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Burrowing owls vs. Google

Original post made on Jan 10, 2008

Concerns raised about a pair of rare and problematic burrowing owls, and the impact they'll have on Google's plan to build a new hotel at Shoreline Boulevard and Charleston Road, cropped up at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 10, 2008, 11:32 AM

Comments (16)

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Has anyone from the city of MV ever tried to drive on Shoreline Blvd? A hotel will clog traffic beyond belief!

Posted by friend of owls, a resident of Castro City
on Jan 10, 2008 at 2:32 pm

When are they going to move these owls? Won't it disrupt their nesting activities? And what if the owls don't like their new neighborhood?

Posted by Daniel DeBolt, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 10, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Daniel DeBolt is a registered user.

The plan is to move the owls before the breeding season starts Feb. 1.

Posted by Daniel DeBolt, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 10, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Daniel DeBolt is a registered user.

The city staff report is here:
Web Link

Posted by No friend of owls, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 11, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Who cares about these damn owls? Mountain View is a city, not a zoo.

The city is wasting $150K of our tax money for this stupidity! What about the worms that will be displaced by the hotel? Maybe we need to get the worms relocated too.

Posted by tk_runner, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 11, 2008 at 7:59 pm

I think it is funny that a pair of little owls can stop a giant like Google in its tracks. Go owls!

PS - I agree about the traffic concerns on Shoreline. Navigating around Mountain View these days is like rowing a boat into a tsunami. I too wonder if the city council ever drives town around time at peak times.

Posted by PA Resident, a resident of another community
on Jan 12, 2008 at 5:15 pm

This sounds more like Palo Alto than Mountain View.

Posted by not in love with google, a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 13, 2008 at 1:06 pm

What Google wants, Google gets. Good luck owls and good luck Mountain View.

Posted by greedy google, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 14, 2008 at 11:07 pm

I thought Google is the happy shiny company? But they won't guarantee that housekeepers get the chance to decide whether or not to join a union? Forget wages- how about health care, humane workloads, and protection from getting fired on a whim?

Posted by athene cunicularia, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 17, 2008 at 7:30 am

Who cares about the owls? I care about the owls! And the city cares about the owls.

Thank you, Mountain View, for having a plan to keep both species happy. We bipeds can work together.

Posted by also concerned about owls, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 18, 2008 at 7:20 am

The method of removal of the owls is contested by some environmental groups - there needs to be assurances that the owls actually get to the small area set-aside by the city for the owls (6.5 acres I think) rather than just making sure they don't come back to the site (this is how many of the owls die). The 9+ acres the city is buying is actually in Alameda and run by a for-profit company. The better solution is to actually increase the current area set-aside by the city in order to accomodate the number of breeding pairs we know about, but the city is not willing to do this because it wants more land for development. This logic, of course, it the reason why the burrowing owl population has been precipitously declining - more development, less habitat for owls. Buying land in Alameda IS NO SUBSTITUTE for making sure existing owls IN MOUNTAIN VIEW have enough space to survive!!! The truth is, it's almost too late to really do anything about this. But if this Google development does not really benefit the community, we need to get to the council meeting and STOP THIS PROJECT. I'm all for protecting the owl's habitat, but unless we can show the development is not worth it, we won't be able to stop it.

Posted by not in love with google, a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 18, 2008 at 8:44 am

Unfortunately, the City of Mountain View will bend over backwards to give Google anything they want. They don't want to upset the giant in any way. The development of a "world class hotel" at Shoreline will not only disrupt the owl's habitat, but will also ensure that the business owners in Mountain view receive even less patronage from the Google population. What will Google ask for next?

Posted by Pete, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 23, 2008 at 11:31 am

Save the owls, MOVE GOOGLE!!!

Posted by Jessie, a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Back when Mountain View was accepting San Francisco's garbage to build Shoreline Park, there were burrowing owls in the area of the city's lake....the area we tried to save for an ecologial preserve because of it's wildife diversity and nesting site. So, burrowing owls are not a recent inhabitant of that part of the bay...they were there long ago.

Posted by Rick, a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

They rototilled the burrowing owls out of existence overnite last time in the lot where google and Alza are now to built, and those buildings weren't there when we were parking card in the lots for dead shows. Burrowing owls all over. They called that area where google is most northwest, Allen shelly driveway. I have old pictures of it all. The owls did not just "come back" that sounds like a city that wants to get paid. Bill Graham was mountain views first cash cow and google won't be their last.

Posted by Rick, a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

And by the way the hotel idea has been kicking around for over a decade since SGI the actual builders of the googleplex. they sectioned off then eventually took the Shoreline charleston parking lot away from us in 2000 or so when they built googleplex and a bigger lot with a fire station down the road. They really messed up the traffic flow by making no lots accesible directly from charlston and amphitheater. Forcing all traffic on shorline blvd. They've left that parking lot empty and barley done anything for a decade. I've moved on. I thought they had too! Easy to show my point. I have arial photos from 1985

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