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Milk pail deal goes sour

Original post made on Jul 7, 2014

It didn't last long. Following the last-minute deal announced July 2 between developer Merlone Geier and Milk Pail Market owner Steve Rasmussen to save the Milk Pail, Merlone Geier rescinded the offer the next day, putting the future of the popular European-style market in jeopardy.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 7, 2014, 2:00 PM

Comments (78)

Posted by Vote da bums out..., a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Geez our city council is a case study in incompetence. I say vote all incumbents out in the next election! SMART growth.


Posted by Bovine Intervention, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Milk FAIL.


Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Stupid MG- The council indicated to all at the July 1st meeting that approval was coming as soon as the precise plan for San Antonio is roughed out, which they are doing in a study session tomorrow night (6:30 PM at the Senior Ctr.) which is exactly only one week later.

I hope the City makes their approval somehow contingent upon restoring the deal that MG dangled in bad faith.

That's so like developers. Everyone was singing their praises last week, what with the commitment to turn at least one of the office towers into apartments and the happy Milk Pail News (of last week), and approval was coming, but they played their deal withdrawal card. Well, they better put it back


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

Seems to me someone already mentioned this would happen...

and mentioned that at the July 1 meeting council member Kasperzak made special effort to go over the fact that the NEW phase 2 plan's approval being requisite to Milk Pail getting that parking....

and previously there was the implication that the earlier approved version of Phase 2 would have a giant wall that kills Milk Pail for all intents and purposes.

Now some folks are surprised? So many assumptions when you already had the answers.


Posted by UC Davis Grad, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jul 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm

So we have yet another case of a sleazebag developer showing off their true colors.

What else is new, really?


Posted by Balance, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 7, 2014 at 4:21 pm

MG knows that if Siegel gets what he wants with the office building conversion to housing, then he won't push a referendum to block approval. MG feels he doesn't need MIlk Pail to move ahead.

Everyone that cares about MIlk Pail needs to ask Mr. Siegel to include this in his request or push ahead with the referendum.


Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 7, 2014 at 4:57 pm

For clarity for those of us who don't already know: That would be Lenny Siegel of "Balanced MV" not Jac Siegel of the MV City Council, of course.


Posted by Big Surprise, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Big surprise. The deal was contingent on approval and MG followed through with their part of the deal. Once they include housing, those that advocated it will provide cover to council members to support the project and MP will have no leverage with the council members that support the project.


Posted by Jes' Sayin', a resident of Bailey Park
on Jul 8, 2014 at 1:09 am

" Lenny Siegel of the Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View called the deal with the Milk Pail was political posturing by Merlone Geier to try and get phase two development of the San Antonio shopping center passed by the City Council that night. He said Merlone Geier thought attaching the Milk Pail deal would garner enough council member votes to pass.

"To me, this letter was a political faux pas," Siegal said. "

Funny how the spelling of his name changes from paragraph to paragraph...


Posted by Unfortunately, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jul 8, 2014 at 1:03 pm

It's unfortunate that the hubbub about Milk Pail is diverting residents (and council?) from a really important discussion about how this property should be developed. The housing vs. office (vs. slow down, vs. just stop) deliberation is important for the future of Mountain View, and it's concerning that decisions (and publicity) that hinge on the fate of Milk Pail are burying a much more important debate.

For that reason, I wish Milk Pail were a lower profile part of this equation. I recognize it may stand for "small business owners being replaced by bigger $$$ businesses", but it's really just a small produce market that occupies a miniscule section of this land. Yes, Milk Pail may be loved by its loyal and vocal customers, but there are many other places to buy produce in Mountain View, and the overwhelming majority of residents buy from those other locations.

If Mountain View makes a poor long term decision, or uses a misguided process for decision-making on this property due to the fate of Milk Pail, it would be a sad day for our town.


Posted by traffic-mess-MV, a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2014 at 1:15 pm

@Unfortunately has done a great service by pointing out what is
important in the discussion about development in Mountain View.
@Unfortunately is absolutely correct (see the previous post)!!!
The Milk Pail is really clouding the most important issue that MV
is facing.

The real issue is: Out-of-control office-development is turning
MV into a traffic-mess we have never seen before! Please focus on this
issue.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Our city council looks more and more every day like a bunch of suckers. First, the group that built the WhatsApp building FLAGRANTLY ignores a requirement for retail space (no doubt they never had any intention to do so), and now this.

I do not get it. Insane levels of development in North Bayshore-- which, given the Special Tax district, has virtually no value to MV residents. Street clogging development everywhere and zero-ZERO- commitment to infrastructure upgrades. Trying to "solve" an impossible REGIONAL jobs-housing imbalance. Los Altos and Palo Alto can enjoy the higher quality of life afforded by the "imbalance" so long as we take on the traffic and strain on schools.

We will be paying for this council's passive approach for decades. They all seem to like slapping their name on plaques for new bike bridges and such. Lets all name our favorite stretch of street with choking traffic after your favorite council person!


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm

PS-- @unfortunately's comment is SPOT ON.


Posted by Sylvie, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I don't agree that the Milk Pail is just a distraction. To me, if this is how the developer treats a local business that is clearly highly valued by the community, it's an indicator of their lack of responsiveness to the community's needs and wishes in general. It's an indicator of their willingness (or not) to negotiate fairly and reasonably and to use ethical business practices. The Milk Pail controversy has really soured me on the developer and I think it's a huge red flag for the city to take into account.


Posted by Dennis, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Stop all you cry babies. If you don't want Mountain View to grow then it will stay the attraction that all it could get years past, i.e. Walmart, ethnic alley down Castro and small dinosaur businesses such as the Milk Pail that have littered California avenue. Look, get the Milk Pail out of there, it really isn't the issue at all, only a thorn, and help to develop Mountain View into a world class high tech city it is destined to be if only we go forward and deal with the issues of a growing city, like housing and roads, instead of backwards people and outdated eye sores like the Milk Pail.


Posted by MV since 1980, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm

This city council needs to be replaced completely.


Posted by Alex M, a resident of Willowgate
on Jul 8, 2014 at 4:16 pm

The city council's approval of phase 2 should have a condition attached that MG and Milk Pail come to terms, not the other way round with the deal between MG and Milk Pail conditional on the council's approval.


Posted by UC Davis Grad, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jul 8, 2014 at 4:37 pm

@Dennis -- Stop shilling for MG. Unless, of course, they're paying you those 30 pieces of silver you took to sell your soul...


Posted by tommygee54, a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Sounds like a soap opera story line to me. And in the end whom will come outn on top. I see a few cliffhangers in the making!!!!


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm

@Alex M,

At the EPC meeting to review Phase 2, it was made clear to Merlone Geier that the City could legally make approval of Phase 2 contingent upon Merlone Geier's negotiating in good faith.

I therefore expect to see a Milk Pail deal before it' all over.


Posted by Fred Flintstone, a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm

You're kidding?

"Phase two of the controversial development project includes two office buildings that would add as many as 2,500 office workers to the city"

It takes a couple of cycles of the lights on San Antonio ALREADY just to get from California to El Camino. Trying to turn left onto California from 101 is a mess too. Just think what 2500 more cars will do to this!!!!

I say don't allow any new building and make the area a park with a shared parking lot for the Milk Pail market.


Posted by Del Medio Resident, a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:09 pm

How crowded will it be on San Antonio Road when Google finishes and occupies the old Mayfield Mall site? Does anyone in the City Council drive in this part of town?

Do we really need more $15 hamburgers and $4 coffees from places that have to over charge to afford the silly rent? What will they do, charge $50 for movies that are going out of fashion?

I also vote for no new buildings. Make a school or something else and give the Milk Pail more parking.


Posted by kathy, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:13 pm

The old Safeway should become a European market with Milk Pail being the main anchor store similar to French Market in Chicago, it is a great idea... Web Link




Posted by gridlock-MV, a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm


Replace phase 2 with: (1) a park (2) a school and (3) common sense .

Stop the traffic gridlock -- it is already unbearable.


Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:39 pm

People coming out tonight for the Study Session of San Antonio, please likewise ask the council to do 801 ECR West in two phases also, so we can keep businesses like Rose Market, and hopefully also fit Gochi's Fusiion Tapas above Peet's. The current plan is to discontinue Peet's & Rose for two years, and Gochi's forever. This is unacceptable. (Even to you, Dennis, huh? Gochi's is cutting edge, enough even for you, Dennis? And stop hating on the Milk Pail, it's fresh food at affordable prices. We love our character shops and places. If you want uniform high rise, there are lots of other cities.)

6:30 PM 266 Escuela Ave. (The Senior Ctr.)


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm

@ Kathy

I wrote about an idea like that, Public Markets have offices and residential mix. Public Markets are useful, full of good food centered businesses, attractive for non food businesses due to the amount of people visit every day.

MG owns the property, they could built a large big box store with a brick wall facing Milk Pail, they don't even have to provide parking. Why would the city buy or give up a valuable corner to build a park. It is a shopping area, don't see what is a matter with office, theaters or even a hotel in a shopping center.

Old Safeway will become housing, some of the lots across the street from San Antonio Center is planning to become housing. A percentage of 2,500 workers will chose to near those offices, other who don't will also chose to live in the area that is being developed into a mixed use area. Shuttles from San Antonio Center, Google at 100 Mayfield, Phase 1 and 2 San Antonio Caltrain to other parts of Mountain View.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

"And stop hating on the Milk Pail, it's fresh food at affordable prices. "

uh huh.

Anyone who has been to milk pail knows sometimes its one or the other.

Worst corn I've even seen was at Milk Pail


Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

"Geez our city council is a case study in incompetence. I say vote all incumbents out in the next election! SMART growth."

You do realize there are no incumbents running in this election? They are termed out.

I wonder also why if someone doesn't really care what happens to the Milk Pail, why is it they are automatically a shill for Merlone Geier? People have opinions and they don't always agree with the vocal minority.

As for more offices, what are you all worried about? They're all going to ride their bikes and take Caltrain! Better order some more bikeshare bikes.

Oh wait, the bike company went bankrupt!


Posted by psr, a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Dennis, it's clear that you are either a recent resident or a MG employee.

Milk Pail is important to the people of this city. Calling it an eyesore does nothing to make your argument more sound. It just makes you sound like a drifter passing through that cares only about the bottom line and not about the character of the city.

As for eyesores, you have an interesting view of what constitutes one. Perhaps you missed the purple tower rising high at the corner of San Antonio and Fayette above the Starbucks. If that doesn't qualify as an eyesore in your book, you need a vision assessment.


Posted by Steve Rasmussen - Milk Pail, a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 9, 2014 at 7:35 am

@ Sparty

You've made occasional comments about the Milk Pail on various Voice blog pages.

I'd be glad to talk with you and your friend Dave would be welcome as well. Maybe we could meet over at the Dog Park?
My email is cow@milkpail.com

Hope to hear back,
thanks,
Steve


Posted by Susan, a resident of Castro City
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:10 am

Thank you "Unfortunately"! All can be accomplished if cool heads prevail. The Milk Pail is a small part of the equation. MG is not the evil developer they are portrayed to be. This is Silicon Valley. Things need to change. Traffic has been increasing since I moved here 27 years ago.

Please, everyone, calm down and quit being so factious! Fighting never does any good. I continue to wonder why so much fuss is being made over this project when I never heard a peep about the dozens of monstrous buildings going up all over town. It sounds like MG is a being made a scapegoat for all the other silent development.


Posted by Request, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:59 am

Dear MG Shills,

Your desire to stifle debate is a transparent attempt to shame MV citizens to allow Merlone Grier to ruin our city.

Please finish your project that is aligned with the precise plan and go away!

Sincerely,

An Authentic Mountain View Resident


Posted by PA Resident, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:05 am

This is only part of Phase 2, I will miss Milk Pail. I will also miss Bev Mo and know others will miss Ross and Joanne's. We are losing useful retail which will take more inconvenience and time for us to drive to find elsewhere. There is nothing useful replacing any of the useful amenities we have lost already and will lose when this goes through. How is that progress?


Posted by Progress, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

It is progress because these retail outlets do not serve enough customers, which is why they are being replaced. MP is not part of the development. They can stay where they are. They will just get surrounded and their customers will have a difficult time finding parking close by


Posted by Just Wait, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 11:17 am

The development is just moving too fast. Adding those 2 office towers with their 3500 employees, or even the 2500 that are claimed as the capacity, was a hugely bad idea. The hotel is not even needed. These were rash changes. The original stores would make more sense. We are losing retail at a fast clip in the city. Yes, adding an apartment building works in this area which can tolerate the height reasonably. It's good, but not enough housing. More benefit comes from eliminating the office towers. Isn't that the one thing of which we have plenty? Office space is getting top priority and the Shoreline area is already going to be way too much office capacity for the city.

SLOW DOWN.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Ross is moving over to Charleston Center, BevMo might stay within phase 2. don't see anything wrong with phase 2, couple of Mountain View firms have left for Santa Clara/San Jose due to the lack of office space.

Retail stores are leaving and we aren't getting the new ones like you see in new and updated shopping centers. No sense of clinging to the 1950's when people are in 21st century.

Mixed use is the way to, yes the office part can be shrunk or resigned to blend both housing and office. A hotel is needed which if built one of the more older ones will give way to housing.

Milk Pail needs parking but they aren't the only ones waiting for the uptick in customers and visitors to this part of Mountain View.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

>An Authentic Mountain View Resident


well la di da


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

There are more people at 24 hr in the middle of the night than there are at any time in Joanne... jus' saying.

for the we dont need another gym crowd


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

"@ Sparty
You've made occasional comments about the Milk Pail on various Voice blog pages.
I'd be glad to talk with you and your friend Dave would be welcome as well. Maybe we could meet over at the Dog Park?"

Sure but I get paid scale for appearances.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

Safeway still has about 3 years left on their lease of the old property. So someone would have to buy them out in order to build anything there.


Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 9, 2014 at 2:57 pm

The ability of this land to better serve more of us was far better when one could shop at Sears & buy: foot wear, eye wear. outerwear, underwear, baby wear, swimwear, cookware, Lands End garments, Craftman tools, carpeting, refrigerators, blinds, curtains, vacuums, exercise equipment, lawnmowers,and so much more, all while your car was being serviced.

And easily one could breeze through BevMo for max party supplies & booze, everything cheap & fun at Ross, + fresh healthy stuff to eat at Milk Pail. We did already have a Safeway across the street.

Really, how is this better to serve us?

More restaurants would be nice, but those could have been added to some of the parking lot space.

To stack it up high to the sky just adds too much to the traffic gridlock and removes the view of the beautiful mountains that those on California Street and beyond had always very much enjoyed.

It is not progress when the infrastructure cannot support what's happening: Still just one city library ($80 per yr. for a library card for MV residents at Los Altos libraries), rolling brown outs and water shortages even now, growing traffic gridlock worsening every day. Get real: Let it grow naturally, organically, as it always used to, at a rate that made sense for developing everything together to support it and not stomp on those owning property near these massive, monstrous, too big builds.


Posted by Charlene, a resident of Castro City
on Jul 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Charlene is a registered user.

@sparty, why are you being such a jerk? Go away!


Posted by traffic-sanantonio-MV, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm

The physical reality is San Antonio Road cannot handle
traffic from Phase-2 -- wishful thinking will only go so
far. Even 500 workers are too many... What happened to
common sense?

Phase-2 will never get built if sanity prevails.




Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

"To stack it up high to the sky just adds too much to the traffic gridlock and removes the view of the beautiful mountains that those on California Street and beyond had always very much enjoyed."

Traffic is a given assuming they fill office buildings but what views are being lost by people on California St?

The farm was there before the family split it up and part became retail, old mill and cars before The Crossings.

Realistically we've got fewer shopping centers/car than we did over the last 20-30-40 years. So unless you space them all out or start building on the bay side of freeways like a lot of other cities did it's always going to be a bigger and bigger mess especially if you add more housing.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

" Still just one city library ($80 per yr. for a library card for MV residents at Los Altos libraries), "

Seems that it was forgotten that Milpitas and Los Altos make the northern most cities that are a part of this library system. There has to be a cutoff somewhere... Gilroy to Los Altos is farther than Mountain View to Berkeley....

You can't just keep on adding adjacent cities to a library district forever. Especially if Mountain View isn't helping out with the Aug 27 2013 Measure A parcel tax.

And what does other cities' libraries have to do with Mt View anyway? Mt View chose to make anyone who lives in CA eligible to get a MV card.

I have library cards from San Mateo and Alamdea Co libraries--

The library district who runs the group of libraries that Los Altos is in chose to not let others participate... Compare your property tax statement to people who live in Los Altos..you won't see the same assessments.


Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 9, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

"your friend Dave"

I hope you were not referring to me? Sparty just likes rattling cages. You should ignore him like you ignore an annoying child. He's not my buddy.

I am frankly indifferent to the situation. It just bugs me how so many folks on town square automatically tag people as shills or employees of whoever they feel is the bad guy. They don't accept any opinion but their own.


Posted by m2grs, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm

@Dennis, you are right. Mountain View needs to move ahead.

@PA Resident, people of Palo Alto have repeatedly shot down numerous proposals for high-density apartments. It's so convenient for you to want Mountain View to shoulder the burden.

I don't see what's the difference in traffic trade-off if MG builds more shops with busier weekend and evening traffic, or office towers which will not have as much traffic in those times.

However I'd agree that the City should push MG to spend more money on infrastructure around the area. But choices of office towers vs. alternatives has nothing to do with it.

What if MG proposes include a 200-bed homeless shelter in the center? Huh? Maybe a drug rehab facility too? Would that satisfy the compassionate and self-righteous commentators and neighbors on this board?

It sure reduces the traffic, since most homeless people have no cars.



Posted by PA Resident, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm

mtgrs

You must mean someone else, I don't want more apartments, I want to keep the retail we have.

Palo Alto and Mountain View are "home ground" to me, I don't look at borders, I look to the local environs that I use all the time as my neighborhood. Both places are getting ruined. This was not the case in the 90s and early 2000s, something changed and our quality of life is the result.


Posted by homeless-shelters-phase2, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm


@m2grs -- you have a great suggestion.

Turning phase-2 into homeless shelters,
soup kitchens and rehab centers makes most
sense. It will truly represent the
compassionate side of humanity.

Traffic problem is solved as well.

Win-win. MG will get a nobel peace prize
for turning phase-2 into a ocean of humanitarian
service like no other.


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm

@Susan,

You said "MG is not the evil developer they are portrayed to be".

Check your facts! MG originally proposed a Santana Row like mixed use of retail and housing. After they got the go ahead,they told the City planers that they couldn't do a Santa Row type development. Naturally, The City planners approved the MG changes.

How much would it cost MG to allow the Milk Pail to rent 11 spaces? Remember, this is a $200 million deal. The Milk Pail parking needs is in the noise level.
Rational people would negotiate in good faith, make a deal, and go on with bigger issues. Not MG. They treated Barron's Plumbing poorly and have now turned their fangs on the Milk Pail.


Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Sparty- I like the idea of a homeless shelter, as I personally am trying to help several people who have lost their homes and apts. & are now living out of their cars. So there may still be cars among this population. How nice for them to sleep stretched out fully & have access to plumbing. These are not a bunch of losers or disreputable people; They are just suffering from the gentrification of this area. And a halfway house for drug addicts has to go somewhere. Might as well be here.

Also, Sparty, you misunderstood my comment about the library. I was pointing out the fact that the sole library in MV isn't growing as does the population of MV. The reference to the Santa Clara County Library District libraries, two of which are in Los Altos, was to point out that MV residents cannot expand their library usage to those libraries, even those very nearby, without paying. Again = lack of infrastructure in MV.


Posted by traffic-sanantonio-MV, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm


@Konrad
With all due respect...
The ELEPHANT in the room is the TRAFFIC.

Milk Pail has now become a distraction
because it is blinding otherwise reasonable
people from the real issue --
TRAFFIC.

Phase-1 does not compare to Santana Row --
the latter is a classy place.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

So how many MORE stores is Sears closing again this year?

And how is that directly attributable to M-G and how they have acted in Mountain View?

Sears has caused good old American Joes to lose their jobs by stocking junky Chinese made schlock. Craftsman tools aren't even made here anymore.

Are you going to buy Craftsman, Husky or Harbor Freight tools? All have the same warranty. But only one --sears-- is gouging people on the markup and ...STILL going out of business.

Places like Sears go out of business because for many people the junky level of quality isn't worth the bother. Remember Monkey Wards?

I appreciate the fact that your fathers all worked at Mountain View Buggy Whip and Asbestos, and tradition is important... but to keep harping on Sears???

Sears is gone. It's been that junky holding company that includes Kmart and lands end for nearly 10 years. Between Kmart and Sears, they've closed 300 or so stores in the last 3 1/2 years.

Let it go.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

", was to point out that MV residents cannot expand their library usage to those libraries, even those very nearby, without paying. Again = lack of infrastructure in MV."


No one who lives in Mt View paid the parcel tax. Not even since I posted that the first time.

If the library hasn't grown, then maybe we should cut the people we serve by about 30,000,000. No more library card unless you are a MV resident.

I can't say what high school teachers are doing...but if you've been to college in the last 20 years, libraries aren't of much use beyond kids books and a place to get free wifi.

its all about the lexis nexus or _____ service subscription and finding "scholarly papers" to download in PDF and cite. Any info over 3 years old gets you a "C" at best.


Posted by Dennis, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I have lived here since 1958, and yes, the Milk Pail is an outdated misplaced icon with the same ancient mentality that it's supporters think that it has any importance at all in the scheme of development. I am retired and have allegiance to nothing or no one except the United States of America and God Almighty, and the traffic problem and others can be worked out with leadership in the community that can see beyond their own sheltered backyards and lack of courage to change and move forward instead of stagnating in sentimentality and complaining about every little change that rocks their world of actually believing that the Milk Pail is really important to anyone.
Move on, move forward while Mountain View and Palo Alto at least have a chance at greatness. If not we will fall behind to the same complacency and lack of vision well represented in the government, both locally and in Washington.


Posted by m2grs, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

A lot of the comments remind me the saga of Pumpkin Patch at Grant road.

The previous owner for many years was kind enough to open the many acres of land every year as a pumpkin patch with kids rail and wagon rides and even mazes. When he died their daughters, who were seniors themselves, wanted to sell the land for home development.

The neighbors felt so entitled to continue the free use of the land they organized strong opposition to the sale, and even audaciously (or shamelessly) demanded the land to be converted to a demonstration farm and museum "to preserve the heritage of Mountain View".

Even a Communist country would not subject private property to such confiscation in the name of "common good". What were these people thinking?

Why don't they convert their own homes to museums, libraries, homeless shelters, etc.? Why it's always other people's property that they find useful for common good?


Posted by Troll Watch, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:40 pm

I think that Garrett and Sparty are the same person. Seriously - check their writing styles.

Trolls attempt to divert serious discussions into side issues, and often use gratuitous insults to provoke a distracting emotional response.

IMHO, the most valuable comments here have been from those who have pointed out that TRAFFIC is the real issue. 2500 new jobs? If City Council has "the brains that God gave little billy goats," they won't let this happen.

This should be a retail center, with at most 200 units of housing, no offices, no theater, no hotel.


Posted by Troll Watch, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Although, granted, their online personas are a little different. "Sparty" is meaner than "Garrett". Also, "Garrett" writes less intelligibly than "Sparty".


Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

Sears, as I understood it, wanted to stay, but lost their lease that they had had for 50 years. I loved that it was one story so I could always spot my shopping companions, should we become separated. Why can't they get their lease back so they could become the ground floor of some of this new stuff? It all rests on what the City of MV figures will pay more taxes to them.

I like that added restaurants, and hopefully the hotel will have a really fine one. Then dinner and a movie at the same place becomes a possibility.

With the Pumpkin Patch, couldn't this property have been purchased at the fair market price and then remain what it was? That would have produced less traffic than adding yet more and more housing. If a sufficient movement to convince the City of MV to invest in this had occurred, this might have been a possibility that would have certainly added more charm to our community than yet more houses.

If we can reduce the amount of jobs being added, as well as housing, then traffic won't increase as much. Simple. But would our city leaders ever pass up a chance for more tax base, no matter the cost to each of us in quality of life areas? No.


Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 10, 2014 at 10:35 am

Goodness- Dennis- Please, what is your definition of greatness for our city? An all high rise, sterile forest of offices & apts. with no retail to speak of, 'cuz it just looks too messy for your vision of clean glass & steel & pod cars?


Posted by m2grs, a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 11:52 am

@Linda Curtis,

So you think it is right for the city government to spend our residents' tax dollars to buy Pumpkin Patch at fair market price (i.e. bidding on an super expensive property), so that the few complaining neighbors can enjoy the peaceful farmland.

And in the same post you complain the city never pass up a chance to get more tax revenue.

Yeah, right.

Besides, what MG does to its tenants is their own business, and not yours. They have the freedom to maximize their profit from leases to the extend of the law. This is America, not Cuba, not Venezuela.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

With the high cost of land, the growth in population things change, before Phase 1 was built San Antonio Center was stuck in some back in time thing.

Mixed use is the future, offices, retail, housing, hotel and other uses that would tie the whole area together, not just developing the flavor of the month.


Posted by traffic-sanantonio-MV, a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 2:20 pm


First sit in the traffic on San Antonio Road before
making grandiose statements in support of development
like san antonio phase-1.

Phase-2 will 2500 more office goers on San Antonio Road
and then what.. add a traffic light every 100 feet?

Stop creating traffic mess to maximize profit -- this is
equivalent to trampling on civil rights.



Posted by OtherWay, a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm

if there are too many offices in MV and not enough houses, maybe we should try to get more offices where these drivers are coming from, instead of building more housing here in MV: In the morning, traffic flows from Milpitas, Fremont, Newark, and from up the peninsula down into SilVal. Maybe we should add offices 'there', and reduce the commute distances of these drivers...and 'encourage' MV companies to add employees in sites close to where they already live.

There are two ways to skin this cat, yes?.. Besides, land is cheaper acroos they and MV-MP-PA is notoriously high cost...

It is a regional problem, not MV-only, and the solution is also area-wide, not MV-only, or SAC Phase II only. In fact, overall, considering the whole of the bay area, houses and jobs balance..


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Having workers close to their jobs is good, mixed use with parks, stores, transit and everything around without the car. The idea is to create very few car trips or have them go to one place.

I am not saying Phase 2 is perfect, but do like the mixed use part of the development. Have one office build on the site is good, with smaller office buildings nearby, spaces for smaller businesses.

Did read that a few Mountain View companies left for other places because not enough space to grow. We do need housing in and around San Antonio Center.

Nobody likes traffic, I too hate traffic and I drive for a living. But if means having a job, then the traffic is worth it.


Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 10, 2014 at 3:57 pm

m2grs-

If the city bought anything, then everyone in the city, & beyond, could enjoy it. It's for everyone, not just the neighbors. This one was fun & cute especially for kids. It was great that the neighbors liked it, as usually that is the rub: Folks having fun can be an irritant to the adjacent properties. Too bad it is gone & wasted now.

With offices to go up right across the street from Phase 2, why would we need any right here? They are plenty more offices & more going up at Whizman and North of 101, at Century 16 Theaters when they are made Century 8 Theaters, etc. There aren't that many good places for additional housing to go, so why not make both towers for living in instead of working in.

In all 30K jobs!


Posted by psr, a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Linda is right. Paying fair market for the Pumpkin Patch (and using it for park or school) would have been the intelligent thing to do. Price is really not is big an issue as the fact that, as our city "planners" fail to actually do any planning, they continue to add people without infrastructure.

We do not have enough roads, schools or water to add all these new buildings. I would love to see some actual planning happen during all this, but I guess that's wishful thinking...


Posted by PA Resident, a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Mixed use is fair and makes sense if you are building on virgin land on the outskirts of a built up area say in south San Jose.

Unfortunately, San Antonio is not virgin land. There was and still is lots of useful retail for residents of the established area that surrounds it. Now we have a mixed use retail, but it is mixed use for whom? Yes, I can use the new Safeway, but I could have continued to use the old one, particularly if they had expanded it. But as for high end restaurants, I can only see myself using those for celebratory meals. Jewelry and beds, don't buy them very often on a weekly basis. What was there was useful and what is there now is only going to be useful to those who live there.

How can it be an improvement if I have to start driving further to get the items I need on a weekly basis.

The message this development is sending is along the lines of "we want a bigger, better center for our new, wealthy, singles who happen to have a desire to eat expensive meals often and spend very little time at home. All the people who live in the residential areas outside our new center can drive further away to buy useful things for their families, and stay away so as not to cause more traffic. If you don't like what we are doing to attract lots of new residents, then you can fade away and die because we are no longer interested in your needs. These new apartment dwelling singles will never grow old, have children, or even cook a meal at home other than frozen pizza or tv dinners. They will never want to buy kids sports equipment, get a photo taken, buy a lawnmower or washer/dryer or even get a fast meal for under $10 on the way to a kids sports game. This is the future. If you don't like it then you are old fashioned stick in the muds."


Posted by m2grs, a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 5:58 pm

@Linda Curtis, @psr,

If I recall correctly, Pumpkin Patch was priced at $20M (or $50M?) . Of course you think the city government is so rich, $50M of tax dollars is just peanuts.

Pumpkin Patch is not wasted. Dozens of high-end SFH have been built and sold. Good property taxes have been coming into the city.

Why don't you start a campaign to ask city buy out San Antonio Center now!? Why "waste" such a great opportunity today! Let's turn this prime piece of land into "farms, museums, libraries,...".

$50M? or $100M? No problem! Money grows on trees in Cuesta Park.


Posted by Garrett , a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2014 at 5:46 am

Mountain View school district has 2 closed schools, Cooper School can be found in a park. Cuesta Annex was a school site until the district sold it off. 4 schools in reserve. Maybe build oofices from MVWSD you will have a 5th school site.


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 11, 2014 at 4:39 pm

@PA Resident,

You are so right!

Development is optimized for the profit of developers like Merlone Geie who don't give a damn about the residents of Mountain View.

In order to maiximize their profits, their goals are "we want a bigger, better center for our new, wealthy, singles who happen to have a desire to eat expensive meals often and spend very little time at home. All the people who live in the residential areas outside our new center can drive further away to buy useful things for their families, and stay away so as not to cause more traffic. If you don't like what we are doing to attract lots of new residents, then you can fade away and die because we are no longer interested in your needs. These new apartment dwelling singles will never grow old, have children, or even cook a meal at home other than frozen pizza or tv dinners. They will never want to buy kids sports equipment, get a photo taken, buy a lawnmower or washer/dryer or even get a fast meal for under $10 on the way to a kids sports game. This is the future. If you don't like it then you are old fashioned stick in the muds."


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

" Stop creating traffic mess to maximize profit -- this is
equivalent to trampling on civil rights. "

That's clever. I'm sure anyone subjected to a poll tax, voting tests, colored waiting rooms, or was beaten up by cops or hung from a tree would agree-- more construction and more traffic totally equals trampling on civil rights...


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

this whole thread is a whole new sub-genre of "white people problems"


Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 11, 2014 at 5:33 pm

My vision of the Pumpkin Patch was that it maybe could have been seasonally part of a grammar school there, like out in front in the Fall. The little train had already moved to SJ, so it was downsizing, but to keep none of it instead, is sad. Also sad is that MV City Gov't is looking at taking private property by eminent domain to build a grammar school. It could have been here.

@Sparty: What Konrad Sosnow & I are talking about is not "civil rights," it is "property rights." When one works their whole life to live somewhere with a great views, quiet & private from neighbors' eyes, & with sufficient infrastructure to make it work well, then has these things seriously trampled, plus their property is made to be in the "red oval" so their home, with all the many improvements they have made, is next for the bulldozers to build high instead, we are talking serious violations of our property rights. And I almost had it paid off. :(

This is contrary to what this country is based upon, and I intend to fight for my rights and freedoms.


Posted by Liz, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:17 pm

All these clowns that run this city need to be removed


Posted by Not a fan of property rights, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm

@Linda Curtis,

Excuse me. Ms Curtis but you are not a friend of supporting property rights of others.

"My vision of the Pumpkin Patch was that it maybe could have been seasonally part of a grammar school there, like out in front in the Fall. The little train had already moved to SJ, so it was downsizing, but to keep none of it instead, is sad. Also sad is that MV City Gov't is looking at taking private property by eminent domain to build a grammar school. It could have been here."


Since the property owners and nearby neighbors wanted nothing to do with a seasonal garden, why don't you support the property owners right to develop the property as that want rather than suggest its sad they didn't do what you preferred? In the next sentence you appear to support eminent domain.

"@Sparty: What Konrad Sosnow & I are talking about is not "civil rights," it is "property rights." When one works their whole life to live somewhere with a great views, quiet & private from neighbors' eyes, & with sufficient infrastructure to make it work well, then has these things seriously trampled, plus their property is made to be in the "red oval" so their home, with all the many improvements they have made, is next for the bulldozers to build high instead, we are talking serious violations of our property rights. And I almost had it paid "

Since when do your property rights extent to other peoples property. If you feel you have a right to view other peoples property and have a say in how it looks, does that means other property owners can have a say on how your property looks? No one is threatening your property by developing nearby. What is appalling is your disdain for other peoples property rights.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

You only have the rights your government gives you. Easy enough.


Posted by mv resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 16, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Maybe we need a referendum on the ballot for the citizens to decide what parameters on jobs, housing, traffic, parks, trees, etc., and what limits if any should be enforced. And decide if the city manager, planning office and city council can change give exceptions to these or not.
It seems the city does not have a clear plan of what it wants to be, or what is acceptable and what is not. Without that plan, each project like the whatsapp can get an exception and exemption. But these add up to and at the very least look very unfair, and give the impression that developers can do what they want.
A parttime 8 year max term city council cannot be expected to develop this. But the city manager has failed if he does not present this clearly to the citizens of the city of how it views this.
A plan endorsed by the citizens with no exceptions allowed without a vote maybe best.


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