A rendering of the proposed future Apple headquarters City of Cupertino

Deep in the heart of Apple country, the tech giant, that is, a battle is brewing over the redeveopment of a downtown mall. The Mercury News reports:

In a critical test of a controversial state law intended to fight California’s crippling housing shortage, this small city is just days from being forced to approve a massive residential, office and retail development that some residents fear will destroy their quality of life.

Council members are hoping for compromise. A slow-growth community group called Better Cupertino is threatening a lawsuit and a voter referendum. But under SB 35, the developer that bought the rundown Vallco Mall holds most of the cards — and appears likely to build more than 2,000 badly needed homes on the site, whether the community likes it or not.

Developers, academics and advocates throughout the Bay Area and beyond are rapt as they watch the confrontation that has turned Cupertino into a microcosm of the forces at play in the housing crisis — and a potential precursor for development battles across the state.

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