(Letter to the editor published in the 11/29/13 print edition)
On Dec. 3, the City Council will consider final approval of the Prometheus development at 100 Moffett. The proposal includes 229 parking spaces for 228 bedrooms, adhering to the controversial "Model Parking Standard" of one space per bedroom. Planning and developers are fond of this standard, but to anyone who cares to look closely, it should be obvious that this will be inadequate, and will push project residents' parking into neighborhood streets.
One significant issue is the high percentage of large 1-BR apartments at 100 Moffett - 76%, compared to 54% at 1984 El Camino, and 40% average in the four complexes studied for the Model Parking Standard. 1-BR apartments at 100 Moffett will average 820 sf. Under Mountain View's previous parking regulations, 1-BR units over 650 sf required 2 spaces, reflecting the likelihood that these apartments will be shared. At Prometheus' Madera project, the cheapest 1-BR units rent for $3500/month. It will not take renters long to figure out that if two people share, each could save $21,000/year.
Prometheus has presented a "study" of parking at Madera, that appears to show a low percentage of garage parking usage. This study was paid for by the developer, and is not impartial. Questionable practices include overcounting "available" spaces by including EV charging, Zipcar, and motorcycle spaces; ignoring offsite parking by residents; undercounting the number of parked cars (failing to include "unassigned" spaces in tabulating usage by 1-BR tenants), and failing to consider unoccupied units. This is not an objective study, and is not a proper guide for 100 Moffett, or for any other future project.
Many more developments will be coming our way. Allowing inadequate parking would not just negatively impact the Moffett neighborhood, but would set a destructive precedent. For those interested, the Madera parking report and the "Model Parking Standard" staff report can be viewed at www.moffettneighborhood.org.