Communications Hill | City of San José
Subsequent Environmental Impact Report

Named for the 114-foot tall radio tower at its summit, Communications Hill offers some of the most diverse terrain and expansive views of the Santa Clara Valley that the City of San José has to offer. In the early 1990s, the City of San José adopted a Specific Plan to enable development of housing, industrial, and commercial retail uses on 900 acres of Communications Hill. By the early 2000s, approximately 2,500 residential units had been constructed on Communications Hill, and many San José residents were enjoying their new homes and views.

KB Home hired DJP&A to complete environmental review for the remainder of the Specific Plan area. The project included 2,200 residential units, 67,500 square feet of retail space, 1.44 million square feet of industrial uses, and program-level review of a school on 5.7 acres of the property. Senior Project Manager Michael Lisenbee prepared a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report for this project, which was based in part on the environmental review completed for the 1992 Specific Plan.

This project offered a host of unique challenges and environmental issues, including treatment of an abandoned mercury mine and former quarry, significant traffic effects from the addition of 2,200 houses, and analysis of infrastructure capacity to accommodate the new residents and industrial uses. Michael avoided redundant analysis by using data and evaluation from the Communications Hill Specific Plan, which is encouraged under State environmental law and ultimately allows for a more streamlined review process.

Extensive coordination with the City of San José, Caltrans, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company was necessary in order to ensure that the local infrastructure could support the development. In addition to completing the analysis, Jodi and Michael helped facilitate a dialogue between these agencies and identified feasible strategies and policies to mitigate the project’s effects on the environment.


Images courtesy of: KTGY Architects and KB Home

  • Mixed-use development within urban envelope
  • 332-acre project site
  • 2,200 homes, 67,500 square feet retail, 1.44 million square feet industrial

Other Residential & Mixed-Use Projects