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Mediator Called in to Resolve Dispute over North San Jose Development

Friday, February, 14, 2020

Mediation is up next for the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara as they debate the future of north San Jose.  The currently industrial area of the city is slated to become a mixed-use hub if plans stay on track.


Officials from San Jose were to see the area transformed into a walkable jobs hub feature new homes, retail establishments, and hotels.  All of these would be connected by a light rail line.  However, a legal settlement reached in 2006 capped growth for the area, which has stalled plans.  According to the settlement, the plan must be rolled out in four phases.  San Jose must also implement specific transportation improvements as the area is developed.  The settlement makes it so housing must grow at a similar rate to commercial development and has resulted in commercial development of the area moving slower than expected.


Developers with projects in both areas are trying to understand the issue, but they feel torn between both cities and as if they are being told two different things.  They believe a communication gap could be to blame.


There have been numerous letters between the two cities addressing the issues and San Jose proposed combining some of the planned phases.  They also pointed out a new state law might eliminate the caps.  Santa Clara leaders, on the other hand, are focused on transportation improvements and do not feel confident that San Jose is going to make the improvements as they promised, even though the city insists it will.


Developers feel as though they are stuck between a rock and a hard place and are hoping mediation helps the two sides sort things out