City of San José Moves Forward with Plans to Up-Zone Strategic Sites on Dupont Street

By Meghan Hall

The City of San José is currently reviewing an application submitted by Santa Clara, Calif.,-based Salvatore Caruso Design Corporation for a General Plan Amendment to change the land-use designations of five non-contiguous parcels along Dupont and McEvoy Streets from Mixed-Use Commercial to Transit Residential. In total, the 4.25 acre site is located between West San Carlos St. and Park Ave., and the new designation — called the Dupont Street General Plan Amendment — would allow for the development of between 170 to 850 residential units, or a building of up to 25 stories, on the parcels.

According to Robert Rivera, a planner with the City of San José, the application came from a developer and property owner with future plans to reposition the site. “The proposed project is for a General Plan Amendment and is privately initiated, meaning the City didn’t choose to update the land use designation,” explained Rivera. “…Staff is reviewing the document for consistency with the major strategies, goals and policies of the General Plan.”

The City of San José had initially decided to maintain the mixed-use commercial land use designation, as the transit residential designation does not allow for the standalone commercial uses that was consistent with the Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP) implemented in 2014. DSAP covers a 250-acre area and allows for almost five million square feet of office/research and development/light industrial uses, more than 400,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, roughly 2,500 residential units and 900 hotel rooms.

“DSAP is a designated growth area in the General Plan and continues to see large amounts of interest from both the public and private developers,” said Rivera. “It’s a major transit hub that would eventually connect to the future planned downtown BART stations.”

City of San José

The project site is extremely well located and is within just a few minutes’ drive from both Interstate 280 and State Route 87, and it is also close to downtown San José. Amenities such as San Pedro Square, the Children’s Discovery Museum of San José and the San José Center for the Performing Arts are also nearby. The Diridon Train Station is within walking distance and Adobe’s Headquarters are just up the road.

However, in public documents the city notes that the creation of the Urban Village Implementation and Amenity Framework has altered the vision for the DSAP area, and that the change of land use designation for the parcels would be appropriate.

“The subject site is within the boundaries of the DSAP and was originally designated for high density use in the approved DSAP but was never adopted due to concerns about community contribution and amenities,” said Rivera.

Currently the parcels are developed with a mix of small one to two story industrial and commercial businesses and surface parking lots. According to city documents, no specific development proposals for the parcels have been submitted by Salvatore Caruso Design Corporation. When an application is submitted for development, the City will conduct an independent environmental analysis of the potential projects.

According to Rivera, the hearing for the proposal was deferred from the Planning Commission hearing on November 14th. The Planning Commission will instead hear the proposal on December 5th and subsequently will be put in front of the City Council on December 18th. If the Dupont Street General Plan Amendment is approved, the City of San José will file a Notice of Determination, which will be available to the public for 30 days.