In addition to discussing the issues of , the City's Transportation and Land Use Subcommittee Tuesday night discussed whether a moratorium should be placed on rezoning industrial areas as residential, which is required if new housing is to be built on the land.
Planning Director Diana Barnhart reported the City continues to receive more and more inquiries about building homes in industrial areas, which requires reclassifying the land as residential. Specifically, she expressed concern about land around Cadillac Court and Fairview Way in the north, and near Sandisk and KLA-Tencor to the west.
She said the City is trying to keep the focus on housing in the Transit Area, which requires no rezoning.
“Maybe we should do a moratorium on rezoning industrial land,” she suggested. “How far do we want to go, rezoning to meet market demand and having a good jobs-housing balance?”
City Manager Tom Williams said, “We don't want to back to being a bedroom community. A moratorium allows us to take another look at the Midtown Plan and the General Plan. We can study it, analyze it, and bring back policies to the Council.”
“An update on our Midtown Plan could take up to two years,” he added, “and we purchased 1 MGD (million gallons daily) of sewage treatment capacity based only on our current, planned residential build-out.”
The committee voted to officially place a potential moratorium on the agenda for future discussion and vote. If approved, the moratorium could be in effect for two years, beginning in January.
The committee also discussed potentially realigning park space in the Transit Area, and how the possibility of building a new elementary school in the area could affect things.
City Councilmembers and committee members Armando Gomez and Althea Polanski supported maximizing park space.
City staff reported that the City has an opportunity to change the park land fronting along Houret Drive on the south end and Penitencia Creek on the north end.
The new layout would front on the east side of McCandless Drive and add a possible three additional acres of open space, with the acquisition of two parcels, according to Williams.
Polanski voiced concerns over parking availability if a soccer complex were planned near the high-density residential area.
“The Milpitas Unified School District superintendent is looking at putting a new two-story elementary school on this site, and I like the added space," she added.
The alignment issue will also be discussed again on a future date.