Communications Hill



Here is information on the proposed vineyard & security measures that will not only beautify the area but provide additional security and wildfire protection for the entire Communications Hill neighborhood.

If you don't have a ballot, please call or email the City Clerk at 408-535-1260 or for a ballot.


  • Step 1: Vote to approve the landscaping budget from existing community funds for an environmental and feasibility study.

  • Step 2: Work with the City to negotiate a winery contract and design a better hillside using grape vines and wildflowers.  For info on what kind of flowers, click here.

  • Step 3: In a second election, voters approve the final design and contracts.



Use $150,000 - $200,000 of existing CFD funds to hire:

  • Off-duty Police Officers

  • Park Rangers

  • Community Service Officers

  • Private Patrol

To patrol our neighborhood especially at night.
Each HOA will have direct input on when and where to patrol


What is CFD #8?
The CFD stands for Community Facilities District 8. The CFD is a fund we have been paying into since 2004 as part of our property taxes. When first started in 2004, each home paid $300 into the fund and had a maximum rate of $667. This maximum rate is adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index each year.
How much is in the fund?
When the vineyard project start in 2015, we had over $3.5 million in the fund. Today the fund has a balance of $1.9 million.
What can we use the fund for?
The fund was designed for use of landscaping open areas, median strips, slopes, trees, and staircases.

In the last two years, we have spent over $1 million for landscaping by BrightView Landscape.
Why a Vineyard?
To reduce fire danger, beautify the barren hill and our neighborhood. Over the last few years, we've had three large fires burn on our hill. The largest and latest fire burned two homes and over 35 acres.
Will the CFD tax rate change?
The CFD fund is a variable tax that changes annually. The proposed alterations to CFD #8 will add services to the district, but will not change the Maximum Tax. The Maximum Tax is adjusted for inflation annually by the Consumer Price Index and is currently set at $989.19 per unit. Currently, based on the services being delivered, the actual tax is only $323.74 per unit. This proposal for a vineyard feasibility study is a one-time cost, it is not an ongoing authorization.
Will my CFD property tax increase?
Reserves and current year special tax revenues will be used to cover these additional cost and provide existing authorized services, and cannot exceed the Maximum Tax. The annual actual tax will be approved each June by Council.
Will there be any pesticides used?
No. The vineyard will continue sustainable practices used by the existing vineyard.
Is this the first vineyard?
No. Tuscany Hills HOA has a small vineyard on Casselino Drive. The grapes have been thriving since 2006 without any use of pesticides or sulfur.
Will the vineyard be organic?
Yes. The vineyard will be completely pesticide free and 100% organic.
Who pays installation & maintenance?
This depends on which business model is selected by the City. There are two models for discussion, however the City may propose another route. One models has the winery paying for installation and maintenance cost. Another model will use existing funds from CFD #8 for installation while winery pays for the maintenance. Homeowners have been paying into the fund since 2004 as part of their property taxes. This fund has been underutilized and has a reserve of approximately $1.9 millions.
Will my HOA fees go up?
No. There will not be any HOA funds used for the vineyard.
What's a"Yes"vote for the vineyard?
A "Yes" vote would authorize funding to take the preliminary design to completion. It would give us the details on where each grape will be planted and the business model. It would authorize 290,000-$400,000 to vet the design, architecture, business model, etc. and get us to the final step of signing the contract between all parties involved (Winery, City, and the Residents ).
Where will the vines be planted?
The City of San Jose will plant the grape vines where there are large areas of barren landscape or died grass. As a start project, we have suggested 25 acres where the vines can be planted for the City to review.
Will my view be blocked?
No. In some areas half trellises will be used to ensure the view isn't blocked. The slope of the hillside will also help ensure the view is complimented and not obscured.
Who gets the final approval?
Once the City finished our initial designs and selects the winery. The voters get the final approval on the project. There will be another election to approve the final project and business contract with the proposed winery.
What can I do to support?
Vote. Whether you are for or against. You will be receiving a ballot in your mailbox February 15th, 2020.
Why do we need additional security?
Over the years, Communications Hill increased in drug activity and crime, especially at night.
What type of security will be used?
The City would allow us to use the funds on off-duty police officers, park rangers, private security or community service officers.
Where will the new security patrol?
Each HOA would have the power to decide how often and where the security will patrol. The initial plan is for the security to patrol the walking trails, staircase, major streets and parks during the night.
What's a"Yes"vote for security?
Voting "Yes" allocates $150,000 - $200,000 a year on security. Currently some HOA's use off-duty police officers spending $25,000 a year to patrol the neighborhood. By voting security, an HOA would no longer have to pay this cost as it would be covered by the CFD. With the additional funding, the HOA's can add more patrol or types of security.
Who can I ask questions?
For questions, please reach out to Tom Borden.
Email :
Special District Program Manager
Phone : (408) 535-6831
More Questions

Background Info

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  • You will be receiving a ballot in your mailbox the week  of  February 15th, 2020

  • Please Vote

  • Mail back the ballot as soon as possible 

Thank you for your support 



We’d love to hear from you! Give us a call, send us an email or just provide us with your contact information to keep you updated.

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