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Cupertino again at odds with the state over the SB 35 Vallco project

By Marisa Kendall, Mercury News, September 7, 2021

“At issue is whether a special approval used to green-light Vallco Town Center — which would bring 2,402 residential units, 400,000 square feet of retail, and 1.8 million square feet of office space to suburban Cupertino — will expire this month. The state says it won’t — an opinion the Cupertino officials have dismissed as ‘deeply flawed.’

“The state Department of Housing and Community Development attempted to correct the city’s interpretation of SB 35 earlier this month, stating that because the project had been tied up in litigation, the developer should be granted extra time before its approval expires. [Project developer Sand Hill Property Company] defeated a lawsuit in May 2020 that attempted to derail the project.

“Interim City Manager Greg Larson said the developer has yet to request an extension. In a report to City Council, Larson listed several concerns with the project, including greater soil contamination at the site than previously known, questions about the project’s planned rooftop park, and a disagreement between the city and the developer over $125 million in impact fees.

“Better Cupertino, a group that has been fighting the Vallco project for years, is using the Sept. 21 expiration date as a rallying cry to renew its efforts [to lobby the City Council].

“But [Sand Hill managing director Reed Moulds] expressed hope that with guidance from the state, Cupertino officials will ‘understand and come to terms with their obligations to advance this project.’ ”

Read the full article here. (~3 min.)

[Ed. note: On September 16, Newsom signed AB 1174 clarifying that projects delayed by litigation, such as Vallco Town Center, should receive extensions on approvals.]

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