Is Employment Lands Framework Dead?

Tax Base Erosion Night lived up to its name last Tuesday at the Council meeting as a truck drove through the Employment Lands Framework. Council voted 8-3 to amend the General Plan and allow new townhouses instead of reserving land for jobs next to Santana Row. Thank you to Rose Herrera and Sam Liccardo for voting to hold the line and retain our tax base.

In 2007, I was on a bus tour of San Jose with the General Plan Task Force. I thought the bus ride was more like the “Damage is Done Tour.” Driving past parcel after parcel of land rezoned from jobs to housing. Just when you think that we can learn from the past we turn a blind eye and continue doing the same old thing. After the vote was cast, I made a second motion that would have required that an office building be built at the same time as the housing rather than ... Some Day ... but that was voted down 8-3 as well.

To learn more, watch the video of the Tuesday, Dec. 7 council meeting, agenda item 10.3 — or advance by clicking to the 5th Hour 41st Minute (5:41).

Here is what I suggest if you’re interested in making money:

Step 1: Locate land designated for employment and get it under contract.
Step 2: Hire a lobbyist.
Step 3: Provide drawings of your future development that include kids with balloons.
Step 4: Divide the parcel for a ... Some Day ... office building on a small portion of the property.
Step 5: Require housing go first on the large portion of the property.
Step 6: Obtain affirmative vote from Council.
Step 7: Sell your entitlement to a home builder and fly to Hawaii (SJC please).

Today the Council will have a study session on Medical Marijuana. I believe the Council should implement Measure U which passed with 78.3 percent of the vote. Therefore, any medical cannabis facility should provide a third party financial audit to our Finance department and start paying a gross receipts tax. 



  1. At least we still have Google in the Mountain View neighborhood of San Jose.

    Apple is expanding in the Cupertino neighborhood of San Jose.

    Don’t forget Intel, the worlds largest chip maker, is committed to staying in the Santa Clara area of San Jose.

    Additionally, Facebook and Hewlett-Packard are doing well in the Palo Alto neighborhood of San Jose.

    Although, Facebook might move to the former Sun Microsystems facility in the Menlo Park neighborhood of San Jose.

  2. Thanks to you for holding the line, as you did.  I watched the Council Meeting re-run on Saturday and was simply amazed at how dim-witted the Councilwhores can be. 

    I was particulary surprised by Double-Dipper Constant’s denial of the friendly amendment requiring that the office building be under construction prior to the building of homes.  I must say that Constant is the number one pimp on the Council and I believe most folks would agree.

  3. Pierluigi, can you play devil’s advocate and explain how this got five votes?  How does something that seems so obviously wrong pass?

  4. I guess San Jose-based Cisco Systems, EBay, Brocade and Adobe don’t count as major tech companies/employers.  And the hell with all the smaller tech/solar company’s that dot North First Street and Edenvale.

    I know most on this blog are in uproar over this Santana Row deal.  But really, what type of employment would we have gotten at this site vs the now residential/office plans?  Were any of the aformentioned tech giants going to set up shop here?  Tesla Motors?  How about a Super Target and Wal-Mart (we know we could use those in the Santana Row neighborhood)?  My take: San Jose will get a nice residential/office development to go with the neighboring Santana Row/Valley Fair vs continued blight and no real company interested in the site.  But go ahead all, be “outraged!” if you must.

    • And how will we pay for the increased demands on city services to the homes? We can’t accommodate the homes we currently have and now we want to add more? Makes no sense.

      • New homes pay for their share of services.  On construction, they pay fees to expand schools and parks.  They are then assessed at full market value, and pay five to ten thousand dollars in property tax every year. 

        Older homes, if they have not changed hands, are assessed at a tiny fraction of market value, and pay only a few hundred dollars in property tax.

        Yes, there is a free rider problem here.  But new homes are not part of it.

        • There are fees but they do not cover the demands for services, especially parks. The city cannot staff the parks nor properly maintain them, if there is enough money to even build them.
          I think you are wrong in your statement that “new homes pay their share of services.” They pay a share but not nearly enough to close the financial hole we continue to dig every time new housing is approved.

  5. Let’s not pat PLO in the back just yet. He votes for annexation even though he opposes it because a court settlement mandates it.  He voted for the Ohlone high density housing project to be built in his district because it includes some token retail space. And, don’t ne shocked if he votes to approve even more high density housing at the Brandonberg site in District 5. PLO VOTES TO ADD HOUSING WHICH.WILL INCREASE POPULATION to further burden an undetstaffed police department – a department he is making a habit of voting to cut at every opportunity! Are these the actions of a q responsible public official or symptoms of schizophrenia? O

      • No worries Pier, I’m over it. Will yo be able to overcome the results of V and W passing? After all you, PeteC , Chuck and Deb all promised the voters that passing V and W would preserve police and fire jobs.

        What will those “super-majorities” (sic) say come June 30, 2011 when you lay off the 62 officers whose jobs were saved when the POA took their second pay cut in 3 years to save them?  What will they say on July 1, 2011 when you lay off 100-200 more in an effort to reduce the decifit by mandating Police department account for more than 30% of it?

        Ya,  we know… you value the police and so does the community, but the community wants their library to stay open longer and their parks to be maintained…

        How about getting Pete Campbell’s water fountain fixed for a start?

        • I love that in reading a post supporting measures that passed so handily, you assume it was written by Pier himself.  Get this through your thick skull: the voting population of San Jose approved V and W, and we have no regrets.

        • Got it. Thick skull message received. Mr. and Mrs. Smith doesn’t care when their house is burglarized and then burned down.

          Thanks for the clarification and consider us “over it”.

          Have a nice day.

        • Ah yes, the “give police and fire whatever they want OR ELSE” argument.  A timeless classic.  I’d argue with you, but you already lost.

          I will have a nice day.

    • I don’t know about a Brandenberg site in D5, but I read today that a site in D3 just North of Julian near 87 is slated for high density housing and is getting gubmint $$ to help it along.  Jesus!  Don’t they know that they can’t sell Axis, the 88 & 360 residences, and they want to give away tax $$ to build more empty residences?

  6. Seems like the city’s main economic development plan is dope clubs. I counted three right behind the “Plant” shopping center. Given your cheerleading Pier, you could become their lobbyist when you leave office.

  7. … that Pier and his cronies on the council vote is “Tax base Erosion Tuesday!”

    Nice going gang ! Banned the plastic bag did you? Pat yourselves on the back. In America one can drive to any neighboring town and pack groceries in plastic AND contribute tax dollars to that jurisdiction while supporting a business outside San Jose!
    Another blow to San Jose business! Thanks Pier!

  8. Speaking of revenue generation by taxing pot clubs why not tax another illegal enterprise: prostituion!  Sure, it is rampant again in San Ho! Check out Santa Clara from about 17th to 101 and Alum Rock from 101 to Jackson not to mention in every hotel-motel I’ Just have the pumps and Ho’s register with the city and fork over a percentage! Bing-bang-boom … revenue! With all the low inxomw housing approved by the council the ladies won’t game to commute from Oakland – Richmond – vallejo! Why stop there drug dealing is rampant again in the Fountain Alley area why not have the slingers out of the same locales register angle pay a tax! You might as well since the police who used to deal with those community blight issues in Metro have been cut and reassigned. Don’t worry the Community and Sam Ricardo will just have to get over it.

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