Big transformation under way for San Antonio area Around Town, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, on Feb 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm
Clearly, the recession is over in the local housing sector. New development could bring over 1,300 new homes to the San Antonio Road and El Camino Real area, so many that a new school may be needed to accommodate the new population.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 8, 2013, 10:26 AM
Posted by Tina, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm
omg - the traffic will be horrific! It's already nasty, this will just make it unbearable. On the good side, there will be a theater... yay? Does Mountain View really need to become New York? Really? Why not put housing over at Moffett Field, on the other side of the freeway, where a lot of the workers are that will be wanting (and can afford) the housing and eliminate a lot of the through-town traffic? Do the city officials not drive around our fair city? Have they not been at Shoreline & Middlefield at commute time & seen all the red-light runners because people are so frustrated by having to sit at stop lights for so long? How about Alma & Rengstorff? That's another happy place. grrrrr
Posted by Susan, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm
From looking at the "typical" rents that could be charged I doubt that there will be very many families with school-aged chuildren in the new apartments. When will we ever get anything remotely resembling "affordable housing"? Over $2000 for 540 square feet? I hope they are kidding! That's over $24,000 a year in rent for which you have nothing to show. Sooooo sad!
Posted by Done, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm
Lived here for 46 years and use to love it. Mountain has sold out to big development and has let gangs go crazy. Time to spend my life savings and move to Los Altos. So close but does not let any of this crap happen.
Posted by Tim, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm
The people making these proposals / decisions really need to spend some time sitting in the San Antonio traffic during rush hour, with the current housing population. It can take 15+ minutes to get from Old Middlefield Road to The Crossings (about a mile apart) on some days during the afternoon rush.
Seriously people. These are some really poorly though-out decisions.
Posted by Nancy Morimoto, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm
We need to tell our council members that this area needs some much more serious research and planning before taking any more steps forward. Ask them to halt the approval of any development proposals and future proposals (Gate Keeper Requests) until a detailed comprehensive plan (the precise plan for the area, just now getting underway) is finished.
Posted by Martin Omander, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm
I agree with the council members and readers who say we need a plan before significant new development.
I *disagree* with people who say we should attempt to freeze Mountain View in time. The people who came before us changed wilderness to ranches, then to orchards, then to housing. Let's continue to evolve with the times, continue to provide jobs and housing for young people, and not turn Mountain View into a live-in museum.
Posted by Tina, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm
Evolution is fine & good, as long as a plan for traffic impact is considered & dealt with. Preferably *before* all the housing is built & occupied. Maybe turn San Antonio & Shoreline into streets like Lawrence Expressway or something. I don't mind evolution, I do mind it taking 45 minutes to get from Palo Alto to Mountain View...
Posted by Jessica, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm
1.I agree that the traffic plan needs to be put in place BEFORE the developments--San Antonio/California is already nuts (tried to walk around here? Or those crazy bikers that think biking on San Antonio in rush hour is a good idea? Or the left turn lane from San Antonio onto California?).
2. If all these projects are going to make a school necessary, why isn't any of the space being used to create a school?
3. Although this article doesn't address it, I'm wondering what the plans are for affordable housing and/or rent control in the area. We don't really need more luxury apartments--instead of gentrifying the whole area, let's sustainably grow a bigger, better community. Gated dog parks for the rich people who can pay over $2000/mo for a few square feet aren't going to contribute--they're just keeping their resources for themselves. It's the last thing we need.
Posted by Sick of traffic, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm
OMG, how can we even think of adding so much more housing without any real solution in place for the increased traffic! We chose not to move to Palo Alto because traffic there is so bad, and now MV will be even worse! No one wants to waste so much time in a car! Please, please consider some type of public transportation system that will move people from the 4 hot spots in MV - downtown MV, San Antonio Shopping Center, and two sites in North Bayshore (Rengstorff & Shoreline) for those workers. People need to easily move between these 4 areas, otherwise traffic will be a complete nightmare. If all this gets approved with no real traffic plan, we will be moving to Los Altos as well.
Posted by kman, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm
I really disagree with people who think that we need to build more and more housings. There is a point where over saturation happens and with the Bike community wanting to turn roads like san antonio into 2 lanes, we really can't afford more people in the area.
Posted by parent, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm
You can't just build looking to make a buck without doing anything for the infrastructure. If you do, you're just creating a mess. Don't those moving into this new housing deserve a real park (not an unusable green space), a school that they don't have to cross El Camino to get to, and ways to get around on bikes or on foot without feeling like they are living in SF? Mountain View City Council needs to do their job to create a livable city for everyone - not just those who live in the right part of town.
Posted by Great Auntie, a resident of the Slater neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2013 at 9:44 pm
These problems are spreading out all over the city. For example, more and more businesses are moving into the East Middlefield area, plus more housing is being built there, all of which equals lots more traffic generally, including lots of vehicles driving on side streets not built for all these cars, trucks, buses, etc. We are becoming more and more like rats in a maze and it is very stressful for everyone concerned.
Posted by lasalle, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 9, 2013 at 8:38 am
What is the plan for retail/hospitality space? There won't be much left if the city continues their way. Building owners and developers say they can get more money with commercial/residential space. It's already happened on Castro Street with the "variance ploy". The Meyer's building on the 200 block of Castro received a variance because the floor configuration wasn't "conducive" to retail/hospitality, really? That sounds a bit like a sweetheart deal. A beautiful retail location is gone forever replaced with a high tech start up. The Mancini Family on the 700 block doesn't have the money to upgrade their building, really?. No worries, office space it will be. It's no secret cash rich high tech companies have acquired start up companies on the upper floors of buildings along Castro Street and have already or will soon offer great money to acquire the entire building and then ask for a "Variance" to provide additional office space on the first floor for their employees. No need to worry if San Antonio is for sale, it's "game on" Castro Street and "game over" for every other location in Mountain View. Castro will soon close at 5pm and we'll have to find some other town to have dinner, drinks, shop or stroll. It's a tragedy when City Council refused Classic Communities the opportunity to switch from residential to commercial space at the corner of Calderon and Villa but has no problem turning Castro Street into an extension of the Bayshore development.
I have no desire to live in a community where there is nothing to do other than work and go home. Pretty short sighted. Let's keep the 1st floor retail/hospitality on Castro along with other new development proposals. Think of it the "Affordable Retail/Hospitality Plan".
Let the developers go up a story or two but leave the street level for the residents and visitors to our fine city.
Posted by Need a MV school, a resident of another community, on Feb 9, 2013 at 8:50 am
Ha! Love the comments about moving to Los Altos. There are already 600 students from the north of El Camino area who attend school in the Los Altos School District. This means about 600 students are driven back and forth between Mountain View and Los Altos every morning and afternoon, and this number will increase greatly with all the new construction. So don't think that Los Altos is a place to escape Mountain View traffic. Mountain View must provide infrastructure for its development projects. It is high time for Mountain View to allocate land for a school in the area north of El Camino.
Posted by Tapan, a resident of the St. Francis Acres neighborhood, on Feb 9, 2013 at 9:13 am
As a long time Mountain View resident and shopper at the San Antonio complex, I'm just appalled at the amount of development that the city council is permitting. If there is an inch of land somewhere, a developer wants to put up multi-storey apartments there or office buildings. Why is the council/city granting variances for increased density when it is clear there is no consensus on this? No one wants Mountain View to be a fossilized museum, but the developments being considered here will turn this into some cross between a badly planned strip of ElCamino around San Mateo to a big city. How about development that keeps a diverse character, where buildings don't look like they came out of a pre-fab developer factory, where locally owned business can thrive, where developers aren't granted variances so that they build bang up to the property line or higher density than allowed. Traffic on San Antonio is already impossible. Traffic on elcamino is getting worse every day. Oh and now ElCamino is going to have two bus only lanes reducing its throughput even more. Each one of these individual changes by itself may be palatable but taken together we are going to have a huge mess on our hands. The only one who profits will be the developers -- all from out of town. And we'll be left holding the bag. This is going to be one of the big issues for the next election, but unfortunately too much damage will have been done by then.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Feb 9, 2013 at 9:42 am
A little planning is good, a really good plan is better.
North Bayshore and East Middlefield is where lots of office space is planned.
Extend the light rail light to the S.A. Road overpass. Shuttle buses to the North Bayshore.
Parks, open spaces and a school can be planned when land or development projects enter the process of planning. Could we lease a site for school?
Use of space changes and then changes back, retail on ground, offices and living units on upper floors. The way planning works here is that it is slow. Pressure grows and grows, the idea of going to Texas gets better each passing year.
Posted by Think Schools, a resident of another community, on Feb 9, 2013 at 9:53 am
Lest anyone be fooled into thinking that these developments won't bring students (because they are too expensive, don't have yards, etc), I would like to point out that every high density developer has claimed that. Even the developer of the Crossings told us that families would not want to live there. The Crossings now has over 100 LASD students, and the entire north of El Camino area currently has almost 600 students enrolled in LASD. (Please study the demographer's charts for the Enrollment Growth Task Force on the LASD website.)
To see how this affects traffic, I encourage you to stand on the corner of Los Altos Avenue and El Camino Real on a school day between 8:15am and 8:30am and watch cars (each with 1 or 2 elementary school aged children) pour over the border from Mountain View to Los Altos to reach Santa Rita school. The same thing happens on the roads leading from Mountain View to Covington, Almond, and Egan schools.
The City of Mountain View either needs to provide a school for these families that live north of El Camino or MV must stop approving high density housing projects in the area.
Posted by Consider a school, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Feb 9, 2013 at 10:13 am
The MV council needs to consider the impact these new developments have on the school district. Just because the children will go to the Los Altos School District does not mean MV does not have responsibility for these children.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Feb 9, 2013 at 10:59 am
Just as Mountain View studies the impact on parks, public safety and other impacts. The LASD should be talking to landowners and developers to assist in finding a site. The city can help but the decision is on the LASD to proceed.
Posted by Ann, a resident of another community, on Feb 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm
Oaktree Commons (Rengstorff, Latham, Ortega - since we don't show as a neighborhood.
Shame on Council for approving more development in my part of town without having a master plan that looks at traffic, parks, trails, safety and schools. This area produces a major portion of the City's sales tax revenue and gets the least amount of services. The new private communities pay for our own roads, and get no police help with parking issues, or collecting shopping carts or have access to yardwaste colletion from our common areas. So we subsidize the single family homes in the rest of town.
As a trained environmental professional, I understand the need for density but sustainability also requires equitability between all parts of a community. Pushing density and costs onto one part of the city and ignoring all the services required to make it safe and healthy for the people who live there is no creating a sustainable community.
The City could start by actually creating a greater neighborhood from this portion of Mtn. View, from Rengstorff, the railroad tracks, San Antonio and El Camino Real. The time for piecemeal development is over.
Posted by Mv city council pay attention, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Feb 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm
If consensus wasn't clear from the visioning process, these comments should help. There were not clearly 1300+ homes propsed to us 5 years ago. Please come up with a viable traffic and school plan (or give LASD a space to build over there) or I don't think it is a stretch to see many angry citizens demanding action another way.
Posted by Chelsea, a resident of another community, on Feb 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm
The milk pail is the one jewel the city of Mountain View has! I will boycott the San Antonio shopping center forever if they buy and tear down the milk pail, how dare they even try! That truly disgusted me to read that and what they were thinking of charging for rent there! Are you kidding me? The peninsula is ridiculous when it comes to rent rates but it seems Mountain View is delusional in what city they are! Apartments in MV are more expensive than what I pay to live in Los Altos and are as much as places in Palo Alto and Menlo Park! I don't know who would pay 4 grand a month to live at the shopping center, it seems greedy and over rated!
Posted by Observer, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm
If anything it built they should be fewer in number and for sale, not for rent or for lease. We should be supporting the American dream of home ownership. These proposals just line the pockets of the same wealthy people over and over again. Take a look at all the ghetto apartments lining California Ave. Shame on the city council.
Posted by Liberal Roman, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Feb 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm
Reading your comments here is truly unbelievable. Let me sum them up:
"I like it here and I don't want anyone to move into here. I will now come up with a bunch of excuses for why we shouldn't build more houses and allow any more people to live here..bla, bla, bla..."
The funny thing is the same argument could and probably was made when this place was all orchards and you all were thinking about moving here. But now that you got yours, you don't want anyone else to come in here.
Oh and by the way, the soaring rents is directly due to the fact that large developments like this are blocked causing a shortage of housing and a spike in rental and real estate prices.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Feb 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm
So why should the city of Mountain View build a school for the LASD, yes I can understand helping them find a site.
We all want the American Dream, but we haven't built any large scale housing tracts. If one wants to own the land and build housing that is fine, if they want to build apartments they can do that. Seeing they own the land.
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm
A lot of NIMBY's still think that growth is bad without understanding the process. There is plenty of room to grow in this town where a lot of land is underutilized. No matter how much staff studies traffic and parking, and concludes that these projects will have minimal impacts, the NIMBY's will still oppose. The worst thing to do is think that some sort of govt planning of private land uses will lead to a better solution. The council should stick to making sure traffic and parking move smoothly and let people figure out how to grow the economy.
The owner of the Milk Pail owns the land his store sits on and no one is forcing him to close. The MG project does not include his store. Its up to him to figure out what he wants to do with his store. No one is forcing him to close.
Also, it's LASD's responsibility to educate children, not the MV city council. If they cant deal with more students, they should all resign since they either inept or incompetent. (also include their inability to deal with a charter school)
Posted by Will, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Feb 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm
You're right. There is plenty of land in Old Mountain View upon which single family cottages with big back yards sit. Raze the Old Mountain View neighborhood and build high rises for rentals. Do the same around Cuesta Park. Now who's the NIMBY?
Posted by An option for schools, a resident of another community, on Feb 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm
Here's a thought: Let's put all the Los Altos kids on the school sites that Los Altos has provided for the Los Altos School District, and put the LAH kids in the Gardner Bullis site in LAH. Then let's put the 1000+ kids from Mountain View (who now attend Santa Rita, Egan, Covington, Almond, Springer, and Blach) in the ONE school site that Mountain View has provided for LASD: Springer. The impact on Mountain View property values would surely get the attention of those in MV who want other entities, such as LASD and/or the cities of Los Altos and LAH to pay the price for MV's building spree. LASD needs another school site to accomodate the growth, but there is no reason that Los Altos or LAH should have to give up land to accomodate the growth that keeps coming from Mountain View. If MV has built housing for 600+ kids north of El Camino, then it is the responsibility of MV to plan for and provide a school there.
Posted by GC, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Feb 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm
If Mtn View wants to put all the all the Business, Apartments and stores up north make sure the roads support it. As everyone has said Shoreline, Rengstorff, Central, Grant, El Camino are all ready full but we keep adding to the old structure. (& Please no El Camino Bus lanes)
Not everyone who works in Mtn View wants to live here as seen by the 50 buses at G. And a school in the middle of traffic just messes up everything.
Posted by Kirk, a resident of another community, on Feb 10, 2013 at 9:57 am
Traffic is already jammed on Los Altos Avenue from the extra building and parent dropping off kids at Santa Rita. Forget about trying to drive down Los Altos Ave to shop downtown Los Altos when parents are dropping kids off or picking them up. El Camino is Jammed after school... can take two cycles of lights to get through as it is ALREADY! I can't wait to see how bad it will be when all the new building is complete.
Traffic is already jammed on San Antonio Road during commute times as it is. I remember the days it took 6 minutes to drive across El Camino and get to HWY 101 and be at my job in San Jose in 20 minutes. Now it can take 20 minutes just to get down San Antonio road.
I say NO MORE HOUSING unless they build schools so parents don't have to cross El Camino to drop kids off and pick them up.
Mtn View needs to change its name to "Manhattan West" as I sure can't see the mountains any more from El Camino and San Antonio. I miss them....
Posted by M, a resident of another community, on Feb 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm
I think we need a school at the site where the old apartments on California btw Showers and Ortega are now plus lots more destination space in the shopping center. Restaurants, yogurt shops, etc... places to relax and enjoy, not simply shop and live. Too many apartments and too little destination space at the momemt.
Posted by pat, a resident of another community, on Feb 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm
Political Insider says, “No matter how much staff studies traffic and parking, and concludes that these projects will have minimal impacts, the NIMBY's will still oppose.”
Please provide a link to the traffic studies showing that all these new projects will have “minimal impacts.”
The studies must have been kept secret from the city council, since Council members John McAlister and Jac Siegel cited concerns about traffic and Siegel said, "everybody is worried about the traffic, no question about it."
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Feb 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm
Unfortunately, as crazy as it is; and the lack of schools, roads, parks, and infrastructure, it will still get done.
Only hope is that council will tie at 3-3.
As I predicted, nothing is being done about California Ave and the other traffic problems it the city, Central and Casto/Moffet, Rengstorff, El Camino et al, other than "studies". Just a sign of the lack of representation for the citizens.
Developers and employee unions seem to be well represented.
Posted by reader, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Feb 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm
"I got kind of roasted at the workshop" for admitting that I had never visited the Milk Pail Market on San Antonio Road, which Merlone Geier has offered to buy and tear down, said Banen."
Am I understanding this right? MV CIty Council pays $$$$$ to consultants to study and make recommendations that council should be competent enough to do themselves....and then the highly paid consultant has not personally visited the property he is studying??!!
Reminds me of the decision to pull out of the Palo Alto Animal Shelter. Apparently council members made that decision based on staff recommendations alone without actually visiting the shelters.
Posted by lmk, a resident of another community, on Feb 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm
The LASD School Board needs to get it's act together or resign. They need to stop delaying and take care of business. The problem is that they have been favoring Los Altos for far too long. They built a new school for Los Altos 15 years ago. Instead of providing a school to the NEC. Now they send the Crossings there. Covington should be turned over to BCS and a new school for the NEC should be built at the BCS site. Or even better find a location in the NEC area. Al large part of Mountain View is in the Los Altos School District. Just as a large part of Los Altos is in Cupertino Unified. The school district boundaries existed long before areas were incorporated.
Posted by Grump, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm
$2,195 for a studio?! No matter how hard you try, you won't persuade those overmoneyed, overcoddled Google hipsters to leave their warm cocoon of the Mission and Hayes Valley.
Meanwhile, what's being done to provide *affordable* housing for the common people of Mountain View? ("Lots of nice places for rent in Tracy" is not an acceptable answer.) Do you really want a community of nothing more than extreme-haves and extreme-have-nots with nothing left in the middle?
Posted by 100% bicycle commuter, a resident of another community, on Feb 10, 2013 at 9:29 pm
These are some great comments. The City Council ought to hire a consultant to gather comments like these all together and then break them down into "ideas", "common opinions", and so on, and then use those data as a basis for a questionnaire.
I myself don't mind development, but what frustrates me is a lack of *consistency*. A city should have (1a) dense housing and work spaces with (1b) good public transportation, pedestrian, and bicycling facilities; or the city should be (2a) spread out with (2b) no special attention given to alternative transportation. Mixing (2a) and (1b) is inefficient because people who live in type-2a cities don't use and therefore don't care about type-1b transportation. Mixing (1a) and (2b) seems to be the common and unfortunate outcome of patchwork development, and quite possibly will happen around here.
I have a suggestion. Multi-tenant housing (rental or owned) should be separated from car parking. To park a car, you should have to pay for the space: monthly rent, just like for the apartment itself. This would encourage minimizing cars per family, and people like me who don't own a car at all would be rewarded for not contributing to traffic. (I know some people think bicyclists make car driving harder, but that isn't true of the typical adult single-person bicycle commuter. For the most part, it's better for everyone if a person commutes by bicycle rather than by car.)
Of course, not everyone lives close enough to work to be able to bicycle. This is where Caltrain comes in. Caltrain plus a fold-up bicycle (or a regular bicycle if you don't mind risking being bumped at peak hours) is a great option for a lot of people on the Peninsula. I challenge readers to make the following map: home to station, station to work. If that comes out at <6 miles over reasonable roads, then almost anyone can do it. If that comes out to 6-12 miles, then probably you need to be a bit more committed to the idea to make it work, though you certainly could do it at least once a week.
I hope what others think about the >$2K/studio rental will turn out to be true. Where will regular people live if rent is that high? Some people might respond that if one can't afford such rent, then move. But I argue that is shortsighted. A city is built not on bubble-associated workers but on regular folks who do all the things necessary to keep things working. If MV gets taken over by web/app/B2B-software company workers -- who by chance happen to be paid a lot at the moment -- where will janitors, entry-level teachers, lab techs, admins, retail workers, etc, live? The simple fact that pay is not *at all* correlated with importance of a job (imagine if all the janitors in an office building disappeared; or imagine if all the postdocs and PhD students at Stanford disappeared) should be enough to convince us that it's unwise to price regular folks out of local housing.
Posted by Mel, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Feb 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm
Seriously MV, what kind of neighbor are we? Not The buden of LA to house our students. Now that there is new bond $$ - MV should plan on expanding existing school sites to accommodate the 600 students currently attending LA schools plus plans for the new ones. How about getting Slater back? Let Google build their own pre-school site. Shame on the council for moving forward with plans that affect LA. To get from point A to B in this city, keeps taking longer and longer, and it really stinks and takes aware from the unique community that existed here ,
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Feb 11, 2013 at 7:17 am
Why should the MVWSD use their to provide students who live in the LASD, yes I understand that help and assistance in finding a site or let them use part of a property. Remember Los Altos just approved a number of housing units on their side of El Camino.
At one time there was a school on Jordan Ave, it is homes.
Just like a need for a school, what about parks, a extra fire station or maybe a police sub station. Community Center, library, we don't hear about other needs. Just schools.
Posted by A Call to Action!, a resident of another community, on Feb 11, 2013 at 7:56 am
As fewer and fewer businesses can claim originality (The Milk Pail Market being MV's most iconic standard bearer for quality/integrity/value), the city is sure to steadily sink into the same brand of mediocrity that has already enveloped Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Campbell and even Palo Alto. Just where and when will you draw the line? How many Starbuck's do you need?
Citizens of MV take heed! The tipping point is at hand. Rise up. Speak up. Write a letter, make a call, text, tweet, shout from your window. For just this once, do the right thing. The short and long term benefits will be well worth a rather small effort to resist.
Posted by Think Schools, a resident of another community, on Feb 11, 2013 at 8:08 am
I would love to see a combined school/park area north of El Camino. Not only do NEC residents drive to Los Altos for the schools, but they often also use LASD schools as their parks.
MV needs to provide the north of El Camino area with its own educational and recreational facilities in the NEC neighborhood in order to be environmentally friendly, to take responsibility for its own growth, to be a good neighbor, and mostly to provide for the needs of the residents who live in the area north of El Camino. A school campus with basketball courts, a soccer field, etc, can be used as a neighborhood park after school hours.
Without a school in the area, the NEC residents will most likely continue to be split and parceled out among an increasing number of LASD schools throughout the district because there is no viable alternative at the moment. I also want to point out to "Imk" that the BCS campus is not a solution because, like the other LASD campuses, it is not in the NEC neighorhood (in fact it is in a different city!) and most MV residents drive to get to it.
Posted by heartfulart, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 11, 2013 at 11:00 am
The rents they are proposing for this development are ridiculous - catering only to the wealthy software world, and not catering to families at all! Why all the worry about building new schools, when these apartments aren't practical for families in the first place?
This will just drive rents up all around town, with greedy landlords jumping on the bandwagon! Looks like it might soon be time to move.
Personally, I would really be upset if the Milk Pail disappeared - it's such a refreshing, real, reasonably-priced place - I buy all my produce there! The thought of being resigned to shop somewhere like Safeway for my produce makes me cringe - twice the price, half the quality. How sad!
Posted by foo, a resident of the St. Francis Acres neighborhood, on Feb 11, 2013 at 11:29 am
> This will just drive rents up all around town, with greedy landlords
> jumping on the bandwagon! Looks like it might soon be time to move.
Economics 101 probably taught you about supply & demand. In case it didn't: Additional supply is good for you if you want lower prices. If this isn't intuitive to you, consider what happens to the apartments that the folks who're moving to San Antonio previously lived in...
> Personally, I would really be upset if the Milk Pail disappeared -
> it's such a refreshing, real, reasonably-priced place - I buy all
> my produce there! The thought of being resigned to shop somewhere
> like Safeway for my produce makes me cringe - twice the price,
Posted by David, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Feb 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm
I think it is crazy for MV to approve all these construction/housing/retail projects without thinking about the impact on schools/parks/traffic and effectively passing the buck to the next guy and saying it's "their" problem. It's *OUR* problem.
Where are the city/urban planners? Let's get some real planning done here ... let's build a school for NEC. Let's devote some greenspace to parks. Let's measure the traffic impacts.
Posted by Old Steve, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Feb 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm
Not only was there a LASD school site on Jordan sold off for homes, a former Mountain View (pre-merger) school site just south of California, near the back of Target, was sold off as well. Not selling schools is why Slater and Whisman are now leased. I believe LASD has the opportunity to review every EIR for property within the district, even if in a different City. If LASD is currently a Basic Aid district, it gets property tax revenue and bond revenue from all property within the school district. All this development will generate funds for building and operating a school.
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:08 am
@ pat, a resident of another community.
Political Insider says, “No matter how much staff studies traffic and parking, and concludes that these projects will have minimal impacts, the NIMBY's will still oppose.”
Please provide a link to the traffic studies showing that all these new projects will have “minimal impacts.”
Every large project provides a CEQA (EIR) document that provides great detail on parking and traffic issues. I talked with a few of my former planning colleagues and they suggested several examples like the reports on the Minton's site and the HP/Mayfield site. Both showed reduced traffic with housing compared to retail/commercial.
These reports are not secret, they are just ignored by the no-growthers on council.
Posted by Betsy, a resident of the Slater neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:23 am
As a long time Mountain View resident who is concerned about affordable housing and maintaining a sense of community, I have real concerns about the plans. Do we really need a hotel in the development??? Do we need a lot more high-density/high-priced housing there?
I can think of two or three long-time small business in Mountain View that help build a sense of continuity and community and add to neighborhoods. The Milk Pail is one of those. I worry that lack of parking will force the existing Milk Pail to leave and that would be a great loss to many of us in Mountain View who are loyal customers.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Feb 12, 2013 at 11:47 am
Whisman, Cooper, Slater are schools inside the MVWSD, I think some years ago the city made a deal with the school district to buy land, the school district asked if needed to build small school on former property. The Annex, and some park space,
Posted by LASD Resident, a resident of another community, on Feb 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm
MVWSD is completely separate and has boundaries between it and LASD. LASD sold off its closed school sites back aro3und the time Cooper Elementary was closed. There were at least 4 of them and one had served the area in question. Why should MVWSD be on the hook to provide facilities to an area not part of their district? The other district made a lot of money selling off its own sites.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Sylvan Park neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 3:06 pm
Any trafiic study perporting to show traffic reduction around the former Minton's site as a result of converting from retail to residential is just so much horse****. Trafic all over Mountain View is worse than ever, and getting still worse every day.
Exactly who benefits from the increased density? Certainly not existing citizens (other than city employees!) Anyone seeking to increase density further should be required to provide the additional infrastucture required by their project, plain and simple.
Common sense might also be applied to these 'studies', the oft mentioned concept of removing two lanes of a four lane road, and replacing them with one 2-way left turn lane, therby improving traffic flow comes to mind. Travel Evelyn Ave from Mtn View to Sunyvale some evening, watch as it changes to this configuration. It has the opposit effect.
Latest brilliant concept is from VTA, proposing the elimination of two lanes on El Camino from San Jose on up to PA. Seem like a smart thing?
Posted by Kate, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Feb 13, 2013 at 9:16 am
It's not necessarily the high-density that I'm objected to, it's the piecemeal planning and worry that without someone with creative vision, the area will look like, as someone already put it, an urban ghetto. There is no reason why we can't have a European-style boulevard here, with tall, attractive residential buildings (hopefully to be purchased, not just rented) and affordable retail space below, with wide sidewalks and more of a cafe culture. My worry with the current development is that with rents that high for the apartments, what are the rents going to be for retail? It sounds like there's no room for small business to get going, which means bog-standard stores, just another shopping mall. I'm also worried about the landscaping - it looks pretty unimaginative to me so far. If you drive along San Antonio through Palo Alto and then down to Los Altos, you will see a clear contrast between what they've done with the setbacks and landscaping and what we have in our little parcel in Mountain View. Ours is flat out ugly. I want small businesses to be able to thrive, I want green space, and I definitely want developers to be held to an energy-efficient, sustainable, consistent quality that is going to make this area of Mountain View an attractive place to live and do business. I feel like we don't have that vision on the council at the moment.
Posted by pat, a resident of another community, on Feb 13, 2013 at 10:12 am
> “I know some people think bicyclists make car driving harder, but that isn't true of the typical adult single-person bicycle commuter. For the most part, it's better for everyone if a person commutes by bicycle rather than by car.”
This kind of comment by 100% bicycle commuter just promotes a “them” and “us” attitude and does not make it easy to find workable traffic solutions.
I see many "adult single-person" cyclists who make car driving much harder -- and scarier. The reverse is also true.
It is not better for EVERYONE to ride a bicycle. It would be impossible for EVERYONE to ride a bicycle. Some are physically unable. Some work in areas too far for a bike commute. In any case, EVERYONE is not going to be riding a bicycle any time soon and we should be realistic about planning for increased car traffic with all of these humongous developments.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Feb 13, 2013 at 11:49 am
The only thing I can think of to stop piecemeal development is to take over all the property in the San Antonio area, but this won't happen nor should it ever.
European style development could be built, homes, flats, cottages, units, attached, semi attached or detached. All kinds of housing units, some with shared space other with private space or a private yard.
Most European style communities are always close to transit or car to transit friendly. One important factor seeing that I have lived overseas, close to shops, shops and more shops. Yes sometimes you have to drive to the big shops. Use to work to get the following, Milk, cash, a drink, take out, bakery, coffee, veggies, buy a trip, see a lawyer, swim, work out, city under a tree, church, pick up wine, get a video, arrange repairs, pay bills, register my car, work on the computer at the business center, attend a outdoor movie, buy the newspapers.
My open space around me, back garden, the square in from, down the street, the little church green, the walking path next to the creek, the park and golf course on the other side of the highway, walking paths outside of where I lived. Most of the time I spent inside the garden, I had no front yard. Today I find having a front yard useless, you aren't going to have people over and sit in your front yard.
If you want help with one style of development, use this. The Lanes small walking lanes with shops and housing, shops with living units that are owned by the shop keepers, it all looks the same but each owner has a different kind of shop, buildings are in different colors. The place is well know to visit. I would prefer to see some of this area be built to handle this type of development
Posted by 100% bicycle commuter, a resident of another community, on Feb 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm
@pat: Sorry, I didn't write as clearly as I might have. I did not mean that everyone should or can be expected to bicycle. What I meant -- to counter the argument often put forth that bicyclists make driving more inefficient -- is that if one person decides to commute by bicycle, that one person's (responsible) bicycling is better for everyone: drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists.
I definitely agree not everyone can reasonably be expected to bicycle commute. In fact, I suggested one basic criterion for commuting to work (supposing one is already physically able): <6 mile commute by bicycle, plus Caltrain. This criterion is relevant to this discussion because the new developments are <1 mile from the selective San Antonio stop and <3 miles from the major Mtn View stop. So it makes sense to incentivize bicycle commuting by, for example, separating apartment rental rates from parking rates.
Posted by LASD Resident, a resident of another community, on Feb 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm
Whether or not you bicycle, some of the characteristics of the San Antonio monster development have serious drawbacks. The sidewalk along San Antonio seems extremely narrow. The setback from the street is very close. This makes it less condusive to WALKING let alone biking. There are benefits to the neighborhood to have space for landscaping greenery and even trees. It's safer biking if there is space between the building and the road, even in a bike line that's part of the roadway. The density is big enough that a larger setback doesn't change that much.
Posted by Ron Haley, a resident of another community, on Feb 13, 2013 at 7:22 pm
Los altos schools currently have 720 open spaces, which can be increased to 1200+ by reconfiguring to K-5/6-8. And LASD's own demographer predicts a declining population. Don't believe the BS about over crowded schools.
Posted by Katherine, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Feb 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm
If you want to put in a school, then you need affordable housing. if i'm going to pay that much for housing I might as well go to Los Altos! i think who ever is voting needs to look at the cost of living and people's incomes in the area.
Also, traffic needs to be considered. It's awful trying to get from 101 to El Camino, 20-30 minutes during rush hours.
I feel like everyone wants to turn piece of their city into a santa row. do we really need that?
Posted by Erica, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Mar 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm
Ron, where do you see the LASD demographer predicting a declining population? Here's what I see: "Demographics: The district is expected to grow to over 4,700 students by 2014. Enrollment is expected to level off after that."