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Council OKs growing bill for housing project

Original post made on Mar 9, 2011

The City Council on Tuesday approved an additional city subsidy of up to $4.4 million for a 51-unit affordable housing project downtown that was approved last year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 5:43 PM

Comments (10)

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Posted by Know-It-All
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm

According to N.Y. Times Style Guide, "Council OK's growing bill..." should be "Council OKs growing bill..."


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Posted by DCS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm

@Mr. Debolt - Don't put words in other people's mouths, the design DID NOT appease the neighbors of this project.


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Posted by WhatIsWrongWithSacramento?!
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 9, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Arguments for and against this project aside, what in the hell is the logic behind rewarding cities that provide greater subsidies for affordable housing? Shouldn't they be encouraging private investment? I'd rather the state reward those projects that are able to pull off affordable housing with LESS city money!


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Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Mountain View Voice Editor
on Mar 10, 2011 at 10:09 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

@Know-it-all:
Thanks for catching the errant apostrophe. You're absolutely correct, it's a typo and it should read OKs. It's fixed now.


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Posted by OMV resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm

@DCS - Based on your comments here and on the article a few days ago, it seems pretty clear that your true concerns about this project are not about the design, nor the philosophy of BMR housing, but the impact (real or perceived) that this development has on your own wallet. You complain that the development was not disclosed to you when you bought your unit, and wish you could sue the seller's agent.

While I don't want to sound unsympathetic - I too have worked my entire life (starting at age 12 with a paper route and lawn mowing and going from there) so I know where you're coming from on saving - I have to wonder about the due diligence involved in your unit purchase. The City has talked about locating a BMR development on this site since at least 2005/2006, and had an affordable housing study done before that in 2002 that may have discussed this site. In addition, you had to look at the large, vacant, City-owned lot next door, with very temporary-looking signs on it, and figure that something would be built there sooner rather than later.

It also seems questionable to claim that this one pending development solely or mainly caused the drop in prices in your development - given what has happened to the overall economy and the real estate market the past few years, plus the uncertainty about high-speed rail nearby.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I work hard, and I totally deserve to live in Woodside. I wonder if they have BMR housing available. Nothing fancy, perhaps just a small cottage. Or maybe they recognize stupidity when they see it.


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Posted by DCS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm

@OMV - I was a first-time home buyer, I had no idea who to talk to regarding development of the parking lot. I read through the 3 inches of documents that were given to me when purchasing (I was given 3 days only), and there was nothing in it that mentioned BMR, including all of the HOA documents from the last 5 years. I called the agency that manages the complex and they had no knowledge of the project either. Obviously I assumed that if anything was going to be built on that property I would have time to sell my unit and leave. In addition, there is a question on the disclosure documents, "is there anything that is going to be built nearby that could POTENTIALLY lower your property values." This was marked no, and there were no additional comments on the matter.

It never in a million years occurred to me that someone in this day and age would build a low income housing project, really the only development that sounds resonable to me is mixed housing - senior/low-income/regular. It seems archaic and overly-harsh to neighbors and the people living in the development to have a stigma of living in low-income housing attached to them.

When offers are rescinded because BMR was disclosed, and the seller accepts a lower offer, this directly lowers the price of other peoples condos in our community.

I hope this offers you some insight into what was going on at our little community.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm

@DCS I understand your concerns, but I own property within a block of this development and I don't think that this BMR proposal or development has or is going to negatively impact our property values. The problem with property values is a national / international one with complex causes tied to a global real estate bubble. MV has been lucky it has not been hit harder. Unfortunately, condos tend to fall even more in a down market than do single family homes, so that is probably what you have experienced. On the other hand, I think this is a great location to own and the prices will rebound.


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Posted by DCS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm

@Neighbor - I hope you are right, and I hope the decline in our property values is temporary, but the facts are this:

offers have been rescinded because of BMR, and this lead to lower property sales, which lowers the property values of other condos in the complex.

Our property values have already taken a hit because of BMR, if BMR doesn't get built, I really don't have much hope that our values will normalize. In conclusion, I don't tihnk it matters either way if it gets built.


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Posted by curious
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

This is truly amazing. The City is running a $3 million deficit next year but the Council is spending like $4.4 million is nothing. They even promise to spend more if the developer asks for it. These people with the exception of Mr. Inks who voted against this give drunken sailors a bad name.


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