Last week the City Council increased the allowed office density, and thus the value, on a piece of property the county is trying to sell at 590 East Middlefield Road, likely killing off hopes for a homeless shelter there in the process.
The 3.5-acre property is home to a vacant 33,000-square-foot building that once housed 118 low level inmates of the county's work furlough program. The county tried to sell the building earlier this year, but rejected several offers for the property which came in unexpectedly low, with the highest being $6 million.
At its regular meeting last Tuesday, the City Council voted to allow an increase to the "floor area ratio" of the property from .3 to .5, a move requiring an amendment to the city's transit-oriented development (TOD) ordinance. Previously, only properties five acres or larger could take advantage of the ordinance, which allows a density bonus for properties within 2000 feet of a transit station. Under the amendment, the TOD ordinance now includes properties as small as three acres as long as a boundary is shared with a transit station.
The county is now expected to request bids on the property a second time around.
"What you do with it determines what we do with it," county Supervisor Liz Kniss told the council during her "legislative update" before Tuesday's council meeting.
Given the site's preexisting living facilities, it is seen as the ideal spot for a homeless shelter by a group led by Jess Santana that is seeking to create a shelter in Mountain View.
Neither the council nor Kniss addressed the possibility of a homeless shelter on the site during last Tuesday's meeting.