California Governor Jerry Brown on Friday approved Apple’s new campus for fast-track treatment during its environmental review process. The fast-tracking will not affect either the scheduled mid-2013 start date or the 2015 completion date for the project, but it does ensure a smoother development process.
The fast tracking law was passed last fall in an attempt to improve the job market in California. The legislation does not shortcut the environmental review process, but does allow for a speedier judicial review of projects that meet certain qualifications. Essentially, if there are any challenges to the environmental impact report, the law allows for expedited review.
Apple’s Proposed Spaceship Campus
Governor Brown, as reported by SiliconValley.com, stated, “Apple’s state-of-the art campus brings at least $100 million dollars in investment to California and generates no additional greenhouse gas emissions. […] On-site fuel cells and 650,000 square feet of solar panels will provide clean, renewable energy for more than 12,000 Apple employees on the new campus.”
Making a $100,000 investment and having no additional greenhouse gas emissions were two of the qualifications which allowed Apple to meet the requirements of this law.
City of Cupertino spokesperson Rick Kitson said, “Congratulations to Apple for being approved, but from a local perspective this really doesn’t change anything. The changes under the law are relatively minor in terms of the way we’ll post online comments about the environmental review report. But this doesn’t mean the shovels are going into the ground any sooner. This is not a shortcut.”
Apple’s “spaceship” campus was first announced by Steve Jobs at a Cupertino city council meeting in June 2011, his last public appearance. It is near the current campus and will have 3.1 million square feet of space to house up to 13,000 additional employees. Jobs reportedly had been planning a signature campus for decades and will serve as one of his lasting legacies.
Another Apple HQ Rendering