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Original post made
on Sep 23, 2011
It will be good to have a living neighborhood there instead of the empty and ghostly office occupying the site now. The new units will be very livable too; within walking distance to San Antonio Shopping Center and to the Caltrain station.
I'm glad to see the new parkland, the copious tree planting, and the pedestrian tunnel under Central Expressway. These are all welcome additions.
But this is a significant missed opportunity to make better use of this land. A huge, prime parcel, directly across from a Caltrain station, and the best we can do is 3-story residences? The reduced unit count (half of the original proposal) and the very high end orientation (large units at $900k+ a pop) mean this will generate very few transit riders. So we had a great chance to generate new riders for Caltrain and give a lot more people the option to live a more sustainable lifestyle (relying on transit and walking for many of their trips) and we've missed the boat.
When a project is approved and all you've got is patting on the back and smiles by the NIMBY neighbors, you know the greater good has been sacrificed.
Martin: Great, I can't wait until you move in since you seem to like it so much.
OMV Resident: If you want the density of Manhatten, why are you still complaining and living in Old Mountain View full of single family homes with good size lots?
I'm all for the NIMBY attitude, since it's much easier to tell other people how they should live.
I like that you've fallen into the two of the most common false arguments in this debate, in one short post.
The first is the 'If you want density like Manhattan/San Francisco/fill-in-the-blank city, why don't you live there?' The MIRNA NIMBYs loved to use this to claim that the 2 to 4-story Minton's project was going to 'block out the sun' of the neighborhood. The hyperbole here is unbelievable. There's a huge gap between what was approved on this site (3 stories) and Manhattan and SF (20, 30 or 50-story buildings in places). I would have liked to see more 4 to 5 story buildings (as originally proposed) and perhaps even some 6 to 8 story buildings along Central. A much more efficient use of the site, far more sustainable in terms of carbon footprint, and still NOTHING like Manhattan.
The second fallacy is to characterize Old Mountain View as being full of single-family homes with large lots. Yes, that's the largest land use by acreage, but there are easily as many residents in apartments and condominiums in OMV as single-family homes. And I live in one of them. I chose OMV because of the proximity to the train, the walkability, and the proximity to Castro Street. I feel fortunate that there were enough non-NIMBYs in around 1965 to permit the apartment building that I live in to be built amongst the single-family homes. It's just a shame that more people aren't able to live the sustainable OMV lifestyle, because the NIMBYs are so loud and effective at shouting down development above 2 or 3 stories.
Well, I'm glad you feel fortunate living the way you want with your vision of how it should be, but you are arguing for hypothetical residents that don't live here by calling actual resident that do live here NIMBYs. The approved project listened to the voice of residents and constituents and not the pipe dream of people, er, well, you know, who just know better and want to tell every one else how they ought to be living.
Eeesh. There goes the Monta Loma neighborhood charm.
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