Council Appoints New Planning Commissioner, Puts Gateway Crossings on Hold — Again

By Robert Haugh

Jayapriya Cherukuru was appointed to the Planning Commission to fill a vacancy. She was one of the top candidates in April when Nancy Biagini got appointed to the commission.

The Council decided to create an eligibility list that night in case any new openings came up in the next year.  That saved a lot of time on Tuesday. Cherukuru was on the list with Megan Swartzwelder and Vandana Upadhyay.  

Gateway Crossings

This is the massive development between San Jose’s Avaya Stadium and the Costco at Brokaw and Coleman.  The Council first reviewed the project last December.

But they wanted more community outreach and some re-designing of the project. The new proposal includes:

  • 1,600 residential units in two residential high-rise towers, not one.

  • The 225-room hotel was revised to lower the height to eight stories instead of 13 stories. The proposed Development Agreement now includes a requirement that the hotel be built in the first phase of the project.

  • The project increases commercial floor area from 15,000 to 25,000 square feet.

Raj Chahal abstained from voting on the project because he said that he previously voted on it as a Planning Commissioner. That’s an interesting reason, especially since the project is in his district.

Because of Chahal, the Council only had six votes and seemed deadlocked about how much retail should be in the project. The issue will be brought back on July 9.

Convention Center and Destination Marketing Organization

In March, Spectra took over the Convention Center from the mismanagement and malfeacance of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce. They have transitioned all eligible employees from the Chamber to Spectra. They still have vacant positions in their sales and marketing department.

In a related decision, the Council approved a “Destination Marketing Organization” that will take over the responsibilities that the Santa Clara Convention and Visitors Bureau had to promote tourism.  Let’s hope they don’t do something dumb like advertise in the Santa Clara Weekly.

Misc

Teresa O’Neill was out of town on city business and called into the meeting. But she lost her phone connection late Tuesday night. So there was no action on her “Innovation Zone” proposal.

Vice Mayor Patty Mahan left the meeting early.

2 comments

  1. My comment on Gateway Crossings – and the city council. The resident / citizen on Coleman will be able to use our DOWNTOWN experience for shopping, dining and movies is in Historic Downtown Santa Clara, Franklin and Main St and we need to find a way to bring our residents living on Coleman to our Downtown for this experience safely days, evenings and weekends. There was only 6 – half a dozen references on Tuesday evening about how to bring these new residents to our Historic Downtown Santa. Aha moment … autonomous trolley? How? This is urgent the city should be planning this now. What is the status of the Downtown Precise Plan and our Urban Planner RFQ? This should be in place as we make the changes on Franklin and Main Street. — thoughts are my own, I am a Santa Clara citizen who wants our new Downtown Santa Clara.

  2. am so glad I didn’t vote for Chahal. Having served on planning commission and voting on project was a chicken poopoo reason to recuse himself from Gateway. Heck, Suds June is always spouting off on issues at council meetings even though he’s on planning commission. If you’re voted on council (with only 2500 votes which is a joke), frickin represent your people.You have nothing to gain financially! Isn’t that why people recuse themselves?

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