The City Council will vote this Tuesday evening, May 16, 2017 on a professional three-part lecture series on a range of development and planning topics in what is deemed a "Community-oriented process for a plan on Vallco".
From the City Staff Report:
"As an initial phase of the project, the recommendation is to begin with a speaker series. Speaker series are informational events that feature experts in the field who can provide information on key topics of interest to the community. They are extremely helpful in
providing information on facts related to current and future trends, best practices that are being developed and examples/case studies in communities.
Topics of interest for the Vallco project would include the following:
Trends in shopping and entertainment, and the revitalization of malls
Housing/affordable housing and how they can be successfully integrated into shopping/entertainment districts.
Traffic, mobility and infrastructure – best practices employed in communities to reduce traffic and increase mobility for citizens."
While this is a very small step toward creating a community-centered approach, and certainly not as bold as we would like the City to be in engaging this process, we support this beginning and ask that the City Council approve this lecture series!
We believe that there should be unanimous support for a speaker series that provides up-to-date information from experts in their fields to help the Community evaluate and plan for our future.
Unfortunately, there are voices that seemingly want to stifle any dialog on any of the developments in Cupertino. Recent comments made on the topic of revitalization of Vallco are being made from the Leadership of "Better Cupertino":
"They will lower the quality of life in Cupertino through overcrowding, traffic, pollution, lack of parking, additional taxes to pay for infrastructure improvements, etc..... Growth of any kind adds traffic and cost for infrastructure improvement. They result in a net negative to Cupertino and drag down the community. I don't wish that on any of our Cupertino neighbors."
Just this past month, there was a compellingly personal article in the Mercury in which the journalist, Martha Ross, discusses growing up in Walnut Creek with a story that is very familiar to our own here in Cupertino.
What she notes as the real danger to our community:
"Talk to any city planner or affordable housing expert, and they will explain the complex economic, social and land-use reasons the Bay Area is now mired in this crisis. One important factor they also cite is community resistance to new housing. These experts say hard-core resistance won’t preserve anyone’s quality of life. Rather, it will keep out the people who make our communities function and who make them more interesting, diverse and well-rounded places to live."
We support this step forward and hope that the Council-led lecture series can provide much needed perspective and factual data that the Community can use to discuss these important matters in a collaborative and neighborly manner.