Plans for a big new Google campus in Downtown San Jose – one that would require extensive re-zoning and loosening of regulations over building heights – met protests on Tuesday, leading to several arrests, reports the Mercury News:
The council returned to empty chambers, with police directing everyone but staff and press to what had been an overflow room to watch a livestream of the deliberations, fueling criticism that the city was operating behind closed doors.
— Betty Yu (@BettyKPIX) December 5, 2018
Residents are unhappy, not least with their elected officials who seemed to bow to Google’s demands for secrecy on the project by signing non-disclosure agreements preventing them from discussing it until Google was ready.
Google’s view on the protest:
“We’ve learned their aspirations as well as their fears,” Golan said, adding that the company is committed to prioritizing housing.
“We’re at the beginning of a long road.”
Locals having none of it:
Several residents pointed to sky-high rent prices in Mountain View, where the tech giant is headquartered, and other cities up the Peninsula.
The project, said Emily Taina, a San Jose resident, “will benefit the wealthy white men who can afford to move here.”