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Madison Nguyen

Running for: 

Supervisor District 2

Campaign Website: 

1) PAC*SJ recently released its second annual “Endangered Eight” list of the most threatened historic places in San José. Which of these places (including those from our 2022 “Endangered Eight” of which some remain endangered) most resonates with you personally? Which of these would you use the power of your elected office to address, and how? 

All these historic places have their own special meaning. One that resonates with me is the Alum Rock Park Log Cabin which was built in 1916. It’s reminiscent of a time when people didn’t have much in the way of comforts, but there was still space to build a home. I would advocate for its restoration through a grant with additional funding from the private sector.

2) Is there a historic place or preservation issue not on our 2022 or 2023 “Endangered Eight” lists that you would nominate to be added? If so, what solutions would you offer as an elected official to address the issue/threat?

I appreciate and respect the work that has gone into putting this list together. I have no other recommendations currently.

3) In the past three years alone, at least six vacant historic buildings in San José have been lost to fire, and many more have suffered from chronic neglect and vandalism. Often, these properties were left vacant after former tenants were displaced in anticipation of future development that never materialized.  How would you propose more effective code enforcement and security measures to encourage better stewardship and to prevent the continued loss of our historic resources to neglect? What additional solutions would you propose to address these systemic problems?  

Owners of vacant buildings have a responsibility to maintain and protect them. Not only do dilapidated buildings look unsightly, but they also cost the taxpayers when fires break out. San Jose should enforce existing code ordinances by ensuring that there is an operating security alarm system and that the building is being maintained in accordance with the California Fire code. For absentee owners who continue to neglect their property, fines should be imposed and civil measures taken to encourage property owners to take code enforcement seriously.

4) Do you believe the County should require compensatory mitigation fees and/or surety bonds from developers who request and receive entitlements to alter or demolish historic resources under County jurisdiction?  If such policies are instituted and enforced, how would you like to see those funds directed?

I believe the County should consider having a policy in place to address possible compensatory mitigation fees and/or surety bonds. The fees could be spent on preservation efforts.

5) The County has long acknowledged that its Heritage Resource Inventory-- a countywide survey of historic sites intended to proactively guide development decisions-- is incomplete and out-of-date. Do you support increased County funding and staffing levels to ensure that the HRI is an up-to-date and effective planning tool for communities and developers alike?

Having an updated heritage resource inventory would help avoid costly delays and conflicts in advance of planning for development. In future planning, the county should take the initiative to update its inventory.

6) Santa Clara County has yet to receive final approval for its State-mandated Housing Element, and is therefore currently subject to the “Builder’s Remedy” law requiring streamlined approval of otherwise non-conforming residential development projects in unincorporated areas of the County. How would you help ensure that citizens continue to have a voice in developments that might threaten the character and livability of their neighborhoods, particularly if there are historic resources at risk? 

I support public input and time to research any historic resources that may be a risk with the understanding that we must have a concrete process for making those determinations and they should not be allowed to continue indefinitely without resolution.

7) County park lands are a critical resource for the people of San José and are potential receiver sites for distinctive historic buildings that must be relocated to make way for new developments.  Would you support this as a mitigation measure for new developments with historic resources that would otherwise be demolished? How do you envision that these resources could be best utilized within the parks for the benefit of the public?

Having distinctive historic buildings at county parks would bring enjoyment and attract more visitors; similar as Deer Hollow Farm at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, the mine ruins at Almaden Quicksilver County Park, and the historic Rengstorff House at Shoreline Park. I envision something similar with signage and public interaction. I support the idea of relocating distinctive historic buildings to county parks. Of course, the financial and legal aspects would need to be looked at and considered.


8) Santa Clara County has owned and maintained the historic but vacant Former San Jose City Hall since 2005. In 2022, County Supervisors voted unanimously to reject the building’s proposed demolition and directed staff to explore adaptive reuse options. Do you support this decision? Would you support a proposal to convert the building for housing or any other adaptive reuse? Why or why not?


Yes. And I would support adaptive reuse of the former San Jose City Hall because of the thorough efforts by PAC SJ, their work with the County Historical Heritage Commission, and the decision by the current County Supervisors.

9) What role do you believe that historic preservation should play in creating and sustaining a vibrant and culturally diverse future for Santa Clara County? Is there a particular project or effort you have undertaken or would propose to undertake--either professionally or personally-- that best embodies your vision for historic preservation in Santa Clara County?

Historic preservation is essential for Santa Clara County. History parks, museums, and exhibits promote diversity, expand learning, bring enjoyment, and promote tourism. Our county should be actively involved in prioritizing public and private partnerships. Providing grants, encouraging partnerships, and engaging in programs that publicly promote historic preservation are key to having vibrant communities.

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