San Jose Approves Controversial Development For Communications Hill


October 21, 2014

San Jose decided to allow more development in Communications Hill, even at the opposition of many who already live in the area.

The city council voted Tuesday night to move forward with a four-phase expansion plan that would bring 2,200 more units to Communications Hill over the next 10 years.

The area is a popular place to live and work out. The grand staircase is a hot spot for the fit.

“There is a huge draw,” said Communications Hill resident Ashley Quiel. “I can absolutely see why more people want to build up here.”

There will be more parks, more mixed use space, and of course, more people moving in.

These are changes that worry some longtime residents, especially since Fire Station 33, built specifically for this community, closed in 2010 due to budget cuts. Also, access roads to the hill are limited.

“Response times are already ridiculous. We already have parking problems, traffic congestion problems, so just add to that and throw in an emergency situation in there and it’s a recipe for disaster,” Sharonda Faison, a resident of Communications Hill, said.

“There is still access to the hill from different directions, it’s not unlike many other neighborhoods in San Jose,” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said. “There are one or two ways to get in and out but it’s been planned for a long time and still makes sense.”

There is no sign that Fire Station 33 will reopen anytime soon.

Plans are in the works for shuttle service to the hill to help with traffic, and implementation of a curfew for the stairs.