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North San José Area Development Policy

Growth and Development

North San Jose Before

North San Jose After

Along with the Envision San José 2040 General Plan, the City of San José has several policy documents that serve to guide the ongoing growth and development of the North San José area, defined as north and west of Interstate 880 and south of State Route 237.

These policies include:

  • North San José Area Development Policy
  • North San José Traffic Impact Fee
  • North San Jose Area Design Guidelines
  • North San José Neighborhoods Guiding Principles

Urban design guidelines and a neighborhood plan are also intended to provide further policy and implementation strategy to advance the city’s vision for North San José.

North San José is primarily an industrial area that is home to many high-tech companies and is a very important employment center in the city. The city’s overarching goal is to provide for more development in North San José that benefits employers and residents there as well as San José as a whole.

The North San José Area Development Policy provides considerable flexibility for growth as an employment center through a pool of 26.7 million square feet industrial development capacity that can be allocated to specific properties within the policy area. Of this 26.7 million square feet, 16 million is allocated to a core area located along the North First Street corridor between Trimble Road and Montague Expressway. While intensification of the entire North San José area is a goal, particular emphasis is made upon fostering the growth of a corporate center with the core area.

The policy also supports the conversion of specific sites from industrial use to high-density residential use, based upon specific criteria compatible with industrial activity, allowing for the development of up to 32,000 new residential units. Retail capacity for up to 1.7 million square feet of local serving retail uses is provided within the policy to support the area’s new job and housing growth. The policy also identifies necessary transportation improvements to support new development and establishes an equitable funding mechanism for new development to share the cost of those improvements.

Key Goals

Vision North San José is a long-range planning effort, addressing future potential growth and development needs, and includes these key goals:

  • Proactively plan for growth to allow more industrial development in a way that benefits current San José residents.
  • Allow up to an additional 27 million square feet of research and development and office space.
  • Bring up to 83,000 new jobs to San José, providing additional job opportunities for San José residents.
  • Concentrate up to 16 million square feet of the new research and development and office space in a 600-acre Urban Corporate Center core area along the North First Street light rail corridor between Brokaw Road and Montague Expressway.
  • Develop an average 1.2 floor area ratio in the core area with buildings of six to 10 stories.
  • Focus on high-tech and corporate headquarters development.
  • Create a rich pedestrian environment within the core area to encourage use of the transit system.
  • Generate approximately $520 million in funding for the construction of local and regional transportation improvements.
  • Provide new high-density residential development (up to 32,000 units) in close proximity to employment centers


If you have questions regarding the Vision North San José policy documents, please contact Deputy Director, Michael Brilliot at (408) 535-7831.