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EDITORIAL: Give Bayshore housing a look

Original post made on Feb 25, 2010

The city's notion of not mixing housing and commercial development in the North Bayshore has run afoul of Google, its major tenant and the company that has done more than any other to put Mountain View on the map.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 25, 2010, 4:29 PM

Comments (14)

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm

And where will the kids living out there go to school? North Bayshore tax dollars dont support the school district, so we'll bet more kids with no more money.

Where do you get this fantasy that people will live close to their job? Who in Silicon Valley stays with a single employer for years? Live-work communities like this dont happen. They've been tried all over the place, and they ALWAYS become traffic nightmares!

Mayor Byrant and two other councilmembers signed a letter released today demanding that a proposed development of comparable scale in Redwood City be derailed before an EIR can even be conducted, yet they advocate for massive density increases that will create monstrous regional traffic issues. What hubris. What hypocrisy.


Posted by whatAbout, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 25, 2010 at 11:00 pm

what about the google partnership with NASA Ames that was supposed to bring a few thousand units to Moffett Field... at least that would provide a measure of control to prevent the live-work fail eric is worried about. What about bringing mass transit to bayshore? could light rail be extended to north bayshore? how 'bout a ferry terminal? didn't the navy used to have this capability at moffett?


Posted by Check your facts, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 26, 2010 at 12:30 am

Re: eric's comment that "Mayor Byrant and two other councilmembers signed a letter released today demanding that a proposed development of comparable scale in Redwood City be derailed..."

Check your facts, eric, as the two situations are not even remotely the same scale.

The Redwood City Saltworks plan proposes 25,000 new residents in 12,000 new housing units. It proposes no employment uses, and is located near very few existing employment uses. And, incidentally, it's located on land that is currently used for salt production - not filled land.

Links re: Saltworks:
Web Link
Web Link

The Mountain View General Plan Land Use 'Option B' that was considered by EPC and Council a few weeks ago would accommodate up to an additional 22,600 residents and up to 10,800 housing units across ALL of Mountain View by 2030. But 4,000 of those added people would be accommodated by just building out the 1992 General Plan, and another 7,600 would be accommodated in Option A, which doesn't include any housing in North Bayshore. Even the extra 11,000 residents beyond that in Option B would be spread out all across the City, in locations along El Camino, at San Antonio Center, Whisman, Moffett Blvd, and other scattered infill locations.

The comparison table of the MV GP Update land use scenarios can be found here:
Web Link

In addition, if housing were to be built in North Bayshore, it would be in an area already rich with jobs (unlike the area surrounding the RWC Saltworks) and an area slated to receive new jobs in the MV GP Update.

It's easy to throw around accusations of "hubris" and "hypocrisy". It's also easy to be ignorant of the facts, as you've demonstrated.


Posted by Resident, a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 26, 2010 at 10:29 am

Why not take advantage of the relationship that exists between Google and NASA (Moffett Field)? There is more than enough space out there to develop the site with housing, business, research, and more. It could be called the "Google Giga-Plex". There is plenty of room to link Moffett Field with the current campuses off of Shoreline Blvd. Bike bridges could be built to link MF to the current Google campus.

A Google Giga-Plex could have its own school and housing, and be able to incorporate the best available green technology into these new buildings. This would solve Google's desire to be more sustainable and allow the City of Mountain View to keep the area around the existing Google campus available for businesses.

It is a blessing to have Google in Mountain View. Other businesses are attracted to Mountain View because of it. Google provides a solid economic base for Mountain View. But two things to remember nothing is forever and diversify diversify. Good luck in coming up with a solution.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

"The Redwood City Saltworks plan proposes 25,000 new residents in 12,000 new housing units. It proposes no employment uses, and is located near very few existing employment uses."

Check YOUR facts! There are are thousands of existing office jobs around the salt mill and the project calls for substantial office space to be added.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2010 at 11:59 am

"A Google Giga-Plex could have its own school"

How would that work? An elementary school? HOw big and funded by whom? What high school would it feed? Would Google run the school?
Mtn View? Los Altos? With North Bayshore tax dollars locked in a box, how is it funded?


Posted by QM, a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Eric- FYI, Google Elementary is a members only school. Google Elementary is located on Whisman. They don't need to build another one.


Posted by Check your facts, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

@eric - "Check YOUR facts! There are are thousands of existing office jobs around the salt mill and the project calls for substantial office space to be added."

I stand corrected on employment around the Saltworks site - I checked the two areas on Google Maps - there are quite a few office developments near the Saltworks site, although they are not nearly quite as walkable to the site as new housing would be to the Googleplex.

But I believe you are incorrect about Saltworks including "substantial office space". Where what is your source? The project description on the website says:
The 50/50 Plan dedicates 50 percent of the Saltworks site for open space, recreation including Bayside Park and restored habitat uses. The remaining 50 percent includes a planned Transit Oriented Community with a range of housing choices, schools, parks, professional offices, retail, and transit facilities.

'Professional offices' is the planning/zoning term for doctors/dentists/real estate offices. I don't believe the Saltworks plan includes any corporate office/R&D space.

Furthermore, you are still way off on your comparison of the scale of Saltworks residential development vs. what's proposed for North Bayshore in the MV GP Update. I conceded my mistake - will you concede yours?







Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

The saltworks plan does contain substantial office space, for literally thousands of workers. I am correct. I'm certain that anyone who has been following this for the past few years is aware of this fact.

The fact that the RWC project is larger than whats being discussed in MV is not all that material. Both will have massive impacts on traffic-- based on current traffic loads, I'd bet the bigger potential problem lies in MV. In concert with the density changes put forward for El Camino and Whisman, the impact expands. It is hypocritical to explore massive density that suits your interests while telling others they shouldnt even STUDY the same.


Posted by Check your facts, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Eric, the thousands of additional workers proposed in the Saltworks plan must be a well-kept secret if the project's own website makes no mention of them. Again, what is your source? Just clinging stubbornly to your own past recollections?

Saying that the transportation impacts of 25,000 new residents (for Saltworks) verus perhaps a few thousand new residents in North Bayshore is immaterial is pretty questionable. But I will agree that the environmental impacts of both should be studied. They will be - both plans will have an EIR prepared - and the Saltworks plan will turn out to much worse because of all the filling of salt ponds (i.e., the Bay) that it would involve. Perhaps that's why 80+ leaders from nine counties signed on to the letter about the Saltworks.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm

check, the letter was in opposition to even conducting an EIR. On the office space, if you do more research than just looking at a website, you'll find the info. It is a fact.


Posted by Sam Shoreline, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm

A "Google Giga-Plex" sounds an awful lot like a "company town". What happens when the company hits difficult times, or simply chooses to change where or how it does business?

And, face it, if mixing housing and commercial development was really desirable, they'd be doing it in LA Hills, Atherton, and Hillsboro.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Sam Shoreline says:
"And, face it, if mixing housing and commercial development was really desirable, they'd be doing it in LA Hills, Atherton, and Hillsboro."

Yeah, that's really foolproof, unbiased logic speaking here. Downtown Palo Alto (with its mix of commercial, retail, and homes and condos) must really be undesirable, given the $1-2 million+ prices of homes there. That developer who's proposing a 30+ story residential building right next to the TransAmerica pyramid in San Francisco must be banking on the undesirability of mixing housing and commercial development. Manhattan... Boston... Italian hill towns... all evidence that mixing the two is undesirable. Only Los Altos Hills, Atherton and Hillsborough must be right.







Posted by Martin Omander, a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Some of us think many people would be fine with living next to low office buildings, and would actually like living within walking distance of grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. Others think people would not like to live in this sort of area.

How about lifting the ban on building housing in the area and let it play out? If proponents of mixed-use development are right, developers will build and residents will move in. If they are wrong, neither will happen. Major investment of our tax payer money (for public transport, schools, etc) can wait until there is a critical mass of residents in the area.


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