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George Casey

Running for: 

Council District 10

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? 

Each project is worthy of consideration. I had a small impact on one: The San Jose Flea Market. As a Planning Commissioner, I was disappointed to see the total disregard for the future of the Flea Market post development. I voted to deny the project and worked with the children of a number of the business owners impacted. Though not to my liking, we did preserve a portion of future development to continue operations.

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?


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?  

Regular Inspections - Increase the frequency of inspections for vacant buildings, especially those with historical significance.
Incentives for Restoration - Establish financial incentives, such as tax credits or grants, for property owners who actively restore and maintain historic buildings.
Collaboration with Preservation Organizations - Partner with local historic preservation organizations to leverage their expertise and resources in identifying and preserving at-risk properties.

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

My preference would be to institute economic incentives to instigate the adaptive reuse of historical buildings: 1) flexible zoning regulations - implement zoning regulations that encourage adaptive reuse of historic buildings, making it easier for property owners to repurpose these structures for new uses; and/or fast-track permitting - streamline the permitting process for developers looking to rehabilitate historic properties, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and delays.

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Inventory-- a citywide survey of historic sites intended to proactively guide development decisions-- is incomplete and out-of-date.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


6) San José 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. 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? 

The Housing Element has been approved.

7) City 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?

Yes. How to best utilize would depend on the context. All options would be on the table


8) In 2022 California passed SB9, which allows by-right redevelopment of up to four new units on most R1 (single-family-zoned) parcels statewide, but exempted historic properties, historic districts, and R2 (duplex-zoned) neighborhoods from eligibility. In 2024, City Council will consider expanding SB9-type entitlements to include historic properties and R2 districts. Do you believe this type of development is appropriate for historic homes and older neighborhoods? Why or why not?


I do not support SB9 nor its expansion. I don't find it appropriate for traditionally single-family neighborhoods nor historic districts or properties.

9) What role do you believe that historic preservation should play in creating and sustaining a vibrant and culturally diverse future for San José? 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 San José?

My contribution on the Planning Commission regarding the preservation of a portion of the Flea Market.
Historic buildings can serve as a bridge linking the past to the future. Successful historic preservation and adaptive reuse projects around the country should be championed and serve as proofs of concept for local developers. I would like to see the Preservation Action Council of San Jose join forces with conscientious developers and financial partners to purchase one of the Endangered Eight. Restoring one of the projects or undergoing an adaptive reuse that demonstrates the continued viability of these projects would be awesome.

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