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Vallco Specific Plan Update: September 18 City Council Agenda Now Posted

Post Date:09/12/2018

At its September 18, 2018 meeting, the Cupertino City Council will consider adoption of the Vallco Specific Plan and a Development Agreement proposed by the Vallco Property Owner LLC. Although not a development application, meaning that no project will be approved or denied at the meeting, the Specific Plan, if adopted, would create two tiers of possible development within the plan area (see table below). Detailed information can be found in the City Council’s September 18 agenda at, as  well as




(without "community benefits density bonus")


(with "community benefits

density bonus")

Maximum Residential

(Number of units)



Minimum Commercial/Retail

(Square feet)



Maximum Office(Square feet)



Maximum Office Amenity

Space(Square feet)



Maximum Hotel

(Number of rooms)



Minimum Civic/Cultural

Uses(Square feet) (included in commercial/retail above)

None Required


Minimum Public (on ground)

Open Space(Acres)



Heights (depending on location)

45’ – 120’

45’ – 150’


The Tier 1 program has a base density allowed by right under the Specific Plan. It retains the existing residential density of 35 dwelling units per acre, minimizes office use, and maximizes commercial/retail development.

The Tier 2 program includes a “community benefits density bonus” as an alternative to the State Density Bonus Law, which allows a maximum residential density bonus of 35% above the base density. Tier 2 would also allow for additional office space and amenities (such as labs and fitness areas), with community benefits would be memorialized in a development agreement.

Both tiers would require six acres of public open space, such as parks, on the ground level.

In addition, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared to evaluate the environmental effects of the proposed project will also be considered. Adoption of the Plan will require General Plan Amendments, and Municipal Code Amendments and Zoning Actions, all of which will also be considered concurrently.

The Environmental Review Committee met on August 31, 2018 and recommended that the City Council certify the EIR. The Planning Commission met on September 4, 2018 and considered the proposed project. They unanimously recommended that the City Council adopt resolutions regarding the Environmental Assessment, Municipal Code and Zoning amendments required to implement the project. They recommended approval of the General Plan Amendments, Specific Plan and the Development Agreement on a 4-1 vote with a recommendation that the Council consider the addition of a middle tier of development, between Tier 1 and Tier 2, with 2,923 residential units, reduced office allocation and a commensurate reduction in community benefits. The Planning Commission recommended that the community benefits be considered in the following order of preference:

  1. Increase in benefits to the Cupertino Union School District
  2. Maintain benefits to the Fremont Union High School District
  3. Incorporate a 20% Below Market Rate (BMR) component, including 40 Extremely Low Income housing units
  4. Contributions to transportation and traffic improvements
  5. Rebuild City Hall
  6. Construct a Performing Arts Center on-site
The Vallco Specific Plan is separate from the Vallco Town Center SB 35 proposal. Information on that project can be found at