On September 20th, residents of neighborhoods east of San Jose’s City Hall came together to discuss their hopes for the former San Jose Hospital site located at 725 East Santa Clara Street bounded by East Santa Clara Street, North 14th Street, East Saint John Street, and North 17th Street. The 13.39-acre site is currently owned jointly by Santa Clara County and the Santa Clara County Housing Authority. This was the first in a series of meetings that will shape the final master plan for the area. The design team led the group through a variety of activities to inform their initial site plan, to be presented at an upcoming meeting scheduled on October 11th. The community recognized the opportunity to provide housing on the site, and also expressed interest in open space and a grocery store.
The San Jose Medical Center closed its doors in December of 2004. The County purchased the site in 2010, and the hospital was demolished soon after in 2011. The site maintains its medical legacy with the existing Mediplex Valley Health Center, however much of the site remains underutilized and closed off from the surrounding neighborhoods. The Housing Authority and the County have established program components for the site, including multi-family housing, an enhanced mobility network, office and open space. The Housing Authority has plans to relocate its offices, as well as prioritize significant affordable housing development within their portion of the site.
The site is also located within the East Santa Clara Street Urban Village, which is scheduled to be finalized in October. Any plans for this site must be reflective of the goals and objectives of the Urban Village Plan and would need to contribute to the 850 housing units included in the Urban Village Plan. The Urban Village Plan calls for higher densities, but requires that new development maintain the historical character of the surrounding neighborhood.
With these guidelines and goals in mind, the participants outlined concerns about the site. They expressed a need for retail uses, as well as concerns about traffic and parking. They recognized the opportunity for more housing, but wanted transitional densities that took into account impact to adjacent single family neighborhoods.
SV@Home continues to advocate for affordable housing at higher densities within the site. We support the goals established by both the Housing Authority and the County to include high density affordable housing development. We will continue to monitor the progress as the community engagement process continues over the coming months.
More information will be available at the next community meeting on October 11th @6pm at the Roosevelt Community Center. In the meantime, you can find information and an opportunity to provide feedback here: https://bit.ly/2NWqtzA