Google, Inc. (Google) submitted an application on October 10, 2019 to the Planning Division for a Mixed Use Development Proposal under the project name "Downtown West Mixed-Use Plan." This webpage provides information on the proposal, review process, and public meetings on the project. For information specific to the project's environmental review, please see the project’s EIR webpage.
Plan Set and Project Description
The plan set is a 15MB PDF file.
The Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP) adopted by the City Council in 2014 establishes a long-term goal of creating a vibrant, mixed-use urban destination adjacent to a new intermodal transit station to support the City's growth policies. While acknowledging the fundamental importance of transit infrastructure, the DSAP emphasizes the importance of experiential qualities that would enhance both the local area as well as broader San José by creating:
- A local and regional destination.
- A lively public realm that fosters walking, biking, and transit integrated with a variety of public spaces.
- Distinctive architecture and civic spaces that reflect Silicon Valley’s spirit of innovation and San José’s rich history; and
- A strong sense of place as an identifier for San José as the center of Silicon Valley, the capital of the technology world.
This application for the redevelopment of approximately 80 acres of the DSAP area’s 250 acres seeks to build upon and implement the DSAP vision, while recognizing evolving realities and aspirations since its original adoption in 2014.
The Downtown West Mixed-use Project proposes the construction of approximately:
- 6,500,000 to 7,300,000 gross square feet (GSF) of office space, including approximately 1,000,000 GSF on the previously entitled San Jose Water Company Building site east of Los Gatos Creek;
- 3,000 to 5,900 units of new housing;
- 300,000 to 500,000 GSF of active uses, which may include retail, cultural, arts, etc.; and
- 100,000 GSF of event space, hotel use (up to 300 rooms), and limited-term corporate accommodations (up to 800 rooms).
- Additionally the proposal includes infrastructure, utilities, and public space.
The application describes the location and distribution of the above-proposed land uses, the components and arrangement of the conceptual framework that organizes them, and the utility and mobility infrastructure that enables and serves them.
The timeline below, or view a larger timeline, depicts the City's estimated schedule for the project review. View the "Meetings & Public Engagement" section below for meeting dates and details.
City Staff Review Period - Google’s submittal on October 10, 2019 commenced a City staff review period that extends through the posting of the Staff Report to the Planning Commission, anticipated for Fall 2020. City staff across multiple departments as well as various City committees and commissions will review the proposed project for adherence to the policies and objectives of Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan and other City policies. Find the meeting dates and details for related public meetings in the Meetings & Public Engagement section below.
Environmental Review Phase - The Planning Division environmental team is reviewing Google’s proposal to ensure compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Environmental review begins with a Notice of Preparation (NOP) and a public Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Scoping Meeting. This meeting is an opportunity to capture any public concerns that are in the purview of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process. These concerns will be reflected in the Draft EIR. Comments on the Draft EIR will then be reflected in the Final EIR.
The NOP circulated for public comment for 30 days from October 23 through November 22, 2019. The public comments can be viewed on the project’s EIR webpage.
Environmental Leadership Development Project Application - In mid-2019, Google informed the City that it would apply to the State’s AB 900 program, also known as the Jobs and Economic Improvement through Environmental Leadership Act (California Public Resources Code Sections 21178-21189.3) that passed in 2011. For large development projects that both create jobs and meet a high standard of public benefits, AB 900 facilitates timely delivery of such community benefits by streamlining the judicial review process of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Governor must approve a project’s eligibility to participate in the AB 900 program.
For approved AB 900 projects, any legal challenges to the certification of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or the approval of the project described in the EIR is subject to the procedures set forth in Sections 21185 to 21186, inclusive, of the Public Resources Code. Such judicial actions would get filed in the Court of Appeal, and the Court issues its decision within nine months to the extent feasible. AB 900 does not affect the environmental impact analysis or public engagement under CEQA; in fact, the program enhances transparency requirements for timely posting of all EIR documents and materials on a public website once the draft EIR is circulated for public review.
On December 30, 2019, Governor Newsom certified the Downtown West Mixed-Use Plan (Google project) as an Environmental Leadership Development Project (ELDP). Within ten days of this certification, the lead agency—which is the City of San José—is required to issue a public notice, at the applicant’s expense. This public notice will also appear in The Mercury News by January 8, 2019.
Public Hearings & Decision-Making – City staff will report their findings, including comments from a range of agencies, commissions, and committees, to the Planning Commission and the City Council prior to hearings by those decision-making bodies. The staff reports post seven days prior to the hearings. Notifications of public meetings and hearings are sent at least 10 days prior to the meetings/hearings.
Memos and Comment Letters
As formal City memorandums and letters are generated, they will post in this section.
30-Day Initial Comments/Memos Letter - This letter from City staff to the project applicant provides the Planning Division's initial comments and includes attached memorandums from six City Departments containing their respective initial comments.
Meetings & Public Engagement
Public input at the meetings below is welcomed and encouraged. You can take the bus to City Hall; find your route at www.vta.org. We also provide validated parking for the garage under City Hall Tower, entrance on 6th St.
As dates and details are determined for meetings associated with the City's review process, that information will post below:
Historic Landmarks Commission/Early Referral Meeting
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 6:30 p.m.
San Jose City Hall, Wing Rooms 119 - 120
200 E. Santa Clara St. San Jose
Meeting focus: Provide the Historic Landmarks Commission with an early opportunity to comment on landmarks and historic resources within and around the project site.
Development Application Community Meeting
Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Room 225
150 E. San Fernando St., San Jose
Meeting focus: This meeting allowed Google, the project applicant, to present and answer questions about the project. City staff also explained and answered questions about the City's review and decision-making process. Following the presentations, meeting attendees gathered in small groups to provide feedback. This input is being summarized and will be posted below when done.
Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Scoping Meeting
San Jose City Hall, Wing Rooms 118 - 120
200 E. Santa Clara St. San Jose
Meeting focus: The purpose of the meeting is to capture public input on the Google Project environmental analysis. View our handout on understanding the EIR and what it evaluates. All documents related to the EIR are listed on the Downtown West Mixed Use Development webpage under the Planning Division's Active EIRs webpage.
Learn more about the project and engagement opportunities at these websites:
- www.diridonsj.org - Provides information on the planning process for the Diridon Station Area Plan.
- https://realestate.withgoogle.com/sanjose/ - Google's website with trilingual information on their project.
City Project Managers
James Han, Planner: firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-535-7843
John Tu, Supervising Planner: email@example.com or 408-535-6818
Environmental Review Staff
Shannon Hill, Planner: firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-535-7872
David Keyon, Principal Planner: email@example.com or 408-535-7898
Cheryl Wessling, Communications Manager, Dept. of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement
firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-535-6817