Concerns raised at community outreach meeting
The Santa Clara
January 24, 2019
The mood was tense in Locatelli Center as both residents of the City of Santa Clara and university students voiced various concerns and objections to aspects of the Gateway Crossings Development Project.
Hunter Storm Development hosted a community outreach meeting last Wednesday, Jan. 16 to discuss and allow for people to voice their opinions regarding the project.
Gateway Crossings is set to be a private development behind the Santa Clara CalTrain Platform.
The development is located between Coleman Avenue and Brokaw Road and has the potential to offer additional housing to students, faculty and staff within walking distance of campus.
Residents of the City of Santa Clara came to the meeting to discuss the project with developers from Hunter Strom. The plan is for the development to contain apartment units, a hotel, a park and various retail locations.
Residents complained that they felt the number of units were lacking and that Hunter Storm should completely maximize the entire space to offer as much housing as possible. However, the City of Santa Clara previously determined that 1,650 would be the maximum number of units allowed in that area given the environmental impact.
Chris Shay, associate vice president for University Operations, believes that the Gateway Crossings project has the potential to greatly benefit and improve student life at Santa Clara.
“Additional student choices would be an important benefit of this project,” Shay said. “For living, entertainment or socializing, having additional options for our students would make for a more well-rounded experience.”
Junior Ellie Lammers-Lewis is the Associated Student Government Off-Campus Chair for Civic Engagement. She conducted a focus group prior to the community outreach meeting of students to discuss the future livability of the development.
The focus group concluded that while the Gateway Crossings Project contained the necessary components to be an exciting new development, it lacked consideration of the space’s livability.
Lammers-Lewis felt that the focus group of students were advantaged as they had little to no great personal stake in the development and instead would be able to analyze it from a neutral perspective.
One of the common complaints shared by both city residents and students was the lack of side streets planned within the development.
These streets would provide for more walkways and allow for the area to be more inviting or accessible for those who will not live in the apartments. Additionally the side streets would allow for more benches and landscaping throughout the complex.
Additionally, Lammers-Lewis believes the development was largely planned from a bird’s-eye view with less consideration given to what it would be like to walk through the space.
“It’s really an apartment complex and the park is actually a square of grass,” Lammers-Lewis said. “My main improvement would be to break up those buildings so that people don’t feel like they are in mass housing units. People should feel that urban living is a good option, not that they’re being squeezed into a new artificially designed place.”
In response to the suggestions and comments raised at the outreach meeting, Hunter Storm promised to take them into consideration as they modified the development plans. The hope is that students will be able to provide input to help resolve some of the issues raised.
Contact Emma Pollans at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.