City Council Review: Kylli Fails to Get Their Development Agreement Changed 

By Robert Haugh

Yesterday, we wrote about how Kylli wanted the City to approve changes to a development agreement for a project that they didn’t want to build. It didn’t make sense.

Last night, the Council rejected Kylli’s request 5-1. Vice Mayor Karen Hardy was on the losing end of the vote.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor said that the City was being asked to approve a development agreement for a project that “probably would never be built.”  She also pointed out that the EIR was done in 2010 and the community benefits for Santa Clara were small.

Councilman Raj Chahal agreed and initially opposed amending the development agreement. In his questioning of City staff, he found out that the old development agreement says Kylli should pay $450,000 for affordable housing. But today’s contribution amount would be $60 million. Wow.

Hardy was willing to continue the item to let City staff negotiate higher community benefits.  Chahal seconded her motion, but he was willing to give the developer a 50-70 percent discount. That would save Kylli $18-30 million. He wanted the Council to give City staff that direction.

But Hardy wasn’t willing to be so generous. So she dropped her motion. Then the Council voted to reject Kylli’s request.

Their 2010 development agreement will expire in June. But the Council expects Kylli to return with a much different project after they get clearance from the FAA on building heights.

We’ll be writing more about this in the coming months.

JLL Contract

Chahal pulled an item off consent.  It was the Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) contract amendment for their work on the Convention Center.  

Chahal made a big deal about multiple contracts and amendments looking repetitive.  But Assistant City Manager Ruth Shikada presented info about all the different types of work JLL has done. 

Chahal didn’t seem to understand and insisted the JLL contracts were too much alike. Mayor Lisa Gillmor suggested that Chahal meet with City Manager Deanna Santana to get educated on all the JLL and Convention Center activities over the last two years. 

The City staff and Councilmembers complimented JLL’s Dan Fenton frequently. His 2017 presentation uncovered the Convention Center’s mismanagement by the NOT the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce.

The JLL contract was approved 5-1. Chahal still voted against it even after the City staff gave detailed explanations and corrected him.


Hardy was appointed to serve as Vice Mayor for 2020. Congratulations to her.

Councilwoman Patty Mahan was absent from the meeting.


  1. Raj Chahal is brilliant bright person who reads contracts in all detail.He is good at discovery of financial matters. If he doesn’t understand all complexities, it is only because of his new tenure and gathering experience.

    • Raj is not right. He is argumentative and a bully against women he doesn’t like. His comments are insulting to freedom of speech and women who know more than him. Except the women he takes orders from. Bad news, bro. Bad news.

  2. When Kylli came before the planning commission it felt odd for what they were asking. Prior conversation with the developer didn’t include topics that were then brought up at the meeting, which raised a few eyebrows.
    While I agree on the part with Mayor Gillmor on the EIR plus the lack of a solid TDM make me feel that times have changed and Santa Clara deserves more.
    After a while of deliberating, I felt this was just a means to ‘grandfather clause’ Kylii into an old analytics so they wont have to adapt to today’s demands. This then made me vote against approving it. It still passed the planning commission 4-3.
    Kudos to council for rejecting this, we can do a lot better.

  3. I for one am happy the Raj Chahal loses votes. He wants to give a developer millions of dollars in breaks! Dumb. He doesn’t understand details on contracts! Dumber.

  4. I think Karen Hardy had a stroke. Besides her bizarre delivery, I am not sure she understands this specific Kylli project and is confused. Why extend an outdated proposal. For someone that says they don’t meet with developers, she seems to be a real fan over the needs of the city. Watch for yourself.

    Bad business.

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