New Home Builder Sunnyvale Environmental Issues? How to research


We received the following question and wanted to share our response with you. The same investigative process can be adapted to other new home building projects in neighboring Bay Area Cities:

We are looking to purchase a home at the new development by Summerhill homes at Las Palmas, and came across your blog when we were searching for environmental issues in new developments in Sunnyvale. Are you aware of any environmental issues with this location and any information that we should we aware of regarding soil/water contamination at this site? There used to be an auto dealership and orchards before that on this site, so we were wondering about any possible contamination. The address is 660 W El Camino Avenue, Sunnyvale, 94087.

Soil, water and environmental issues can investigated a few ways. The first step would be to visit the City of Sunnyvale Planning Department and request to view the files for the Summerhill Las Palmas project. Ask specifically about soils, water and any other required studies that were needed for submission in order to approve this development. Continue reading

Sunnyvale neighbors to appeal court’s decisions in Raynor lawsuit


By Alia Wilson Nov. 5, 2014

Fight ‘not over’ president Tim Dietrich says. Despite losing its lawsuit, a group of Sunnyvale residents fighting to restore public access to Raynor Park is not done fighting yet. The group is appealing the court’s rulings in favor of the city.

According to the group, the city claimed that the public did not petition the city properly, despite residents bringing up issues the CEQA law covers. The judge concurred with the city, that asking questions about the law, such as impacts on the environment and traffic was not enough, and that members of the public must actually state, by name, that the city was violating the CEQA.

CLICK HERE for the full San Jose Mercury My Town article.

Council Must Be Barred from Voting on Their Donors’ Proposals


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. Continue reading

Landbank is another LinkedIn


Courtesy Holly Lofgren Oct 8, 2014

On Oct. 14, the Sunnyvale City Council will consider whether to rezone a 34 percent floor area ratio (FAR) site at Wolfe Road and Arques Avenue into an M-S 100 percent FAR site. This is TRIPLE the normal standard for this area.

The proposed site is 770,000 square feet and towers at 89 feet tall. The Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program required is only 30 percent and is on Wolfe Road, which is overloaded with commute traffic with more on the way.

While homes are 1,000 feet from the site (at LinkedIn they were 250 feet), this project will clog traffic in the area and a rezone could set a precedent for other developers to expect 100 percent FAR and the ability to do a similar TDM program when the environmental impact report (EIR) would show that the traffic impact was “significant but unavoidable.” Continue reading

Effort to recall Councilman Pat Meyering falls through


By Alia Wilson, Sunnyvale Sun

Not enough signatures were collected to trigger a special election to recall Councilman Pat Meyering after a six-month effort to do just that. “There were no facts to support the recall,” Meyering said of the failed effort. “It was an effort to distract the media. It will have no affect on my running for re-election.”

Meyering previously told The Sun he viewed the recall effort as an opportunity to address the issues that the residents are concerned about, ranging from city council campaign funds to building height limits in the city.

CLICK HERE and/or http://bit.ly/patmayr for the full San Jose Mercury News article.

“Did you know?” Sunnyvale Traffic Impacts Future Projects


Courtesy Andy Frazer

The intersection of El Camino Real, East Fremont, and Wolfe Rd is one of the most congested in Sunnyvale. Learn about the results of a city traffic study, and consider the impact on this intersection from the new Apple II campus, as well as three other potential big developments in Sunnyvale.

If you have ever driven through the intersection of El Camino Real, East Fremont, and Wolfe Rd, you already know it is one of the most congested in Sunnyvale. Continue reading

Sunnyvale Mandates CEQA EIR for Butcher’s Corner


Butchers Corner Project Illustration submitted to City of Sunnyvale

Butchers Corner Project Illustration submitted to City of Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale city planners are requiring an environmental impact report EIR for a large development project proposed by De Anza Properties for Butcher’s Corner  located at the confluence of El Camino Real, East Fremont Avenue and South Wolfe Road.

The applicant, De Anza Properties has submitted plans for Forty-one townhome units and 115 apartment units with surface and underground parking is proposed for the El Camino Real and Wolfe Road site. The proposed townhouse buildings are three stories, while the other two proposed buildings are seven stories.

Sunnyvale City staff raised several design concerns, ranging from adequate parking to building setbacks. Staff also recommended the building height along El Camino and Wolfe should be reduced to about four stories.

CLICK HERE for San Jose Mercury News coverage by Alia Wilson dated 9/10/2014.

CLICK HERE for the Butcher’s Corner Architectural Plans submitted to the City of Sunnyvale, CA.

Run . . don’t walk to see Documentary ‘ALIVE INSIDE’


Run . . don’t walk to see the brilliant Documentary ‘ALIVE INSIDE’ now playing at Camera 7 Pruneyard in Campbell. As dementia continues to affect millions of elderly Americans, this astonishing documentary reveals a remarkable, music-based breakthrough that has already transformed lives.

Spearheaded by social worker Dan Cohen and captured on camera over the course of three years by filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett, we learn that songs from a patient’s past can awaken memories and emotions that have been asleep for years, sometimes decades. Continue reading

Dangers of 3rd fogging in Sunnyvale Aug 19


No Toxins for Children Courtesy Arlene Goetze

Sunnyvale will be fogged for the 3rd time next Tues. Aug 19 starting at 11 pm.  Area is Mathilda to #85, Central to Remington.

The notice came on the doorknob Friday afternoon that states ‘there is no significant risk to our families.  No precautions for pregnant women.  Just wash your garden fruits and garden veggies.  Pesticide won’t affect car paints or other painted surfaces.  Close your windows and turn off air conditioning.”

Five people spoke against the fogging at the Aug 12 city council meeting. I spoke how my right eye has been watering and weeping since the first fogging June 2 and I have an unexplained cough. Continue reading

Sunnyvale Council Members air out differences, but little agreement on meeting protocol


By Alia Wilson

“First of all, the mayor is chosen by him voting for himself and three other people; there’s no magic sanctity or wisdom imparted through that mechanism,” Pat Meyering said. “The statement that no one is given authority except by the majority is completely false and inconsistent with a couple hundred years of American democracy,” Meyering added.

Pat Meyering cited one occasion where a council member made a motion to cut off debate, thus cutting off Meyering, and the motion was immediately seconded and unanimously approved. “These vague phrases of having a smooth meeting don’t give anybody the right, even if it’s a 6-1 vote, to cut off the minority,” Meyering said. “This is a bizarre discussion where we’re talking about the majority can do this, the majority can do that. The majority is limited.”

CLICK HERE for the full San Jose Mercury News article.