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8 Story Developments Coming Soon to Mountain View!!!!

Original post made by Jim Neal on Sep 25, 2013

If you weren't at last night's study session for the project at 801 El Camino Real, you missed a very informative meeting. Last night, many of us were shocked to learn that although we had been led to believe that Rose Market would have a place to operate during the construction, they will not! Rose would have to shut down it's operations for at least 18 months and maybe several years if this project goes forward as currently planned.

We also learned from one member of the City Council that we are very fortunate that the developer only chose to build a 4 story building because the general plan calls for 8 story buildings the entire length of El Camino Real! Just imagine that! Soon we can be just like San Francisco and Manhattan!

Can't you just smell the fumes from the gridlock? Or visualize the bicycles dodging cabs as both race to get to their destinations in a landlocked city with 5 times the population it should have?

And don't worry about getting a tan if you spend most of your time in Mountain View, with buildings that tall, you'll never even see the sun, even if you live 3 to 4 blocks away in your single family home!

And all the pesky little neighborhood shops? GONE!!! Replaced by great, big brick and mortar big box stores like IKEA!!! You may eventually have to live in an 8x8 cell in a massive development, but hey, when you go to those huge stores, you'll shop all day just to be somewhere that is larger than a phone booth!

Ah, progress!

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

Comments (17)

Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Correction, that should be 801 Castro St

Posted by Sane, a resident of Gemello
on Sep 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Hyperbole anyone?

Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

No, just sarcasm! You were close though. :)

Posted by MC, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm

IKEA won't fit in that space. please write the News or make an Editorial

Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 26, 2013 at 9:14 am

I like how council has taken to essentially threatening those who speak publicly with concerns over Greystar's development proposal for the corner of Castro Street & El Camino effect saying; it could be worse, this area has been slated for building heights of up to EIGHT be good little residents, go back to your homes and let the adults (aka council) destroy Mountain View in peace.

Not going to happen...the residents of Mountain View are paying attention and are not willing to surrender their city to wholesale development without a fight. (Not literally fisticuffs, but standing up for ourselves as residents, tax payers and voters.)

Bring it.

Jim Neal...will you be running for city council next election?

Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@MC I never said that IKEA was going to go into the space at 801 Castro, if that is what you mean. I was making a comment based on the fact that all of El Camino Real is zoned for 8 story buildings, so I'm sure an Ikea could fit somewhere. Also, I said that my comments were sarcastic, meaning that they are not meant to be taken literally. I fail to understand why people are focusing on irrelevant matters such as the style I choose to use, rather than debate the ideas involved. If you want more high density housing, fewer cars, or skinnier streets just say so.

@mvresident67 I do indeed plan to run again next year! I want to make history by being the first ever Black person to be elected to City Council in Mountain View! I know it won't be easy because the anonymous personal attacks have already begun, but I hope that I will have the support of enough people that are tired of special interests dividing our city.

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Slater
on Sep 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm

It's true that councilman Kasperzak went on about how the City's General Plan would allow buildings to be built up to 8 Stories on El Camino and to have a FAR of 3.0 (A density figure)in glowing terms.

IMO,the FAR compares unfavorable to the surrounding neighborhood which has an average FAR of no more than .75. When everything is built to these standards up and down the full length of EL Camino, this will turn El Camino Real into a Concrete Canyon an urban jungle. If you want to see the current city councils vision for El Camino in Mountain View, I suggest you go to Fayette Dr. at San Antonio Road ( The main entrance to San Antonio Center or the Village as it's now called). You will find yourself with the look and feel of El Camino that your City Council is shooting for. I suppose there are certain types of people who like that Big City look but as far as I'm concerned it is soul-less modern Blah.

Now I guess if you want Mountain View turned into Manhattan light you might like this kinda look with all those crowds and the associated traffic jams, overcrowded schools, and over crowded parks. However there are implications to this much development which has the potential at 8 stories high to push the population of Mountain View to 200,000 people. I figured at 4-6 stories you could see a doubling of the population but with 8 Stories all along El Camino the population could nearly triple.

The Citizens of Mountain View have a decision to make and that's whether they aspire to be a large, dense, over populated, over developed city with a very urban way of life with lots of nomadic people who don't plan to develop roots in the community. Or do they want to try and hang onto the small city charm, character and suburban life style and grow long term citizens with roots in the community who would actually value the community because it is unique and not just like any other town. I have relatives in Roseville and most of that town is modern, bland, generic, vanilla, corporate wasteland. All they have there are corporate chains they have very few unique character filled businesses or buildings.

Posted by Ilya, a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm

I have already seen Castro get way too crowded over the past three years. There's not even sufficient space for parking any more. It really is starting to feel like Manhattan (I know - I used to live there). This is a really bad direction and we residents of Mountain View need to fight it to keep Mountain View a nice place to live.

Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 27, 2013 at 8:40 am

Dear Mr. Neal,

While I understand your humor, I seriously doubt that there are many spots where an 8 story building will fit on ECR. As a retired city planner (from another city) , there are plenty of other restrictions (parking, open space, setbacks, etc., ...) that will make it impossible to fit such a building on the small lots along ECR. Perhaps the SE corner of ECR where there is a bank and a huge parking lot.

Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 27, 2013 at 11:07 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Political Insider - I hope that you are right. There is nothing more that I would love than to be proven wrong about this and for Mountain View to still be the town with the small town feel and the strategically placed big city amenities that I fell in love with... although I might be willing to compromise if they made Rose market 8 stories! ;)

Posted by Flava Dave, a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Flava Dave is a registered user.

A small group of rabid fans for one particular market is going to have to give way to the perceived needs of larger parties. Same as anything else that happens within the sphere of public amenities/spending/taxing/yadda

Posted by Linda, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm


You certainly have a way with words. Too bad your delightfully funny sarcasm hits on the ugly truths we are facing now in MV. But we can change it. I'll vote for you for City Council in 2014!!! Keep up the good work.

Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I agree with Linda...2014 cannot come soon enough. Although, I am more than a little concerned about how much damage the current city council may do to the residents of Mountain View, prior to having the opportunity to vote certain council members OUT of office.

13 months is a LONG time from now.

Posted by C Thru it, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm

We must all work together to delay approval on all the huge plans that will destroy the astmosphere we love so much in MV. Aim most at the worst of them, like 801 and 1101 ECR! And not only astmosphere in the way of the charm of the little city we fell in love with before the ugly, boxy, stack & pack jammed against the quietest little areas, but also atmoshere as in the air we brethe, as it will be dirty with dust and dirt from all the big and deep construction. Everyone read: "Behind the Green Mask" and also: "UN Agneda 21" by Dr. Paugh. Both tell what's happening here and why. Then let's get organized to not lose all our rights and freedoms. Delay all the projects we can until our new candidates have won (be sure to step up and help those who will help us) and ARE SEATED. Be sure to weigh in on what we like and don't like with the currents council (for the record) and with our new (real) representatives in Nov. 2014 to be actually represented. We can begin a two year process to remove MV from the list of cities that do as the UN dictates. Help research how to begin that process and let's get going!

Posted by Mary, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm

@Political Insider I don't think Parking, Open Space or Setbacks are keeping Greystar which is doing the development at 801 W. ECR from doing what they want.

They have (right now) proposed 319 bedrooms, but only 152 parking places. That after proposing far more bedrooms and far fewer spaces. And Greystar wants to decouple parking from the units.. because they say "that is the industry standard." Which means tenants, their guests, employees of the retail establishments, and customers, will park all over the neighborhoods.

It will be Art and Wine fest.. 24/7 year round. With people driving around circling looking for parking.

And the developer proposes that we all pay the city for parking permits to park at our homes.. In other words: we should subsidize his profits because he doesn't want to put in adequate parking for his development. He needs 450-650 and is putting in 250 total.

The Mountain View Voice reported that only a dozen (implication: crazy) residents cared or were attending meetings so far, but in fact I counted over 40 residents who are unhappy with that development at each of the Greystar community meeting and at the Planning Commission exploratory meetings over the past three weeks. I could not attend the Council meeting due to a conflict.

However, the Chase Bank will have a big apartment complex with many units, retail and some parking (whatever they can get away with.

The result will be like the Minton apartments down on Evelyn: residents around there are parked in, constantly have people circling, in the residential blocks behind, and while that development was approved with one spot per bedroom, when they built it, they did 1.5 BR per spot.. Those residents feel screwed.

Think again if you think the Council won't roll over for each new development (801 W ECR, the Chase Bank Parking, and then, the car wash at Shoreline and ECR at the other end of the block.)

Good by parking at your house, having air and light, and having a traffic flow that moves. ECR is going to two lanes in each direction. Get ready for big smog.

Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 30, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Mary: "And the developer proposes that we all pay the city for parking permits to park at our homes.. In other words: we should subsidize his profits because he doesn't want to put in adequate parking for his development. He needs 450-650 and is putting in 250 total."

>>> Why does this not surprise me...that the developer is proposing that the residents pay the city for parking permits in order to be allowed to park in front of their own homes? That is disgusting, truly.

Frankly, I am thoroughly disgusted with how our city council has responded to Mountain View RESIDENTS requests, suggestions, pleas for temperance, etc. and are now employing defacto threats and bullying tactics to try and shut people up. Why bother with an EPC if council has no intention to follow any of the recommendations? What's the point of any of this crap, if none of it will make any difference in the end?

Absolutely despicable, and should be criminal.


Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 30, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Mary: "Think again if you think the Council won't roll over for each new development (801 W ECR, the Chase Bank Parking, and then, the car wash at Shoreline and ECR at the other end of the block.)"

>>> You know what's funny about your comment about the development of the Chase Bank location?

When that future development of the Chase site was brought up in front of city council (during public comments regarding the proposed Castro Street "road diet") at one point Ms. Abe-Koga interjected and asked if council had heard anything about any development proposal for the Chase location and then shrugged her shoulders, seeming to indicate that she had absolutely NO IDEA that the Chase Bank corner has been designated a "change area" and as such is slated to be RE-developed in accordance with the city's "visionary plan" for the future of Mountain View. Oh, and, when the city staffer who cooked up the Castro Street "road diet" scheme - in order to grab grant money which is in large part contingent on REDUCING VEHICLE EMISSIONS at schools - was asked if the traffic impact from 801 Castro Street had been factored into his "road diet" proposal, his answer was "No, because..." And since city council seems to be in the dark about the future plans for the Chase bank location, we can only assume that planning for the traffic impact created by the hundreds of additional residential units dumping on to Castro Street from the Chase Bank location certainly has not, nor will not be factored in to ANY traffic studies...and most certainly will NOT be in play when the city moves forward with the Castro Street "road diet"

I am still wondering how vehicle emission reduction going to happen when you are adding hundreds of residential units less than 60 yards from said school? Oh,'s not about reducing vehicle emissions, is it? And, claiming that a "road diet" is the best and ONLY way to enhance the safety of children near the school during that combined 1.5 hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year...that's misguided, at best. I used to think council and staff deserve the benefit of the doubt, but I am coming to believe that much of what goes on inside city hall is despicable and certainly not representative of what I expect and the residents of Mountain View deserve from those who serve at the pleasure of the voters.

I have begun to make inquiries in legal circles in order to find out what, if any, legal recourse might be available to aggrieved Mountain View residents.

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