On behalf of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce (SJSV Chamber), we would like to express our respectful opposition to item 4.4, Potential Research Regarding an Impact Fee on Commercial Development to Fund Affordable Housing, on the December 15 agenda.

The first line of the SJSV Chamber’s Guiding Principles states that we, as an organization of member businesses, advocate for “job growth and retention….because a healthy regional economy enhances the quality of life for all within the region”. That line succinctly explains our position on this issue: while we recognize the need for affordable housing solutions and, in the future, may even be open to such a discussion on commercial linkage, we do not feel that the present time is an appropriate one to discuss this as a policy option.

San Jose is experiencing growth in both the commercial and residential arenas while continuing, as a city, to work towards the goal set forth in General Plan 2040, calling for a much improved ratio between jobs and employed residents. As this growth accelerates, we feel it would be poor policy to send a message to potential commercial developments that a linkage fee could be imminent, and agree with Mayor Liccardo, Vice Mayor Herrera, and Councilmembers Jones and Manh Nguyen that this feasibility study should be postponed until San Jose achieves a 1:1 jobs/employed resident ratio.

We respectfully would ask for your opposition to item 4.4 on the December 15 agenda, and look forward to working with you in the future to achieve long-term economic growth for the City of San Jose.

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