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[whitespace] Land-use change could allow residential uses at former Del Monte cannery

City council will consider plan in August

Willow Glen--San Jose City officials next month will consider allowing retail and residential uses at the site of the now-defunct Del Monte Corporation Cannery north of Willow Glen.

The land use change would allow the construction of between 532 and 1,330 living units on 13.3 acres of the site.

"That designation does make sense, as far as use, for that site," said Rick Crosetti, aide to District 6 City Councilman Ken Yeager. "But this doesn't have a specific project in mind."

The site is bordered by W. San Carlos Street on the north, a Caltrain line and Sunol Avenue on the west, Auzerais Avenue on the south and the Los Gatos Creek on the east. The proposed land use change area is the northern portion of Del Monte's 18.7-acre cannery site that closed about 18 months ago. The cannery's entire area is bordered by W. Home Street on the south.

The change in land-use designation requires an amendment to San Jose's General Plan. It is among about 40 General Plan amendments up for consideration by the planning department and city council in August.

The Del Monte General Plan amendment would change the site's land use from industrial and commercial uses. The city's planning staff wanted to make the site's use more appropriate for its location along the planned light rail line extension, said City Planner Deanna Chow.

"It was part of the Housing Opportunity Study to look at underutilized parcels in transit corridors," she said.

The land-use change would permit between approximately 290,000 and 1,700,000 square feet of development on the site. Crosetti said the city allows building heights of no more than 120 feet near transit corridors, which for residential developments, could be as much as 10 stories high.

Concerns for a development on the site include its proximity to the creek; its impact on traffic on nearby Interstate 280 and W. San Carlos Street; and how much of the site would be commercial, Crosetti said. Those concerns will be addressed when a developer submits plans and applies for a zoning change, he said.

Del Monte spokesman Bill Spain said the corporation plans to sell the site.

"This is a very significant piece of property in terms of location and potential," he said. "Our goal is to get the highest and best use for the property out of it."

The corporation had also submitted a proposed General Plan amendment for the entire site that would have allowed for between 350 and 1,000 units and a height of 270 feet, about 17 stories. But Crosetti said Yeager opposed the proposal for being out of scale with the surrounding areas, and Del Monte withdrew its application about three weeks ago, Spain said.

He didn't comment on possible buyers of the site.

Reed and Graham Inc. and Silicon Valley Advisors have proposed a General Plan amendment for a 15.6-acre site south of the Del Monte site. The proposal would change the land use of the area from heavy industrial to mixed uses and will be considered this fall. The area is bordered by W. Home Street and Savaker Avenue to the north, the railroad tracks to the west, Interstate 280 to the south and the Los Gatos Creek to the east.

Several other areas on the outskirts of Willow Glen are also being considered for General Plan amendments this summer.

The land-use designation of a 6.7-acre site south of Foxworthy Avenue and east of Almaden Road and the Guadalupe River could be changed from general commercial to medium-density residential, allowing for construction of between 50 and 100 units.

A General Plan amendment would permit the San Jose Masonic Temple, southwest of Highway 87 and Curtner Avenue, to undergo renovations within a site designated for transit corridor residential uses.

Two General Plan amendments would allow the construction of more than 400 residential units in a three- to four-story development on more than 12 acres at the Hacienda Gardens shopping centers on the northwest and southwest corners of Meridian and Foxworthy Avenues.

Public hearings are scheduled for Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. before the planning commission and Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. before the city council. Both hearings will be held in the council chambers in city hall, 801 N. First St., second floor.
Kate Carter

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