Recently, I commended the San José Unified Board of Education for calling on staff to develop a master plan for district properties. I believed this long-overdue process would help identify underutilized land and facilities that could be leveraged for community benefits like affordable housing and nonprofit sports programs.
Instead, staff released a list of nine sites targeted for wholesale redevelopment, without any analysis to show why these sites were selected. Understandably, parents, educators, and neighbors have responded with frustration over a lack of outreach, and a good idea is already on life support.
As Chair of the San José Planning Commission and former SJUSD Public Information Officer, I believe district leaders should immediately:
- Appoint an ad hoc committee of parents, educators, students, taxpayers, and district administrators to work from now until June 2019 to develop a complete Master Plan for district lands and facilities that includes analysis of the return on investment for each property and a list of all potential opportunities for community benefit – including but not limited to housing.
- Commit to adding 500 housing units (50-150 at each of our 6 high schools) for employee/family villages, to be completed by the Mayor’s 2022 target for producing 25,000 units citywide.
- Legitimately and intimately involve the community in a collaborative process to achieve this goal. Community meetings should be held at schools throughout the district as part of a robust planning process (ala strategic plan). This barnstorming tour could be used as an opportunity to market all of our schools.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions: (408) 673-8371