OPTICOS, Are You Listening?
Residents for a United Cupertino have been advocating for almost a year and a half for the traditional planning process to get Vallco back on track. We've agreed that ballot measures (for or against) are not the best way to ensure an outcome for such an important property in our Community. We have also repeatedly stated that we supported the bold visions embodied in The Hills at Vallco plans - a progressive, world-class, and environmentally sustainable development at Vallco.
When Opticos was selected to create a community-led process, after almost a year of 'a Citizen's Advisory Committee or not?', 'do we do this?', 'do we do that?', etc...., we were supportive that the City sought out a process that would be inclusive of all our Community.
Instead, what has emerged from the Opticos "options" are two very banal and unimpressive proposals that lack a bold vision deserving of Silicon Valley. They do not include any of the many popular features (to both sides) of "The Hills" which is a complete mistake, they never drilled into what was acceptable and not acceptable to the Community (where is AMC, where is bowling, where is the ice rink?), and as a result, they omitted the signature features and benefits that were delivered through that world-class vision.
As it turns out, Cupertino Today also noticed these mistakes. Opticos, are you listening?
From their article:
"In our poll, 58 percent checked the box for “Park space is indispensable” when asked how important they believed adding park space will be in the Vallco development. In fact, when asked if they would trade the rooftop park and park space for shorter buildings, 71 percent of voters said no, while just 29 percent said yes."
For Opticos, we very much want you to be successful. But our criticism is that this is not a binary choice, it is not EITHER SB-35 OR one of your schemes. Why can't the 71% of Community members who support a green roof, have an option that includes a green roof? Why completely ignore all those wonderful features that the Community has already opined on at length?
For this to be a truly successful Community-involved process that provides an outcome that a majority of residents can support, you cannot ONLY listen to Councilman Scharf's dozen NIMBYs who show up every day and thereby discount the thousands who cannot participate in your meetings.
If you do that, you're missing the forest for a couple of trees. And that's terrible for our Community and the future of Vallco.