Council Review: Patrick Henry Specific Plan Studies Adding 12,000 Housing Units to the Northside, Garbage Contracts Approved

By Robert Haugh

The Council accepted the Notice of Preparation for the Patrick Henry Specific Plan. It’s the area north of Mission College and west of Great America Parkway. This is the start of the Environment Impact Report (EIR) process.

This is an area that could be developed for 12,000 housing units. Wow. As Councilmember Raj Chahal pointed out last night, this could add 20,000 to 36,000 people to this area. Double wow.  Santa Clara’s current total city population is around 130,000.

The development will happen over time. But it’s still a lot of housing. City Place and Tasman East are adding even more housing to the Northside. At some point, will the Northside be gridlocked with all the development?


The Council approved a contract with GreenWaste Recovery for “mixed waste processing services for garbage.” Union officials complained that Greenwaste doesn’t pay a “prevailing wage.” But the City cannot legally require them to do so. At Mayor Lisa Gillmor’s suggestion, they will add a “labor peace” provision to help address some union issues. 

The council also approved a contract with Mission City Waste Systems (MSWS). MSWS currently handles residential and commercial garbage pickup in the City. 

Vice Mayor Patty Mahan, Councilwoman Karen Hardy, and Chahal pushed for split carts for all homes and a new cart for businesses to separate organic waste. But they failed.

Using split carts for garbage and composting was a pilot program that MCWS tried last year. It got mixed reviews and a lot of negative comments from residents. 

Mahan called into the meeting from Hawaii. Aloha.


  1. Thank God we’re getting rid of split carts. That was a stupid idea. The carts are lousy and no on uses them. Did the cart manufacturer pay off the council or something? Good thing someone woke up.

    • Too funny! Yeah, split carts do nothing but bring rats and other vermin. Wonder why 3 council people wanted to keep them?

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