Plans for thousands of homes on San Jose golf course get county boost

At least 2,800 homes could be constructed on the San Jose site.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The adoption of Santa Clara County’s blueprint for future housing development provides a significant boost to a fledgling concept that could replace a San Jose golf course with thousands of homes.

The Pleasant Hills Golf Course site in east San Jose is being considered for wide-ranging housing development and other uses such as retail and open spaces — effectively a new neighborhood.

Santa Clara County recently approved its housing plan for the years 2023-2031. California’s desire to encourage the construction of more homes throughout the state has compelled a number of local governments to pass housing elements — a bureaucratic term for blueprints that local governments must create for residential development within their borders.

A declaration that the site of the defunct golf course, specifically its 117 fallow acres, could be an excellent location for new apartments and houses is tucked away in the county’s recent approval.

The golf course, which closed in 2004, is located on the northeast corner of South White and Tully roads in San Jose’s Lake Cunningham neighborhood.

“The decommissioned Pleasant Hills golf course promises to be one of the most significant sites for residential development within the unincorporated county during the 2023-2031 planning period,” Santa Clara County staffers wrote in a document prepared for a Board of Supervisors meeting on Oct. 17.

The San Jose-based Lakeside Community, whose principal leaders include Bay Area real estate executives Tony Arreola and Mark Lazzarini, is behind the plan to rezone the golf course property to allow for the development of thousands of homes.

According to estimates in the county staff report, 2,480 to 3,991 residences could be built on the golf course site, which has addresses of 2050 and 2079 South White Road. The new mixed-use neighborhood could include stores, restaurants, and other retail. According to people familiar with the development efforts, significant open spaces are also planned.

San Jose’s separate housing element program has yet to receive state approval.

“The housing production goals set by the state are aggressive, but Tuesday’s approval of the 2023-2031 housing element shows leadership and commitment from our county’s Board of Supervisors and planning staff to provide needed housing for our local families,” said Arreola, a partner with Terrascape Ventures, a real estate investment and development firm.

The development group hopes to persuade San Jose to change its general plan in order to facilitate the start of a formal approval process for a specific housing project on the golf course property.

“The Pleasant Hills site is a great opportunity not only to provide additional housing for Santa Clara county residents, but also to deliver numerous benefits to the site’s surrounding communities, including new retail amenities, jobs, open space, and additional customers for local businesses,” said Lazzarini, who is a partner with Terrascape

The golf course is situated on county-owned land surrounded by incorporated San Jose neighborhoods. As a result, it’s entirely possible that San Jose will annex the pocket at some point.

County officials also stated that there are numerous advantages to including this incorporated county land — as well as several other similar infill properties — in its housing component.

County officials could avoid development in bucolic areas of the South Bay, such as prime agricultural lands, by focusing on infill pockets that are already well within a municipality’s city limits.

“Including the Pleasant Hills site means that the county will not be forced to designate rural unincorporated areas as housing sites, thereby avoiding instigating urban-scale development in rural areas,” according to the county’s staff report.

According to the staff report, building numerous houses in a rural zone contradicts long-standing South Bay development policies.

County-governed land pockets in the Stanford University area could also assist South Bay officials in avoiding the awkward prospect of shoving development into rural areas.

“We are very relieved that the county is focusing growth at Stanford, urban pockets, and Pleasant Hills rather than rural areas and open space,” Jordan Grimes, a resilience manager with Greenbelt Alliance, said at the Oct. 17 county supervisors meeting.

The developers have started a process to gather feedback from neighbors and other interested parties on the idea of rezoning the golf course land so that it can be developed as housing.

“The county’s actions create an opportunity for development of available sites in a reasonable manner,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive of Silicon Valley Synergy, a land-use consultancy. “This allows time for the developers to have constructive discussions with the community.”

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply