City Council Review: Hunter Storm Gateway Crossings is Approved, Raj Chahal Participates and Votes for It

By Robert Haugh

Gateway Crossings

The Council approved the Hunter Storm development project. It will include:

  • 1,565 multi-family dwelling units,

  • 150 affordable units;

  • a 152,000 square foot hotel with 225 rooms;

  • 45,000 square feet of ground-floor supporting retail and;

  • two public parks totaling 2.6 acres with the largest park being 2.1 acres.

In addition, the Police Athletics League (PAL) will get a 34-year lease for use of 7,500 square feet of retail space at a payment of $1 per month. Kudos to them.

The vote was unanimous.

Councilman Raj Chahal participated in the meeting and voted for it, too. He thought he had to recuse himself. Chahal left the chambers when this development was last discussed in May. We’ve heard from neighborhood leaders in his district who are not happy with him on this issue.

Interestingly, on another issue, there was another recusal. Councilwoman Patty Mahan recused herself from a marketing committee discussion. One of the items involved AllVision, the controversial billboard company. Mahan was a lobbyist for them in 2016. There was an independent investigation that concluded she violated the lobbyist ordinance by not registering.  But Mahan wasn’t fined.

Police Chief Replacement

The Council got a briefing on what their options are to replace Police Chief Mike Sellers who announced he won’t finish his term. He says he’s stepping down in September. That’s 15 months early.

After the seat is declared vacant in September, the Council has 30 days to appoint a new chief. Six of 7 council members have to agree on a person. That’s because of a recent charter amendment. If they don’t appoint someone, then the chief will be selected in the March 3, 2020 election.

Workers Co-Op

The Council heard many experts talk about a workers’ co-op business model during a study session. It was organized by Kirk Vartan, community leader and founder of Santa Clara business A Slice of New York — the home of great pizza! It was interesting and we hope to have more info on it in an op-Ed.

The Council seemed interested in how co-ops could help save Santa Clara small businesses from closing their doors. They referred the issue to City Staff to come back for some possible action.

Lawn Bowling

The Lawn Bowl Club asked for an update on their clubhouse project at Central Park. The Council decided to put to issue on a future agenda for action.

The Council last dealt with this about six months ago and decided to fix up the club’s trailer for $175,000. That’s a lot of money for about 50 lawn bowlers. Councilwoman Karen Hardy asked if the club has pursued grants or fundraising. They’ll have to talk about that when they come back to the Council.

12 comments

  1. A Becker’,
    All the negativity you have mentioned , regarding Gateway is a joke. We are already living with the problems you talk about ,all over this area . We have lost grocery stores,restaurants and businesses The traffic is so bad. I had been to a meeting with Josh Rupert and he explained everything to me. Maybe you should have been there. But then -you sound like you know it all. All I can say to you is–Thank God for our City Council.

    • Mrs. Rosa,

      Truth is not negative… just calling a spade a spade and not sugar coating it.

      But when its all said and done you and I can go sit in traffic and compare notes on the issues and the impacts to it…. then we can add it to our thesis on “cause and effects of traffic nightmares”.

      I probably have been to more traffic studies than yourself and most of the ill-informed public. We are living with these problems like bad traffic because yourself and others continue to elect leaders that think their know-it-all solutions are better than common sense.

      In the meantime, put down the kool-aid and take off the rose colored glasses.

      With all do respect we are entitled to each others opinions so I respectfully disagree with you 😉

      • Monsieur ABecker, où diable sont tes mœurs? You would speak to the recipient of the Santa Claran of the Year award in such a way? You speak in such a way after supporting Gateway as a Planning Commissioner? Aren’t you now the self-appointed chair? Seriously? S’il vous plaît! Go pick on someone your own size.
        Tu es une blague!!

      • Mr. Becker, Allow me to introduce myself. I am the daughter of the FIRST Santa Claran of the Year who named me after Hurricane Diane in Rhode Island and now I follow her everywhere…. Believe me, she drinks no kool-aid and if you’re still on that roll, you are a little behind the times and you need to listen up… Yes, you have a right to your opinion. So does she and so do I.

        We are in a time where retail is crumbling under monster internet businesses like Amazon and with that goes taxes that give support to Santa Clara’s police, fire fighters, schools and other things….WE NEED MORE BRICKS AND MORTAR LOCAL BUSINESSES THAT SERVE THE PUBLIC! And how do you get that? You give people a reason to go there!

        My son is a Millennial and low and behold he has a Costco membership. So do many others! Believe that he and many others will go right next door to Costco to shop or eat there too!

        And it will help kids and give them a pleasant and fun place to spend their time? OMG….Are you scared of that part TOO?

      • Becker you are a joke. I hope you’re not planning on running for Mayor again, or any other seat. You say Santa Claran’s are ill-informed as if you’re better and smarter than us. Everytime you make comments they are negative, shit talking about every issue that comes up. Dont quit your Target greeter job and your regular visits to canabis club.

      • WTF ABecker?? Seriously.. Acting like you’re a keyboard Badass Bullying Seniors on the Internet. You’re obviously high on drugs ABecker, no one in their right mind would disrespect Dorothy Rosa like you did WTF She Drinks Kool-Aid, wears rose colored glasses, Ill-Informed, Doesn’t vote properly, You go to more meetings and know so much more than she does? Shame on you ABecker, Dorothy is so loved and well respected in our community

        *NO Class <<We can add this to your skill set or lack of. lol Along with….
        *NO Respect
        *NO Positive comments
        *NO Common Sense.
        *NO Grasp of basic grammar, accurate spelling or correct punctuation.
        *NO Knowledge of The City Charter & The Law
        *NO Experience
        *NO Career
        *NO Education
        *NO Chance of being Mayor

  2. This project scares me and the way council approved it scares me more.

    I feel we overthink this project, and leave a lot out to be thought about.

    I feel we lacked common sense on some issues associated with it.

    We need the housing, plain and simple, but after I voted in favor of this project yet more questions arose. It was passed too quick, and I agree with Mayor Gillmor, we coulda done a lot better. I was spending daily having to go through this CalTrain station and use of Coleman. It needs more TLC.

    The traffic is bad, and the Mayor cannot just blame the neighboring buildings. Once again this is finger pointing and not taking the bull by the horns. This is San Jose and Santa Clara competing not collaborating on coming up with BMP’s. Instead we are getting a checkerboard of development. It needs more signature and character to an area that has been dying out.

    This is a forgotten part of Santa Clara, there is a marijuana dispensary right on our border in San Jose making $28 million a year (rough estimate) and Santa Clara don’t get any of that revenue we are still figuring out how to tax it or regulate it…. behind on the times again.

    The roads are terrible in this section, the reports i feel don’t live up to what really needs to be done. Costco traffic is terrible, if you add BART station, and a bunch of housing of 1,500+ units thats a lot of people in a small area and you created the perfect storm for gridlock. This is a golden opportunity to make this a traffic friendly and anti-traffic corridor. We have DeLaCruz North of the Coleman Interchange and then all of Coleman. We can create new communities along this corridor and be prepared for the traffic by modernizing the interchange, and the roads surrounding, especially Brokaw Rd./Benton. We need to put the road through, and a pedestrian tunnel is not sufficient enough. Do a test and pretend you live in this spot and have to get to the nearest grocery store during rush hour traffic that is not costco. It will take you over 20mins to get to Safeway by Santa Clara University or 20 mins to get to Trader Joes or Target at the shopping center of Coleman/Taylor.

    Has anyone actually tested this out? and if Brokaw/Benton is not to go through then its going to be a dead end that will create another traffic nightmare for the BART station. You wont believe how many times I have heard Uber/Lyft drivers complain they get stuck on the wrong side of the tracks to pick someone up, it becomes a hassle, and the coleman interchange is a disaster at rush hour.

    Putting Brokaw and Benton through via tunnel, or crossing the tracks would create a “GATEWAY” to our downtown. Even a trolly coming through and getting people to the station and to the airport would be an EXCELLENT INVESTMENT! Why don’t Santa Clara think common sense or event the FUTURE? this is a prime opportunity to open up another access point and connect our communities. Remember in the past the interchange was to bypass the industrial and tracks. Today it is going to be housing and new neighborhoods and communities it is time to connect the dots and stop playing a board game of MONOPOLY.

    If you were to go up and down the Caltrain to all the cities stations, there is vehicle crossings at every station except for SANTA CLARA. We need to work with VTA, Caltrain, BART, and reclaiming downtown to finally put this road through again. While Councilmember Watanabe, Davis, and the mayor failed to recognize that this does tie into our downtown, they think it’s a separate issue. They are wrong, look at every train station up and down the peninsula it is in the heart of their downtown and the neighborhoods unfold from the train station, many on this council need to do their homework and not listen to the almighty dollar$$. Tell me that I am wrong ?

    Lastly, i will reiterate again, It needs a grocery store because not everyone has a costco membership, and not every millennial has a costco membership let alone the money for one. Costco shopping is buying in bulk, not “Hey honey im gonna go grab some milk or butter”. A proper grocery store is needed for this area to grow. Planting the right seeds is key. The old Lowe’s down the street would be a prime location and that is San Jose. Something we need to work with neighboring cities on, not create a pissing contest between each other and seeing who can build the most conflicting projects with the community.

    so to recap the looming Trafficarmageddon that is the “Coleman Corridor” The Costco Jungle traffic +1500 new residents+ BART Station+ Caltrain+ Marijuana Dispensary customers+ everyone trying to get from 101 to 880 or to downtown= Gridlock Disaster for the Future.

    Is anyone listening out there ? How can one not see the issues ?

    – Side note, on Councilmember Chahal being advised to abstain and then being able to vote… you are creating a mountain out of a mole hill….. the reporting is ill advised because I personally would put the blame on the one advising……. which is the city attorney.

  3. Hey Robert,

    You’re being too hard on Raj. It looks like he got very bad advice from Brian Doyle. The city attorney told him he had to recuse himself. Then, he told him he didn’t have to. WTF? Any councilmember would have done what Raj did. The issue here is the quality of legal advice councilmembers are getting. It doesn’t look like it’s very good.

    • Ahh, por favor Messieurs Atticus and ABecker, how to say in Anglais?
      Il y a deux vérités dans toutes les histoires!! Se pourrait-il que M. Raj ait menti?
      Hahaha très drôle!!

      • I should have paid attention when I took French in high school. lol Lucky for me there is Google translate.

        Il y a deux vérités dans toutes les histoires!!Se pourrait-il que M. Raj ait menti?Hahaha très drôle!!=There are two truths in all the stories !! Could it be that Mr. Raj lied? Hahaha very funny !!

        Too funny, thank you Jean

  4. This project will help out Santa Clara economy and appeal. This is a major step forward for the community and our economy. There have been multiple hurdles and fences to cross before getting here.
    Hunter Storm Gateway Crossing approval is great news.

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