Affordable Housing Developer Files Claim Against City of Santa Clara for Covertly Cancelling Entire Housing Project
Well known housing developer Republic Metropolitan (“ReMet”) today served a claim against the City of Santa Clara for its bad faith and malfeasance in cancelling a planned mixed-use transit-oriented development on a lot located between Santa Clara University and the Santa Clara CalTrain Station. The project would have provided much needed affordable workforce and student housing to hundreds of local Santa Clara residents. The claim alleges that the cancellation was carried out in secret in a closed session of the City Council, away from public view, in violation of California’s open meetings law.
The claim filed today alleges the City’s decision to stop the ReMet project takes place against a backdrop of several other affordable housing denials by other cities across the state of California, which is suffering a housing crisis of epic proportions. As reported in countless articles and confirmed in numerous studies, the lack of available housing poses an ongoing threat to the state’s economy, environmental health, quality of life, and public safety.
“ReMet alleges the City did in secret what they never could have achieved had they proceeded through proper channels,” said James Dallal, a senior associate with Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy. “And it is local residents – students and workers – who continue to pay the price, as they do every day, of cities not stepping up to do their part to build affordable housing.”
The workforce and affordable housing project was to have spanned two connected parcels of land, one owned by the City and one by the Valley Transit Authority (VTA). For almost four years and millions of dollars invested, ReMet worked hand-in-hand with the City and VTA to design site-specific housing with hundreds of workforce and affordable units for both the public and students at Santa Clara University. ReMet alleges the City arbitrarily blocked the workforce and affordable housing project in violation of their signed agreement and several state laws. The cancellation means that for now, the land will remain in its present form as a parking lot.
Per the law, the City will have 45 days to respond. If the City fails to take action in that time, the case will proceed to litigation.