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Pear parcel could prevent path plans

Original post made on Sep 13, 2010

Former City Council member Matt Pear is not a fan of a proposal to create a pedestrian path along the length of the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct right of way -- and right through his family's property.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, September 13, 2010, 10:22 AM

Comments (22)

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Posted by CLyde
a resident of Whisman Station
on Sep 13, 2010 at 10:54 am

I thought the Californian Native Americans were the original owners/users of the land, followed by some Spanish and then Mexican property owners.


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2010 at 11:02 am

Daniel, there is an important piece of info missing from this story-- does Pear et al OWN the land, or is it on a lease from Hetch Hetchy? Does Pears group have a long term contract going forward w/ HH or is it just a rental?


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Posted by Rich Acuff
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

This article really needs a picture/map.


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Posted by greycat
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Does anyone know where to find the drawings and plans in question online?

Thanks.


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Posted by Alice
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I agree we need a map for us that are not able to attend the Council meetings when you post these stories! Also when is Target scheduled to leave and why?


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Posted by greycat
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

There is a pretty good PDF map of the proposed area in the PDF file found here:

Web Link

What are the odds the reporter of this story monitors comments and could confirm this is correct?


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Posted by vfree
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Thanks for the map link. Looks like we have enough "paths", and would be better off planning something that will create revenue.


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Posted by James Terry
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Looks like Matt Pear knew what he was doing when he ran for city council. What better way to get preferential treatment for himself than to have an inside track on watching what happens.

An ethical council member would have declared his conflict of interest, not speaking out in a way that would coerce the other council members, but gotten one of his comrades to make the case in his absence. Matt Pear did not do that.


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Posted by John Doe
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Sep 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm

@James Terry: Matt Pear hasn't been on the council for a few years. He has no conflict of interest since he's just a private citizen now.

Why not "Pear parcel probably prevents path plans"?? When doing alliteration, go all the way.


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Posted by Sarah Jane
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 13, 2010 at 3:40 pm

"He added that the owners he represents are not interested in a costly Santa Row-style redevelopment of the property and will be sticking to the formula for big box, warehouse retail even if Target leaves the site, which he appears to be anticipating. Pear mentioned Home Depot as a future possible tennant for the site."

WOW! Yeah that sounds great for Mountain View...big box, warehouse retail. I can understand why he would not walk a walkway in his backyard. But could he not think about someone other than himself when decided what type of retail would be good in that space?


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Posted by Nick
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2010 at 10:18 pm

There's appears to be bigger story here than the path worth checking out:

Why does Pear "anticipate" Target will close? Target is expanding all over the country, two new stores are planned for San Francisco alone. Why would they pull out of a lucrative market like Mountain View? Is it because of the Wal Mart across the street? Is it because they're planning a new location somewhere else nearby? Sears is one thing, but it'd be a shame for the City to lose the sales tax revenue a major successful retailer like Target brings.

As for Mr. Pear's plans for his property, he's sounding a lot like the Thoit family c. 2009 - who until recently owned the Sears site and let their property sit virtually unchanged since 1960. In February 2009 the Thoits said it'd be impossible to find anyone who'd be interested in bringing mixed use to the Sears site:

Web Link

Here we are a little over a year later, and the Thoits have sold their land to a developer banging on the doors of City Hall hoping to get approval of a brand new mixed-use shopping/residential neighborhood on the Thoits' former property (complete with park/path on the Hetch-Hetchy):

Web Link

Mountain View residents time after time have said no to Home Depot near residential neighborhoods, including at the Sears site. More recently, through the General Plan update, they've made it clear they'd like new growth in the San Antonio Area to be pedestrian friendly and mixed use.

Mr. Pear's vision is stuck in the 1960s - much like his property. The massive Target parking lot sits largely unused, and the weed filled lot he owns on the corner of Ortega and California has been an eyesore as long as I can remember. His family may have lived in Mountain View since 1895, which makes them lucky but maybe not so savy when it comes to development trends. I hope he tries to get more in tune to what today's residents want for the City's future. That, or he follows the lead of the Thoits and sells his land to a developer who does.


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 14, 2010 at 10:38 am

I would think that any Hetch Hetchy easement was just that, an easement, and not the private property of anyone.
Concerned


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm

@Nick:
"Why does Pear "anticipate" Target will close? Target is expanding all over the country, two new stores are planned for San Francisco alone."--- That Target is a lot smaller than the new ones. Likely they are shifting more and more to a 'big box' model.

"Thoits said it'd be impossible to find anyone who'd be interested in bringing mixed use to the Sears site" -- Thoits has not been proven wrong. The proposed project is very, very high risk (see: Sunnyvale downtown)


"Mr. Pear's vision is stuck in the 1960s - much like his property. The massive Target parking lot sits largely unused."-- What changes could they make given Targets long term occupancy? If you owned that site, would you a) run as long as you could on virtually guaranteed income from a strong tenant or b) leverage yourself and take a big risk? Maybe you'd take b), but there's nothing wrong with a) at all

"Mountain View residents time after time have said no to Home Depot near residential neighborhoods, including at the Sears site. More recently, through the General Plan update, they've made it clear they'd like new growth in the San Antonio Area to be pedestrian friendly and mixed use."-- Mtn View residents said no to Home Depot at the Emporium site. A very small vocal minority said no to the Sears proposal. An equally small minority said yes to the Master plan

"I hope he tries to get more in tune to what today's residents want for the City's future. That, or he follows the lead of the Thoits and sells his land to a developer who does"-- you mean he should get in line with what you want. Most Mtn View residents really like having a Target with easy parking and access.


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Posted by Dani
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Why don't we build some condos or single houses on these land? Why do we keep building rental apartments?


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Hmmmm Foot Traffic if I owned a shop I would the idea of Traffic yes I might be stuck on Euro type planning but hey is that why travel.


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Posted by dfb
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 14, 2010 at 10:15 pm

It appears SFPUC owns all land in its Hetch Hetchy right of way. It allows adjacent landowners to utilize the right of way as long as it is for greenery and non-permanent structures. SFPUC requires that it have access at any time and for any purpose to the right of way. With that in mind, the right of way is likely not exclusive to Pear.

Therefore, the City of Mountain View, with explicit permission of the SFPUC may make use of the right of way without prior permission of Pear and regardless of his prior uses. His argument that this is a "taking" subject to reasonable compensation is preposterous and likely just posturing in an attempt to create a bargaining chip in his future plans for the Target site. He does not own the land or have an exclusive right to use it.


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2010 at 12:24 am

@dfb, not neccessarily-- does Pear have a long term lease? Many property owners adjacent to Hetch Hetchy do, many dont-- hence my interest in the Voice finishing the story. If he does, it is a 'taking'. If not, its not.

(It doesnt "allow" adjacent owners to do whatever-- they pay for the right)


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2010 at 12:25 am

oh, sorry-- the RoW is for emergency access to the aquaduct, nothing more


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm

To those who have no clue about whats going on. My sources on the inside (former MV planning staff) say the Pear syndicate is worried about Target leaving and going to the new San Antonio development. Also , they have a different deal regarding the HH coverage. Unlike the sears site they can add parking and it wont cost them a dime. Also several staff members dont like Matt Pear. They purposely excluded his site from the GP update and down zoned it.


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Posted by Pear Plexing
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Does Mr Pear even own that lot? A look in the Santa Clara County Assessor office seems to show a billing address in Los Altos for the lot at 555 Showers Drive.


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Posted by Pear Plexing
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 19, 2010 at 8:26 am

The Santa Clara County Assessor Office also shows an assessed value of about 3.7M dollars for the 555 Showers Drive lot. Pretty clear why the owner likes the status quo.


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Posted by Curious
a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2013 at 10:47 pm

@MV-Voice - might be time to revisit this story.

1. The General Plan has since been adopted with the following goal/policy for the San Antonio Area: "Hetch Hetchy right-of-way used as open space and a pedestrian and bicyclist
connection."

2. The next City Council Meeting will review a gatekeeper request to redevelop the Pear/Target parcel, prior to the precise plan. Unsurprisingly, the project completely ignores the Hetch Hetchy goal adopted in the General Plan.

Web Link


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