I reject that characterization. Let's put the decision in context: a location on the edge of the downtown neighborhood, fronting the train tracks (and possibly, quite soon, the high-speed rail) was approved for 203 mostly one-bedroom apartments; the parking ratio is somewhat greater than the one approved in the 15-year old Evelyn Corridor Precise Plan; the facades mirror the ones of buildings across Villa and Bush, with four-stories facing the train tracks. None of the studies undertaken indicated there would be significant impacts on the neighborhood. Did the neighbors express concerns? Quite a few most certainly did. Quite a few others expressed support.
After months of study, numerous public meetings, many, many private meetings with residents, countless e-mail messages, and very considerable thought, I voted with the majority of council to approve the project. I love my downtown neighborhood, where I have lived for the past 23 years — a walkable and very diverse neighborhood. The Prometheus project will add some housing options for people unable or unwilling as yet to afford the high costs of single-family residences but eager to live in a friendly, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood with good public transit options.
Nothing in the decision I made regarding this specific lot on Evelyn Avenue should be taken as implying that I would necessarily approve another high-density project downtown, or in any other part of the city. Several times in the past few years your paper characterized me as being "slow growth" when I voted against higher-density projects that I thought were badly designed or inappropriate for their proposed location.
In truth, I am neither slow-growth nor fast-growth. I judge each project that comes before me on its own merits, with a view to fulfilling what our residents recently defined as the vision for Mountain View: a city that "provides for the needs of all residents," with "a lively downtown, vibrant neighborhoods and a healthy economy."
Ronit Bryant is Mayor of Mountain View.