Author: Ben Irwin (Ben Irwin)

The fallout from San Jose’s failed housing plan

San Jose has failed to get state approval on its housing plan, leaving the door open for developers to bypass city housing rules. This is the second time the city has failed to fulfill its obligation to the state in providing a detailed plan for how it intends to add 62,000 homes by 2031. The pitfalls could...

San Jose landmark in danger of further deterioration

A blighted downtown San Jose landmark is at risk of further deterioration after the tarps and scaffolding that have surrounded it for years were suddenly removed. Preservationists are concerned about damage to the First Church of Christ Scientist building after a local business owner took matters into his own hands by removing coverings while conducting...

Will San Jose’s Coyote Valley cater to tourists?

With Coyote Valley shielded from urban development through 2040, San Jose’s long defended southern reserve is now being eyed for tourism. Some local property owners would like to see a six-mile stretch of Monterey Road—from Metcalf Road to Morgan Hill—developed with restaurants, wineries, motels and bed and breakfasts. But environmental advocates who for years fought to...

San Jose lags on low-income housing goals

San Jose is failing to meet its affordable housing goals for six years running as the city’s housing crisis worsens. City staff introduced an ever-evolving two-year plan during Tuesday’s San Jose City Council meeting to get through 130 projects listed in its housing element, the city’s blueprint for addressing housing needs through 2031. The goal:...

San Jose weighs upping fines for neglected properties

The continued neglect of a downtown San Jose landmark is prompting politicians to increase fines for delinquent property owners. San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan, Councilmember Omar Torres, who represents downtown San Jose, and several residents spoke this morning outside the dilapidated First Church of Christ Scientist building about a proposal to raise maximum fines levied...

UPDATE: San Jose offers to reevaluate police reforms

San Jose leaders are reopening talks on the status of hundreds of proposed police reforms to ensure they are swiftly addressed and true to their original intent. The goal is to broker a meeting between city officials and advocates pushing to modernize policing in San Jose in the next month, said Peter Hamilton, an assistant...

Police shooting hits home for San Jose legislator

Assemblymember Evan Low, like other San Jose residents, first heard of yesterday’s officer-involved shooting on the news. Then he received a phone call from his older brother, Officer Ryan Low, 42, who’s been with the San Jose Police Department for eight years. “(He said) ‘I’m involved in an incident, I can’t tell you any more, talk...

Advocates say San Jose homeless ban at schools doesn’t solve problem

San Jose officials are considering banning homeless encampments and RVs around schools even as homeless advocates decry the move, saying it further criminalizes an already marginalized group of people. A proposal to prohibit homeless people and their vehicle dwellings within 150 feet of most city preschools, day cares and K-12 schools will go before the San Jose City Council in coming weeks after it...

UPDATE: San Jose delays decision on city-run power grid

The San Jose City Council is holding off on creating a new, city-run power utility until officials are better informed to make a decision. Councilmembers unanimously voted today to defer a decision to Oct. 3 that would amend city code to establish “San Jose Power” — a city-run electricity utility to capitalize on two new...

Taylor Swift boosted Silicon Valley economy by $33M

Swiftie or not, pop star Taylor Swift is undeniably a money magnet — and new financial figures show a massive boost for Silicon Valley’s economy from the artist’s two-day stop at Levi’s Stadium. Dan Rascher, president of Sports Economics, LLC, who analyzes the business of sporting events and concerts, told San José Spotlight that 60,000...