San Jose hilltop development moves forward after delays
This hilltop in San Jose's Almaden Valley is slated to be developed with 10 homes after years of delays. Photo by Annalise Freimarck.

    A hilltop in Almaden Valley is set to be developed with 10 single-family homes following years of delays.

    Sridhar Pillarisetty, a Fremont resident who owns and is developing the land, plans to put the homes up on a nearly 8-acre parcel near the corner of Coleman Avenue and Almaden Expressway, across from Almaden Lake Park. His proposal for 5827 Brasilia Way earned a renewed approval from the city’s planning director Wednesday.

    The project dates back nearly a decade, as the San Jose City Council approved a zoning change to clear a path for the homes in June 2014, according to city staff reports. While a significant portion of the project’s approvals and permits are still valid following several extensions, an expired project map needed to be updated for the potential development move ahead.

    This landscape plan image shows the approximate layout of where 10 homes would be built on an 8-acre hilltop parcel in San Jose’s Almaden Valley. Image courtesy of San Jose.

    Pillarisetty said the property was under different ownership until fall 2021, when he purchased it. Since then, some delays occurred when there were miscommunications between Pillarisetty and his former business partner in charge of working with the city on moving the development forward, he said.

    Now, the project is back on track, he said.

    “I want this to be done yesterday,” Pillarisetty told San José Spotlight. “There are not going to be any more delays on my side.”

    Despite the significant hurdles—including an environmental review and zoning change—being approved in 2014, some neighbors spoke out against the project at the recent hearing.

    A man named Tejus, who said he lives nearby and did not give a last name, thinks the project should be reduced to six or eight homes instead of 10, and is concerned the environmental review is incorrect about impacts from the project, though he didn’t elaborate.

    A neighbor named Evan, who said he lives at the base of the hill, said the project would be an “eyesore,” and he is concerned about privacy. He also did not give a last name.

    “The largest property that’s being built faces down directly into our homes, into our shower, through the glass windows at the back of our home,” he said. Other neighbors also shared the same concern.

    However, city staff and past city documents said existing homes would be screened from the new homes by dozens of existing trees, and additional live oak trees the developer will plant.

    Some neighbors said there was a fire on the hill last year and they are concerned the property owner hasn’t properly maintained the weeds and grass. Pillarisetty said a maintenance worker would be sent to the property this week to begin addressing the weeds, and pledged the property would be maintained going forward.

    The project could begin grading soon, and construction could start in about six months, Pillarisetty said. He estimates the project could be complete in a little more than two years.

    Contact Joseph Geha at [email protected] or @josephgeha16 on Twitter.

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