The Santa Clara City Council held a study session to discuss the Tasman East Specific Plan on June 26th and is actively considering options to increase the density of the mixed-use area to accommodate up to 4,500 new homes.  (Check out the map, and staff report.)  With 17 of the 45 acres planned for streets and parks, the remaining 28 acres will need higher densities than the 100 units per acre currently envisioned in the City’s General Plan.

City staff is proposing the creation of a new General Plan land use designation, Transit Residential, which would allow densities between 85 and 350 dwelling units per acre.  While Tasman East would be the first development area to receive this designation, the hope is that this would make zoning for higher densities easier in other areas of the City as well.

SV@Home is pleased that the City is being bold with its housing goals.  While we support staff’s commitment to building homes on site, SV@Home continues to advocate for an inclusionary policy with 15% requirements and lower affordability levels than Santa Clara’s level of 100% of Area Median Income.

Unfortunately, Phase I of the development may not be required to comply with Santa Clara’s new 15% inclusionary rule; under the staff proposal, only 10% of the homes in this Phase will be affordable to households earning less than 100% of Area Median Income.  After some discussion, the Council agreed to come back to the affordability discussion as the Plan progresses through the planning process. The City has commissioned an Environmental Impact Report, and will continue the planning process with approval anticipated late this year.

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