Butcher's Corner: An Impossible Intersection or a Park
If developed, the corner at El Camino, Wolfe, and Fremont will become an irredeemably impossible intersection. Sunnyvale should buy "Butcher's Corner" for a park, in exchange for land of comparable value/size. Email all city council members at firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary:Update 1/4/2017: Due to intense public interest, the project was approved at a reduced height (5 on street, 6 in center instead of 6 & 7) with several more heritage trees preserved, and more trees on the street. An additional lane was added on Wolfe to allow more traffic to flow. Construction has not begun nearly 3 years after approval - probably because of labor shortages in the construction industry.
Update 11/27/2016: The Sunnyvale City Council will consider for approval the EIR - Environmental Impact Report - and the plan itself on Dec. 13th in Council Chambers at 456 W. Olive Ave., Sunnyvale, 94086. Anyone may speak to the council about the EIR and/or Plan (document links at end) for up to 3 minutes per person. It is standard practice to consider both the EIR and the project unless there is a general plan or specific plan amendment.
"Butcher's Corner" is about 5 acres of agricultural land at the intersection of El Camino, Wolfe Rd., and Fremont. It is the second worst traffic intersection in Sunnyvale. It should be a park with some cut-throughs to ease traffic congestion. De Anza Properties (owned by Mr. Vidovich) bought it for $14 Million and wants to put up a large development of apartments and townhouses there. The city has $18 Million in park dedication fees unspent. Sunnyvale owns several properties of comparable size to Butcher's Corner. Mr. Vidovich would be able to build more profitably (higher, denser) on these properties than at Butcher's Corner. If Sunnyvale paid Mr. Vidovich $18M for Butcher's Corner, and granted him exclusive rights to buy comparably sized city owned property, everyone would win.
Mr. Vidovich has a variety of other properties he wishes to develop in Sunnyvale. These include the shopping plaza at Fremont and Mary, and the plaza at Pastoria and El Camino. He would gain the good will of Sunnyvale residents and a favorably disposed city council if he would accept purchase of Butcher's Corner by Sunnyvale.
1. What/Where is Butcher's Corner (click on images to enlarge):
|Butcher's Corner outlined in red. A former plum orchard owned by the Butcher family and sold to De Anza Properties a few years ago.|
A closer view (click on image to enlarge):
|Another view - El Camino in the upper left, Fremont Ave. in the lower edge|
2. The Current Plan (click on image to enlarge):
|Plans for Development of Butcher's Corner at El Camino Blvd., Wolfe Rd, and Fremont Ave, Sunnvyale, CA|
The building at the right will be 5 stories. The large center building will be 7 stories.
|Wolfe and El Camino Now|
|Wolfe and El Camino After Development|
Development of a 7-story apt. building substantially changes the neighborhood. It is hard to underestimate the sheer massive impact of a 7-story building. The following illustrates what I mean (click on image to enlarge):
Here is an illustration from the plan submitted by De Anza Properties (click on image to enlarge):
For comparison, the "LinkedIn" building on Mathilda near Maude is 6 stories - one story smaller - and is overwhelming in its massiveness compared to the surrounding low level buildings (click on photo to enlarge):
There are a number of possible ways to improve traffic flow at this "Monster Intersection" but the planned development will make some of them impossible. Some cut-throughs in Butcher's Corner could enable traffic to go from El Camino directly to Fremont or Wolfe without having to wait to turn from El Camino on to Wolfe. Such a solution will never be possible with the project planned. See below:
3. City-Owned Properties Intended for Sale:
1) Former Onizuka Air Force Station (two parcels 5.02 acres) $17M valuation,
2) 1484 Kifer Road (single parcel 4.74 acres) $11M valuation and,
3) Downtown Charles Street (nine General Fund parcels 1.44 acres) $8M valuation.
The three are worth approximately at the current August 2016 valuation $36M as seen in the excerpt from a city document below (the Civic Center was included when they were considering selling it but have since reconsidered):
The above list of city-owned properties is found on the last page of:
4. Park Dedication Fees Available:
5. More sources:
Sunnyvale City's web site for Butcher's Corner is here:
http://sunnyvale.ca.gov/Departments/CommunityDevelopment/CurrentProjectsandStudies/ButchersCorner.aspx . It contains a PDF of the builder's plans titled "Project Plans, Dated July 2016" (click to enlarge):
The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is at the very bottom of the page: