Farm

Big Santa Clara housing complex and working farm get key funding

SANTA CLARA — A unique mixed-use project of affordable homes and a working farm proposed for Santa Clara has landed key financing from a state bond, clearing the way for a construction start next year, the developers said.

Agrihood, which will consist of 361 homes and an urban farm across the street from the Westfield Valley Fair mall, has obtained $50 million in tax-exempt bonds from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, Core Cos., the developer of the Santa Clara project, said.

“Our success in securing bond financing reflects the importance of the Agrihood in providing stable, sustainable housing,” said Vince Cantore, a vice president of development with Core Cos.

The 361 new homes in Agrihood will include 181 that will be offered at below-market rates. Of the 181 affordable homes, 165 will be set aside for low-income seniors.

Along with the housing, Agrihood will also offer an urban farm, a cafe, a community room, and learning shed.

“Creating communities like Agrihood that have been intentionally designed to combine high-density living, social services, and access to healthy produce are needed now more than ever,” Cantore said.

Construction should begin in 2021, Core Cos. said.

Agrihood can also help address at least some uncertainties and health worries ushered in by the coronavirus, Core Cos. said.

“The focus on our residents’ health and wellness is incredibly important in these challenging times,” the developer said Wednesday.

Proposals had emerged as early as 2005 for affordable homes on that site, which for a number of years had been used for agricultural research by the University of California.

Neighbors, however, opposed the notion of affordable homes on the property and the outcry torpedoed the 2005 proposal.

Now, however, with a project groundbreaking in view for some time during the first three months of 2021, those

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California Farm Bureau Fears Improvements Like Barns, and Even Trees, Will Be Taxed Under Prop. 15

The most contentious issue California voters face on Nov. 3 is not the Presidential election—polls show voters are firmly decided. Rather, it is a tax measure, Proposition 15, which has heavy hitters for it and against it.

Proposition 15 would amend the California constitution to change the way commercial and industrial real estate is taxed, basing it on current market value. Presently, all property, residential and commercial, is taxed based on its last purchase price.

The measure, sometimes called the “split-roll initiative,” excludes commercial agricultural land and commercial properties worth less than $3 million from being reassessed at current market value. The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s office estimates that Proposition 15 could bring between $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion per year when it is fully implemented in 2025.

Sixty percent of the revenues from Proposition 15 (after it pays the state and local tax assessors for the costs of implementing the measure) would go to cities, counties and special districts, 40 percent to schools and community colleges. The total for each would depend on the amount of new taxes paid by commercial properties in each community.

Supporters include the Democratic Party; Green Party; Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, (who are ahead of President Trump by about 30 points in the California polls); Gov. Gavin Newsom; the California Teachers Association (a major donor) and most labor unions. 

Opponents include the California Farm Bureau Federation; the California Republican Party; the California Chamber of Commerce (also the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Black Chamber of Commerce, American Indian Chamber of Commerce and Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce); the California Small Business Association; the California State Conference of the NAACP and several veterans’ organizations.

Lenny Goldberg, long-time executive director of the California Tax Reform Association and Proposition 15’s main architect,

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Watch Contractors Hypnotically Build an Entire Wind Turbine Farm

From Popular Mechanics

Get ready to see one of the biggest and most common large technical installations of today: a wind turbine farm. First there are countless meters of trenching and cable laying, then the digout of a gigantic pit for the base. It only gets better from there.

➡ You love badass construction projects. So do we. Let’s nerd out over them together.

Let’s watch what happens.

To start, the team lays a concrete disc that covers the entire base of the foundation. Then, the contractors place an anchor cage in the center and start to lay radiating rebar that extends out in a sunburst shape. Ultimately, the resulting cage assembly looks like a very wide and flat jungle gym. It extends to the edges of the concrete base and its very top lies flush with the surrounding ground level.

A bunch of very patient, talented workers fill the entire cage base with concrete—the video cites between 130 and 240 cubic meters—before they fully cover the rebar and finish the concrete to a smooth surface. Dirt is pushed back in, hiding the structural bulk and leaving just the opening where a turbine will be mounted.

Next comes the manufacturing and quality testing of the turbine parts. “By the approximate weight of 16 African elephants, blades are vigorously bent for testing,” one caption reads, while blades are tested for flexure in the background. A brittle rotor wouldn’t be practical, the same way airplane wings must be able to tolerate flex and rebound. Special, wild long two-piece trucks called Dolls carry the front and very back of each rotor blade as well as the parts of the turbine’s trunk.

These are all assembled on site. The final turbine, between 212 and 262 feet tall, is piled piece by piece and topped

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