California Dolphin: statewide California news

Nearly 700 homes eyed near San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House

A portion of the Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park, a now-closed domed movie theater and Winchester Mystery House, elevated view. Almost 700 homes are being eyed at the site of a west San Jose mobile home park near the Winchester Mystery House and Santana Row, a prospective development location that’s been mired in controversy. 
SAN JOSE — Almost 700 homes are being eyed at the site of a west San Jose mobile home park near the Winchester Mystery House and Santana Row, a prospective development location that’s encountered controversy.
Pulte Homes has proposed the huge residential development on 15.7 acres near the northwest corner of South Winchester Boulevard and Interstate 280, a site perched near the south boundary of the Winchester House and one of the now-shuttered domed movie theaters that are a familiar fixture in the area.
The plans by Pulte, however, if approved as currently proposed, would require that roughly 110 mobile homes in the Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park must be relocated or bulldozed to clear the way for the new home project.
Pulte Homes has proposed up to 691 units, according to city planning documents. The group that owns the property, the Cali-Arioto family, has agreed to sell the site to Pulte. But word of the family’s decision to sell unleashed protests by housing advocates and residents of Winchester Ranch who feared they wouldn’t be able to easily find comparable housing, or be forced into smaller dwellings.
The potentially six-fold increase in the number of residential units means a huge jump in the density for the property, and higher densities in established sections of Bay Area communities certainly fits the goal of packing more homes into infill sites amid the brutal housing crisis in the pricey nine-county region.
However, the same housing crisis also might wave caution flags in front of political leaders that displace residents of mobile home parks that are supplanted by more denser — yet more expensive — housing. The political optics can become forbidding if senior citizens, a demographic that’s included in the residents of Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park, are forced to depart due to a new development.
“San Jose has to grow up and not out, and a mobile home park is a bad land use for this site,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a land use and planning consultancy. “But what makes this such a challenging development is when you factor in the emotional and human impact.”
One group that tracks South Bay development issues, Catalyze SV, suggested that San Jose officials, Pulte Homes and the property owner, should engage the local community before any final development plans are crafted or approved.
“Catalyze SV believes in housing solutions for all, including affordable housing and housing for seniors,” said Alex Shoor, a board member with Catalyze SV. “The existing mobile home park is both. The future of this land should enable the current senior residents, and perhaps new residents, to have an affordable, welcoming, vibrant place to live.”
The development is a short distance from one of the busiest intersections in the Bay Area, Stevens Creek and Winchester boulevards, a junction that’s adjacent both to the Valley Fair mall and the Santana Row mixed-use office, retail, restaurant, hotel and housing complex. Plus, Valley Fair has undertaken a dramatic expansion. And at Santana Row, tech company Splunk has signed a new office lease that will greatly add to its workforce and footprint.
Staedler predicted that it’s possible that the huge development being eyed at Winchester Mobile Home Park could eventually proceed through an SB 35 application. SB 35 is a state law that allows for a streamlined administrative approval process for projects that meet certain benchmarks, including providing for 50 percent of the housing in a project to be affordable.
“This development could be an SB 35 scenario,” Staedler said.

Top News

Ain't No God; don't even think about theism

UnFox News: not a propaganda arm of the Republican party