Jul 29, 2014

Opinion: Albright Way Ballot Initiative Has Troubling Statements

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Opinion: Albright Way Ballot Initiative Has Troubling Statements
—Submitted by Los Gatos resident John Shepardson

One, the  "Letter of  Intent to Circulate Petition " for the Albright Way ballot initiative has some troubling statements in it:

"The Albright Specific Plan will: (3) take advantage of the transit opportunities presented by the existing transit and  planned extension of the Vasona Light Rail ... (6) minimize or mitigate its impact on Town infrastructure and other community services."

Two, there are no present active plans to extend the Vasona Light Rail system because there is no funding. The estimated cost is $175 million for about 1.5 miles of traffic, and the projected ridership is very low. 

I've been told that an informed view has been expressed that it will not be built in our lifetime.  

Given this information, it appears to me it is confusing to the public to suggest a benefit from the proposal that will not occur, if ever, for decades.

Three, the Albright Specific Plan does not minimize impacts on the town infrastructure and other community services. How do we know?  

The town's own environmental impact report stated the best developed land use for the project was 350,000 square feet of office space. 

The Specific Plan seeks 135,000 square feet above what is the best developed use. Therefore, it appears it is confusing to the pubic to suggest the plan minimizes impacts. In fact, it substantially increases impacts beyond 350,000.

In light of the above, it seems to me  there is good reason to call into question the entire signature gathering process based on just these apparent misleading statements identified in the "notice."

Moreover, there is the other evidence of inaccurate information flowing to the public: mass  mailerNetflix required to issue press release because of calls of concern about their leaving, individual accounts, and video and audio recordings.

Editor's note: Los Gatos resident John Shepardson is an attorney in town and one of the petitioners, along with resident and attorney Andrew Wu, in the Los Gatos Citizens for Responsible Development appeal of the approval of the Albright Way office park project at the corner of Winchester Boulevard and Albright Way.

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