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Johnny C Khamis

Running for: 

County Supervisor District 1

Campaign Website: 

1) PAC*SJ recently released its first annual “Endangered Eight” list of the most threatened historic places in San José. As a resident of the County, which of these eight places most resonates with you personally? Which of these would you use the power of your elected office to address, and how? 

Diridon Station. I would hope to be assigned to work with VTA and would work with Staff to try to integrate the building into the new station.

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

I worked with the Asian community and county park staff to preserve and restore an old Chinese Emperial era gazebo (Ting) at the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum. I would also look for ways to cooperate with the city to preserve the old Almaden Winery building.

3) Do you believe that SB9, which allows by-right redevelopment of up to four new units on most single-family-zoned parcels statewide, is compatible with the preservation of older and historic homes and neighborhoods? Why or why not?  

I do not support SB (and I am working with many elected officials and community leaders to overturn it. I think it takes away local control and could potentially hinder historic preservation.

4) In the past two years alone, at least five vacant historic buildings in Santa Clara County have been lost to fire, and many more have suffered from chronic neglect and vandalism. How would you propose more effective code enforcement at the City and County levels to prevent the continued loss of our historic resources to neglect? What additional measures would you propose to address these systemic problems? 

I am willing to work with your organization to look at ways we can better preserve buildings. In my experience code enforcement staff is already stretched thin and was inspecting via complaints. Perhaps we can work ask your volunteers to check in on important buildings and ask them to complain if they see hazards.

5) Do you believe the County should collect compensatory mitigation fees from development projects that result in the demolition of historic resources? Why or why not? If such a policy was instituted, how would you like to see those funds directed?

I am not a fan as of tacking on more fees to the already very fee intensive building permitting process. I think we can work with builders to see what can be done,

6) The County has long acknowledged that our Historic Resources Inventory-- a county-wide 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? 

I have at the city level and I will support the effort at the county level.

7) 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--either professionally or personally-- that best embodies your vision for historic preservation? 

I have worked to preserve the old Almaden Winery building by making 2 successful budget requests which staff used to clean up asbestos, lead and mold in the building. We also received 100K to work on razing enough funds to restore the building from the city.

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