Milpitas residents opposed to plans for a new hotel

Plans to build a new La Quinta hotel in Milpitas has been met with strong opposition from neighbors who worry about traffic and their hillside views. The new hotel will be built right off Interstate 680 near the Jacklin Road exit. 

The property owner argues it will bring in much-needed hotel tax revenue and will cater to the Silicon Valley business traveler.

Barbara Navarro called the view of the Calaveras Hills outside her home on Jacklin Road and Hillview Drive a breath of fresh air. It’s a view she and other residents paid good money for not to mention non-residents who enjoy it from the popular Hetch Hetchy trail

It’s a skyline they said will be altered if a new hotel across the street is built.

“I’m upset,” said Yolie Garcia of Milpitas. “I hate to say not in my backyard but I’m sorry not in my backyard.”

The property owner plans to turn a two-story building, once a decades-long gym that’s now vacant into a five-story,105-room La Quinta hotel with underground parking and beer and wine.

Residents are concerned with privacy, safety, construction noise and traffic on busy Jacklin Road. The KinderCare preschool is also 50 feet away.

“It’s right across, it's real strange to have a hotel right across the entrance of your daycare,” said Rocky Bella, a KinderCare parent.

Joe Gigantino owns the property. He disputes hillside views will be blocked. Renderings showed the hotel’s peak will be 10 feet taller than the clock tower than currently sits there now. He said the hotel's footprint is smaller and thinner.

He also claims studies from the city show traffic will be reduced.

“People have fears of things they don't know and we feel it's a benefit to the city,” said Gigantino.

He said the project will bring in $600,000 a year in hotel tax revenue. Silicon Valley tech business is driving the demand for hotels.

“40 percent expected increase in our total number of hotel rooms,” said Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran. “The demand is through the roof.”

The land is intended for highway service either fast food, gas station or a hotel. Some residents want a Trader Joe’s just not this La Quinta.

“We like our neighborhood the way it is,” said Navarro. “The picturesque place that it is and we don't want that disturbed.”

Residents have started an online petition and have gathered 500 signatures. On Wednesday night, the Milpitas Planning Commission will vote if the project should move forward.