Author: Bob Staedler (Bob Staedler)

Staedler: Insights from this year’s State of the Valley

Joint Venture Silicon Valley hosted its yearly State of the Valley conference virtually last week that discusses regional issues and the realities that our region has faced from the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges such as the regional economic drivers. The organization also released its 2021 Silicon Valley Index. One of the topics it discusses...

Staedler: The perils of form-based zoning, like in Alum Rock

The Alum Rock Urban Village form-based zone process has spurned controversy in the last month. As reported by San José Spotlight, the form-based zoning came to be in the early 2000s with the hope of attracting new investment. Planning officials said this type of zoning was going to be implemented citywide, but that obviously did...

Staedler: Do not lower expectations of elected leaders in 2021

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and congratulate Ramona and Josh along with the entire team on the second anniversary of San José Spotlight. Please check out the celebratory event this month and donate if you can. It’s been a doozy of a year and one that we will never forget. While...

Staedler: Trash cleanup needed to help downtown San Jose thrive

A common question we find ourselves asking is: After COVID-19, what’s next for downtown San Jose? I moderated a discussion on this topic with three panelists: Gary Dillabough of Urban Community; Erik Hayden, founder and managing partner of Urban Catalyst; and Blage Zelalich, downtown manager for San Jose. A key topic was the need for...

Staedler: High-Speed Rail collaborating for a win-win in Coyote Valley

One of the most highly anticipated State of California bond projects is the 2008 Prop 1A High-Speed Rail Act. The approved proposition authorized issuance $9.95 billion in general obligation bonds for construction of high-speed train facilities connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles. The February 2020 estimate for completing the project has ballooned to $80.3 billion....

Staedler: A yearly tradition of California housing legislation disappointment

A yearly California tradition that we have become accustomed to over the past several years is the hysteria and disappointment of potential housing legislation. It generally ranges from a hopeful slogan to wild and unsubstantiated levels of optimism. An example of the overstated optimism is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s CASA — the Committee to House...

Staedler: Consideration for the death of Rick Doyle

San Jose lost a public service giant Aug. 23. Rick Doyle, after retiring just weeks prior, passed away at age 65 following a battle with cancer.  As we reported, Rick advised three mayors, 38 councilmembers and six city managers. The praise he received in various publications is well deserved. I had the privilege of interacting...

Staedler: San Jose’s public outreach process needs improvement

Over the last several years, how many times have you heard about a San Jose policy decision that was being heard by a committee or commission at the “last minute”? The latest community outreach kerfuffle is the city’s staff recommendation to establish an Opportunity Housing policy, as heard by the city’s General Plan Task Force last week. The...

Staedler: San Jose is at a crossroads that cannot be ignored

The city of San Jose is facing a crossroads in terms of dealing with racial inequities and abuses of power. It was heartening to see the large numbers of residents peacefully protest the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. While there were some people who damaged public and private property, we can’t lose focus on...

Staedler: Park space vital for dense urban development

As we continue to shelter-in-place and enter into phase 2 of reopening, it is important to continue thinking about the future of our towns and cities. The city of San Jose has huge plans on the books: Diridon Integrated Station Concept Plan, Diridon Station Area Plan Update, Google Downtown West, Jay Paul CityView redevelopment plan,...

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