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200 apartments proposed for Castro and El Camino

Original post made on Apr 18, 2013

In a long-sought redevelopment, a four-story apartment building with retail on the ground floor may soon go up at the corner of Castro Street and El Camino Real, replacing a dozen businesses, including the Rose Market and Peet's.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 19, 2013, 12:00 AM

Comments (16)

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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm

It seems like every week I read about yet another apartment development proposal that is up for discussion, and this week it's not different...

A four story, 200 unit development on the west side of El Camino Real seems inappropriate in scale as it relates to the neighborhood around it. Not only will this project take away parking from the always busy Frankie, Johnny & Luigi's but it would also mean the loss of several local businesses, including the very popular Rose Market and Peet's Coffee. Perhaps more importantly, this project appears as if it would sit directly behind single family (and mostly single story) residences, taking away open sky and a fair amount of privacy, while adding parking problems, noise, significantly more traffic and most likely negatively impacting the actual "neighborhood" that currently exists around the site of this proposed development.

Please, PLEASE, City Council, take a breath and don't just rubber stamp this project. While the space along that corner might be zoned for mixed use, look at the neighborhood that this project will be sitting on top of...it's a quiet residential neighborhood.

We might not be big developers, but we are tax payers, too.


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Posted by Worried Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Agree completely with MVResident67 comments. This seems out of scale and a net negative for the area. Two other points

1) Frankie Johnny and Luigis is an real family-friendly asset, and taking away the city parking lot will make it very difficult to go there.

2) Traffic flow at Castro and El Camino is already horrible. There is no way you want to let any apartment traffic exit onto Castro. An entrance-only to the apartments might be do-able, but still bad news for traffic flow.

Exiting onto El Camino is bad (though not nearly as bad as exiting onto Castro). Overall, adding 200 u 200 units there - will cause all sorts of traffic problems and safety risk.

This is clearly a bad proposal


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Posted by wally
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 18, 2013 at 11:58 pm

People running red lights on left turns is bad enough as it is on El Camino. Especially at El Monte and Shoreline. Despite the random maximum enforcement stunts MVPD has pulled. Casto actually isn't as bad as the first two I mentioned...now we can make sure it is.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

On a positive more, hoping this project will be well designed, wide sidewalk and really good set backs. This project can be used to set the standard for the El Camino Real area east and west of Castro Street. Color, materials, sidewalk landscaping and planters.

How about shop keeper living and retail space, instead of 1 big building, build 2 buildings with a plaza. Peet's can face El Camino with plaza side seating. Use of light will brighten a otherwise a dark corner.

No rubber stamping, well thought about corner which one day the Chase Bank site well be developed.


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Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Apr 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Yet another article describing the City Council's headlong rush to transform Mountain View into a rental community.

I'd sure love to know what analysis they conduct, aside from looking at developer proposals, that leads them to believe this is the right decision for Mountain View.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Before 1990 Mountain View was a big rental community, look at Latham, California Street. Other places where rental housing could have been build was built for ownership units.

If the developer was building homeowner units, but I doubt anyone would spend the money to live on this corner, renting is fine.


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Posted by Kate
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Drat! I don't want them to tear down Rose's Mrkt... I love that place. Buy great feta and Halal meats (like kosher) and their grilled goodies too. Wonderful koubideh.

It's one of the best ethnic mrkts in MV and the only Persian mrkt I know of.


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm

@ Garrett,

It's not the fact that the proposed development is rental units per se, that I take issue with; it is the fact that the size and scope of the project - a FOUR story, 200 unit development PLUS retail space - is inappropriate for the location. Period.

For starters...

Where will the driveways accessing this development be located? What happens if/when Castro Street is narrowed down to ONE lane in each direction -- which is one proposal being studied right now as a result of THREE children being struck by cars around Graham Middle School this year? How about a traffic impact study? How about a parking study? What about the impact to the surrounding residential neighborhood with many one story, single family homes, homes which will now exist in the shadow of a FOUR story 200 unit apartment development?

The negative impact to the immediate neighborhood in terms of traffic congestion, parking issues, pedestrian safety -- especially with a middle school located less than 1/4 mile from this proposed development, where there has already been THREE children struck be cars this school year! Not to mention the loss of privacy to the residents of the quiet neighborhood which this development would tower over.

City Council should listen to the people whom they are supposed to be representing and, at the very least, do not rush thru the approval process of this development proposal.

Shoot first and ask questions later is NOT the way our lovely city should operating, but that seems to be the case lately.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I have armchair developer in me. If it was my project would keep Rose Market, I know lots of people that eat there, Peet's fan. I think 200 units are too much, will go for 150 units. Underground Parking that is open to public, green space, and shopkeeper owner units with living space,


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

Evidently there are two comment threads on this topic, so I will post this in both threads...

I urge EVERYONE who can make it, to attend the next City Council meeting -- which is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23rd @ 6.30PM in Council Chambers -- and voice your opinion on this matter directly to City Council.

From the city government website:

Addressing the Council

"Citizens may address the Council on items included in the agenda or on topics that are not included in the agenda. Items on the "Consent Calendar" are not discussed individually but are approved as a group with one motion. If a citizen wishes to speak on an item on the Consent Calendar, he or she may come to the podium at the time announced by the Mayor and request that the item be pulled. If an item is pulled, it is considered after the Consent Calendar items are voted upon. Anyone wishing to address the Council on a non-agenda item may do so during the "Oral Communications" part of the agenda. Speakers are allowed to speak one time on any number of topics for up to three minutes.

In Public Hearings, an oral report is often first presented by City staff followed by questions from the Council. After this, the Mayor opens the hearing.

Speakers are requested to fill out a blue card available at the rear of the Council Chambers and deposit it at the podium when they come forward to speak; this is to assure that names and cities of residence are accurately recorded in the minutes. Remarks should be limited to three minutes. If a large group wishes to express its views, it is more effective to have one spokesperson."

more...


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 21, 2013 at 5:15 am

This part of the intersection is an eyesore and needs development. Unfortunately, after reading the quotes of some council members, its clear that some are clueless about how economic growth takes place and how to mitigate the impact of traffic and parking.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

I like the idea of redeveloping this corner, also want point out the Chase Bank across Castro Street. Why I mention this site, one day this property might be redeveloped. Just when, I really don't know?

Both corners need to be planned and developed in the same style and heights. Would a wonderful gateway into the neighborhood.

Just because the developer has asked for 200 units, doesn't mean he will build that many. Lets plan and see more planning.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

I like the idea of redeveloping this corner, also want point out the Chase Bank across Castro Street. Why I mention this site, one day this property might be redeveloped. Just when, I really don't know?

Both corners need to be planned and developed in the same style and heights. Would a wonderful gateway into the neighborhood.

Just because the developer has asked for 200 units, doesn't mean he will build that many. Lets plan and see more planning.


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Posted by Lynne Cortopassi
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 22, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Unfortunately, Mountain view IS already a RENTAL COMMUNITY. I went to the website, USA.com and found this info. Owner occupied for Mtn. View is 39.35%; Los Altos, 82.5%; Palo Alto, 52.33%; Sunnyvale, 45.93%; Santa Clara 43,64% and Redwood City 48.55%. We have more rentals than any of our surrounding communities. I think that we have done our share. I also wonder if the city checks to see how many people are living in rental units. A woman living in Shoreline West complained in Springer Trees about slum landlords allowing several people living in units designed for smaller numbers.


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Posted by T.M. Orlando
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

I'm a long-term resident of Mountain View. The city council drives me crazy -- has for years. Mountain View has the densest number of apartments on the peninsula, yet the city insists on building more. Why?

How densely populated do you want this town? Isn't the current traffic congestion bad enough? And Rose Market -- it's an absolute "gem" in this city. Why push it out?


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Posted by Cuesta Park Neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2013 at 10:36 am

Between the Middle school and an apartment complex, I would expect traffic to increase on that part of Castro and we don't need more of that near kids. Peets, Rose's Market, and Lee's tailor would be displaced and are icons in the area which help preserve that small community charm Mountain view offers. Don't we have enough new apartments with all the downtown developments? Disappointing that the city council members are always so pro development in areas across Mountain View (minus Siegel). Seems to be a trend as long as it doesn't affect where they live. I wonder what would happen if an apartment building (or Enclave houses on Grant road, or power antennae on top of nearby church) were proposed in one of their backyards. Doubt it would be supported then.


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