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Public Review Draft EIR: San José Downtown Strategy 2040 Plan

Post Date:09/07/2018 2:06 PM

Notice of Availability of A Draft Environmental Impact Report (Eir) and Public Comment Period

A Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the San José Downtown Strategy 2040 Plan (Downtown Strategy 2040). The Downtown San José project area, approximately three (3) square miles, is urbanized with existing development and infrastructure. The proposed project consists of the following:

1. Envision San José 2040 General Plan (General Plan) text and land use amendments to:

a. Update General Plan so that future development Downtown is consistent with planned regional transportation improvements, such as BART, and to increase the development capacity within the Downtown boundary through the transfer of 4,000 dwelling units and 10,000 jobs (approximately 3 million square feet) from later horizon General Plan growth areas to Downtown;

b. Establish an Employment Priority Area Overlay to support Downtown San José’s growth as a Regional Employment Center by creating a General Plan Land Use/Transportation Diagram Overlay designation that can be applied to specific sites within easy walking distance around the future central Downtown BART Station;

c. Change the General Plan Land Use/Transportation Diagram designations on specific parcels within the Transit Center Employment Growth Area of the Downtown Strategy 2040 bounded area to align development possibilities with the Downtown Strategy 2040’s priorities and to expand the boundary along the east side of North 4th Street between St. John and Julian Streets; and

d. Make clear that within the Downtown Strategy 2040 area if development permits expire on a site, then the previously entitled capacity on that site will revert back to the unentitled remaining capacity under the Downtown Strategy 2040 EIR.

2. Actions such as adoption of a resolution to replace the existing San José Downtown Strategy adopted by the City Council in 2005 with a new Downtown Strategy 2040.

3. Amendments to Title 20 of the San José Municipal Code (Zoning) to:

a. Better align the boundaries of the Downtown Zoning area to be consistent with the boundaries of the Downtown Strategy 2040 area and the General Plan;

b. Facilitate implementing the City Council Transportation Analysis Policy (Policy 5-1) in the Downtown Strategy 2040 area such as by reducing minimum parking space requirements for residential uses, expanding unbundled parking opportunities for all uses, and adding options for Transportation Demand Management (TDM);

c. Better align maximum heights allowed in the Zoning Code with the General Plan;

d. Revise and add provisions for development standards in transitional areas adjacent to Downtown such as the area currently identified in the Zoning Code as the Downtown Frame; and

e. Discourage the use of Planned Development zonings, or make their activation otherwise time-limited, so that unconstructed development capacity cannot be held in perpetuity.

4. Amendments to other Titles in the Municipal Code as necessary to respond to changes in the ways people live, commute, work, shop, dine, and engage in public life in Downtown.

Downtown Strategy 2040 is necessary to respond to changed environmental circumstances and conditions since Strategy 2000: San José Greater Downtown Strategy for Development” (Strategy 2000) was adopted by the City Council in 2005. Strategy 2000 was primarily a strategic planning and urban design document. The Strategy 2000 strategic planning goals and objectives either have been incorporated into the General Plan, or are being updated, or they have been achieved, or are they are no longer current with the adoption of the Envision San José 2040 General Plan and the subsequent dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency.

Location: The Downtown area is generally bounded by Taylor Street to the north, San José State University and City Hall to the east, Interstate 280 to the south, and the Diridon Station Area to the west. State Route 87 runs in a north/south direction and generally divides Downtown. Los Gatos Creek flows into the Guadalupe River at the confluence of Santa Clara Street on the west side of State Route 87. APNs: Numerous.

Council Districts: 3 and 6

File No.: PP15-102 Downtown Strategy 2040

Potentially Significant Environmental Effects: The proposed project will have potentially significant environmental effects with regard to air quality and cumulative air quality, cultural resources and cumulative cultural resources, greenhouse gas emissions and cumulative greenhouse gas emissions, noise and cumulative noise, cumulative population and housing, and growth-inducing impacts. There are approximately 103 properties within the Downtown Area that are listed as closed Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) cases, five properties listed as open LUST cases, eight Department of Toxic Substances Control cleanup sites, one military cleanup site, 14 open cleanup program site cases, and 12 closed cleanup program site cases.

Downtown boundaries are shown in Figure 1, and proposed expansion of the boundary along the east side of North 4th Street between St. John and Julian Streets is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 1: Downtown Boundaries

Figure 1: Downtown Boundaries

Figure 2: Proposed Expansion of Boundary

Figure 2: Proposed Expansion of Boundary

The Draft EIR and documents referenced in the Draft EIR are available for review online at the City of San José’s “Active EIRs” website and at the following locations:

Department of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement
200 East Santa Clara St., 3rd Floor, San José, CA 95113
(408) 535-3555

Dr. MLK Jr. Main Library
150 E. San Fernando St., San José, CA 95112
(408) 277-4822

Biblioteca Lationoamericana, Branch Library
921 S. 1st St., San José, CA 95110
(408) 294-1237

The public review period for this Draft EIR begins on September 7, 2018 and ends on October 22, 2018. Written comments must be received at the Planning Department by 5:00 p.m. on October 22, 2018, in order to be addressed as part of the formal EIR review process. For the official record, comments and questions should be referred to Jenny Nusbaum in the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement at 408-535-7872, via e-mail: jenny.nusbaum@sanjoseca.gov, or by regular mail at the mailing address listed for the Department of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement, above (send to the attention of Jenny Nusbaum).

Please reference File No. PP15-102 on all correspondence.

Following the close of the public review period, the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement will prepare a Final Environmental Impact Report that will include responses to comments received during the review period. At least ten (10) days prior to the public hearing on the EIR, the City’s responses to comments received during the public review period will be available for review and will be sent to those who have commented in writing on the EIR during the public review period.

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