TONIGHT: Important discussion on housing

Report says jobs growth outpacing housing growth

The housing element of the city's General Plan -- "the primary policy document for the development, rehabilitation and preservation of housing" -- will be the main subject of discussion for the Environmental Planning Commission on Wednesday night.

To guide the creation of the housing element this year, a new report on the city's housing needs from Bay Area Economics has been issued. The city is becoming increasingly "jobs rich" the report says, while housing development has not kept pace.

Jobs increased by 19 percent since 2003, the report says, while the city's population increased by only 10 percent since 1990. By comparison, the county grew by 23 percent in the same time period and had three times less job growth on average.

According to the report, the Association of Bay Area Governments has calculated that Mountain View needs to build 2,123 units by 2014 in order to meet its "fair share" of the county's need for housing -- a goal which may be difficult in a slow housing market.

The report can be viewed here on the city's Web site as a commission staff report for April 22.

Several weeks of neighborhood general plan meetings are set to kick off in the Monta Loma neighborhood on May 18. For more information, visit

The Environmental Planning Commission meets 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22 in the second floor plaza conference room of City Hall, 500 Castro St.


Posted by confused, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm

On what planet is this possibly consistent with the county and state's record unemployment numbers?

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2009 at 4:11 pm

the planet of ABAG...

Posted by Lynn, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm

@confused: Planet Sub-Prime, where a record number of empty units is also considered a housing shortage. And only developers care to show up at the EPC meetings anyway. Don't count on the Voice or any other paper trying to call the BS because real estate ads are their only source of substantial revenue that Craigslist hasn't swallowed up.

Posted by oldschgrl, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 23, 2009 at 9:05 am

what about housing for the 'single' person. not everyone wants to
rent an apartment or buy into a 3 bedroom condo. How about 'single, single' family homes/cottages?

Posted by GDM, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 23, 2009 at 10:37 am

If the City were to follow the requests of ABAG we would end up going bankrupt like Vallejo, or at least unable to fill the potholes in our streets like San Jose. What ever happened to the right of a community to determine it's own makeup? Where will the water come from to support all these new homes? What about traffic? We already have plenty of housing in Mountain View.

Posted by Keepin it real, a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm

To all the nay-sayers:

Form your own study group or join ABAG as a volunteer. You might learn something other than criticism. ABAG is comprised of local officials who vote up or down on policy positions to recommend, or studies to commission. Don't kill the messenger. The numbers aren't that complicated or controversial for that matter. Also, the EPC is comprised of local residents that volunteer their time as public servants. If you think you are so much smarter, then volunteer your time to make a difference.

Posted by Biff, a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Yeah, all you critics need to shut up and volunteer your time to listen to the developers explain how they want you to help make them richer by clogging traffic up even more than it already is. Imagine, trying to stand up for a livable community instead of more dollars in the coffers! You are probably all socialists!

Posted by Keepin it real, a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm


Yes, let's eliminate all "evil" developers, and contractors too. Hell, let's get rid of the planning and building departments too. We should just put a moratorium on all new construction. And when we're done, we will have defeated all evil things that are trying to disguise themselves as progress. I'm sure you built your own home, office, store, hospital and school with your own two hands. And because I know you did, I can't possibly call you a hypocrite for using all these developments made by evil developers.

Posted by Peter Henderson, a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 24, 2009 at 9:42 am

I don't think anyone is saying developers are evil; they just act in their interest like everyone else. But where are the checks and balances that reign them in? Is a moratorium on new construction a bad idea given the rush hour traffic on our main artteries? If you grant that building can't go on forever, then where do you draw the line? And is our political system capable of supporting any calls to limit growth, sprawl, and traffic?

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