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Original post made
on Dec 6, 2010
VTA guidelines supported by all 15 cities in Santa Clara County call for such densities within one-third mile of a regional transit center in an effort to meet housing demand while encouraging transit use.
ENCOURAGING, it should be FORCING transit use which is currently a failure due in no small part to the Cal Train and its Highspeed (lowspeed) idiotic plans.
VTA does not LIVE in Mountain View, they can go out of business, the sooner the better.
Come now around 25-35 acres per unit wouldn't be unreasonable. 15 units is kinda low for the location.
This will go down as a lost opportunity for the council to promote smart growth near transit and downtown.
The Project request is LEGAL and cannot be denied via due-process. Given the riff raff in the current council one should not be surprised at illicate promotion that can be show as not legal.
My concern is the "7300 sq/ft of common space." This is slightly more than 1/8 of an acre. Not much playspace for 65 potential families.
The city councils practice of accepting in lieu fees instead of building more parks is short sighted and downright stinks. Mountain View has a tremendous park system, but that will not continue if the city constantly accepts paltry sums of money instead of fulfilling the need for accompanying open space on these large residential developments.
"While Minton's isn't going to be much taller at two- to four-stories in height"
Minton's will actually be 4 1/2 stories - the underground parking is not completely underground. It seems like 4 1/2 stories is 50% taller than 3 stories.
The "mass transit" in that area is a bit of a joke. I wanted to take 12 people to HP Pavillion and checked on prices. CalTrain had an OK schedule and would only take about twice as long as car, but would cost $102 per their web site. Light Rail runs often, but would take a LONG time, and still cost $48. Two minivans and the price is $25 with parking and gas, and it's much the fastest.
If mass transit isn't organized and priced to do the things people want and need, it will never succeed, no matter how much tax money is poured into it.
Completely agreed with Sean. The City Councils only have $$$ in their eyes.
Re: Rich's comment that "the 'mass transit' in that area is a bit of a joke" -- actually, the transit vs. auto comparison you've used is really the joke.
First of all, how typical is it for anyone to be bringing TWELVE people at a time on any trip? - and should that really be the basis for comparison? How about comparing a trip by a family of 3 (two parents and a child), which is surely a much more common circumstance for people going to an event at the HP Pavilion?
In this case, taking Caltrain costs a total of $21 (2 adult round trips @ $8.50 + 1 youth round trip @ $4.00). Parking for most events at HP Pavilion is $20/car (see the schedule of events at the following site which lists the parking charges: Web Link), plus add a few dollars for gas. According to Google Maps, travel by Caltrain to HP Pavilion takes approx. 32 minutes, while driving takes about 18. So for this much more common example, taking the train matches well on price and takes about 14 minutes longer. You can certainly burn an extra 10 minutes waiting to get out of the parking lots and congestion around the Pavilion after the event. To me, this sounds pretty close to a wash. If that child is 4 or under, they travel for free with an adult - making the train the cheaper option.
You may argue that you can find cheaper parking for Pavilion events by parking farther away. And this is true -- but you need to add an extra 5-10 minutes walking to and from your car to make a fair comparison.
Perhaps you have also factored in the time it takes you to drive to Mountain View Station from your home. The point here is that by approving more housing very close to the train station, you're putting more people in the position where they don't need to drive to the station, and taking the train or light rail or bus becomes a competitive option. Why would you want to prevent that?
The parking garage on San Pedro St is free. In 12 years I have never paid for parking for an event at the HP Pavilion.
Also Caltrain only runs once an hour in the evening, so your trip home will be on average 1/2 hour + 32 minutes = 62 minutes which is over 4 times as long.
Actually, the parking garage at Market and San Pedro is only free from 6am to 6pm. The City has been charging a $3 flat rate after 6PM, seven days a week, for several years now. (See Web Link)
So MS, you have either not been to an event at the Pavilion in quite a while, or you have only been going to daytime events.
And if you've been parking in free areas for Pavilion events, that extra 5-10 minute walk on each end needs to be factored into the equation.
Mountain View needs to work on getting some community spirit. Building homes isn't going to cut it. Why not build something for the community? I've lived here a long time and don't recall Mountain View ever giving anything back to it's citizens, yes, I went there.
Who in h*ll is the VTA to dictate housing density to anyone. A bunch of faceless bureaucrats who think they know the answers to all our problems. Look at the fine job they've done running transit, their only real job. The busses are great, you can enjoy the entire day just getting across town. Never tried light rail, but every time I see one go by it's empty. Anyone for another sales tax increase? I promiss it'll expire in just 6 more years. Let LOCAL, ELECTED government decide local issues. Increasing Mountain View density benefits no one except the developer and city employees. We already have one of the highest densities, if not the highest on the peninsula. Quality of life has declined steadily as the population has increased. Perhaps Los Altos would be interested in some growth.
you know what keep it at 15 units per acre. Maybe take out one building next to the park to make it a bigger park. We should rather try to have these building have a leed status.
Heres a good feature to add.
perhaps incorporate the Rainwater hog inbetween a wall connect it to the plumbing to water plants and flush toilets and switches to municipal water when it runs out with no active fuss of the future homeowner.
Another is pervious concrete.
it reduces storm water runoff the would send contaminates into the bay and is proven to reduce the heat island effect. I really hope it gets considered in many new mountain view projects.
I smoke. I can smoke in my car. Back when there were smoking cars, I rode trains all the time. No more. One out of six adult Americans smokes cigarettes. We are going to flex our muscles and take our money away from venues where we are not welcome.
@reasonable comparison - right, $3, not free. Still a long ways from the $20 that you claim.
@reasonable comparison :
$21 - train tickets
5m - walk from residence to Caltrain
30m - average wait time for train (trains every hour)
32m - trip time
5m - walk from Caltrain to HP Pavilion
total 72m -
144m (x 2 return trip)
Car : $3 + 6$ (gas) = $9
14m - drive time
10m - walk from parking to HP Pavillion
x 2 48m - return trip
so $9 + 48m (car) vs. $21 + 144m (train)
Re: more reasonable comparison:
ummm.....travel by Caltrain to HP Pavilion takes approx. 32 minutes
I don't know about this route, but my route from MV to SSF would take an excess of 1 hour, there was a 10% chance of a 3 hour delay, and communication between the stations was really poor. I really doubt that Caltrain from MV to HP Pavilion would take 32 minutes.
....hmmmm an 5,000 gallon underground cistern is actually wiser than a water hog now than I think of it.
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