Culminating a long planning and community outreach process that began in 2016, the Santa Clara City Council took action last month to approve the Tasman East Specific Plan, which creates a framework for redeveloping a 45-acre industrial area into a high-density, transit-oriented neighborhood with an estimated 4,500 new homes and 106,000 square feet of retail. Bounded by Tasman Drive to the south, the Guadalupe River to the East, the Santa Clara golf course to the north, and Lafayette Street to the west, the plan envisions densities over 100 units an acre.

The Council chambers were packed with residents and advocates, with some expressing support for the plan and others expressing concerns. Concerns raised included potential environmental impacts and opposition to density.

SV@Home was there to voice our support for the density, but shared potential concerns and recommendations about the proposed inclusionary housing incentives that reduced the percentage of affordable housing required with incremental increases in density. We believe it’s important to pursue incentive structures that can produce both high density residential and high amounts of affordable housing as well as use the opportunities of major planning areas to site much-needed Measure A developments.

The Council approved the plan as recommended by staff, paving the way for 4,500 new homes, which will hopefully include as many as 450 affordable homes. SV@Home will continue to work closely with Santa Clara City Councilmembers, staff, and local advocates to find strategies for incentivizing both housing density and the production of more affordable homes in the city.

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