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Google village: Legislative flop impacts downtown San Jose project

By George Avalos, The Mercury News, September 4, 2020

Senate Bill 995, which would have smoothed the path to fast-track development of certain major projects in California, failed to gain approval of state lawmakers after time ran out in the hectic final hours of the Legislature’s session on August 31.

“San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo on [Sept. 4] requested that the state Legislature convene a special session to take up [Senate Bill 995], which would have created a four-year extension to give projects such as Google’s Downtown West development more time to qualify for a fast track.

“A separate bill, AB 900, which is now state law, authorizes the governor to certify that a project in California is ‘an environmental leadership development project’ that is eligible for a streamlined regulatory and legal review.

“San Jose’s Downtown West approval process, which originally was due to be completed by year’s end, has slipped due to the complexities of the development as well as complications unleashed by the coronavirus.

“Downtown West is envisioned as a community where homes, offices, retail, and dining options would be near each other as well as next to the Diridon train station, which already connects to light rail, Caltrain, the Capitol Corridor line, the ACE Train, Amtrak, and buses. At some point, it’s expected to be a BART stop.

“ ‘We have a goal of 6,000 homes and thousands of jobs at Downtown West,’ Nanci Klein, the city of San Jose’s director of real estate, said.”

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