News


SF think tank looks to solve MV's housing woes

In an event sponsored by a coalition of residents concerned with the Mountain View's housing problems, a San Francisco-based group is coming Monday, June 16, to present ways to bring affordable housing back to Mountain View and the region.

Egon Terplan of San Francisco-based SPUR -- a 113-year-old housing and tenant advocacy organization -- is set to speak on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Adobe building at 157 Moffett Blvd. The event is sponsored by the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning, Peninsula Interfaith Action, Friends of Caltrain and the Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View.

There is growing interest among San Franciscans in Mountain View's housing shortage, now seen as driving factor in the gentrification of San Francisco, symbolized to many by Google's white commuter buses taking employees between Mountain View and San Francisco.

"Housing is a regional problem, but it doesn't mean any one city can step back and say, 'We don't have any responsibility to the rest of the region,'" Terplan told the Voice, addressing a sentiment expressed by some Mountain View City Council members and council candidates.

SPUR is known in San Francisco for advocating new zoning to allow adequate housing growth to meet demand and lower housing prices along with supporting a host of other projects, such as experimenting with various building types to reduce development costs, increasing subsidized housing and transit-oriented development, and empowering regional organizations such as the Association of Bay Area Governments to provide incentives to cities to build adequate housing.

More information is at spur.org.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I would be very interested to know how many what housing price point it would take for those googler's who commute down to Mountain View to commit to moving to Mountain View?

Love the thought of ABAG being even imposing even more mandates on Mountain View. Yay.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

"There is growing interest among San Franciscans in Mountain View's housing shortage, now seen as driving factor in the gentrification of San Francisco, symbolized to many by Google's white commuter buses taking employees between Mountain View and San Francisco."

~~~~~

So San Franciscan's are now wanting to apply pressure on Mountain View to build more housing, so that people who work at Google will move out of San Francisco and move down to Mountain View.

Hmmm, one has to wonder if google's relative lack of success in completely steam rolling Mountain View City Council into catering to it's every whim (as easily as they had hoped) has now resulted in Google is employing/deploying new measures to try and apply pressure to council?

Peel back the layers...and let's see who is really at the center of the onion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Sorry for the garbled post:



I would be very interested to know what housing price point it would take for those googler's who commute down to Mountain View to commit to moving to Mountain View?

Love the thought of ABAG imposing even more mandates on Mountain View. Yay.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Move housing in Los Altos
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm

"Housing is a regional problem, but it doesn't mean any one city can step back and say, 'We don't have any responsibility to the rest of the region."

Great, show me the housing being added in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Portola Valley. Since it's a regional problem we should be adding housing units in all areas, not just north of El Camino in Mountain View. Those cities are already less dense then MV, so a great place to add more housing. Let's share the love. Let's change the zoning in the single family neighborhoods to allow apartments and rental additions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm

"Egon Terplan of San Francisco-based SPUR -- a 113-year-old housing and tenant advocacy organization"

San Francisco, really?

That's like asking Michael Moore for tips on dieting.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jun 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm

@MVResident67 - Interesting logic in the article indeed. San Francisco is more expensive than Mountain View - this is true for all types of housing. Googler's choosing to live there prefer the big city life, so much so that they're willing to pay a hefty price premium and commute two hours a day by bus. Good luck trying to fix that with cheaper housing in Mountain View. :-)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm

@Move housing in Los Altos,


I am very concerned that the majority of Mountain View City Council members will change the zoning in the single family neighborhoods to allow apartments and rental additions.

For example see 801 El Camino Real and its impact on the Cuesta Park neighborhood.

The majority of Mountain View City Council members would like to see 5 to 8 story apartments and condos all along El Camino Real.


Take Mountain View Back!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2014 at 7:05 am

Don't think all of El Camino Real will become 4 to 8 story, but only a few places would support larger buildings, certain cities even take offense at 3 story buildings.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MV
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I could not care less what San Francisco thinks! Why are they putting that on us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Tell those San Franciscans go back home.

What do they want? Rent control in MV? No way Jose.

These "revolutionaries" are the liberal thugs that we should completely reject. It's bad for Mountain View.

Whenever liberals call "gentrification" I see progress, I see growth, I see prosperity. Mountain View (and Palo Alto) should be the center of Silicon Valley, center of innovation. There is no housing problem, just like there is no housing problem in Manhattan. If you can't afford living here, there are other places you can go. Nobody has the god-given right to live in Mountain View.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SF Stinks
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2014 at 4:14 am

When San Francisco streets stop smelling like fresh urine, maybe then I will be interested in hearing their rent control based solutions..

In the mean time, Mountain View already has the highest density on the penninsula! Tell Palo Alto, the least dense city, to allow more apartments.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Go beond your abilities
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 15, 2014 at 6:46 am

OK, does it sound better if the issue was being looked at by "a 113-year-old housing and tenant advocacy organization"?

Jeeze, its not SF telling MV what to do. It is a large established organization that HAPPENS to be based in SF, likely for proximity reasons, trying to find solutions in their area of expertise.

You people are way to anxious to get angry of find a negative.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 15, 2014 at 8:02 am

Below is the part of the article that may lead readers to believe that San Franciscan's are ONLY showing an interest in Mountain View's "housing shortage" because it is perceived to be harming them - San Franciscan's - somehow. And, it seems to come across a bit like; if we can just get Mountain View to build more housing then OUR housing problems will go away, when with all those Googlers move down to Mountain View.


Snipped from the article:

"There is growing interest among San Franciscans in Mountain View's housing shortage, now seen as driving factor in the gentrification of San Francisco, symbolized to many by Google's white commuter buses taking employees between Mountain View and San Francisco."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Well, I won't be able to attend this event, but if some other reader does, I hope you will report back to this thread and let us know exactly what the presentation consisted of.

The view implied by this headline and by this article is that Mountain View's main "problem" to be "solved" is a housing shortage.

I see our "problem" differently: Worsening overcrowding and congestion, due to overbuilding, with the threat of much, much worse to come. One way to respond to this is to put the brakes on approving new office space.

MV's new high-density housing developments are being built in response to demand that far exceeds supply, resulting in opportunities for developers to acquire a substantial revenue stream by providing "luxury" apartments to well-paid tech employees. I don't think that this is a healthy direction for the city to go. I'd rather see a moderate amount of new "ownership housing", and I'd like to preserve affordable rentals whenever possible.

Once again: We cannot possibly build enough new housing to meet demand, without ruining the city. It's not Mountain View's responsibility to provide housing for every tech employee that works in the south Bay Area.

A previous comment in this thread is so right-on that it deserves repeating:

"...show me the housing being added in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Portola Valley. Since it's a regional problem we should be adding housing units in all areas, not just north of El Camino in Mountain View. Those cities are already less dense then MV, so a great place to add more housing."

Very funny. But of course, that isn't ever going to happen, is it?



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 16, 2014 at 2:24 pm

I agree that we need more housing, but not at any cost our quality of life.

I think that we should also be concerned about protecting the quality of life for current Mountain View residents, both home owners and renters.

Uncontrolled growth, offices, or housing is bad for Mountain View.

I have long advocated:
1. Determine the reasonable amount of additional housing that Mountain View can sustain considering existing neighborhoods, traffic, parking, parks, schools, etc.
2. Determine the amount of additional offices compatible with #1. I am O.K. with 2:1, but others prefer a 1 to 1 ratio for additional offices.
3. Cap office development per #2
4. Improve public transportation . Th most important, for me, is to extend Light Rail to North Shoreline.

As a long term home owner I have greatly benefited rising home prices.
However, I still remember moving to Mountain View in 1968 and renting for 5 years.

We need to be creative and come up with compromises that will work for all.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Greg Perry
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 16, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I think the point is that Mountain View may reasonably decide to be a small city, or a large one.

We could increase housing to match our offices. Or we could scale back office development to match our homes. Either one would work.

But it is unreasonable to ask other cities to put up with a massive traffic jam every day so that we can have two jobs for every employed resident. There are a handful of cities causing this mess, and it is shameful to be one of them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Robert
a resident of Slater
on Jun 16, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Robert is a registered user.

If every county would allow inter county tax base transfers under Prop 90, my wife and I would leave MV in a heartbeat, but only 9 counties currently do and none of those is a destination for us. Web Link

I believe that we are not the only ones who are hanging around, taking up space a young working family could use and enjoy here in MV. If all California counties adopted Prop 90, it would free up tons of local homes currently occupied by retired folks who wish to relocate to a calmer locale elsewhere in the state. For my wife and I it is either stay put or leave the state.

Currently, the adoption of Prop 90 is up to each county's Board of Supervisors. The State Legislature would need to make it mandatory across the board for all counties which isn't likely. So for the time being, we will remain here, and some working family will need to commute from who knows where. One solution to the commute problem is in the control of Sacramento, if they are serious about addressing it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curits
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 16, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Changing zoning is unfair to those living beside the change zone who thought the zoning protected them from new towering buildings dominating the skyline and the roadways.

Since the roads are jammed with folks trying to get to & from their jobs, stop adding jobs and use the same space for apartments, for example at Phase II of San Antonio. They propose two 6 story office buildings and lots of other jobs, and zero housing. Change the offices into apartments. This is convenient to walk/bike to many places from, like Google, etc., and would help ease the traffic jams.

It will also keep San Antonio from going dead after work hours. If it empties out after dark, women especially will not park in the parking structures. Too dangerous.

So add housing there instead of so many day jobs like offices. We have more than enough of them!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Affordable Housing?
a resident of Slater
on Jun 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm

"to present ways to bring affordable housing back to Mountain View and the region."

This is not a discussion about market based housing providing more affordable outcomes. Affordable Housing is a buzz word for price controlled subsidized housing built along side market based housing. Nothing good will come from a discussion about affordable housing since it will require landowners and/or homebuyers to pay for the subsidies of providing housing at below market rates.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 18, 2014 at 2:49 pm

@Greg Perry,

Agreed - We could increase housing to match our offices.

Google plans to add 15,000 to 20,000 offices.
LinkedIn plans to add 13,000 offices.

Where can we fit 14,000 (40% increase) to 33,000 additional residences (100% increase)?

We could build 8 to 35 story apartment complexes.

Would you want to live in a Mountain View with 40% to 100% more population?

BTW, only 10% would be below market rate housing. 90% would be luxury apartments like the ones being built on ECR.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2014 at 8:45 am

Mountain View is not the only city adding jobs and can't house every person. All cities must build housing along with the jobs created.

SF Spur, I have read their articles about housing and etc, but why not ask waitpersons, CNAs, teachers and retail clerks about housing.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 19, 2014 at 8:55 am

Speaking of articles...

This is a very interesting article about "The Battle For San Francisco" and SPUR was in the trenches. The article is long and very detailed, but definitely worth the read.


'The Battle For San Francisco'
How big developers, with the help of Mayor Willie Brown, are moving to bulldoze the neighborhoods.
By Savannah Blackwell

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2014 at 10:44 am

SF Bay Guardian, have read this paper for 25 years. Voted against Prop M for reason that the need for office space will grow forcing other uses out. San Francisco Design Center which is full of wonderful small businesses might have to make room for some big internet company.

Would think building offices would prevent SFDC being gobbled up.

Same thing with housing, build newer high end housing would take pressure off existing housing. Instead we keep adding jobs with a small ever increasing supply, which free market rules basically rule. See supply and demand, apply to all residential, retail and commercial space.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mt View the new
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Mt View is the new Palo Alto/Los Altos, not much we can do about it.

San Jose has lots of space and has lots of new housings just built. So there is no space shortage, just need to go to the right city.

Not everyone can live in googleville\Mt. View.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by GOOGLE EYE SORE
a resident of Slater
on Jun 23, 2014 at 6:45 pm

GOOGLE, MOVE OUT OF MV TO FREMONT AND MILPITAS.
WRITE "GOOGLE" ACROSS THE FREMONT AND MILPITAS HILLS (LIKE HOLLYWOOD IN L.A.)
MOST OF YOUR TECH WORKERS ALREADY FREMONT AND MILPITAS RESIDENTS.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, MOVE! TO FREMONT AND MILPITAS, JUST BECAUSE GOOGLE IS NEXT TO BAY WATER NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE RIVERS OF SOUTH INDIA WHERE PEOPLE ARE PILED UP ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER. YOUR GIGANTIC BUSSES WILL LOOK GREAT ALONGSIDE THE 880HY BUT THOSE BUSSES ARE AN EYESORE FOR THE BEAUTIFUL 280HY AMAZING LANDSCAPING VIEWS. AND BLOCK ALL VISIBILITY ON 101Hy.
GOOGLE MOVE TO FREMONT AND MILPITAS NOW! THE SOONER THE BETTER, GOOGLE IS SUFFOCATING MV RESIDENTS, GOOGLE TAKING MOST OF THE OXYGEN, STUFFY, ALL CRUMPLED UP, MV NEEDS ROOM AND GOOGLE SHOULD MOVE NOW!!!,! GOOD BYE! SAYONARA! HASTA LA VISTA! BON VOYAGE! αντίο! ADDIO! etc.,


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