News

Minton's fight results in dueling petitions

Developer, neighbors gather signatures for, against Evelyn Avenue project

Prometheus Real Estate Group has hired a firm to gather signatures in support of a controversial apartment development at Minton's Lumber and Supply — a development which many neighbors oppose.

Petitioning is a political tactic used frequently by a project's opposition, but it is unusual for a developer to gain support for a project this way, and unheard of in Mountain View.

The petition, for "Mountain View residents only," makes a short two-paragraph statement which clearly states the most controversial aspects of the 214-unit project: its density (61 units per acre) and its height (two to four stories).

The petition describes the project as "high density," "environmentally responsible" and "pedestrian friendly." It states that those who sign it "think creating high density housing at the Minton's Lumber property, located at 455 W. Evelyn Ave., next to the Downtown Transit Station and just a short walk from the vibrant retail and commercial core on Castro Street, is an excellent example of environmentally responsible development."

The signature gatherers have been seen at local grocery stores and include unpaid supporters of the project, said Prometheus senior development manager Nathan Tuttle. The City Council is not bound by the petition.

Nor is the council bound by a dueling petition from the project's opponents. That petition has also been gathering steam, with a reported 288 signatures so far — 60 percent of which came from residents living within a few blocks of the proposed project.

These neighbors have strongly opposed the project due to traffic and parking concerns, and made the Minton's project the central issue in recent elections for the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association Steering Committee, in which over 200 people voted. Following that election, seven of eight steering committee members endorse the opposition petition, which states that the project's density, at twice what is currently zoned, is "unfair to the neighborhood."

The opponents' 750-word petition says the 1.5 parking spaces per unit specified in the design — a reduction granted by the city due to the project's proximity to a train station — is inadequate, and should be upped to the 2.3 spaces normally required. Neighbors say parking is already bad in their neighborhood, and that overflow parking from the development would make it worse.

The opponents' petition also states support for an alternative site plan: "We believe that some mix of town homes, single family homes along with apartments would make sense for this site."

Opponents are criticizing what they call misleading sales pitches used by hired signature gatherers. Project opponent Robert Cox, who was recently elected secretary of the OMVNA, claims that he and others have observed questionable claims made by signature gatherers pitching the petition — saying, for example, that the project is affordable housing for seniors and the disabled. (It is actually market rate, with monthly rents ranging from $1,800 to $2,500 for one- and two-bedroom apartments.)

"I think you have to trust that people are actually reading the petition," Tuttle said in response. "No one is going to sign something like that blindly."

He added that "It's hard to predict how people will go about gathering their signatures. We'd be disappointed if we thought the petition wasn't clear enough."

Prometheus has used signature gathering before, in San Mateo, with positive results for a controversial housing project there of even higher density, Tuttle said. But city planning director Randy Tsuda said he couldn't recall another instance of its use by a developer in Mountain View.

When it comes time for the City Council to decide on the project, "I'd say it's a delicate balance when they are weighing out the sides," Tuttle said. "There are strong opinions and passions on both sides — and we have our own opinions."

"We wouldn't have proposed this development if we didn't think it was the right way to grow the city," Tuttle said. The project is in the spirit of recent state bills SB 375 and AB 32, Tuttle said, "which point to smarter-growth, higher-density housing near transit. It helps people get out of their cars if possible. That by definition is a more affordable way to live, and we think it's a wonderful, smart way to grow the city."

Comments

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Posted by Dave
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Interesting to see Cox, et al, complaining about alleged deceptive practices in signature gathering. They would know, of course, since that's what they're all about: distorting the truth.


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Posted by Max
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I guess cheap shots like the comment posted above about "distorting the truth" are inevitable in a "town square" online forum. Accusing honorable neighbors of being liars and so on -- invariably by assertion, never evidence. At least, I have seen no evidence whatever for any of the many such charges that began before Old Mountain View's recent Steering Committee election, when people, even candidates, upon seeing information that they didn't like, or perhaps didn't want to believe, began blithely accusing their neighbors of "lying." Discerning readers learn from such assertions, but they learn about the accusers, not their targets. When this happened before the Steering Committee election, together with behaviors like scolding the electorate for expressing its concerns, that REALLY brought out the vote -- but not for the people doing this accusing. The upsets were dramatic. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I'm sure Prometheus "wouldn't have proposed this development if we didn't think it was the right way to grow the city..."

Who are they kidding? They are a commercial venture trying to optimize for profit. Nothing wrong with that, but let's not insult peoples' intelligence.

Personally I like the idea of a mix of town homes and single family homes. There are already plenty of apartments available in Mountain View without another sprawling complex.


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Posted by Old Mountain View resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Steve, I think you are far oversimplifying the situation by saying that Prometheus is simply "a commercial venture trying to optimize for profit" and implying that this is the only reason why the development proposal looks like it does (as opposed to another style, like townhomes, single-family homes, or even high-rises).

The owners of the land are working with Prometheus on a ground lease that will bring in a long-term source of revenue while allowing them to retain ownership of the property. The land owners, along with Prometheus, have a major say in what stlye of deveolopment is proposed here. Furthermore, ground leases are more compatible with rental projects than for-sale projects, although some examples of for-sale projects (i.e., condominiums) on ground lease land do exist.

If Prometheus was looking to make the quickest, biggest windfall they could from this site and then walk away, they (a) would likely try to buy the site outright and develop it as a for-sale project, and/or (b) would likely propose at far greater density than what is on the table. After all, by your reasoning, if they are driven just by a profit motive, than why wouldn't they propose a project of 4, 6 or 8 stories, on the whole site? They have already done much to take into account the concerns of the neighborhood and the spirit of the Precise Plan by stepping down the development, tailoring the design with separate entryways to look like single-family homes, etc.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm

What about the schools? It's almost at maximum capacity. With so many units, how is the school system going to handle this? There is a similar case in Fremont where the developer downsized from 800+ units to just over 500 due to the school district's concern. In addition, the developer is giving the school district $6 million. Does "smart" growth include the impact on education system? If not, then let's not call it that because it lacks all perspective.


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Posted by Not
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 4:19 pm

"vibrant retail and commercial core on Castro Street"..who are they kidding. Not until the business district gets some retail business such as Palo Altos' downtown.


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Posted by JW
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm

They don't care about the schools, traffic, water, sewage, until it's to late. All they see is dollar signs it will bring to the developer, the city, and the resturants that line castro. 214 units is just way to much, maybe 60 units at max would be more appropriate.


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Posted by Robert Cox
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Mr. DeBolt,

Thanks for an excellent article, giving us the chance to put our point of view on the Minton site out to the public.

Just one clarification of fact.

Mr. DeBolt writes, "That [the original] Minton petition has also been gathering steam with a reported 288 signatures so far -- 60 percent of which came from residents living within a few blocks of the proposed project."

Actually it is 288 signatures of Old Mountain View residents and 33 from other parts of Mountain View, and 60% do NOT live in the area around the Minton Lumber site.

-- Robert Cox
(MiRNA Coordinator and OMNVA Secretary-Elect)
(MiRNA -> Minton's Redevelopment Neighborhood Alliance)
(OMVNA -> Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association)





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Posted by Robert Cox
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm

HOW TO GET A COPY OF OR ENDORSE THE ORIGINAL MINTON PETITION

Anyone who is interested can get a copy of the original Minton petition, which advocates retaining the zoning of 15-25 units/acre on the Minton lumber site, by sending an e-mail to

mintonsneighbors@gmail.com

Anyone interested in endorsing the petition can contact us by sending their name and full address to the above e-mail address. We will include only their name and street name in public copies of the petition, which is sent to members of city government whose decisions will influence the redevelopment of the Minton site.

-- Robert Cox
(MiRNA Coordinator and OMVNA Secretary-Elect)


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Posted by David Lewis
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm

I ran into the paid individuals peddling the petition supporting the very high density development at the Minton's site at Trader Joes's, and was unfavorably impressed by their slick use of PC catch phrases to support this development–green, sustainable, , etc., with no mention of the impact of this development on the surrounding community. For those in Mountain View who live far away from this site and haven't looked at the actual development proposal, it might well sound appealing. For those who have looked at the details of the proposed development, it doesn't look so appealing. I can't give much credence to signature gathered in this manner on the basis of minimal and misleading information.


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Posted by cricket
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Sustainability is all about long-term planning, which is what the City did in the City of Mountain View General Plan:

Web Link

In addition, the Evelyn Corridor, where this development is proposed to be located is covered in a a separate document created by the city called the Evelyn Avenue Corridor Precise Plan:

Web Link

As you can tell from these documents, an incredible amount of thought and forward thinking were put into these plans in order to ensure Mountain View increases its quality of life as it moves forward.

This particular development that is proposed deviates from the zoned density by more than 2 times. Having a one-off like this that deviates so dramatically from the long-term plan that I think the City either needs to reject it or go back to the drawing board on their long-term plan.

The path to a well-designed city is based on long-term goals, not making piecemeal decisions like this. Piecemeal decisions are how most cities are "planned" and you can drive around the Bay Area to see how well that approach has gone.


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Posted by Watcher
a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I came across Prometheus' petition at Safeway on Shoreline. I was told that the proposed development is high density housing for the elderly and low income families. I was also told that it was a done deal - the developer owned the land, the plans were approved, the petition was just a formality. None of this is true, except the high density part.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Here's one example of the misinformation being peddled by MiRNA: the notion that 1.5 parking spaces per unit is some kind of special exception granted to Prometheus. In fact, that is the standard called for in the Evelyn Corridor Precise plan, the document Cricket refers to. Once caught in a lie, one cannot be trusted again. Hence, nothing else that emanates from Cox, et al can be trusted.


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:41 pm

old mtn view resident:

"... The land owners... have a major say in what stlye of deveolopment is proposed here."
Why do you assume this? Most ground leases are passive

"If Prometheus was looking to make the quickest, biggest windfall they could from this site and then walk away, they (a) would likely try to buy the site outright and develop it as a for-sale project,"

If they could have bought the site outright, they would have. Builders dont generally like ground leases.

"(b) would likely propose at far greater density than what is on the table. "
Um, no. They're already exceeding what is spelled out in the precise plan. Trying to exceed it even more drastically would guarantee failure, even with this traffic-blind council

I think that the 1.5 parking spaces per unit is ludicrous. Do you know anyone in a city like Mtn View that doesnt own their own car, even if they live near rail?


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Posted by Robert Cox
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Dave,

As was pointed out in the comments from the previous Minton article, the 2.3 parking spaces/unit is the normal amount required by the Mountain View city code. MiRNA is questioning that a reduction to 1.5 parking spaces/unit is justified because the area around the Minton lumber site is already saturated with overflow parking from Caltrain, and because the Evelyn Ave. Corridor Precise Plan parking limits only make sense when the WHOLE precise plan recommendations are followed, including the 15-25 units/acre zoning for the site.

Bottom line, if 1.5 parking spaces/unit produces and additional moderate overflow into the already congested neighborhood at 15-25 units/acre development, the overflow into the neighborhood will be much worse (and unacceptable) at 61 units/acre.

-- Robert Cox (MiRNA Coordinator)


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Prometheus is not doing this for any other reason than to have a profitable venture. Of course they want the highest density possible. That will generate the most revenue for them. They will wrap this up in all the right buzzwords, but at the end of the day it's about making the biggest return on investment. It's called business.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:45 pm

And yet, the Evelyn Corridor Precise Plan calls for 1.5 parking spaces. So the developer is asking for nothing untoward, and being granted no special accommodations, despite your misrepresentations to the contrary.


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Posted by Al
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 8:25 pm

My two cents...

1. @ Robert Cox "...the opponents 750-word petition" vs. " ...a short two-paragraph statement". I wonder which one was actually read by those signing, I'll hazard a guess it was the short one. And if the opponents petition wasn't read then what was said to those 200+ that signed the 750 word petition; I can only imagine. Reminds me too much of the 2,500 page health care monstrosity that our Senators haven't read...just follow the herd.

2. @ Not. "vibrant retail and commercial core on Castro Street"..who are they kidding. Not until the business district gets some retail business such as Palo Altos' downtown.

I say, "If you build it they will come", your "real businesses" that is. Retailers tend to like people that live within walking distance of their shops, the more the better is usually the rule...it's based on the principle of supply and demand no doubt. Why not put more people within walking distance of the downtown and the train. Seems to make sense to me.

Merry Christmas!


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Posted by cricket
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 9:27 pm

For those that think this is a NIMBY issue, let me turn that back on those that don't live in the neighborhood. What if your next door neighbor wanted to tear down and rebuild their house and asked for the following 3 variances from the City:

- The house square footage would exceed the zoning laws for the type of parcel by almost 2 1/2 times
- The house would intrude into the setback on all 4 sides of the property
- The house would be 4 stories tall

Would you be fine with that because your neighbor argued that it was smart growth and sustainable development and would allow them to rent out a bunch of rooms to people that could walk to downtown to eat?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by cricket
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 9:42 pm

And just to attempt to set the record straight, the Evelyn document actually does NOT specify 1.5 parking spaces per unit, it specifies parking based on the mix of 1 bedroom or 2+ bedroom units. This 1.5 number appears nowhere in the document, so not sure where you're getting that.

In any event, the City Code (the specific section on parking space requirements has been updated at various times between 1996 and 2007) trumps the Evelyn document (written in 1994):

Web Link

It's pretty dense reading, but you can find the 2.3 number in there.

Robert has done his homework and if you have enough spare time, you'll realize the guy knows what he's talking about.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jeff Chang
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 23, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Another "successful" Prometheus development.

Americana Apartments
707 Continental Cir, Mountain View, CA 94040
650-968-0700

From ApartmentRatings dot com
A 15% approval rating.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Banana
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 5:10 am

It is kinda fun to watch Prometheus antics. I find it amusing that they are doing this. It is sorta like monkey see monkey do, Banana please.

The project is in the spirit of recent state bills SB 375 and AB 32, Tuttle said, "which point to smarter-growth, higher-density housing near transit. It helps people get out of their cars if possible.

Yea, Right, Prometheus is supporting State Bills for smarter growth. These folks are right up there with lobbiest and special interests that has destroyed much of what was thought to be good in America.
SB-375
Web Link
AB-32
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MikeR
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 5:49 am

Regarding the comment from Dave -

> And yet, the Evelyn Corridor Precise Plan calls for 1.5 parking spaces. So the developer is asking for nothing untoward, and being granted no special accommodations

Any overflow would park on the surrounding streets. And if you increase the number of units by 2x, the number of overflow cars would increase by 2x - yet amount of available street parking does not increase.

- Mike


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MikeR
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 6:08 am

I was told by the petition holder that the land was owned by Prometheus, that another group was opposed to *any* development in Mountain View. They implied that at a lower density, the construction would not be "green". I asked why the project was under scrutiny and they did not mention that it exceeded the zoning density.

> "I think you have to trust that people are actually reading the petition," Tuttle said in response. "No one is going to sign something like that blindly."

And somehow that makes it ok for the signature gatherers to lie?

- Mike


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Special Agent CERT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:02 am

-Dave
as written:
Here's one example of the misinformation being peddled by MiRNA: the notion that 1.5 parking spaces per unit is some kind of special exception granted to Prometheus. In fact, that is the standard called for in the Evelyn Corridor Precise plan, the document Cricket refers to. Once caught in a lie, one cannot be trusted again. Hence, nothing else that emanates from Cox, et al can be trusted.

However:
as written:
And just to attempt to set the record straight, the Evelyn document actually does NOT specify 1.5 parking spaces per unit, it specifies parking based on the mix of 1 bedroom or 2+ bedroom units. This 1.5 number appears nowhere in the document, so not sure where you're getting that.
In any event, the City Code (the specific section on parking space requirements has been updated at various times between 1996 and 2007) trumps the Evelyn document (written in 1994):
####
So, it appears to the public you are not telling the truth and cannot be trusted as such, sound like the truth?

No one really knows what is being proposed, as it is currently a study and no official proposal exists.
fap fap fap Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:06 am

I am tired of the city using the train station to justify high density housing, most of the people living near the train station almost never use the train system and those that do use it only for a small portion of their trips. It goes on and on, now some are pushing the nightmare of a high speed rail train station which would lead to endless traffic and who knows maybe high rise buildings since it would be close to the station.
Bottom line, limit high density and vote for city leaders who want to limit high density housing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by TryFactChecking
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:17 am

@ Cricket
"- The house square footage would exceed the zoning laws for the type of parcel by almost 2 1/2 times"

**Fact Check - The Prometheus proposal is actually meeting the open space requirements of the Evelyn Ave plan.

If you are referring to density at 2.5 times the plan then consider this: the overall density of the 11 acre area of the Evelyn Avenue Plan would be roughly 29 units to the acre if this development and Classic Communities development to the East were both approved. The original max density was 25 units to the acre for this area. 4 units more per acre in an area next to a train station and within 3 blocks of downtown sounds reasonable to most people.

"- The house would intrude into the setback on all 4 sides of the property"

**Fact Check: The Prometheus proposal meets the setback requirements in the Evelyn plan on Villa, Bush, and the New Public Street, which is 10' from property line. The only place they are asking for a variance is on West Evelyn where they want to match the setback of the Minton's Lane development which is already built, roughly 14' versus the 20' in the Evelyn plan.

- The house would be 4 stories tall"
**The proposal calls for 2 stories on Villa Street (next to 2 story homes) and 3 stories on Bush Street (next to 2 story and 3 story homes)which is what is called for in the Evelyn Plan. The 4 story construction takes place on Evelyn and the New Public Street, and on the interior of the development in areas not visible from almost all of the existing homes.

TryFactChecking


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Spin Doctor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:54 am

TryFactChecking
Laughing.

Is the design for Public Safety Safe?
"One" entrance and exit on a private street as it is still subject of the property of Classic Communities and no agreement has been determined to be binding for a "new" public street.

The 4 story construction takes place on Evelyn and the New Public Street, and on the interior of the development in areas not visible from almost all of the existing homes.

So who is going to live on the inside four story area where the view is your neighbors window. ? Transit workers ?

The proposal is changing so much it is not in any shape to evaluate, much less review an EIR initial study.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Laura
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I can't believe there are people in my neighborhood that don't believe putting more housing next to transit is a good idea. How else will the transit get used. We can't just stick our head in the sand and let progress pass us by. I like the proposed plan and think it will be good for our neighborhood.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Max
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Laura: "I can't believe there are people in my neighborhood that don't believe putting more housing next to transit is a good idea. How else will the transit get used."

In fact, Laura, many of us do favor housing near transit. What we oppose is the rest of the picture, which you omit to mention above: designing such housing so as to cause gross, predictable problems to surrounding neighborhoods including inadequate parking (where street parking already is stressed by station-lot overflow) and no provision to handle the new student load at local schools. More so, when statistics show that the transit actually "gets used" by only a small minority of occupants of such housing, and after parking crises developed around other dense developments in Palo Alto.

What I, in turn, have trouble comprehending is the willingness of some people to ignore, or rationalize away, these obnoxious consequences to their neighbors, in the name of a theoretical goal that hasn't even worked much when tried. Pundits speak glibly of learning from history, yet here we see demonstrated, day by day, why that's much easier said than done.


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Posted by Laura
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Max,
The Cal train statistics actually show that ridership at the Downtown Station has increased over 50% in the past 5 years since the baby bullet train arrived. Our station is 3rd behind Palo Alto and San Francisco only. I know I certainly like to use the train. Here are the stats Web Link

Maybe instead of saying it never works, which is just not true, we should look for creative solutions to the parking issue in our neighborhood. for example:
a. Park in our garages since that is what they are for. Or do you think we should continue to use the public street for our parking needs.
b. I have heard members of our community talk about a residential permit program also, which seems like it could work.

Let's get creative.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:13 pm

The question is should not center on high density or not.

The city guideline is 2.3 parking spaces per unit, and Prometheus is planning on 1.5 spaces. That is a 40% reduction.

The ridership numbers do not matter either. It doesn't matter if residents commute on transit or not. What matters is whether or not residents will 'give up their car'.

For this project, the presumption is there will be a 40% reduction in parking space requirements - that 40% of people will give up their car.

Gut check - do you think 40% will give up their car?

Of course not, 5%-8% is much more reasonable estimate.

Thus, instead of 214 units, a figure around 140 units is appropriate.
That can be accomplished by lopping off the fourth story which coincidentatlly will bring it more in line with the rest of the neighborhood. Two birds with one stone.

Alternatively, Prometheus can dig a second level of basement parking.

Neighborhood parking may still get worse, but at least this project will have had proper capacity planning in the design phase so as not to exacerbate the issue. The 1.5 ratio is excessively optimistic.

Prometheus doesn't like parking spaces because they cost money to build and they do not generate income. That is why they would like to push the project as-is, rather than fix the problem.

Either way, one of those two solutions should be on the table BEFORE discussing whether or not the project is a go.


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Posted by Max
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 26, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Laura, to review: first you mischaracterized people as simply opposing housing near transit, which ignores most of the issue -- the negative side effects. I pointed that out, and that this selective concern serves a theoretical ideal (occupants of housing near transit eschewing cars), even though in practice only a small minority of them usually do so. (I didn't say "it never works," your selective rhetoric again.) If you want to change topics further, with other data that ignore this central point, I can even suggest sources for you besides Caltrain. But the very impulse to stray off point suggests ideological reasoning: ignoring or dismissing inconvenient truths as if that made them go away. Like the person(s) in these town square threads who likes to quote a pet factoid from the Evelyn Precise Plan (1.5 parking spaces per housing unit), obsessively ignoring its context in both City Code and the Precise Plan, and even branding people liars when they restore that context. (Which is: normal MV parking allowance is 2.3 spaces per unit, and the Evelyn plan grants a lower number for dense housing, envisioned as 2.4 to 4 _times_ less dense than what Prometheus now proposes.)

No genius is needed to see that bettering society isn't a main motivation of commercial property developers, though it provides expedient rhetoric. These people are professionals, perhaps with incentive pay, and with budgets for things like petition gatherers who add creative spins. But with the right catch phrases, even some local residents will help the developer's case, for free. (This time it's public transit, in other projects it might be landscaping, or animal habitats.) For a developer to completely ignore a project's negative side effects is business; for locals to do so is callous.


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Posted by creative
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Yes Laura
Let's get creative.
Prometheus is the designer and developer and operator and "gatekeeper"

We the people asked the Prometheus to get creative, they have not. The only thing that has changed is nothing in density. Why oh why is density not changing? Because they are not being creative and claim to be in the spirit of SB-375, AB-32. Nothing heard about how much energy and water the facility will use, how much wastes it will create, how much crime it will create, how much city changes it will make, nothing? creative?
So lets get Prometheus creative by telling them their design is not going to be accepted.
K?


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Posted by Old Mountain View resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 28, 2009 at 7:38 am

@Rodger - "I am tired of the city using the train station to justify high density housing..."

You know what I am tired of? I'm tired of my neighbors mischaracterizing a development like the Minton's proposal as "high density" or "ultra high" or whatever superlative they can conjure, when it's really pretty modest by objective standards. It's a 2 to 4 story development, for goodness sake!

I live in OMV within walking distance of the Minton's site, but I've also lived elsewhere (sometimes I wonder if some of my NIMBY neighbors ever have...) and I've seen real density. Believe it or not, residential buildings of 8, 10, even 20 stories do get built, sometimes within a short distance of single-family neighborhoods -- and they often work great. They keep local businesses bustling, generate the critical mass to have neighborhood groceries and fresh fruit markets, support car-sharing services and robust public transit, and lead to lifestyles with some of the smallest carbon footprints you'll find.

So please, keep things in perspective -- no one is proposing 8 or 10 or 20 stories on the Minton's site, and I'm not advocating for that either. To those who I know will immediately jump in and say "but OMV is different!" -- I agree -- it is. We have a beautiful neighborhood with a core of historic single-family homes and some sprinkled-in apartments, walkable streets, wonderful street trees, and great people. This proposal would not change that, because this proposal is already tailored to the neighborhood and is NOT high density in any objective sense of the term.


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Posted by Craig
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 28, 2009 at 9:29 am

@Old Mountain View resident - High-density is a term for 36 units per acre and up (or some number like that). But it is all relative as you say and it is just a term.

You should be offended by the use of the term "green" by Prometheus. Is is "green" to have 170 cars circling the block looking for parking because the garage lacks proper capacity?

Anyway, I do not really care about the specific density number, only that it be reasonable, sustainable, and safe.

Would you be surprised to know there is only one garage entrance for 320+ parking spaces? BTW, the stalls will all be used due to the insufficient parking space per unit ratio.

You'll be hard pressed to find any parking garage of 320+ spaces with a single entrance around here. Why? because it is inconvenient to tenants and a safety hazard.

A single entrance becomes a single point of failure. In the event of construction, accidents, or acts of nature, the entrance may be blocked.

Case in point, when the interim road is rebuilt, all 320+ cars will be forced to park on the streets? Why? because there is no second entrance.

So why does Prometheus put only one garage entrance on the table? Because it is possible, and they can always add one in later if pressed.

Another garage entrance would take away some living space as well as some parking spaces resulting in loss of income and reduction of profit.

Prometheus is OK with compromising people's safety and convenience for profit, but it should not be OK with the City of Mountain View. The city needs to step up and speak for our future residents.

The second garage entrance is another example of a problem that needs to be fixed BEFORE a go / no-go decision is considered.




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Posted by Max
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:33 pm

"Old Mountain View Resident," whatever your name is: Context again. Inseparable context pervades this topic, even if people continually choose to ignore it here.

The city's Precise Plan uses various density languages for Permitted Uses of the parcel in question, including "[a] higher-density residential area." That refers to the legal permitted use of 15-25 residential units per acre. The variance sought in the controversial proposal is a density 2.4 to 4 times higher. That is the implicit context of all recent public mentions here of density. If you object to language like "higher-density residential area," from which stem honest efforts to distinguish densities that are much higher still, your objection would be logically directed to the City of Mountain View.


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Posted by GSB
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm

I was not happy to be approached by THREE petition gatherers outside of Safeway on Shoreline the other day. Overkill and pushy!


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Posted by Michael ( Minton Fariss) Duerksen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2013 at 9:58 am

Hello: I am searching for historically related data in reference to my ancestors status having to do with a May Minton Fariss whom passed away sometime around 1960.


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