Council to Discuss Developer Incentives at First Meeting of New Fiscal Year

Since slashing construction fees for high-rise development in downtown, two towers have broken ground, including the $135 million 23-story project at One South Market. Hoping to spur more nearby development, the City Council on Tuesday will consider whether to vote in a similar half-off discount for buildings of any size as long as they create jobs.

Typically, the city taxes developers 4.5 percent of the total project value. The proposal presented by city Economic Development Director Kim Walesh would halve that rate for qualifying developers who apply for building permits by December 2014. The downside, again, is that the city loses out on the only kind of taxes that pay for local transportation. The general fund doesn’t touch the city’s traffic capital program, which has a huge backlog of deferred maintenance needs totaling $487 million—some $339 million of that for repaving roads.

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for August 13, 2013:

• Speaking of One South Market, the city received a letter from the Santa Clara and San Benito Building and Construction Trade Council alleging that the high-rise project violates city code relating to affordable housing and requires further environmental review.

• City-funded homeless outreach has directly helped house 36 people since 2012 and indirectly connected others with support and shelter since 2012, according to San Jose’s Director of Housing Leslye Corsiglia. So, the city recommends adding another $347,000 to the 2013-14 contract with homeless nonprofit EHC Lifebuilders to continue and expand its services.

Cleanup of two leaking underground storage tanks is nearing an end, but the city says it needs $50,000 to finish the job. The tanks at Fire State 5, 1380 N. 10th St., and Fire Station 16, 2001 S. King Road, have undergone numerous cleanups since the leaks were discovered in the 1990s. The proposed change-order would up the contract to $300,000.

• A study of the city’s 1,150-mile network of storm sewers will cost $2.8 million should the council OK a contract with consulting firm AECOM Technical Services, Inc.

• The Mineta San Jose International Airport wants to up the maximum allowable building height for private development on the grounds to better match the restrictions of the surrounding area.

• The Environmental Innovation Center project ran into problems with asbestos, change orders and contractor delays, which is all to say that the whole thing will cost $1.6 million more than originally estimated.

• More than 3.6 million square feet of graffiti was painted over these past two years, according to an audit of the company the city contracts with to clean up tagging. Problem is, the city’s run through half the budget of the five-year contract just two years in, partly because of the company’s “restorative approach,” which is to paint a larger surface area instead of just smaller paint patches.

In closed session, the city will discuss a lawsuit against the county and Vinod Sharma, both individually and in his capacity as Santa Clara County Director of Finance. Sharma is the guy who blamed his subordinates for overlooking all the financial abuses that ex-supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. got away with for so long. The city lawsuit seeking “damages according to proof” looks at his dealings with the former Redevelopment Agency (RDA).

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.565.1265

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. So, as long as we’re talking about new buildings downtown, WTF happened to that proposed condo project that was supposed to rise just north of St. James park? It seems Barry cleared the rest of the block but then did nothing and that historic old church is just rotting away.

  2. I’m going to vote against any parcel tax, sales tax or bond measure to improve roads in San Jose.  I don’t care how bad roads get, I’m tired to giving away infrastructure money to downtown developers.

    Also, I happened to see this editorial about “Homeless in Seattle”:

    Seattle bears a vastly disproportionate burden in responding to the regional problem of homelessness. Churches and neighorboring (sic.) cities must play larger roles.

    I don’t know if it’s really true in Seattle, but I believe it’s true in San Jose.

  3. So it goes ……….More Favors for Reeds Developer Buddies. all the while residents of San Jose are being exposed to an increase in all crimes especially Violent crimes.  That will be his lasting Legacy , as it will take years to recover from his destruction of Public safety here in San Jose

  4. Reed and his followers have been a boon for developers, giving way, way too much away to them.  Look what he’s trying to do with Lew Wolff.  Enough already.  If it’s one thing that the citizens of San Jose should be pissed off about is the developers making tons of money while city services are decimated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *