North County and West Valley Issues

“The work we do at the County affects the daily lives of the people living here. I’m mindful of that with every decision I make."
​​                -- Supervisor Simitian​

  • Stanford General Use Permit​ - Stanford University has requested a second General Use Permit which will govern development at Stanford through 2035. The University has asked for approval of 2,250,000 net new square feet of facilities, 550 units of housing, and 2,600 student beds, which is estimated to generate an additional 9,610 people on campus. It is the largest development application ever submitted to the County. There is local community concern over the impact Stanford’s growth will have on an already pressing affordable-housing shortage and traffic congestion. The County is actively working with Stanford on how to mitigate these impacts.  Learn more >
  • Lehigh Hanson cement plant and quarry - Although the hills outside the City of Cupertino have been mined for limestone since the 1930’s, and the Lehigh cement plant operational since 1958, this heavy industry is now located adjacent to residential neighborhoods, creating ongoing environmental, health and safety concerns. When Supervisor Simitian returned to the Board of Supervisors in 2013, he provided increased oversight at Lehigh, holding them accountable to environmental regulations and aiding the public’s understanding and access to the state, federal, and local agencies that all have jurisdiction over some aspect of the site.  Learn more >​
  • Bus rapid transit - In 2010, VTA proposed a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project for El Camino Real, from San Jose to Palo Alto. VTA’s preferred design would have reduced car traffic lanes from three to two in each direction using the median lanes for buses only in an effort to reduce bus travel times on the corridor. As a member of the Policy Advisory Board convened for the project, Supervisor Simitian raised concerns about the wisdom of a project likely to clog traffic on El Camino Real and adjacent streets and cost an estimated $233 million, all in pursuit of uncertain increases in bus ridership decades in the future.  Learn more >
  • Airplane noise - With the FAA’s implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System in 2014, South Bay communities began complaining that aircraft noise levels had increased dramatically. The Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals, led by Supervisor Simitian, was convened to address these concerns. The Committee subsequently issued a report with 47 recommendations. The FAA has implemented many of the recommendations; other remain in process. Speaking generally, the recommendations could be summarized as follows: air traffic should fly at higher altitudes, over locations with fewer people, and avoid noisy flight maneuvers, and airlines should implement noise reducing retrofits where possible. One other major recommendation involved establishing a permanent entity to address aircraft noise issues and provide a forum for community input. This recommendation was realized when the Santa Clara | Santa Cruz Community Roundtable met for the first time on February 27, 2019.​  Learn more >
  • ​Help where you need it - social services in North County and West Valley - When Supervisor Simitian returned to the Board of Supervisors in 2013 he learned that the North County office for the Social Services Agency – where people can sign up for important benefits like MediCal and CalFresh – was slated for closure, and getting to the social service offices in San Jose could be difficult. Supervisor Simitian urged the County to keep an office open in Mountain View. In addition to finding a new home for the Social Services Agency in North County, Supervisor Simitian promoted a program assigning County eligibility workers to North County community non-profits a few days a week. Keeping resources local and accessible removed barriers to participation in social service programs.

    Continuing to ensure that resources are accessible, Supervisor Simitian sponsored funding to convert an RV into a mobile pantry to be used by both West Valley Community Services and Community Services Agency of Mountain View. The Mobile Pantry brings groceries and necessities to seniors, disabled, and low-income residents in Saratoga, Los Gatos, West San Jose, Cupertino, Mountain View, Los Altos and beyond. In addition, The Mobile Pantry always travels with a case worker who can help sign folks up for additional services.  Learn more >​

©2021 County of Santa Clara. All rights reserved.