For the last five years, Louise Christy has been the volunteer gardener for Chez TJ, the highest-rated restaurant in Mountain View. But soon her kitchen garden and the old Victorian that houses Chez TJ could be overshadowed by a four-story office building.
"It's going to destroy this garden," Christy said. "It's basically going to steal the light from this entire property."
Christy pointed to a tall palm tree near the fence, and said, "Can you imagine a building that tall?"
Los Altos-based developer Roger Burnell has proposed a 61-foot tall building at 902 Villa St., 5 feet from the fence line with Chez TJ. The city's zoning administrator is set to make a recommendation on the project June 13, and a City Council vote is set for July 10.
Christy said the public is invited to walk through the garden and imagine a 61-foot wall next door.
"The new building will loom over the restaurant and garden," Christy said. "What kind of architect, developer, and city review people, could let the design get to so advanced a state without saying, 'Hey, this design isn't right?'"
"It's going to be a huge detriment to what we do here," said Joey Elenterio, executive chef at the Michelin star-winning restaurant where the prix fixe dinner costs well over $100 a person. "There's going to be this large building overshadowing this beautiful Victorian house."
Elenterio said he and 20 interns that he trains every year get a lot of inspiration from the herb and vegetable garden.
"It's extremely important to us," Elentario said. "You can't get fresh coriander seeds from the produce market."