This is in response to a recent article in the Voice about the Monta Loma neighborhood's reaction to the Mayfield development proposal ("Mayfield neighbors change their strategy," Feb. 3). In my opinion, my neighbors are wasting their time "doing their homework" in an attempt to influence the environmental planning process.
All the neighbors ever wanted (if the parcel was to be re-zoned and not remain commercial) was a development in keeping with the existing community, which is primarily modest single-family homes on small lots. When it became clear that the protests of the residents were not going to be considered and that the outcome would be whatever the developer proposed, many of us stopped participating.
It was clear that no one had the stomach for a lawsuit or a ballot measure campaign. Why waste time quibbling about what time construction starts when it will have no impact on the ultimate project?
Even the developer, Toll Brothers, knows that nothing the neighbors say will influence the city to support a lower-density project. As you quote the arrogant Toll Brothers project manager Kelly Snider, "We expected a lot of concerns about traffic and about trees and that is what we got." I guess Snider doesn't think such concerns carry any consequences. In fact, all environmental impacts discussed in the draft Environmental Impact Report seem to be designated "less than significant."
From the neighborhood's perspective, such impacts are very significant. This 578-unit project, with its proposed density of 26.5 units/acre for the Mountain View portion and 12 units/acre for the Palo Alto portion, stands in stark contrast to the expected proposal for the "Pumpkin Patch" site on the wealthier side of Mountain View. There, the developer is expected to propose 65 single-family units on 15 acres (4.3 units/acre) "that are consistent with the surrounding neighborhood."
Gee, where is that righteous city council civic support for "high density affordable housing" when it is for the other side of El Camino Real? Am I bitter and disenfranchised? You bet!