SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Neighbors in south San Jose are protesting, hoping to block a plan to convert a shuttered elementary school into a large-scale housing development.
The Oak Grove School district closed Glider Elementary School two years ago because of declining enrollment and budget shortfalls. The school board voted last year to sell the property, eventually narrowing down a list of potential buyers to four finalists.
Opponents say they’re concerned the housing development is not in keeping with their quiet neighborhood filled with single family homes nestled in the southern end of the Santa Clara Valley.
“They’re really washing their hands of the whole issue. They’re saying we intend to sell, take it up with the developer,” said Janet Williams who is spearheading efforts to mobilize opposition to the project. “The neighborhood is unified in not wanting dense housing — the overwhelming majority of the neighborhood.”
The school district released a prepared statement, explaining that they held several public meetings before finalizing the decision to sell the property.
“The District is sensitive to concerns expressed by community members, including that the site may be sold for high-density housing that is not compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods,” the statement reads.
Neighbors say that, given the growing opposition to the project, they’re urging the district to hit the pause button, go back to the drawing board and get the community’s input.
“Can you just take a step back and collaborate with the neighborhoods? Get their input first. See if there are any other alternatives you haven’t already considered,” said neighborhood resident Carlos Gonzales.