San Jose Starts a Border War with Another City Not Named Santa Clara
By Robert Haugh
The City of San Jose may be attacking another city — not just Santa Clara — in another border war. According to Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold, it looks like San Jose has fired a shot at Cupertino.
The controversial project is a 85-foot-tall Marriott Hotel that San Jose wants to build on Stevens Creek Boulevard. It’s near Cupertino neighborhoods of one-story homes. Some neighbors think it’ll be their Dark Tower (Note to friends: the movie trailer looks really good – after all, it is based on Stephen King novels).
Mayor Savita Vaidhyanathan wrote to Mayor Sam Liccardo that Cupertino’s height limit for commercial buildings in that area is 45 feet. According to a Cupertino activist, Liccardo has completely ignored their Mayor. But he did take time to publicly chastise Cupertino (and Santa Clara) residents who showed at a June San Jose City Council meeting to complain about Stevens Creek Boulevard traffic.
San Jose plans to ram the plan through at their August 8 City Council meeting. But will Cupertino stand up to San Jose like Santa Clara has?
Maybe they should. As we’ve reported, the Mission City sued the Garden City over San Jose’s Santana West development. Santa Clara won the first battle in that war.
San Jose filed an anti-SLAPP motion on that case. Most lawyers think that was a dumb move and they’ll lose the second legal battle, too. I personally have learned a lot about anti-SLAPP cases having just won one. I agree that it’s really an odd legal move by San Jose.
There may be a simple explanation for San Jose’s legal loss and odd legal move on Santana West. San Jose’s City Attorney’s office is not considered to be very good, according to informed local attorneys.
On the other hand, Santa Clara hired a well-respected land use attorney, Tina Thomas.
According to our sources, she’s looking closely at the traffic impact of San Jose’s plans on Stevens Creek Boulevard and how San Jose gave developers a pass on traffic impact fees. Hurray to that. The last dozens times I’ve been driven on Stevens Creek, especially near Winchester, it was total gridlock.
How about building light rail on Stevens Creek Boulevard? Don’t laugh. The Valley Transportation Agency promised it in a sales measure. Another link shows a lot of promises. Is it now a false promise?
Let’s hope either Cupertino or Santa Clara steps up to force San Jose to build smarter developments with real traffic plans and solutions. Residents of all three cities would be grateful.