By Robert Haugh
A couple of weeks ago, the City Council reviewed the El Camino Real Specific Plan.
There were a lot of concerns about how major development on El Camino Real will change Santa Clara. The plan allows for six-story structures.
Community Development Director Andrew Crabtree revealed an interesting thing about the most controversial potential development in the plan.
Crabtree said that the massive Mariani development on the El Camino looks like it’s been shelved. He said the applicant has not submitted any information in the last two years.
But an eagle-eyed resident noticed something about Crabtree’s presentation and sent it our way. (Kudos to one of our loyal readers).
Santa Clara Weekly Lobbyist/Publisher Miles Barber was listed as a co-applicant of the massive Mariani development project with Lou Mariani.
Barber was registered as a lobbyist for the project going back to at least 2016.
As we reported in 2017, Barber has advocated for high-density housing in his columns without disclosing his financial interest in the project.
His publication has written “news” stories about the massive Mariani development without disclosing Barber’s financial interests.
Failure to disclose to readers pertinent information about Barber’s interest is considered a violation of journalistic ethics.
Questions have also been raised about Barber violating the City’s lobbyist ordinance by Howard Myers, a longtime Santa Clara resident. Myers leads a neighborhood effort to downsize the Mariani project. He filed an official complaint with the City in 2017.
Soon after that complaint was filed, Barber was dropped as a lobbyist for the project and replaced by former Councilman Kevin Moore.
Mariani did not respond to a request for comment. If he does, we’ll be happy to print his explanation of Barber’s changing role in the project.
Editor’s Note: Barber was incorrectly identified as a “co-applicant” in the article. He was identified as such in a City staff report during the City Council Meeting on March 16, 2021. “City staff provided a presentation on item 4. 21-1146, El Camino Real Specific Plan Study Session, which included a slide with information on pending application projects, which incorrectly indicated that Miles Barber was one of the applicants for the Mariani Project. Mr. Barber’s name was included in error and should not have been listed as one of the project applicants,” stated Lon Peterson, Director of Communications, City of Santa Clara.