The Battle of Stevens Creek: Santa Clara and Cupertino vs San Jose
By Robert Haugh
The Mercury News printed a strong opinion piece on Monday that was signed by Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor, Cupertino Mayor Savita Vaidhyanathan, and Cupertino Councilman Rod Sinks.
It was a good smackdown in what appears to be the “Battle of Stevens Creek” in the San Jose Border Wars. It reminds us of when D-X invaded Nitro.
For some background on San Jose’s Border Wars, you can read last week’s column.
The major issue, in the opinion piece signers’ own words: “We think it would be irresponsible to approve the Stevens Creek Urban Village project without an effective traffic mitigation plan along the Stevens Creek/280 corridor.”
That idea might have been influenced by Santa Clara Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill who’s also a Valley Transportation Agency board member and mentioned in the opinion piece as supporting the push to get San Jose to do a lot more with transit and the collection of developer fees.
Amen, to that. Driving on Stevens Creek these days is gridlock.
But our sources in San Jose tell us that the council will be irresponsible and approve three urban village plans with no real transit plan.
San Jose officials probably won’t be dumb enough tell the others cities to pound sand as they did on June 27 when Mayor Sam Liccardo told residents to go home and complain to their city councils about the Apple Spaceship campus and the CityPlace development plan.
It’s likely that San Jose officials will be more cooperative this time. They will offer to meet with Santa Clara and Cupertino, but won’t make any real commitments.
What’s next? Look out for a possible lawsuit. Both Santa Clara and Cupertino have sent strongly worded letters to San Jose that have lots of legalese in them.
Also, look for increased grassroots opposition. United Communities for Sensible Development is comprised of active residents in Santa Clara, Cupertino, and West San Jose.
They’ve started a Change.org petition that has almost 900 signers as of press time. There’s some talk of them starting an initiative and recruiting candidates to take on incumbents in the three cities.
We’ll continue to watch as the battles in San Jose’s Border Wars unfold.
NOTE: The San Jose city council was voting on this issue late Tuesday night, before our deadline. We’ll update in a future column.