Posted by eric, a resident of another community, on Jul 2, 2007 at 11:46 am
A bond measure for something with such limited value would be irresponsible beyond measure! If the city wants a farm, they should ID some land in Shoreline Park, and MV can fund it out of the tax district out there. Or the farmland group could raise private money.
Posted by Mike Laursen, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Jul 4, 2007 at 11:32 am
To me, a farm, a real farm, is a for-profit business that requires lots of heart and back-breaking work to keep going. What the Farmlands Group is proposing seems more like a farm-themed park. If this isn't a real farm operation, from whom is the drive going to come to do all the hard work of running the farm? Will we be setting up some small farmer in a subsidized, isolated operation?
Perhaps the money would be better spent on a traditional park. We already have Deer Hollow which is an awesome place for folks who want to visit a farm.
Posted by db, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2007 at 6:36 pm
I'd like to see more community gardening instead of a small operative farm like the farmlands group proposes. Such a plan would have more community involvement than a farm.
People with homes should be encouraged to use their front or backyards for growing fresh produce for their family. Such use will be much more productive than the lawns most homes currently sport, but rarely use.
Secondly, community gardens can be created for apartment dwellers, with garden beds rented for a small fee to cover expenses such as water. One benefit over a farm is that community gardens can be built in neighborhoods where people live. A second is that they would use smaller lots some of which the city already owns. For example, there are empty, unused lots lining Shoreline between El Camino and Central Expressway that are great candidates for community gardens.
Such a program could be run by the city, but there isn't any reason why it couldn't be run by a non-profit, citizen group (such as the farmlands group?) who provide workshops on growing organic, picking proper plants for the season and location, water conservation, canning, fruit tree care and proper pruning, etc. In addition, such a group can make arrangements with a local food bank to have food drives in which any excess produce is donated.
The ultimate goal would be to improve community in our city and honor our agricultural heritage.
Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jul 8, 2007 at 12:04 am
I really pray that this goes through and that people put major major pressure on city government to wake up and do something. Too many accounts of open space being destroyed -- of wildlife and the environment taking a back seat to the almighty dollar -- does not raise my hopes about preserving any wilderness; not for a second.
What it all comes down to is this: it is our responsibility, the community's responsibility, to vote in to government people who actually demonstrate common sense and can differentiate between that and the almighty dollar.
Otherwise, all we are doing is killing ourselves faster and faster.
Posted by Albert B. Franklin, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 9, 2007 at 8:19 am
It would be far more useful to first reduce farmland property taxes to the first recorded levels in the state. Thereby drastically cutting the price of food, and save more farmland statewide in the process.
Posted by Curious Observer, a resident of the Jackson Park neighborhood, on Jul 10, 2007 at 10:07 pm Curious Observer is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online
You're too late! From the moment the first farm was destroyed to the last farm, there was lots of time to act. If MV was interested in saving its farmland they should have done something sooner. I'm sorry that the owners of the Grant Road farm had to sell, but it seems the tax laws forced them to.
Posted by Chris Chow, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 11, 2007 at 12:49 am
Why are we looking for another area for a farm? Wasn't the whole point of this issue was to preserve the Grant Rd farm? And if not a farm on Grant Rd why not a public park since the city has funds for this? Why are the owners of this land so unwilling to give/preserve a small piece of the acres to the community? Could it be-greed?-selfishness?-stubborness?-closemindedness?
What happens now is something our community will have to live with in the near future of Mountain View's growth and where we as a community want to go in developing the scarce land resources we have. I hope this debate does not end! And that there is still hope for some kind of compromise of preserved Grant Rd land for the community to still enjoy.
Posted by Chris Chow, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 11, 2007 at 12:52 am
PS: the developers Summerhill should know that by adding some kind of park or preservation of land to enjoy that there new homes will only increase in desireabilty and of course most importantly to them-even more property value$$!
Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2007 at 9:13 am
This is exactly one of the points made at the last Coyote Valley specific planning meeting at San Jose City Hall ... preserved open space outside of offices or homes only increases the propertys desireability. Imagine going outside your backdoor or street, and being able to jog natural trails and/or just experience the beauty and serenity of open wilderness.
Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jul 16, 2007 at 9:16 pm
They were in favor of a study, and yet at the last meeting, city council failed to address some vital issues concerning the land and the environment. Most of the community wanted this open space to be preserved, and yet the city had already made its decision before the meeting.
This is what is known as a corrupt government; just as corrupt as our nation's government.
Posted by eric, a resident of another community, on Jul 17, 2007 at 2:30 pm
Fine. Further review of the issue showed:
- the immediate neighbors were in favor of the zoning (to be completely accurate pre-zoning, since a city cant really zone unincorporated property). That zoning had been in place for years
- forcing the farm plan on the property owners would have been a massive seizure of property value by a government agency without compensation
- the high-density housing proposed by the farm group is the sort of thing now being opposed all over town.
My point above, Daniel, is that, while all of the farm advocates wanted to seize property (yes, sieze. Encumbering millions of dollars in lost value for the interests of a small group is a seizure), but offered no sacrifice of their own. That is wrong, no matter how you slice it.
I would also dispute your assertion that "most of the community" wanted the open space to be seized. While I will miss the farm, I understand the reality of the situation. Most people I know share that view, and frankly respect the property owners for keeping it around as long as they did
You seem to have an accusation to make against the council. Why havent you made it?
Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2007 at 4:56 pm
But this is about common sense, and what's really scary is that all man has to do is write a single law into the books and suddenly all open space is gone tomorrow. There is a fine, fine line; and this is an example of something that, as mentioned above, undermines common sense. If the farm were to continue to stand for many years to come, would it prosper? Yes ... studies have shown that farms in communities do very well. Couple that with the richest soil on earth, countless environmental benefits, and the equally-as-awesome benefits of organic farming, and losing this entire agriculturally and biologically rich piece of land is one of our community's greatest tragedies. Heck, one of our nation's; for every piece of open space is so very precious.
And, unfortunately, so very prone to destruction by man.
Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2007 at 9:56 pm
I'm not saying that houses already built should be torn down and land restored. My point is simply that there needs to be a balance, and that we have reached the limit on development and are now over-developing at a rapid rate. Look at Coyote Valley ... nevermind the fact that the EIR is full of lies ... once new office space in the valley is completed, what they want to do is to move offices in Downtown San Jose to the new Santana Row in Coyote Valley, leaving those previous offices vacant.
Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2007 at 10:45 pm
We have somehow gotten the idea that humans are morally superior to everything else, which is sad. Why? Re-read my letter above. Do we all not have a God-given right to live? Is it fair for man to invade other species homes and kill them when they attempt to return? This is what happened to the California Grizzly, that majestic animal on our state flag. Because of man, they are extinct. Is it fair to our children and grandchildren that by over-developing, we are taking away more and more of the natural, God-given wonders that shape not only our world, but our means of survival as a species?
The bottom line here is not politics; it never should be (but, unfortunately, much too often, it is). Nor should it be about mankind's selfishness as a species (but, again, much too often, it is). Rather, this is about our survival; our planet's survival; our need to wake up and realize the harm we are inflicting upon this world and all of its natural beauty and wonder. It is about doing what's "morally" and "ethically" sound, and what these two words really mean.