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Milpitas: Council approves rezoning industrial land for residential use in transit area


At the Oct. 3 meeting, Tran said he could not support the rezoning or a planned development at 1992 Tarob Court, near the future Milpitas Bay Area Rapid Transit Station, when there was a need for industrial and commercial land in the city. The mayor added that despite affordable housing being a priority for the council not a single unit in this 53-unit complex would be deemed below-market rate.

Nunez responded that anyone who followed Tran on social media would not find it “surprising” that he was against “adding development.” Nunez added that it would be interesting to find out at some future time what a developer would have to do to get Tran’s approval.

The council approved both the rezoning and the development in a 3-2 vote, with Tran and Councilman Garry Barbadillo dissenting.

According to a city study on the fiscal impact of rezoning the four properties, 141,800 square feet of prime industrial space will be lost along with 144 professional jobs across the four properties, reducing the city’s jobs-housing ratio, Planning Director Bradley Misner told the council on Oct. 3. But Misner added the city expects 1,200 temporary construction jobs to be created during the housing project construction.

The new 53-unit housing development by San Ramon-based The True Life Companies, will be the second housing development they build on that four-parcel block. In September 2016, the council approved a 59-unit townhouse complex at 1980 Tarob Court.

Misner told the council the new development and rezoning will not impact Milpitas Unified School District, which is already having to overload students across its campuses. And because the land border’s San Jose along Lundy Place, any students who live in the housing development will be sent south to Berryessa Union School District, Misner said.

Nunez said he was most interested in seeing the new general plan for the city address land use across Milpitas and said it wasn’t necessary to hold up this one development while it was being developed.

“We sure as heck need homes here to go along with jobs we expect to have in the commercial-industrial” areas of the city Nunez said.

Barbadillo agreed, but said the development should be mixed-use and offer a commercial business like a restaurant or grocery store, especially since it was in the transit area. Since the development was purely residential Barbadillo joined Tran in voting against these project requests.

Tran said his priority was creating affordable housing for the residents who are here and not market rate housing for those commuting from Modesto for work.

“I am in the business of making sure people have a place to live, but I am about doing it in balance and for all walks of the community. I am in support of building homes, but we have to do it right,” Tran told the council.

Councilman Anthony Phan told city staffers that he would like to see a land use study come back to the council. Nunez added that he would like to get a report that gives the council an overview of the Milpitas General Plan, and what is being done to bring in new commercial and industrial businesses to the city.

After the meeting on Oct. 4, Tran posted on his Facebook page that he voted no on the rezoning and the development because Milpitas cannot afford to lose more businesses.

“This land could have been used as a tax revenue generator with a grocery store like a Trader Joe’s. Instead, I expect our city services will continue to be stretched. What hurts is that none of the housing units will be occupied as affordable housing. I won’t say no to everything, but I had to take a stand here and put Milpitas Families First,” Tran’s Facebook post reads.