Courtesy Pat Meyering, Sunnyvale City Councilmember
On Tuesday, October 14, 2014, at 7:00 p.m., the city council considers a request by a real estate developer for special rezoning to build very high density, 89-foot tall office towers in two square blocks along N. Wolfe Road, and Arques Ave., 500 feet away from Sunnyvale residences.
The towers will contain ¾ of a million square feet of office space, triple what the current building limit allows. A City-owned street is being abandoned and the land given to the developer to provide more area to build on. Nearly 100 million pounds of concrete will be poured, including to build 2541 parking spaces. 160 ‘Heritage Trees’ will be cut down, making a mockery of Sunnyvale’s Urban Forest Plan.
This complex of office towers will impose huge costs on the Community.
- It adds more than 3,000 new vehicle trips at area intersections, with extreme negative effects on traffic flow.
- The gridlock burns fuel and emits toxic air contaminants at a higher rate for a longer period.
- The increased air pollution results in increased respiratory illnesses and diseases in children and adults.
- The complex dramatically increases the number of people seeking housing in the city and seriously aggravates the upward spike in housing costs and apartment rents, forcing lower and middle-class families to move out.
- Thousands of additional sinks, shower stalls and toilets installed for the 2,500 employees working in the new towers [with a full gym] will drain water from the limited supply available to Sunnyvale families during the worst drought in recorded history.
How do these Community-destroying projects get approved? This real estate developer has hired a promoter, to ease the way for the project’s success. The promoter has given money to the campaigns of several city councilmembers.
The promoter is also the treasurer of a real estate developers’ political action committee (PAC), which has raised tens of thousands of dollars from developers. This PAC has contributed thousands of dollars to the campaigns of each member of the city council majority.
Councilmembers solicit and receive money from real estate developers, whom councilmembers know have building proposals that will come before the council for a vote of approval on the developers’ requests to substantially exceed the City’s building limits. The particular developer for this project gave money as recently as May 2014.
This project would have no chance of approval without the votes of the councilmembers, who took money from the real estate developer, its promoter and the real estate developers’ political action committee.
A Conflict of Interest ordinance is desperately needed to restore good government in Sunnyvale. Such an ordinance would require recusal by councilmembers from voting on a proposal by any individual or entity from whom or which, the councilmember has taken money. We have the brightest, hardest working people in the world here in Sunnyvale. They are entitled to a city government that obeys their wishes.
Pat Meyering Sunnyvale City Councilmember
Editor’s note: Be sure to visit the “Special Interest Watch” website: http://specialinterestwatch.org for past Sunnyvale City Council election campaign donations. Most noteworthy are the hundreds of thousands donated via the category of Independent Expenditures – recommended by the local realtor board Silicon Valley Association of Realtors SILVAR through the National Association of Realtors NAR. The usage of Independent Expenditures bypasses the legal limits for political campaign donations set by law.