay tuned!

Mountain View Approves Mixed-Use Housing Development on Commercial Land

On June 30th, the Mountain View City Council unanimously approved a 7-story mixed-use project including 203 apartments (30 affordable), 100 condominiums (10 affordable), and 3000 sq ft of ground floor retail at 1001 N Shoreline Boulevard, proposed by Sares Regis. The property, currently occupied by an office building and parking lot right off of Highway 101, is emblematic of Mountain View’s ongoing efforts to target residential development on commercial and industrial land, which SV@Home strongly supports as a strategy for reducing direct displacement caused by redevelopment.

Santa Clara Approves Gateway Crossing Deal to Secure More Affordable Homes

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara City Council secured 42 additional affordable inclusionary housing units in return for agreeing to allow the delay of a new hotel planned for the massive Gateway Crossings Project on Coleman Avenue next to the train station. The transit-oriented project, which was approved by the council in July 2019, planned for a total of 1,565 residential units, 45,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and a 225-room hotel. Because the project was grandfathered in before the City’s inclusionary housing ordinance was fully operative, only 10% — 157 – of the new homes were originally planned to be affordable to low and moderate income households.

The Council action will raise the affordability level to 15% for the second phase of construction and is the direct result of advocacy by the Council, staff, the neighborhood association – the Old Quad Resident’s Association, and housing activists, including SV@Home, as well as the flexibility of the developer, Hunter Storm. Before unanimously approving the deal with the developer, the Council discussed the dire need for housing affordable to a range of Santa Clara residents, and the challenges of that lie ahead in meeting the next round of Regional Housing Needs Allocations to be set in 2021. Most importantly, the action shows the impact that neighborhood leaders can have when they advocate for more housing, and more affordable housing, in transit-oriented development. SV@Home was proud to be a part of this effort.

Reid-Hillview Airport Update

As part of re-imagining the use of the Reid-Hillview Airport in San José, Santa Clara County is seeking input from the community through an online survey. Since the County was unable to host its second in-person public meeting on the Airport site in March, they have prepared a 10-minute video presentation to recap the first Community Workshop and share how this project is moving forward. Residents are encouraged to watch the video and complete the survey by Sunday, July 12th.

The Reid-Hillview Airport lies on 180 acres of land in East San José and is a tremendous opportunity to build mixed-use neighborhoods with housing affordable to the entirety of San José.  This is an opportunity too significant to ignore. Complete the survey to raise your voice in support of more affordable housing in East Side San José.

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