A Landmark Agreement

Congratulations to Gilroy Community Development Director Wendie
Rooney and the Filice family, who worked together to hammer out a
give-and-take development agreement between the city and what will
be the largest housing development in Gilroy history, the Glen Loma
Ranch.
Congratulations to Gilroy Community Development Director Wendie Rooney and the Filice family, who worked together to hammer out a give-and-take development agreement between the city and what will be the largest housing development in Gilroy history, the Glen Loma Ranch.

This appears to be a good deal all the way around. The city will get the much-needed and expensive Tenth Street bridge nine years earlier than it would otherwise. Glen Loma will build a $3.7 million fire station at no cost to the city after 1,000 of the eventual 1,700 homes are built in Glen Loma Ranch development. Glen Loma will build more than 250 affordable housing units and will fast-track two public parks slated for the 360-acre development.

These are all important items for every Gilroy resident. Some of them are so important that they’ve popped up on the current City Council campaign trail.

In exchange, the city is giving the Glen Loma Group a three-year window on either side of their housing permit dates, thus allowing them much greater flexibility to construct houses according to the demands of the economy than the standard one-year window allows.

This kind of flexibility is important to developers and costs the city virtually nothing. Yes, more houses might be built earlier than expected, meaning more demand on city services, but their respective impact fees will also be collected sooner.

These type of comprehensively planned large-scale communities are rare opportunities for developers and planners to create visionary projects that benefit not only the developers and the people who purchase homes there, but the entire community.

We’re glad that the city and Glen Loma amicably came up with what appears to be a good deal for everyone. Would that all planning projects could be so smooth.

Of course, the devil is in the details, and we urge City Council members to look at those details closely as they consider how to vote when this contract comes before them.

And we urge the city and other local agencies to study the Glen Loma negotiations as a model for how to help developers and the community.

All in all, well done.

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