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Peter C. Fung

Running for: 

Supervisor District 5

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? 

First Church of Christ at 43 E. St James. The restoration has been long promised to be restored and therefore might be the easiest the first to do so to make the citizens proud of. There needs to be some expeditious approval and action by the neighborhood and the City to repossess the property and to refurbish it to the previous glory.

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?

1. Agnews Developmental Center in the city of Santa Clara, with its unique history, can be repurposed for reuse of other needs, either as a mental health facility or low-income housing.
2. Mission Santa Clara de Asís in the campus of Santa Clara University.
3. Improvement and updating of the historic downtowns, such as those of Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Gilroy.

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?  

There should stricter enforcement of the maintenance codes, with regular inspections and security requirement for vacant properties. Local governments should not hesitate to impose fines and legal actions for non-compliances.

On a broader scheme, we should develop and adopt a comprehensive preservation plan including establishing of a preservation fund, and to increase community awareness and engagement. We should engage the government to adopt more flexible zoning and land use policies, and streamline approval processes. Again community engagement and support would be important.

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?

This has to be decided on a case to case basis, and developer to developer basis.

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?

We are facing so many challenges within our County at the present time, mainly because of failed status quo policies. Not having up to date information is not acceptable. Community engagement and partnership such as with your organization would help the process moving forward.

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? 

Again, as above, the status quo leadership has not been able to prioritize what is more important for the County. Counties around the Bay area are all delinquent in the reports. A better partnership between engaging private parties and administration would ensure the important matters not to be overlooked.

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?

With careful planning, these measures would enhance the character of parks, benefit the public, and preserve the distinctive historic buildings.


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?


Given the present housing situation, I would tend to support this proposal but I would need to review the merits of preserving the old City Hall.

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?

This approach necessitates a detailed examination on a case-by-case basis.
I am inclined towards repurposing these properties as a means to address some of our current challenges, such as homelessness and low-income housing.
However, assessing each building or project individually is essential to formulate more informed decisions.

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