Fortbay Development at 4300 Stevens Creek Blvd

Recent conceptual drawing of project proposal - notice how tiny the cars are compared to the 7 story buildings. NOTE: The project has now been revised to 8 story buildings.

March, 2018 update

The Fortbay project at 4300 Stevens Creek Blvd has been made even more dense and taller, with increased office space, further exacerbating the area's jobs:housing imbalance, increasing traffic and thus decreasing safety for pedestrians and bikers, and overcrowding local schools. This despite public input to the contrary from both residents and surrounding cities.

A community meeting is being held on Monday, March 26

Monday, March 26, 2018

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Cypress Community Center (Multi-Purpose Room)

403 Cypress Avenue

San José, CA 95117

Note that the above link does not include drawings of the proposal. The Notice of Preparation for the EIR does include a site plan, and it does not show a public park being included, even though a memo authored by Councilman Chappie Jones in Dec 2016 had at one time committed to a 1 acre park because the area is parks deficient, for a project that has grown from the original proposal (200K office and 500 housing units). City staff stated in a Sept 9, 2016 memo “There are over 850 underserved households located within 3 miles of the project site” and recommended that “the development provide a 2.0-acre to 3.5 acre neighborhood serving park as part of the project.”

Can we trust our councilmen to follow through with commitments to the community a little more than a year later? Express your displeasure to Council Jones by attending the meeting!

Also - the City of Santa Clara's attorney has sent comments in response to the NOP for the EIR. You can read them here.

Feb 2018

  • up to 8 stories, from the originally proposed 7 stories
  • increase in office to 300,000 sq ft, from 244,000 (+23% from the original proposal), enough for ~1500-2000 workers.
  • 582 housing units, up from 500 (+16% from the original proposal), which does not make up for the increase in office space and is insufficient to support 2000 new workers in the area.

Please make your voices heard by emailing:

City of San Jose, Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement, Dipa Chundur

May 14, 2017

Proposed project: Multiple 7 story structures at 85 ft tall, 500 for-rent apartment units and 250,000 sq ft of office space, proposed by Fortbay Development.

These thoughts were recently shared by a community member:

The project’s size, density and building heights should be scaled back drastically. The project should be delayed until there is real mitigation for traffic growth implemented and the impact from other developments in the area (like the new Apple campus and Vallco Hills) are better understood.

Resident’s voices are not being listened to. Case in point: A Stevens Creek Open House Meeting recently took place on April 13, 2017. The stated objective was to provide community input to the Stevens Creek Advisory Group (SCAG), so that it could consider all the issues when it crafted a final plan which would set guidelines for the future development of the Stevens Creek Urban Village. In short, the Open House Summary (which was generated by the City of San Jose) contained no comments in favor of the 120 foot building height (at Stevens Creek and Saratoga Aves.), but documented numerous comments opposing it. So how does the SCAG respond to these results? By INCREASING the height from 120 feet to 150 feet. It is very clear from the Open House Summary that the substantial majority want building heights lower than 120 feet, so, after receiving these results, for the SCAG to increase the limit to 150 feet is a ‘slap-in-face’ and unconscionable.

What is the purpose of an Open House? Why is community input solicited when community comments are not only disregarded, but also aggravated?

1. Traffic impact - Project will add 1500 workers and 1000+ residents, and will exacerbate already bad traffic along Lawrence Expy, Saratoga Ave, Stevens Creek Blvd., Pruneridge, etc. and associated freeway entrances.

“The stretch of Interstate 280 from east San Jose to Cupertino has been named the third worst in the Bay Area for its morning commute from 6:40 to 10:15 a.m., according to a study done by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.” (Mercury News, October 14, 2016) The Stevens Creek Urban Village lines this stretch of freeway. Entrances at Saratoga and Lawrence Expressway are typically overcrowded and can be difficult to navigate with needed lane changes through lines of cars.

The impact of the the Apple Park (Apple Campus 2) and Garden City project (Stevens Creek/Saratoga) projects is still unknown. Surrounding streets will be jammed – including Kiely Blvd, Pruneridge, Cronin, and Woodhams, as this project will add significant amount of traffic to Stevens Creek Blvd.

The area is not served by any form of mass transit, other than buses. Automobiles will be the primary mode of transportation in the foreseeable future.

2. School impact - The project is within the Cupertino Union School District boundaries, and feeds to Eisenhower Elementary, Hyde Middle School and Cupertino High Schools, which are already at capacity.

Eisenhower has 15 portable (temporary) classrooms and Hyde has 5 portable classrooms. Cupertino High is at capacity.

3. Lack of Fit with the existing community - too tall and dense - Uninspired architecture and high-density, high-rise 7 story building with minimal building setbacks, creating a canyon effect (like on El Camino Real) and shadowing surrounding neighborhoods, invading neighbors’ privacy and lowering their property value.

Building height, at 7 stories, and massing is incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

• On the South side – there are currently 2 story multi-family residential buildings

• On the East and West side – 2 story businesses

• North side – 2 story businesses and single story residences

• Furthermore, the project is replacing existing single and 2 story buildings. An increase to 7 stories is entirely too dramatic.

The on-line survey conducted of the community in Jan 2017 also clearly indicated a desire for reduced building heights in the development area.

4. Lack of Green space and amenities - No park space is being provided by the developer. Instead, a “promenade” between two tall builds is being formed from Lopina, a public street. Loss of retail - significant amount of Retail space is being removed.

Lopina is being “relocated” with no parking; the land is apparently being ceded to the developer. Instead, insufficient parking will impact surrounding neighborhoods:

Projected to add 1500-2000 workers, yet only 1089 parking spaces are being proposed for commercial.

For 500 residential units, 761 parking spaces.

5. All Luxury for-rent apartments - All 500 high-density apartment units are to be market rate and for rent. No long term residents, no for-sale units, no “mix” of housing types.

The developer has touted wanting to "help" the community with this oversized proposal. In fact, according to an August 2017 article in San Jose Inside, although the project is being sold to the public as a "mixed use", live/work/play project, the developer is really only interested in building residential on the current retail only site, because it brings the most profits. San Jose has a "jobs first" rule, whether you agree with it or not. As they say, it's all about the money for the developers!

City of Cupertino's response to Notice of Preparation of draft EIR, expressing concerns regarding traffic, building heights and density.

Notice of Prep Letter - San Jose from Cupertino - 4300 SCB March.pdf