The Sunnyvale Civic Center, located at the corner of El Camino Real and Mathilda Avenue, is home to the City’s primary administrative facilities (City Hall), Library, and Department of Public Safety Headquarters.
As the population of Sunnyvale has grown, so has the demand for City services and accordingly, the City's office space needs. However, over many years, facilities at the Civic Center have become dated and inefficient. Civic Center buildings range in age between 30 and 60 years old.
In early 2015, the City began an extensive community engagement process to evaluate how facilities at the Civic Center could be renovated or replaced. Through this process, the City developed a Needs Assessment, Vision Statement and Success Criteria for the project that are intended to guide further planning efforts.
In 2017, two Master Plan options for the Civic Center were developed for building placement, site circulation, parking facilities and open space features. In November 2017, the City Council selected Option 1 Plaza as the alternative for further environmental analysis. See Option 1 below. In 2018, a Program Environmental Impact Report will be prepared, presented to the community for input and then brought forward for City Council consideration in late 2018.
Momoko Ishijima, Associate Planner, 408-730-7532
On Sept. 25, 2018, City Council approved the Civic Center Modernization Master Plan and certified the Final Environmental Impact Report. The Master Plan is a long-term, multi-phased implementation plan to modernize and expand the entire Civic Center campus. First up, Phase 1 - Plaza will move into the design phase by the end of 2018, with an anticipated date of completion in 2019, and construction starting spring 2020.
Report to Council 18-0799
The City Council will hear RTC 18-1008: Award a Contract for Design and Construction Support Services to SmithGroup, Inc. for the Civic Center Phase 1 Project (F19-083) on December 4, 2018.
Stop by City Hall front lobby, located at 456 W. Olive Ave., to view an architectural model of the new Civic Center.
Civic Center Modernization Master Plan (38 MB PDF)
Architectural Model of the Civic Center City Hall Building
View of Civic Plaza and Public Roof Terrace
Council Selection of a Master Plan Alternative for the Civic Center Modernization Project
The City Council selected Option 1 - Plaza on Nov. 7, 2017 as the alternative to continue further analysis for a new City Hall. Provided below is an image of Option 1 and more details are available in the Report to Council 17-0835.
The preparation of a Master Plan for the Civic Center has been completed. Community input was gathered throughout the master planning process. The Master Plan Schedule shows the environmental review process and outreach activities.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that all state and local government agencies consider the environmental consequences of projects for which they have discretionary authority. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has been prepared for the Civic Center Modernization Project.
The Draft Program EIR (DEIR) incorporates relevant information such as the results of the public scoping meeting and technical studies. The DEIR was available for public review and comment for 45 days, from April 23 to June 7, 2018. A Heritage Preservation Commission public hearing was held on May 2, 2018, and a Planning Commission public hearing was held on May 29, 2018, to receive public comments on the DEIR. Hard copies of the Draft Program EIR are available for review at City Hall, the Library and Community Center.
The Final EIR (FEIR), including the formal Response to Comments and corrections and clarifications to the DEIR is below:
Civic Center FEIR (12 MB PDF)
The adequacy of the EIR will be considered at the following public hearings:
City Council Study Session
When: Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m.
Where: City Hall, West Conference Room, 456 W. Olive Ave.
The Civic Center Modernization Master Plan and the EIR will be considered at the following public hearing:
City Council Meeting
When: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.
Where: City Hall, Council Chambers, 456 W. Olive Ave.
An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared for the Sunnyvale Civic Center Modernization Master Plan. Two options for the Master Plan, Option 1 and Option 2, are presented in the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of the Draft Program EIR.
The NOP includes:
Report to Council on Direction for the Annex Building and a Public Safety Addition – Jul. 25, 2017
Report to City Council
Report to Council for Award of Center Master Planning Contract – May 23, 2017
Report to City Council
Presentation to City Council on Master Planning Contract
Report to Council on Community Survey Results – May 17, 2016
Report to City Council
Presentation to City Council on Community Survey Results
Development of Civic Center Land Use Prototypes
Civic Center Land Use Prototypes
In May 2015, the City Council approved a draft Vision Statement, Success Criteria and Needs Assessment. After receiving public input, City Council finalized them.
Workshop 3: Site Planning Design Charrette - Oct. 3, 2015
Community Site Planning Design Charrette
All Commission Workshop: Site Planning Design Charrette - Aug. 16, 2015
All Commission Workshop Site Planning Design Charrette
Workshop 2: Land Use Options & Space Needs - Jul. 25, 2015
The project developed a needs assessment for the major facilities at the 26-acre Civic Center including the Library, City Hall, and Public Safety Headquarters. It considered how City services are delivered and looked for opportunities to make improvements. The community helped define potential uses for the site and weighed in with their opinion on how space for the community is included in the plan.
Improving library services will be a primary focus of the Civic Center Modernization Project. Even with easy access to information on the internet, Sunnyvale's Library remains a popular destination with residents. On average, the library greets more than 2,000 visitors per day and circulated more than 2.7 million items last year. The current facility's age and space constraints limit services, and the Civic Center Modernization Project presents an opportunity to explore ways to better meet the community's needs.
Sunnyvale's library has only about half of the space per capita compared to neighboring cities in the county, and is well below the average of 0.76 square feet per capita found in cities surveyed in Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
The challenge of limited space extends to the larger collection as well. Compared to other libraries in the local area, Sunnyvale has half the available materials. While e-books are gaining in popularity, they still only accounted for two percent of the Library's total circulation in Fiscal Year 2013/14.
Library program attendance has continued growing to more than 45,000 participants in Fiscal Year 2013/14. Library staff develop programs in response to community demand. For example, more than half of last year's attendees were for programs designed to help preschool children build early literacy skills. A Library designed to accommodate this programming would better serve the community.
Limited space in the existing Library restricts the number of children's items we can make available, causing Sunnyvale to fall well below local area collections.
An expanded library in Sunnyvale could feature a larger children's area that would allow a bigger collection of books and materials and more space for popular children's programs.