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San Jose Measures B & C: Development, urban sprawl and 'ballot-box planning'

Wikimedia Commons
Panoramic image of Evergreen Hills (excerpt)


San Jose’s Measure B, and the counter-amendment Measure C, would affect housing development and zoning.

Measure B would rezone the Evergreen Hills area in San Jose to allow for large housing development on what is now undeveloped hillside.

The zoning change wouldn’t just apply to this site, but many sites like it that are currently zoned non-residential.


Those in favor argue it’s about one housing development that will create badly needed housing for seniors and veterans. The backers of the initiative are real-estate billionaire Carl Berg, developer Chop Keenan, and other individuals who raised over $1 million for the campaign.


Naysayers are calling it “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” — an attempt to circumvent the planning process.

Opponents point out that 720 of the units in the Evergreen proposal would be luxury housing.

And, there’s no guarantee the affordable units will go to veterans — as the messaging suggests.

The pro-housing research and advocacy group SPUR says this attempt at “ballot box planning” undermines the city’s carefully crafted general plan, and specifically its rules about inclusionary housing and fees for environmental and road impacts.


San Jose city leadership are among the Measure B opposition. In a 9-1 vote, the city council voted to put a Measure C on the ballot, which would void Measure B if passed.

Measure C would amend the city charter to restrict some development on some land in outlying areas, including Evergreen Hills, and subject it to special review. A coalition of neighborhood and progressive activism groups has raised over $73,000 dollars for a “no on B yes on C campaign.”


So, if you want to to rezone areas of San Jose to allow for new housing that’s not subject to the requirements in the city’s general plan—vote yes on Measure B and no on C.

If you don’t want new housing unless it complies with the general plan—vote yes on C and no on B.