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City faces conflict: charm vs. growth
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Source: San Jose Mercury News
Published Saturday, July 8, 2000, in the San Jose
City faces conflict:
charm vs. growth
For 75 years, residents of San Carlos have
dealt with the constant challenge of preserving
its small-town charm while accommodating
During those years, the otherwise close-knit
community has become divided over bitter
battles between preservationists and developers.
``There's always a tension between wanting to keep something the
same and wanting to maximize the value of your property and also
respond to the ongoing need for housing,'' said local historian Linda
Garvey is the author of the recently published ``San Carlos Stories:
An Oral History for the City of Good Living.''
``If there is one lesson to learn from the past, it's that we live in a
place where people want to do what's best for the community, even if
what they think should be done is different,'' Garvey said.
Over the years, the city has chosen to limit sprawl to the west, raise
its train tracks to ease traffic flow and restrict the kind of growth that
does take place.
The skyrocketing cost of housing on the Peninsula has served to
further complicate the challenges presented by growth, Garvey said.
``Even up into the '60s, people just starting out in life could get a
foothold here,'' Garvey said. ``People like that can no longer find a
Like many communities in the Bay Area, San Carlos is finding it
harder to attract and keep teachers, firefighters and those who work
in the service industry.
The town's shortage of affordable housing is reaching into the
high-tech industry as well. It may cost San Carlos its young, dot-com
mayor, David Buckmaster.
``There is no way we will ever be able to afford to buy a house in San
Carlos,'' Buckmaster said. The company for which he works will be
moving to Sacramento in September, forcing him and his wife to
decide whether to follow the company and give up life in San Carlos.
``I was born and raised here. It's an incredible place,'' said
Buckmaster, 28. ``But now we've seen places where you don't have
to spend all of your time earning money just to afford housing. You
can spend more time with your family enjoying life.''
-- Camille Mojica Rey
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