By Robert Haugh
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.
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.
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.