Bay Area Real Estate Development

Sunnyvale's Eichler Neighborhoods are Rezoning

In the 1950s and 60s, influential real estate developer Joseph Eichler and company Eichler Homes built more than 11,000 homes across Northern California, helping to establish a true sense of midcentury style and set the tone for planned communities and middle class housing for years to come.

The single-story homes with big glass windows have become iconic and stood the test of time. So much so that many of those homes and communities still exist in the Bay Area. A recent trend amongst them is to ask for rezoning measures in order to maintain the look and feel of the neighborhood. Their concern is that an influx of two-story homes could do damage to home values, take away views, and hurt the overall experience of living in these houses as they were designed.

In Sunnyvale, CA, where over 1,000 homes were built by Eichler or his company, requests for single-story rezoning have come from just about every neighborhood that contains them. This past December when residents of the Panama Park neighborhood requested a rezone, Sunnyvale Planning Commissioner Carol Weiss said it was the “ninth such rezoning request” and she expected more to come.

She was right as two more requests recently rolled in and the city approved their applications. One neighborhood included 25 Eichler homes while the other included 54.

So far the city seems to have voted in favor of all rezoning requests, though hearings have become contentious in recent months as some wonder if the inability to build bigger homes will limit growth.

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