On a 3-2 vote, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors took action on December 4th to reject funds from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Reid-Hillview airport, a general aviation airport located in East San Jose, paving the way for the airport’s closure in 2031 and potential redevelopment with housing and other uses.
In taking this action, the Board decided that the 180-acre site offers tremendous opportunities for redevelopment that would better serve the needs of the community. The vote followed hours of public testimony, with current users of the airport — including the flight training program from San Jose State, disaster preparedness professionals and private plane pilots – on one side, and members of the local East Side community on the other. Local residents complained about noise, significant evidence of lead contamination, and the dire need for affordable housing.
When the Airport was developed in the ‘30s, San Jose had a population of less than 40,000 and was known as the Valley of the Heart’s Delight. In the ensuing years, the City has grown to over a million people and the orchards and farms are largely gone. In their place stand thousands of single family homes, which now surround the airport and its runways.
The County will now reach out to community members and groups to engage them in conversations about the potential redevelopment, including the consolidation of the Reid-Hillview Airport with the San Martin Airport. SV@Home will continue to participate in this conversation to ensure that housing– and affordable housing– is a key component of any redeveloped project.