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Sand Hill Property's Vallco Mall Redevelopment Qualifies For Streamlined Approvals Under SB 35

Rendering of Vallco Town Center

City officials have approved a streamlined review process under SB 35 for the redevelopment of Vallco Mall in Cupertino. The project, Vallco Town Center from Sand Hill Property Co., would create 2,400 housing units, 400K SF of retail, 1.8M SF of office and a rooftop park.

This would become the largest mixed-use housing development in Cupertino during the current cycle and create over 1,200 affordable units. It would triple the number of housing permits issued by the city in recent years. Cupertino issued only 784 housing permits from 2007 to 2014.

This project is the first to qualify in the Bay Area for fast-tracked approvals under SB 35, which allows developers streamlined approvals if the project meets current zoning requirements, includes at least 10% affordable housing and pays construction labor at prevailing wages. Developers can invoke SB 35 in cities that have failed to meet their regional housing obligations.

Other projects have been pushing for streamlined approvals under SB 35, but invoking the law doesn’t guarantee approval. A 260-unit housing project in Berkeley was denied by the city after the project was said to be on a historical site and thus not qualified for streamlined approvals under the state law.

The redevelopment at Vallco Mall has been in limbo for four years following community opposition to the impact of the development on traffic, schools and local retailers. Under SB 35, community members will have limited means to reject the plan.