Please Click on the Questions to See the Answers
Why did City leadership negotiate a new City Hall as part of the Specific Plan? Are they allowed to do that?
The current City Hall, built in 1965, is beyond its useful life and is deficient in several aspects of modern seismic building code specifications. City Hall is designated as an Emergency Operations Center (EOC), meaning that it is supposed to function as the City’s central command and operations base during a disaster. It is likely that a significant earthquake would cause the building to be unsafe, which would impede the City’s efforts to provide critical public services, communications, and response from the facility. In addition, the current City Hall is at risk due to old electrical and mechanical systems that, if they were to fail, would hinder the City’s ability to provide day-to-day services to the public.
A new City Hall would be built to modern building code specifications, which would create a resilient building that would survive an earthquake and function as the City’s EOC. A new City Hall would also include additional parking for residents doing business at the facility, as well as adequate meeting space and flexible scheduling for evening and weekend use by the public.
The need for a new City Hall has been the subject of several major public dialogue over the past six years, beginning with the Civic Center Master Plan Framework conducted in 2012, followed up by a significant outreach to stakeholders and the community. The Civic Center Master Plan was adopted in 2015.
City leaders are tasked with negotiating public benefits with long-term value, such as a City Hall that serves the entire community. Cities around the country have taken different paths to constructing a new city hall. That has included negotiations during development agreements, public-private partnerships, and bond measures.
I’ve heard that there is hazardous material buried at the Vallco Mall site and that it is listed on the State of California registry of hazardous material. Is this true?
No portion of the site is part of a hazardous waste site. The State of California requires that certain sites with environmental contamination be included on what is known as the “Cortese List.” California agencies [Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)] that are responsible for overseeing the investigation and clean-up of contaminated sites must include certain contaminated sites on the Cortese List. These listed sites are available online on the DTSC’s Envirostor and the SWRCB Geotracker databases. Both the databases include:
- Active cases that are on the Cortese List; and
- Closed cases, where all required investigation and clean-up have been completed. Sites are no longer considered “active” when the appropriate regulatory agency has determined that no further action is required. This is because actions were taken to adequately remediate the release or because the release was minor, presents no environmental risk, or because no remedial action is necessary. In these cases, the sites are listed as “closed” or deleted from the Cortese List. The DTSC also removes sites from the Cortese List where response actions have been completed and no operation or maintenance activities are required. See the list of closed DTSC sites and closed SWRCB sites here.
The SWRCB’s website contains information on two closed leaking underground storage tank (LUST) cases at the former Sears and JC Penney Automotive centers for which closure letters were issued by the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
The closure letters, issued in 1994 and 1999, respectively, indicate that there are no restrictions on changes to the land use at these sites and therefore are no longer considered hazardous waste sites. More information on the closed LUST sites, including the closure letters, is available here.
There are reportedly underground storage tanks that need to be removed at the Vallco site. If that’s true, then why has demolition been approved?
There is a difference between what is required for above-ground demolition versus removal of foundation, slab at-grade, and other work that involve excavation. The demolition permit issued in October 2018 was limited to two parking structures near the former AMC Theater in an area where no underground storage tanks have historically been reported and/or installed. The intent of all the requirements the City is imposing on the applicant is to ensure that if, and when, earth disturbing activities occur, there is a plan in place to ensure proper handling and disposal of any contaminated soil. Therefore, demolition activity may occur in phases in a manner that would comply with all of the City’s requirements.
For excavation, which has not happened yet, mitigation measures include the preparation, review and approval of appropriate plans for the review and approval of the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health and the Santa Clara County Fire District; the demolition and removal of equipment and facilities related to the Sears and JC Penney Automotive Centers, including remnant piping, below ground oil-water separators, a potential Underground Storage Tank, lift casings and associated piping; and other mitigations related to lead and asbestos removal and potential pesticide contamination.
I understand that the Specific Plan would include environmental review and mitigations would be required. Where can I get a list of all of these mitigations?
Environmental documents and required mitigations are saved here (scroll down to “Environmental Documents”): https://www.cupertino.org/our-city/departments/community-development/planning/major-projects/vallco/vallco-specific-plan-archive.
What income levels are required to meet various levels of BMR housing?
Under the Specific Plan’s development agreement, there will be extremely low income units (households that make less than 30% of the Area Median Income), very low income units (Households that make between 30% and 50% of the Area Median Income), low income units (households that make between 50% and 80% of the Area Median Income) and moderate income units (households that make between 80% and 100% of the Area Median Income). The income levels are updated on the City’s website annually.
For information on the Cupertino BMR Rental Program, visit www.cupertino.org/our-city/departments/community-development/housing/affordable-housing-program/bmr-rental-program.
How many units of each are included in the Specific Plan?
534 units total. Sand Hill has agreed that 20% of the residential units would be provided as affordable housing at the following percentages: 15% at extremely low (40 units), very low (156 units), and low income (205 units) levels and 5% at moderate income level (133 units).
I’ve heard that the City will be giving preference to teachers who work in Cupertino. How is something like this accomplished?
While the City cannot give preference to one profession over another, there is a point system in place which places a preference to all to qualify individuals who that already work in Cupertino.
For information on the BMR Rental Program, visit www.cupertino.org/our-city/departments/community-development/housing/affordable-housing-program/bmr-rental-program.
Main Street Cupertino
I was told that the developer cannot be trusted because they violated their agreement at Main Street Cupertino to build senior housing and a new fitness center. Did the City allow them to break their development agreement?
There was no development agreement between the City and the owner of Main Street Cupertino, and no violation of agreements.
The City follows established procedure to review development proposals and respond appropriately with best practices under the law and prevailing protocol. The owner filed a development application number U-2008-01 which was approved in 2009. In 2012, the owner filed an application number M-2011-09 and M-2012-03 to make changes to the uses project. Upon review of the proposed changes, the City Council approved the application at a public hearing upon receiving public input. The owner cited to the Council in 2012, during the recession, that no financier could be found to build or support the development of the senior age-restricted apartments. This is part of the public record that can be viewed here online at (search by entering application number into digital archives link): https://www.cupertino.org/our-city/departments/city-clerk/city-records
Why is there office space as part of the Specific Plan?
Office is one of those uses that are needed but are not necessarily at the forefront of one’s mind. Offices serve as places of employment, places of business, places of services, including medical and finance. Many working professionals in the Cupertino community work in an office. One of the goals of the specific plan is the creation of a vibrant, mixed-use district. Allowing the Vallco Mall site to transform into something other than a single-use site facilitates future flexibility and success.
How does office facilitate “flexibility and success”?
Office has different clients and faster leasing or sale than retail/commercial or residential. This allows the plan area to multi-task, in terms of getting the space successfully leased or sold. It also adds to the diversity of uses. If or when the market is slow on one use, it can be potentially off set by the variety of businesses that can use office space rather than remaining vacant or going through a bureaucratic process to adapt. Properties that are vacant may have a negative impact on property values. The diversity of land uses benefits the community because the variety of uses generates different traffic patterns. For example, resident-serving offices, such as medical and dental, will have patients visiting in dispersed times throughout the business day, rather than at peak commute hours or weekends.
Parks and Open Space
I received a flyer that said Vallco will have no parks, will be concrete plazas, and only .25 acres of parks. True or false?
This is false. Vallco Town Center Specific Plan has more parks at ground level than any other current or previous proposal at Vallco. The City will require six acres of public accessible parks and open space at ground level, a $60 million value that balances keeping heights in check. Sixty percent must be landscaped planting area in order to qualify as parks and open space, or else additional parks and open space must be included in the proposal to meet this requirement.
Performing Arts Center
Where did the idea for Performing Arts Center come from? How much will it cost to finish the interior and outfit it, then operate it as a City facility? Do we have the money to afford it or will we have to float a bond measure to raise the funding for it?
No decision has been made regarding the Performing Arts Center, other than that it is offered within the development agreement for Vallco. Members of the Fine Arts Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, and City Council requested consideration of a Performing Arts Center. A feasibility study is required before answers regarding cost can be determined. The study will be reviewed with public input in 2019. There is a cash out value of $22.8 million toward other public facilities if the Performing Arts Center is shown to be infeasible or lacks public support.
Removing Development Rights
Why didn’t the City remove the office allocation and reduce or remove the housing density during October/November 2017, before SB 35 was in effect?
There are several reasons: legal requirements, due process, and good-faith conversations with the Vallco property owner and community members.
Among many requirements, cities must notify owners and hold public hearings before removing development rights allocated to private property. Additionally, the City would have to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, which requires additional environmental review before changing the land uses or densities for the Vallco Special Area. Given that SB 35 was signed into law on September 29, 2017, there wasn't enough time to complete these legal requirements and due process before SB 35 took effect within 90 days.
There is much more beyond the legal requirements and due process. On October 4, 2017, the City received notice from the Vallco Mall property owner, announcing its intention to reactivate its effort for the redevelopment of the Vallco Mall site and interest in exploring a more housing-centric plan in a collaborative process. The City subsequently responded by bringing a proposed City-led scope for a specific plan to City Council. Starting a specific plan process involved vetting a variety of ideas from the community at-large, rather than unilateral removal of development rights. A “shopping mall only” and “no office” alternative was explored and studied, but it did not pass the economic feasibility test.
Referendum Petition Outcome
True or false: “Signing the petition to invalidate the Vallco Specific Plan would allow us to force the developer and the City to renegotiate a new development project.”
False. Development agreements that contain community benefits are the outcome of positive, constructive, and good-faith negotiations between the City and property owners. The City worked to include as many requests as possible. So, further delays would not force a better agreement.
True or false: “If the referendum is successful, the SB 35 project is an option for the developer that has no local control, no community benefits, and no environmental mitigations.”
True. While the Vallco property owner has publicly stated that it is their preference to proceed with a project under the Specific Plan, should the referendum be successful, the property owner may proceed to construct the approved SB 35 plan or propose a new SB 35 plan with fewer affordable units.
This flowchart helps demonstrate the outcomes based on possible decisions and actions.
True or false: “If the referendum is successful, the developer could propose a new SB 35 plan with fewer affordable units with no local control, no community benefits, and no environmental mitigations.”
True. The new HCD draft guidelines on the implementation of SB 35 regulations make it clear that the number of affordable units that a project must include to qualify for the streamlining and ministerial approval process, is exclusive of any density bonus units (Section 402(c) of the draft guidelines). Therefore, the developer could propose a project with only 890 affordable units (where the currently approved SB 35 plan has 1,201 affordable units). The HCD draft guidelines are available online at http://www.hcd.ca.gov/policy-research/docs/SB_35_DraftGuidelines_09282018.pdf.
What is the impact on CUSD and FUHSD enrollment and funding? What is the outlook for Cupertino High School in light of what is going to happen at Vallco?
CUSD and FUHSD demographer, Tom Williams, concluded that Vallco development will not create negative impacts to the school districts in terms of enrollment numbers for many reasons, including projected declining enrollment trend throughout the district due to housing costs. The units to be provided by this development will also be beneficial to school district staff, many of whom cannot afford to purchase a single family home and prefer other housing choices in Cupertino if available, such as condominiums, rentals, or units reserved for moderate income community members.
Mr. Williams’ presentation can be found here with findings summarized at 18:35: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAL_nICwBW8.
What about funding for schools?
The school districts have negotiated school benefits from Vallco Property Owner as follows:
- FUHSD - Vallco would commit to either (i) build and lease to FUHSD a 25,000 square foot “warm shell” space, or (ii) pay FUHSD a $9,500,000 in lieu payment, with terms to be set forth in a separate agreement to be entered into between Developer and FUHSD.
- CUSD – Vallco would make a payment to CUSD in the amount of $14,250,000 pursuant to a separate agreement, which would decrease to $9,500,000 if there is a challenge to the Project.
Is this in addition to school impact fees, which are charged to all developments?
Shopping Mall Option
Do the majority of the people of Cupertino want Vallco to remain a shopping mall?
Based on the City’s outreach, many residents of Cupertino want a shopping mall at Vallco. However, residents as a majority did not want only a shopping mall. There was broad support for other uses here, along with shopping, to assure the long-term success of the 50-plus acre plan area.
It would be nice to have a shopping mall in town, and wouldn’t it be nice to have our City benefit from all the sales taxes? Why wouldn’t the developer agree to build what we want as a community?
The City agrees with these statements and so does the developer. In the Specific Plan, 400,000 square feet of retail/entertainment will be located in this plan area. The City’s team has completed an economic analysis which confirms this size as the “right sizing” of a shopping mall to meet current and future retail demand.
State Law (SB 35)
What is SB 35?
Governor Brown signed 15 bills addressing new housing legislation, including Senate Bill 35 (SB 35), on September 29, 2017. Together this is called the 2017 Housing Package. SB 35 changed the local review process for certain development projects by establishing a streamlined, ministerial review and approval process if they meet objective planning standards. More information on SB 35 may be found online at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB35.
Why would the State Legislature and the Governor sign into law something that would remove all local control from development project like Vallco? What is their justification for this legislation?
Local control on any issue is a delegated power. Communities maintain local control more strongly when the power is handled effectively and not at odds with statewide concerns.
There were 15 new bills signed into law in 2017 as the Housing Package, including SB 35. The 2017 Housing Package tried to address housing production in multiple ways including by providing critical funding sources for affordable housing, accelerating development to increase housing supply, holding agencies accountable for addressing housing needs in their communities and creating opportunities for new affordable homes and preserves existing affordable homes.
Additional information about the 2017 Housing Package is available at www.hcd.ca.gov/policy-research/lhp.shtml. Elected officials at the State level found that local municipalities were not able to produce enough housing, including affordable housing due to a variety of reasons, including local opposition to housing projects and the use of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as a delay tactic, even for projects on properties where residential uses are allowed. In adopting SB 35, the State Legislature found and declared that ensuring access to affordable housing is a matter of statewide concern, and not a municipal (local) affair.
What exactly is streamlining?
SB 35 requires cities and counties to streamline review and approval of affordable housing projects that meet the criteria established in SB 35, by providing a ministerial approval process. This process exempts eligible projects from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The process does not allow public hearings; only design review or public oversight is allowed, which must be objective and strictly focused on assessing compliance with criteria required for streamlined projects, as well as objective design review of the project.
Depending on the number of housing units proposed in the project, the city has a short time frame to review the application to determine if it is eligible for processing under SB 35. A city must determine whether the project is eligible for streamlining within 60 days of application submittal for projects with 150 or fewer units, and 90 days for projects with more than 150 units.
If it is determined that the project is eligible, SB 35 specifies the time frames within which the city has to make a final decision on the application. Project design review and consideration of any information requested of the applicant must be completed in 90 days from project application submittal for projects with 150 or fewer units and 180 days from project submittal for projects with more than 150 units.
Realistically what would have to happen to do away with a Senate Bill that has been signed into law like this?
In order to repeal a bill that has been signed into law, either a new bill has to pass through the state legislature or a ballot proposition may be submitted to the electorate for a statewide direct vote. Legislative Information for the State of California is available at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/home.xhtml.
What are the conditions of a development project that would allow that project to qualify for streamlining under SB 35?
State housing law requires cities and counties to report their housing production annually according to the number of building permits issued within the jurisdiction by income level. SB 35 applies to cities that are unable to issue sufficient number of building permits to meet their regional housing needs allocation (“RHNA”) goals for both above income and lower income units. At this time, Cupertino has issued enough building permits to meet its RHNA goal for construction of above-moderate income housing. However, there has not been enough construction activity leading to the issuance of building permits for lower income units. Therefore, projects proposed in Cupertino under SB 35 have to provide at least 50% of the units at the base density (not including density bonus units) as affordable to low income levels.
Projects providing affordable housing for low income levels are eligible for the streamlined, ministerial approval process if they meet all of the following criteria:
Urban Infill. Be located in an urban area, with 75% of the site's perimeter already developed.
Number of Units. Propose at least two residential units.
Designated for Residential Uses. Have a general plan and/or zoning designation that allows residential or mixed-use with at least two-thirds of the square footage as residential use.
Location. Cannot be located on property within any of the following areas: a coastal zone, prime farmland, wetlands, very high fire hazard severity zone, hazardous waste site, delineated earthquake fault zone, flood plain, floodway, community conservation plan area, habitat for protected species, under a conservation easement, or located on a qualifying mobile home site.
Demolition of Residential Units. The development would not demolish any housing units that have been occupied by tenants in the last 10 years; are subject to any form of rent or price control, or are subject to a recorded covenant, ordinance, or law that restricts rents to levels affordable to persons and families of moderate, low, or very low incomes.
Historic Buildings. The development would not demolish a historic structure that is on a national, state, or local historic register.
Consistent with Objective Planning Standards. Must meet all objective general plan, zoning and design review standards in effect at the time the application is submitted. Note: SB 35 defines objective standards as those standards that involve no personal or subjective judgment by a public official, and are uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion available and knowable by both the development applicant or proponent and the public official prior to submittal.
Prevailing Wages. If the development is not in its entirety a public work, as defined in Government Code Section 65913.4(a)(8)(A), all construction workers employed in the execution of the development must be paid at least the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for the type of work and geographic area.
Skilled and Trained Workforce Provisions. A skilled and trained workforce, as defined in Government Code Section 65913.4(a)(8)(B)iii, must complete the development if the project consists of 75 or more units that are not 100 percent subsidized affordable housing.
Subdivisions. Does not involve a subdivision subject to the California Subdivision Map Act, unless the development either (i) receives a low-income housing tax credit and is subject to the requirement that prevailing wages be paid, or (ii) is subject to the requirements to pay prevailing wages and to use a skilled and trained workforce.
Parking. The project must provide at least one parking space per unit; however, no parking may be required if 1) the project is located within a) one half mile of a public transit stop, b) an architecturally and historically significant historic district, c) one block of a car share vehicle station, or 2) on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the development occupants.
Why worry whether the Vallco Town Center Specific Plan gets repealed? Sand Hill already has an SB 35 project approved with 1,201 affordable units. What’s the worst that could happen?
If the City Council adoption of Vallco Town Center Specific Plan is repealed, the site will not have objective zoning standards such as height, and setbacks, among other things. SB 35 requires that an eligible project that meets objective zoning standards be streamlined. Without an objective zoning standard, the applicant can propose any standard they wish (for example, the approved SB 35 project includes seven buildings that are 240 feet in height.)
In addition, it should be noted that the State Department of Housing and Community Development released draft guidelines for the implementation of the provisions of SB 35 and recently passed legislation on September 28, 2018. The guidelines state that for purposes of SB 35, the percentage of affordable housing units in a project is calculated based on the total number of units in the development exclusive of any density bonus units (Section 402(c)). The draft guidelines are available at www.hcd.ca.gov/policy-research/docs/SB_35_DraftGuidelines_09282018.pdf.
Therefore, Sand Hill could submit a new SB 35 plan with fewer affordable units but retain the same number of total housing units, office space, and retail space. Sand Hill would be obligated to only provide 890 units (50% of 1,779 units) as affordable, since their application includes a 35% density bonus (which grants them an addition 623 market rate units.) The following table explains the difference between the approved SB 35 project and future possible SB 35 project.
|Approved SB 35 Project||Potential SB 35 Project(if Specific Plan repealed)|
|Base Residential Yield (50.82 acres at 35 du/acre General Plan density)||30 du/acre * 50.82 acres||1,779 units||1,779 units|
|Density Bonus (35%)||1,779 units * 35%||623 units||623 units|
|Total Units||(1,779 + 623) units||2,402 units||2,402 units|
|Affordable Units Required||1,779 units * 50%||890 units||890 units|
|Affordable Units Provided||1,201 units||≥ 890 units|
|Market Rate Units Provided||1,201 units||≥ 1,512 units|
What is Density Bonus Law and how does it relate to the Vallco SB 35 project?
SB 35 projects can utilize benefits under the density bonus laws. State Density Bonus Law, which can be found at California Government Code section 65915 et.seq., requires all cities and counties to offer a density bonus, allow concessions, incentives and waivers of development standards to housing developments that include either a certain percentage of affordable housing or housing for qualified individuals. The City has a density bonus ordinance, which can be found at Cupertino Municipal Code Chapter 19.56. The State Density Bonus Law has been amended after the adoption of the City’s density bonus ordinance. Therefore, State Density Bonus Law prevails in the event of any inconsistencies between the state law and local ordinance.
A density bonus is an increase in the number of housing units allowed under a general plan and/or zoning (“base density,”) to encourage the production of affordable housing. Depending on the amount and affordability of the proposed affordable housing, a project may be allowed a density bonus between 5% and 35% above the base density. In addition to a density bonus, concessions and incentives can be requested by an applicant to help the project provide affordable units. Depending on the percentage of affordable housing provided, a project may be eligible to receive to receive up to three concessions and incentives. A concession or incentive is a reduction in a site development standard or modification of zoning or architectural requirements, or any other regulatory incentives or concessions that would result in identifiable and actual cost reductions to provide affordable housing.
The Vallco SB 35 project received a 35% density bonus since they provided 15% of the affordable units as affordable to very low income households (deeper affordability than required by SB 35). In addition, since they provided 15% of the units as affordable to very low income households, the project was also entitled to three concessions and incentives. These incentives included a concession to allow the affordable units to be studio or one-bedroom units instead of a mix of units comparable to the other units in the project, a concession to allow the studio and one-bedroom BMR units to be smaller than the market rate units, and a concession to allow 400,000 sq. ft. of retail space (a reduction of 200,000 sq. ft. where 600,000 sq. ft. is required by the General Plan).
What has happened in the last year that I should be aware of?
The project website was launched in January of 2018: www.envisionvallco.org with a kick off meeting in early February.
The project documents, including video where attendees’ comments can be seen live, can be viewed here: https://www.envisionvallco.org/documents.
There were a variety of venues in which to receive information or have a conversation: by email, online, by US mail, in-person, formal presentations, informal presentations, staff access, consultant access, open house style, sign-in optional (charrettes), sign-in required (online), weekdays during business hours, evenings after business hours, weekend, small group, large group and individual correspondence. The website launch and city-wide postcard notice were followed by a series of public events and a variety of speaking engagements including:
- 14 small group interviews
- 2 week-long charrettes featuring a total of 8 presentations, 5 open studio, 3 brown bags & 3 open houses
- 3 EIR scoping and comment meetings
- 2 student/youth on-campus events
- 2 public hearings (final PC & CC)
- 1 Environmental Review Committee meeting
- 1 City Council study session
- 1 online civic comment opportunity
- 1 Fine Arts Commission check-in/ update
- 1 Housing Commission check-in /update
- 1 Parks & Recreation Commission check-in/update
- 1 Teen Commission check-in/update
- 1 Economic Development Committee check-in/update
- 1 Block Leaders check-in/update
- 1 League of Women Voters forum
- 1 Better Cupertino forum
- Project website with urban design information, online engagement, updated documents, presentation videos, time lapse 3-D models
- Multiple individual email correspondence
- Multiple press releases
- Multiple social media postings
- 2 city-wide post card notices
- Updates in Cupertino Scene
Throughout the specific plan process, the team achieved the following community touch points:
- 3,219 public comments
- 928 in-person participants (interviews, charrettes, public meetings)
- 152 hours of public access
- 4,175 unique visits to the project website
- 440 registered users
- 545 online comments
- 7,446 online page views
With the two plans that are both approved, which one is the developer going to go with? How will they make this decision?
The owners have publicly stated that they prefer to work with the community under the Council-approved specific plan. If not overturned by referendum or delayed by litigation, the owners intend to file an application for a master site development permit that will be reviewed by the community, Planning Commission and City Council in 2019. The approved or a new SB 35 project is an alternative option for the owners.
I understand that a number of transportation improvements are planned with the specific plan. What are they? What will be done with traffic signals, intersections, highway interchanges, parking, transit routes, carpooling, automated shuttles, employer-employee incentives etc.?
In the development agreement, the owner will provide $11M for Wolfe Road/I-280/Junipero Serra Trail improvements – this covers traffic signals, intersections, and other amenities that will manage how and what types of traffic moves through the area, plus $1M for Community Shuttle pilot and, if successful, $750K each subsequent 9 years.
The specific plan also includes improved streetscapes, frontage road along Wolfe, improved bike and multi-user path ways, parking and curb space management for pedestrian safety and driver convenience. The master site development permit process allows community review of these facilities once proposed.
What are you doing with Apple employees to encourage them to buy or rent at Vallco so they can walk and bike to work?
The city does not market private properties, but does recognize there is an opportunity for the property owners and any local employer including Apple to work together. Apple provides bikes to their employees and has been known to work with local apartment community owners to provide access points to their campus.
You will never get people out of their cars. Why doesn’t the specific plan acknowledge this?
The specific plan aims to create safe and viable choices, rather than forcing anyone out of their cars. Some will always prefer to drive and cars are part of our landscape. If environments are created in terms of proximity and safe paths of travel (bike lanes, trails, buffers), the choices increase.
Think of it this way: for those who prefer to drive, you might have more space to drive if some percentage of the community, particularly those who live and work nearby, are able to choose alternative modes of travel safely. Every bicyclist and pedestrian you see is one less person creating traffic or impacting air quality. The specific plan creates space for all.
What are the estimated “Vehicle Miles Traveled” forecast in the EIR(s) for both the SB 35 and Vallco Specific Plans?
For the Vallco Specific Plan "Tier 2" program, the VMT per service population is projected to be 29.7. The Vehicle Miles Traveled data is discussed in the Environmental Impact Report available online here.
Data is unavailable for the SB 35 project since no CEQA review was allowed for that project under SB 35’s streamlined, ministerial review.