Click here to view the opinion letter published on Cupertino Courier, 03/17/2017.
The original letter:
Cupertino residents need to ask “Why the rush?” for the City to negotiate a new Sand Hill Property Vallco deal? An opinion letter in the March 3rd edition mentioned a Change.org petition that encourages Sand Hill Property (SHP) to return to negotiate a new Vallco deal. The author suggests that SHP would be satisfied will 1M sqft less office space than the 2M sqft they included in their Measure D Initiative. Residents voted down “The Hills at Vallco” Measure D only four (4) months ago.
Since our community won’t experience the full effect of 14,200 Apple Campus 2 commuters until year-end, why don’t we wait until December to see if Interstate 280, Wolfe Rd, Stevens Creek Blvd, Citywide roads, and neighborhoods and residential streets survive when hit by the full commuting traffic load. We need City Traffic Engineers to observe and analyze this huge Citywide traffic load before the City considers a new Vallco development plan. If the City moves forward on a Vallco plan without accurate traffic data, we could all be stuck with a regrettable Vallco development for decades.
In the Study Session preceding the March 7, 2017, City Council Meeting, Mayor Savita Valdhyanathan insisted that a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) be created ASAP to study and provide guidance to the City on the SHP/Vallco site. David Brandt, City Manager, when asked, estimated that the CAC will cost $1M. Later discussions led to the Mayor announcing that the City, not the developers, will pay for the CAC, and that the City Council will choose an independent facilitator to lead the Advisory Committee. Mayor Savita requested that the City Manager complete an application process in March so the CAC can start work in April. Mayor Savita announced her belief that consideration of the traffic impact piece can wait until Apple Park is fully operational. Darcy Paul and Steven Scharf commented that the CAC has yet to be be placed on the Agenda, receive public comments, and be funded and approved.
To summarize, it just doesn’t make sense for the City to start negotiating a SHP/Vallco deal, or asking a Citizens Advisory Committee to start work on a new Vallco, until Apple Park is fully operational at year-end.