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Guest opinion: Google gets behind new General Plan

Original post made on Jun 18, 2012

Through the proposed General Plan update, the city has outlined a bold and transformative vision for guiding its future. As a major landowner in North Bayshore that has called Mountain View home for the last 12 years and where more than 2,000 of our employees live, Google strongly supports the draft General Plan. It reflects the shared community values that define Mountain View's unique character and is also essential to guiding its future success.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 15, 2012, 12:00 AM

Comments (4)

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Posted by John Scott
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:15 am

I read this opinion piece with interest because it is so rare that a city has the opportunity to produce a general plan that has partners ready to immediately deliver on its promise. Too often city plans are speculative aspirations that go in search of commercially viable projects to bring to the community the benefits the plans seek.

In this instance expanding public open space, improving the environment, creating new village centers and mitigating the traffic pains of new growth align with the commercial interests of the existing North Bayshore property owners like Google who are ready to make it happen.

It is good to see a company like Google, well know for creatively solving complex challenges, on-board and given the tools in the general plan (like TDR's, residential space) to come up with truly innovative solutions within the North Bayshore Plan framework.


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Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:22 am

From what I have seen of the General Plan, it is the logical continuation of the planning efforts started in Mountain View in the late 1970s. These were the efforts that gave us our vibrant yet intimate downtown, which makes our city a great place to live, and a destination for people from neighboring cities.

I'm one of the 2,000 Googlers who live and work in Mountain View, but my wife and I moved here before my current job. When we moved to the Bay Area in 1999, we picked Mountain View as the place to put down roots in, because we liked the downtown area, the outdoor cafes, the thriving small businesses, the public transport options, and how pedestrian and bike friendly everything was. Those things don't come around accidentally, they require determined work and a good plan, like this General Plan.

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Posted by R.S. Feind
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm

North Bayshore is not zoned as a residential area because allowing residential development would be destructive to the Bay ecology. It is not possible to mitigate what is destroyed if that area is developed. The elaborate language in Radcliffe's letter suggests that mixed-use development is sustainable in the neighborhoods that Google develops. As is being seen in the Shoreline neighborhood, this is not true, as Google employees stay on the corporate campus and do not patronize local restaurants. North Bayshore is a critical part of the Pacific Flyway, as well as home to threatened species like the salt-marsh harvest mouse and the Western Burrowing Owl. I encourage City Council to maintain their position that North Bayshore is not a residential area.

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Posted by Cliff Chambers
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Kudos to the City of Mountain View for an excellent General Plan process. It provides a visionary framework for future development and change in our wonderful community.

Having led the Transit and Transportation Group and participated in Land Use Group of the MV Sustainability Task Force, it is great to see so many concepts that were recommended as part of that process included in the Draft General Plan.

One of those recommendations was allowing for the development of a series of village centers that encourage mixed use development and are easily accessible by alternative transportation modes. One of the Village Centers we had hoped for was in the North Bayshore area.

Google was an active participant in the Sustainability Task Force and supported mixed use development and innovative transportation strategies to address the thorny traffic problems that persist in North Bayshore. We are so fortunate to have a large corporation that wants to be part of the solution. Bravo to Google for supporting the Village Center concept, promoting sustainable land use development, and contributing to innovate transportation strategies to reduce vehicle traffic.

I urge the City Council to leave the door open to the possibility of housing in North Bayshore as part of the North Bayshore Precise Plan and North Bayshore Transportation Study (both are underway). Small unit rental housing would allow more Googlers and others in North Bayshore to live and work in our community. It's what the Village Center concept is all about. Let the professionals involved in both of these processes determine if the benefits of housing outweigh the costs.


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