18038-Opticos_Cupertino_Persp02-2 Visualization of general scale of buildings along Perimeter Road facing west and pedestrian view looking north.

2018 Vallco Specific Plan and Development Agreement

Click on each heading below for details

Specific Plan - Adopted September 2018/Rescinded May 2019

 

Chapter 1 Purpose and Intent
Chapter 2 Background and Setting
Chapter 3 Vision
Chapter 4 Mobility
Chapter 5 Infrastructure and Public Facilities
Chapter 6 Development Standards
Chapter 7 Administration, Implementation and Financing

What is a Specific Plan?

A specific plan creates objective standards and rules of development, such as heights, massing, building locations, public spaces and location of uses. A specific plan includes graphics to illustrate the standards and rules. In creating a specific plan, the community, the City and its consultants are not designing a project. Like the Cupertino Municipal Code, which contains development rules for other neighborhoods, these rules would apply to any future project proposed by the property owners of the site to which the Specific Plan applies to. A specific plan is used as a tool to help the city plan and prepare for the future, regardless of ownership.

What is a Development Agreement?

A development agreement is a voluntary contract between a local jurisdiction and a person, or company, that owns or controls property within the jurisdiction, detailing the obligations of both parties and specifying the standards and conditions that will govern development of the property. Although the agreements are voluntary, once made they are binding on the parties and their successors.

A development agreement provides assurances to the developer that the development regulations that apply to the project will not change during the term of the agreement. The city or county may require conditions to mitigate project impacts, as well as clarification about project phasing and timing of public improvements.

What Community Benefits were offered with the Development Agreement?

The property owner offered several community benefits in a Development Agreement. These included:

Affordable Housing:
The property owner had 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).

School District Benefits:

FUHSD - The property owner 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 – The property owner would make a payment to CUSD in the amount of $14,2500,000 pursuant to a separate agreement.

Transportation:
The property owner would implement a TDM Program.

The property owner would pay $11 million to City to fund work in connection with the Wolfe Road/I-280 and the Junipero Serra Bike/Pedestrian Trail. This would decrease to $5.5 million if there is a challenge to the Project.

The property owner would fund up to $1 Million for a 1-year pilot shuttle program and, if successful $750,000 thereafter for 9 years, which would decrease if there is a challenge to the Project.

The property owner would provide a mobility/bike hub within the project. 

City Hall: Vallco would either (i) demolish the existing City Hall building and then build and deliver to City a 40,000 square foot “warm shell” new City Hall including underground parking, substantially consistent with the City’s 2015 civic center master plan, or (ii) pay the City a $30,000,000 in lieu payment.

Performing Arts Center: Vallco would either, at City’s option: (i) build and lease to City a 60,000 square foot “warm shell” space suitable for a performing arts center (PAC), or (ii) pay the City a $22,800,000 in lieu payment.

Detailed information can be found in the City Council’s September 18 agenda at https://cupertino.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

Could the Developer avoid building the proposed Affordable Housing?
There are two scenarios in which the Developer could avoid building the affordable housing units.

 

1)      Breach of the Development Agreement: If the Developer failed to build the affordable housing units they would be in breach of the DA and subject to potential legal action by the City for breach of contract.
 
2)      Amendment of the Development Agreement: The Developer could choose to request an amendment to the DA to reduce, eliminate or delay construction of the affordable housing units. That would be at the City Council’s discretion.

Summary of Vallco DA Regarding Affordable Housing
The DA includes a definition of the project providing that 20% of the total units are affordable, among other community benefits.  (pg. 3 and 4 DA) There are several provisions requiring construction of affordable housing units in the DA. The DA and the Specific Plan together lay out a path for review and approval of a Master Site plan for a future project, subject to approval by the City Council, to determine the location of all project components, including affordable units.

 

The DA also includes a Phasing plan and a Housing plan that work in conjunction to ensure that affordable housing is provided. The Phasing Plan (Exhibit C-2 of DA) states that the Developer would not receive a certificate of occupancy for one of their market rate buildings until the affordable units received certificates of occupancy.  The Housing Plan provided that the Developer will endeavor to build separate BMR unit residential buildings at approximately the same time as market rate units.  (Exhibit D-3).  The Housing Plan provided some flexibility on construction timing for the affordable units if the Developer was unable to obtain LIHTC financing (for affordable housing on a separate parcel on the site), but ultimately the Developer would need to build the affordable housing units required in order to meet their contractual obligations.

The Housing Plan allowed the Developer to provide security to the City in an amount equivalent to the full Affordable Housing Impact Fee that would have otherwise been required to issue building permits for the project if no BMR units were constructed. (Exhibit D-3 of DA, see also DA page 22 [discounting Affordable Housing Fee because of BMR units]). However, that clause also made clear that the Developer was still responsible for completing construction of the BMR units, but could do so within a reasonable timeframe mutually agreed upon (potentially after other building permits were issued).  This was not an inclusionary affordable housing in lieu fee but a financial security for the Affordable Housing Impact Fee to be held by the City, and repaid when the BMR units were built. This security would be accompanied by an agreement with the City on the timing of the affordable housing, which the Developer would still be obligated to provide. 

 

MEETING AND DOCUMENT ARCHIVE

Click on each heading below for documents, links to meeting videos and presentations.

October 2017 request

On October 4, 2017, the City received notice from Sand Hill Property Company announcing its intention to reactivate its application for the redevelopment of the Vallco Mall site. The letter may be found at this link: Letter from Sand Hill dated October 5, 2017.

Project Kick-off Community Meeting
February 5, 2018, 6-8:30 p.m. at Community Hall

A city’s specific plan establishes design and land use standards for one area of the city, but first begins with community outreach. Opticos Design, the City’s lead planning consultant for the project, conducted this first community meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to better inform the Opticos team about the various perspectives within the community, as well as to inform the community about the project process and how one can stay involved. 

Watch the video recording here: Project Kick-off Community Meeting
Project Kick-off Meeting Results

Interviews
February 6, 2018

On February 6th, Opticos held a day of interviews with community members and workers. The purpose of the interviews was to begin to create a relationship between the Opticos team and community leaders and others as well as to learn about the varying viewpoints within the community. The interviews were not intended to poll the number of people in different viewpoints. Rather, the interviews were designed to connect the Opticos team one-on-one with community members and build an understanding about the general dynamics within the community.

Opticos created a list of invitees based on their discussions with people across the political and demographic spectrum. This list was created independent of the developer and the City and included only people who live and work in Cupertino. The interviews were organized by viewpoints including the young and old, community activists, tech workers, renters, home owners, business owners, faith-based groups and others. In total, over 70 people were interviewed in this one day. In addition, Opticos conducted phone interviews with anyone who requested an interview.

Summary of notes from Interviews

Specific Plan Environmental Review - EIR Notice of Availability and Scoping Meeting

Prior to adoption of a specific plan, envisioned to establish design and land use standards for the Vallco Special Area, environmental review in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has to be completed. The City determined that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) would be prepared for which a Notice of Preparation (NOP) was made available at the following link: NOP for Vallco Specific Plan.

Youth Outreach

Middle School
High School

Specific Plan - Existing Conditions and Guiding Principles Presentation
March 13, 2018, 6-8:30 p.m. at Community Hall

View video for Specific Plan Existing Conditions Presentation
Presentation from Existing Conditions and Guiding Principles Input Meeting
Preliminary Financial Feasibility
Polling Results
Summary of Comments

Charrette One
Monday, April 9 to Friday, April 13, 2018 (various times) at Cupertino City Hall and Community Hall

The April Charrette was a multi-day opportunity for the Cupertino community to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to craft a vision for the Vallco Special Area. The ideas and vision developed during the charrette along with community input guided the creation of the Specific Plan. The charrette included many opportunities for interaction and feedback, including Public Presentations, Brown Bag Lunches, and Open Studio as follows:

Charrette 1: Schedule and Flyer

For more information visit www.envisionvallco.org.

  • Charrette #1: Opening Presentation
    April 9, 2018, 6-8:30 p.m., Community Hall

View video for Vallco Specific Plan Charrette Opening Presentation
Charrette #1 - Opening Presentation 

  • Charrette #1: Brown Bag Presentation #1 (Transportation)
    April 10, 2018, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Community Hall

View video for Vallco Charrette Brown Bag Presentation #1 (Transportation)  
Transportation Presentation

  • Charrette #1: Presentation #2 (Economics)
    April 11, 2018, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Community Hall

View Video for Vallco Charrette Brown Bag Presentation #2 (Economics)
Economics Presentation

  • Charrette #1: Presentation #3 (Form-Based Codes)
    April 12, 2018, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Community Hall

View Video for Vallco Charrette Brown Bag Presentation #3
Form-Based Code Presentation

  • Charrette #1: Closing Presentation
    April 13, 2018, 6-8:30 p.m., Community Hall

View Video for Vallco Specific Plan Charrette Closing Presentation
Charrette #1 - Closing Presentation

Charrette Two 
Sunday, May 21 to Thursday, May 24 (various times) at Cupertino City Hall and Community Hall
  • Charrette #2: Opening Presentation
    May 21, 2018, 6-7:30 p.m., Community Hall

View Video for Vallco Specific Plan Charrette #2 Opening Presentation
Charrette #2 - Opening Presentation

  • Charrette #2: The Impact of Vallco Development on School Funding & Enrollment
    May 22, 2018, 6-7:30 p.m., Community Hall

View Video for The Impact of a Vallco Development on School Funding and Enrollment

  • Charrette #2: Closing Presentation
    May 24, 2018, 6-7:30 p.m., Community Hall

View Video for Vallco Specific Plan Charrette #2 Closing Presentation
Charrette #2 - Closing Presentation

City Council Study Session
June 4, 2018 at Community Hall

View Video for the City Council Study Session
Staff Presentation

Consultant Presentations:

Opticos Presentation
EPS Presentation (Economic Feasibility)
Transportation Presentation

Draft Environmental Impact Report

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Vallco Special Area Specific Plan Project was available for a 45-day public review period until Monday, July 9, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. 

The Notice of Availability of the Draft EIR is online here

  • Draft EIR:

Vallco Special Area Specific Plan Draft EIR

  • Appendices:

Appendix A - Notice of Preparation
Appendix A - NOP Comments - Part 1
Appendix A - NOP Comments - Part 2
Appendix A - NOP Comments - Part 3
Appendix A - NOP Comments - Part 4
Appendix A - NOP Comments - Part 5
Appendix A - NOP Comments - Part 6
Appendix A - NOP Comments - Part 7
Appendix A - NOP Comments - Part 8
Appendix A - NOP Comments - Part 9
Appendix B - Air Quality and GHG Assessment
Appendix C - Arborist Reports and Peer Review
Appendix D - Geotechnical Feasibility Investigation
Appendix E - Phase 1 - Part 1
Appendix E - Phase 1 - Part 2
Appendix F - Noise and Vibration Assessment
Appendix G - School Impact Analysis
Appendix H - Transportation Impact Analysis - Part 1
Appendix H - Transportation Impact Analysis - Part 2
Appendix I -   Utility Studies - Water, Recycled Water and Sewer 

  • Vallco Specific Plan Draft EIR Comment Meeting 
    June 19, 2018, 5-6:15 p.m., Community Hall

View Video for Vallco Specific Plan Draft EIR Comment Meeting
EIR Comment Meeting Presentation 

Recirculated Amendment to Draft EIR

The Recirculated Amendment to the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Vallco Special Area Specific Plan Project was available for a 45-day public review period until Monday, August 20, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. 

The Notice of Availability of the Draft EIR Amendment is online here

  • Draft EIR Amendment:

Vallco Special Area Specific Plan EIR Amendment

  • Appendices:

Appendix A - Supplemental Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Assessment
Appendix B - Supplemental Noise and Vibration Assessment
Appendix C - Supplemental Traffic Impact Analysis
Appendix D - Revised Water Supply Assessment

Vallco Town Center Specific Plan - Public Review Draft

The Public Review Draft of the Vallco Specific Plan, which contains the vision and specific development parameters for redevelopment of the Vallco Special Area:

Public Review Complete Draft - All Chapters

Individual Chapters:
Ch 1 - Purpose and Intent - Public Draft 
Ch 2 - Background and Setting - Public Draft
Ch 3 - Vision - Public Draft
Ch 4 - Mobility - Public Draft
Ch 5 - Infrastructure and Public Facilities - Public Draft
Ch 6 - Development Standard - Public Draft
Ch 7 - Admin Implementation and Financing - Public Draft

Response to Comments to Draft EIR

The Response to Comments to the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Vallco Special Area Specific Plan Project is here. 

Vallco Final EIR - Part 1
Vallco Final EIR - Part 2

Appendices:

Appendix A - Air Quality Modeling Memo 
Appendix B - Revised Project Traffic Memo 
Appendix C - Please visit this link for the original Public Comments

Environmental Review Committee (ERC) Meeting
August 31, 2018, 9:30-11:15 a.m., City Hall

View Video for Environmental Review Committee Special Vallco Meeting
View ERC Presentation

Environmental Review Committee (ERC) Meeting Recommendation:

The ERC on a 5-0 vote recommended that the City Council certify the Final EIR as having been prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The ERC's determination is available online here

A recording of the meeting proceedings is available here.

Planning Commission Public Hearing
September 4, 2018, 5:30 p.m., Community Hall

View Video for Planning Commission Public Hearing
Staff Presentation

Consultant Presentations: 

Opticos Presentation
Environmental Review Presentation - David J. Powers + Fehr & Peers

Planning Commission Recommendation:

The Planning Commission 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 at current location
  6. Construct a Performing Arts Center on Vallco property

The Planning Commission adopted:

  1. Resolution No. 6860 recommending that the City Council certify the Final EIR, make CEQA findings, adopt a statement of overriding considerations and adopt a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program on a 5-0 vote;
  2. Resolution No. 6861 recommending that the City Council adopt the proposed General Plan Amendments to allow implementation of the Vallco Town Center Specific Plan with modifications identified in Resolution No. 6861 on a 4-1 (Liu: no) vote;
  3. Resolution No. 6863 recommending that the City Council adopt the proposed Vallco Town Center Specific Plan with modifications identified in Resolution No. 6863 on a 4-1 (Liu: no) vote;
  4. Resolution No. 6864 recommending that the City Council adopt the proposed Municipal Code Text Amendments to allow implementation of the Vallco Town Center Specific Plan on a 5-0 vote; 
  5. Resolution No. 6862 recommending that the City Council adopt the proposed Zoning Map Amendments to allow implementation of the Vallco Town Center Specific Plan on a 5-0 vote; and
  6. Resolution No. 6865 recommending that the City Council adopt the proposed Development Agreement with modifications identified in Resolution No. 6865 on a 4-1 (Liu: no) vote.

The public agenda packet, which includes the staff report and attachments, is available online at www.cupertino.org/agenda

City Council Public Hearing
September 18, 2018, 5 p.m., Community Hall

The Cupertino City Council reconvened on September 19, 2018, at 5 p.m. in Cupertino Community Hall, 10350 Torre Avenue, to continue its consideration of the Vallco Specific Plan item. The public hearing for this item was closed at the September 18, 2018 meeting. 

On September 18, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at the Cupertino Community Hall, the City Council began to consider adoption of the Vallco Town Center 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. The public hearing for the item was closed at this meeting and the item was continued to September 19, 2018. Detailed information can be found in the City Council’s September 18 agenda at www.cupertino.org/agenda.

 

TIER 1 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

(without "community benefits density bonus")

TIER 2 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

(with "community benefits
density bonus")

Maximum Residential
(Number of units)

2,034

2,923

Minimum Commercial/Retail
(Square feet)

600,000

485,000

Maximum Office
(Square feet)

750,000

1,500,000

Maximum Office AmenitySpace
(Square feet)

N/A

250,000

Maximum Hotel
(Number of rooms)

339

339

Minimum Civic/CulturalUses
(Square feet) (included in commercial/retail above)

None Required

85,000

Minimum Public (on ground)Open Space
(Acres)

6.0

6.0

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.

City Council Public Hearing (Continued meeting on Vallco Specific Plan)
September 19, 2018, 5 p.m., Community Hall

The Cupertino City Council reconvened on September 19, 2018, at 5 p.m. in Cupertino Community Hall, 10350 Torre Avenue, to continue its consideration of the Vallco Specific Plan item. The public hearing for this item was closed at the September 18, 2018 meeting. 

City Council Action

The following is a list of actions taken by the City Council:

  1. Adopted Resolution No. 18-084 on a 4-1 vote, certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), adopted CEQA findings, a Statement of Overriding Considerations and adopting and incorporating the mitigation measures into the Project, and adopted a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program;
  2. Adopted Resolution No. 18-085 on a 3-2 vote, approving a General Plan Amendment to development allocations, the General Plan Land Use Map and Development Standards related to the Vallco Town Center Special Area;
  3. Adopted Resolution No. 18-086 on a 3-2 vote, adopting the Vallco Town Center Specific Plan;
  4. Adopted Ordinance No. 19-2177 on a 3-2 vote, amending the Municipal Code to allow adoption and implementation of Vallco Town Center Specific Plan;
  5. Adopted Ordinance No. 19-2178 on 3-2 vote, rezoning the parcels within the Vallco Special Area; and
  6. Adopted Ordinance No. 19-2179 on 3-2 vote, approving a development agreement by and between the City of Cupertino and Vallco Property Owner LLC for the development of Vallco Town Center.

City Council Public Hearing (Second Reading of Ordinances)
October 2, 2018, 6:45 p.m., Community Hall

The Cupertino City Council conducted a second reading of the following ordinances on October 2, 2018 to implement the Vallco Specific Plan and the Development Agreement.

  1. Conducted the second reading of Ordinance No. 19-2177 on a 3-2 vote, amending the Municipal Code to allow adoption and implementation of Vallco Town Center Specific Plan;
  2. Conducted the second reading of Ordinance No. 19-2178 on 3-2 vote, rezoning the parcels within the Vallco Special Area; and
  3. Conducted the second reading of Ordinance No. 19-2179 on 3-2 vote, approving a development agreement by and between the City of Cupertino and Vallco Property Owner LLC for the development of Vallco Town Center.

Referendum Petitions:

On October 29, 2018, the City received four referendum petitions on the actions taken by the City Council in September 2018 related to the Vallco Specific Plan. Information on the referendum petitions and the outcome of the referendum, can be found on the Vallco Town Center Specific Plan Referendum webpage

Vallco SB 35 Project: 

The Vallco Specific Plan is separate from the Vallco Town Center SB 35 project. This project was approved ministerially on September 21, 2018. Information on that project can be found at www.cupertino.org/vallcosb35.

Get Involved!

The 2018 Vallco Specific Plan process is now complete, but please sign up for notifications regarding "Planning Applications" at the e-notification signup to receive notification for all major planning projects in the city.

 

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