Last year, I wrote about a parcel of land that was converted from commercial zoning to residential by my council colleagues … some of whom are “friendly” with a certain lobbyist. Many believe this parcel was converted as a “quid pro quo” so AT&T would sell their land for a potential baseball stadium. I opposed this rezoning since I wanted to retain all of the land for jobs, thus a better tax base to pay for city services.
There was a promise from the lobbyist that “a someday office building,” on a postage stamp portion of the parcel, would be built. However, no progress had been made. On the other hand, the larger portion of the parcel for the housing portion (as usual) has been moving along rather quickly.
The housing developer needed to buy some of the road from the city to make the project work. I noticed this item on the council agenda and asked my council colleagues for a deferral, so we could make some progress on the promised office building. The next day at the Rules Committee, I asked for this time to be dropped entirely from future council agendas.
As expected, calls came quickly from the housing developer and lobbyist. I asked for some tangible progress on the office building prior to the council meeting, when this item would be back on the Council agenda. A meeting was held and an office development proposal now has the opportunity to come forward this summer. But there’s no guarantee, as greed might foil the day.
The housing developer on this parcel had an outstanding debt to the city of San Jose of $1 million for a light rail station. These fees were owed for nearly five years from a prior housing development. I asked that the housing developer pay this past due money before the council vote. The housing developer has agreed to cut a check for $1 million dollars on June 1, and if they do not the city will hold up escrow.
Sometimes delay can be a good thing.