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TONIGHT: Council could give final approval to 53-home project at former Grant Road farm

After several years of planning — and heated controversy over loss of open space — the City Council is scheduled to give final approval for 53 new homes at the former Grant Road farm during its meeting tonight.

Zoning administrator Peter Gilli recommends conditional approval of the project, which includes a variety of one- and two-story single family homes of up to 3,500 square feet on lots of at least 8,000 square feet.

In a May 27 zoning administrator hearing, the most controversial aspect of the project was a realignment of Levin Avenue. A portion of it would be moved slightly south to allow it to directly connect with Covington Road through a new four-way stoplight at Grant Road. Los Altos sent its police chief, Tuck Younis, to that meeting to oppose the street realignment plan, which Mountain View city staff stands behind.

In a ploy to get Mountain View's attention, Los Altos City Council member Ron Packard has reportedly threatened to have Los Altos explore turning Covington into a one-way street near Grant Road in order to keep Mountain View traffic from entering Los Altos via Covington.

"I wonder if the only way we are going to get their attention is if we begin exploring the concept of ingress and egress, "Packard told the Los Altos Town Crier. "What if we were to change the intersection of Covington and Grant, where from Covington there's only egress?"

Gilli also recommends approval of the project's environmental impact report, which Younis criticized for not adequately studying the impacts to traffic on Covington Road. The report says that traffic on Covington would increase by 222 daily trips, up from a daily average of 4,940.

Under city requirements, a half-acre park could have been part of the project. But because of its proximity to existing parks, such as Cuesta and Cooper parks, an in-lieu fee towards existing parks will be paid instead.

Comments

Posted by Laura, a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2009 at 3:13 pm

We need as many green spaces as possible, not more homes or buildings.


Posted by Smart Growther, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 30, 2009 at 3:28 pm

1 - We dont need a park in an area already loaded with park space
2 - Mr Packard, be careful what you wish for. Maybe the MV council should return the favor and block all entering and exiting traffic onto covington. I bet the LA residents will like this idea.

why is it OK for them to use covington but not others. Sounds fair to me.


Posted by vfree, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm

53 single family homes sounds good for the area. Thanks for moving Levin to connect with Covington too.


Posted by Dominick, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 30, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Los Altos doesnt get it. The Waverly park residents just want to gain access onto Grant road with a right or left turn rather than the present dare devil actions to exit Levin. A quick survey would show that most residents don't turn into Covington.


Posted by Patio Bear, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 1, 2009 at 11:08 am

I'm really surprised by the Los Altos opposition to this. Perhaps Mountain View to stop allowing access to it's streets where they join with Los Altos. The Los Altos position is ludicrous.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Instead of McMansions, I think the city should have considered high-density and/or low-income housing for the site. It would have made a big dent in the ABAG housing mandate, and if losing the farm was unavoidable, at least it would have been for the benefit of a significantly higher number of people. It would also have been interesting to observe the reaction of those home owners who suddenly discovered that they had bought a house near a working farm - might they have preferred the farm to 3-story apartment/condo complexes with little associated parking?

On the other hand, I haven't heard anybody clamoring for Minton's to go away. Why should only certain Mountain View neighborhoods bear the brunt of the buildup of high-density housing?


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