Resolution Likely by Month-End for Santa Clara CEQA Lawsuit Against Santana West Urban Village Plan

By Carolyn Schuk
Work Daze

Santa Clara’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit against San José’s proposed Santana Row/Valley Fair (SRVF) “urban village” development on Santa Clara’s border will go to trial on Jan. 16 unless the parties settle before that date.

Santa Clara filed the lawsuit on the heels of a San José CEQA lawsuit against Santa Clara’s approval of Related Companies’ City Place development on the City’s golf course, initially proposed in 2012.

The case will be heard in San Mateo County Superior Court by the same judge, Marie Weiner, who dismissed San José’s CEQA complaint against City Place.

Documents filed with the court last week report that attorneys for the two cities “inform the Court that they are close to a settlement.”

San José’s SRVF plan includes 2.5 million square feet of new commercial space and 2,600 new housing units, with 10-12 story buildings on Stevens Creek. The plan is vague about open space. San José formed two advisory groups and held community outreach meetings in 2016 and 2017.

A group called “United Communities for Sensible Development” has challenged San José’s developer fee waivers and “protected intersection” policy for SRVF.

San José uses the phrase “protected intersection” to describe intersections that can’t “be modified to accommodate additional traffic and operate at level-of-service D or better,” according to San José’s 2005 Transportation Impact Policy. Stevens Creek Boulevard at Monroe Street and Stevens Creek at Winchester are both “protected intersections.”

Case 17-CIV-00547 is scheduled for hearing on Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. in San Mateo County Superior Court’s Redwood City branch, Courtroom 2E.