Converting Reid-Hillview Airport into affordable housing

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — The long-running effort to close Santa Clara County’s embattled Reid-Hillview Airport is once again on the front burner.

This time, airport foes are coming to the table with a plan that reaches beyond safety concerns.

Reid-Hillview Airport has fended off efforts to close it for decades over safety concerns. If closed, the 180 acre county-owned land in east San Jose would go a long way to solving the region’s affordable housing crisis, says Spur’s Teresa Alvarado.

“It is time to reimagine Reid-Hillview Airport as an accessible community asset that stimulates production of affordable housing and economic opportunities,” Alvarado said.

The airport was here long before the neighborhoods and shopping malls that surround it today.  There are more than 500 takeoffs and landings every day. 

Supporters say its safety record is excellent, but there have been several crashes through the years. 

Neighbors have long complained about noise and pollution as well, but supporters argue Reid-Hillview is a community asset and should not be closed.

Housing advocates showed how the airport land is three times the size of Levi’s Stadium and half again as large as San Jose State and the proposed Google Village in downtown San Jose.  

“Reid-Hillview has served a select few in this community for decades,” Alvarado said. “But the best use of that land is no longer to accommodate private planes or even teach students the basics of aviation.”

If the airport is closed, many of the pilots, flight schools and other traffic would likely move to a similarly-sized airport in San Martin in southern Santa Clara County.

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