http://mv-voice.com/square/print/2014/05/30/middle-class-anxiety-over-rising-rents


Town Square

Middle class anxiety over rising rents

Original post made on May 30, 2014

They might not be the sort of folks you'd expect to hear making such complaints, but several Mountain View families with income from companies like Apple and Google say rent increases are now a source of considerable anxiety.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 30, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bored M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 30, 2014 at 12:14 am

These sob stories should be balanced out with stories of people who are succeeding in life. Working hard and being rewarded (though not every time) deserves acknowledgment as making the right choices in life.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Look harder
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 30, 2014 at 6:34 am

What "Wrong choices" have these Apple and Google employees made? Also, have you missed all the great articles about local businesses doing well and student achievements? If you try you can start reading these stories in today's paper right now. Just look, they even have a headline.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 30, 2014 at 9:38 am

Housing prices are primarily set by supply and demand.
Due to the high quality of life in Mountain View, there is a great demand.

Some would like to add 20,000 or so high-rise, high-density, housing units (think of college dorms).
Envision Mountain View looking liked Manhattan or Taipei.
That surely would reduce housing prices as many of us would move due to a dramatic decrease in the quality of life.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2014 at 9:53 am

Konrad, you're ignoring the supply half of that equation, and the fact that it hasn't been keeping up with supply. We wouldn't have to even be thinking about high rises/super high density if people hadn't put this off, and simply allowing natural growth, for the past 40 years.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Blind spots
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2014 at 10:45 am

'... having moved from Michigan four years ago. They had owned a 3,000-square-foot home there which cost $240,000... "I think there should be a cap on how much money you can charge for a house," Williams said. "There's no rhyme or reason, it's insane almost." '

1. Well, yes, there's plenty of rhyme and reason -- and it never even occurs to such people what a huge, central, factor they themselves are, in the very situation they gripe about! I welcome all new neighbors; but do they really not grasp that so many people "moving from Michigan" to an already crowded Bay Area help drive prices up?

2. Such stories never display any awareness, either, of silicon valley's LONG history of boom-bust cycles. During the previous one ("dot-com"), I moved out of a longtime apartment rental paying ~1400/mo (landlord had raised rents only slowly, for steady responsible tenants). The apt. was cleaned, then promptly rented to new hires at Cisco or some such booming employer, for 2700/mo. A year later, housing demand collapsed; landlords had to lower their rates again to get tenants.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kurt A.
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Wow, Thanks for reminding me why I moved out 8 years ago to Reno. I love the fact my property tax is less the what some pay for monthy rent. I "suffer" a 25 minute drive to get home in the surounding foothills from downtown. Hiking trails at my back fence. I can be at Lake Tahoe in an hour. No state income tax. I do not miss the Bay Area rat race!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Gosh what a lot of mean-spirited replies!

Like many others, my husband and I couldn't afford to buy our house, that he bought way back in 1983. As the "old-timers" die off, this neighborhood will consist only of people wealthy enough to pay $2 million for a quarter-acre piece of suburbia. For years my husband has seen people come here to interview, look around at housing, and then decline the job. Now we are seeing friends who are long-time renters having to pack up and leave. And what this article is trying to point out, for those commenters who missed it, is that even highly-educated, well-paid employees at the local tech companies are having to dip into their retirement and college savings to pay the rent. Five-thousand dollars for an apartment at the new San Antonio development? To live above a shopping center?! Who on City Council has that kind of money? None is the answer. All city council members, except perhaps one, live in comfortable houses on tree-lined suburban streets, that they too bought probably 20+ years ago.

Are all these new developments in Mountain View for some mega-wealthy populace? Or for those of us that already call Mountain View home?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by You don't have to race
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Vast hiking trails from my back fence (MidPen land)) Pacific Ocean waves and endless coastline in 35-45 minutes, SF Bay in 5, SF City in 40 minutes, Redwood forests in 10, no commute, I work from home, paid a great salary so I can afford the area. Tahoe in one hour in my plane. House in Tahoe.

I guess the term "Rat race" is relative. I'm glad you're happy in Reno. Your move helped free up some of the very tight supply of housing.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Pat
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2014 at 12:59 pm


I feel so bad for all the long time residents of Mountain View. I currently rent a small apt. from Avalon Towers and my rent goes up by the maximum allowed every year. The corporate america companies are really just plain greedy. Avalon owns apartments all over the country, and I'm supposed to believe that if they don't jack up my rent, they'll lose money? Seriously? They're just concerned with the dollar, which is the root of all current problems in America. Basically, plenty isn't enough. They enjoy squeezing every red cent they can from you. So sad.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pat
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm


I feel so bad for all the long time residents of Mountain View. I currently rent a small apt. from Avalon Towers and my rent goes up by the maximum allowed every year. The corporate america companies are really just plain greedy. Avalon owns apartments all over the country, and I'm supposed to believe that if they don't jack up my rent, they'll lose money? Seriously? They're just concerned with the dollar, which is the root of all current problems in America. Basically, plenty isn't enough. They enjoy squeezing every red cent they can from you. So sad.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Mountain View needs more housing urgently. We may tinker with raising the minimum wage, enacting rent control, building a small number of low-income housing units, etc a while longer. But rents will keep rising until we recognize that we need to meet the high demand with fresh supply. Property owners are lining up to do it. We should let them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sylvie
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 30, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Wow, it's gotten so bad that women are forced to actually get jobs? And people have to live on the wrong side of the tracks in like Monta Loma or something? And some kids have to have small yards? And some people have to actually make a living instead of doing "holistic healing"?

This whole article is a catalog of first world problems and is unlikely to elicit much sympathy!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MV Renter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Sadly, this article is all too true. We just had our rent raised by nearly 50% on our 2-bedroom home, after living there for five years at a very affordable rent. Sadly, we are still getting a "good deal" compared to what some other homes rent for. We're renting now while we save to buy a home. But, as even 2-bedroom single-family homes in our neighborhood are selling for $1 million+, that's looking more and more like an impossible dream (especially as our home savings money is now going into our landlord's pocket).

My husband and I both grew up in this area. Mt. View used to be a lovely community that was an affordable option to Palo Alto and Los Altos. We love Mt. View, and are raising our two children here. Our older daughter is just about to start school. Our extended families live locally. We both do well, salary-wise, with good, full-time jobs in the area - unfortunately, we don't have "cushy" tech jobs, though.

What's next for us? Leave our families, jobs and friends for someplace out of the area, just so we can afford a home? It's incredibly sad that families like us are being pushed out of the community that we love and contribute to on a daily basis.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm

I cannot afford a mansion in Los Altos Hills, so we need to build more affordable housing there as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Blind spots
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Martin Omander: "But rents will keep rising until we recognize that we need to meet the high demand with fresh supply"

Martin, I don't know why you and some others keep fixating on that very incomplete picture; your conclusion above has been long discredited as someone pointed out in another recent comments thread, and it contradicts the actual experience I posted above. The 2:1 rent increase I mentioned, and subsequent collapse, all within a year or so, had nothing to do with changes in HOUSING supply. It was all driven by local economy boom and bust. Just as today Google and Facebook are hiring like mad, bringing in literally thousands of new people to compete for available vacancies (and to complain about how high rents and prices are!)

The same or worse has happened in the other economic booms here that the newbies are all so thoroughly ignorant of. It happened in the dot-com days 15 years ago. It happened in the 1970s, when peninsula homes rapidly inflated from tens of thousands to low hundreds of thousands. And everyone trying to get them was shocked, dismayed, or bitter, just like some people on this page.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 30, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

I am fortunate enough to have been able to buy a home 20 years ago when I was 30. It took having two high-tech incomes back then to be able to save for the down payment and have a reasonable monthly mortgage. I doubt it's that easy for today's 30 year-olds. We paid $220,000 in 1993. A comparable one sold recently for $920,000.

The problem is definitely an issue of supply as much as demand. How many homes were originally scheduled to be built on the Mayfield site? Long-term homeowners (e.g. people who don't have to worry about rising rents or home prices) fought it tooth-and-nail. In the end the developer decided to just reopen it for office space. What a loss.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by George
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm

One of these days, the electronic young ones will realize that life is more than a high paying job.... They will move out to the other parts of the country, get a good job in a small shop and live well and happy.

When the Apples and Googles of the world will wake up and realize that they can produce good items with happy emploees, they will move their plants to Lodi, Mantica, etc.

It will eventually even out

Bye George


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Gemello
on May 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Thanks to our wonderful POTUS there is no more middle class. You have wealthy and you have wealthy/poor (people who spend. Most of their money on housing ) or you have the poor. You can have an upper middle class job , and not afford to live in this area.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by gummybutt
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 30, 2014 at 4:38 pm

The 2 families listed in this article are facing problems but by no means they are poor by any standards. I am surprised they paid $4200 to live in a nice private home instead of living in an apartment for less and saved some money for down payment . Other options are They can move to San Jose or Gilroy or somewhere in between. Sure, it would be a somewhat difficult commute but it is not like end of the world for them. if the stock market keeps going up like it is, more moderately middle class people, that is, families making in the low 100Ks per year won't be able to live in Mountain View, Los Altos,Palo Alto, Menlo Park,etc...and will have to move southward. It is a really stupid idea to use retirement money to pay off rent and other expenses just to live in Mountain View and it shows they lack long term vision and it is like digging a hole around themselves.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by TransplantedBuckeye
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 30, 2014 at 4:53 pm

There is a rhyme and reason to the housing market. LOTS of people work for tech companies and want to live nearby. There is a limited amount of housing, so prices go up, that's supply and demand. Having moved here two and a half years ago from a 4,000 square foot home in Ohio, I can tell you that trying to recreate Michigan in Silicon Valley is a pipe dream. Renting a single family home that has a current market value of $1 million or more while depleting your accumulated wealth and mortgaging your future is not a sustainable course of action. I've had to reset my expectations multiple times since learning that we were moving here, and my family now lives in a spacious home of 1,400 square feet.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Martin
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm

I think credit should go out to the people who were willing to put their names and faces to this problem. It very much humanizes it. Not too many on these boards would even put their name and face to a comment they make. Myself included. Good for you folks who were willing to put yourselves out there to let us know what some people are dealing with.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Agree with Sylvie
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on May 30, 2014 at 5:46 pm

I agree with Sylvie 100%.

This article really angers me. Yes, we all struggle and we all have to make difficult decisions. Ms. Ortiz sounds like a great person who volunteers for our schools, but her family made a decision and now they need to live with the outcome. The unspoken priority for them was clearly to send their kids to one of the higher rated schools in Mountain View, whatever the sacrifice. The sacrifice was not being able to purchase a home on that side, but having to rent instead.

We are in a very similar boat, I stay at home and my husband works for a high tech company. We also could not afford to buy on that side, but knowing full well that rents would continue to rise, and knowing full well that we wanted some type of stability for our kids we bought the only thing in Mountain View we could afford - a small condo on the North side of town. The huge sacrifice we made was having little play space for our children and having to send them to a lower-rated school. Decisions must be made, priorities aligned and unless you have a lot of money, you can't have it all.

I also could choose to go back to work, and we could possibly afford something more, but I also decided it was more important my children have me at home. A very personal decision, but a decision that comes with some sacrifice none-the-less.

We are not unique in our neighborhood. Many of my neighbors have had to make these same difficult choices. I'm just thankful that we have been able to give our children some level of stability and quality of life, even if we didn't get the play space and school we wanted for our kids. So many families have put everything on the table (both parents working, small 1-bed apartment, etc) and still come up short. Ms Ortiz and Ms Williams are welcome to move to our side of the tracks where the rents are a little better, of course that would mean their children would have to attend a lower-ranked school (oh, the horror!). Good enough for other people's kids, I guess, but not their own. On the bright side, their husband's commute to work would be shorter!

"Williams said their home was the cheapest suitable place they could find south of the railroad tracks. She said everything that was cheaper was too small for their three kids."

Sorry Ms Williams and Ms Ortiz, you can't have it all. Pick your poison and make the best of it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Aileen
a resident of Willowgate
on May 30, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Its just supply and demand. Good neighborhoods with good schools and short commute are scarce in silicon valley. Mountain view is becoming the next Palo.Alto.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on May 30, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Before anyone criticizes people for tying to stay in Mountain View, please be responsible enough to recognize to what degree you benefit from various government policies.

Some residents benefit from lower Prop 13 property taxes.
Some residents benefit from zoning that shapes supply and demand by limiting density or restricting housing development.

To bring this up is not to attack Prop 13, many residents could not afford their homes without those protections. Nor is it to say we should allow developers whatever they want, which would create gross negative externalities on our streets and schools.

What I am saying is that many have benefited from policies beyond their own labor. So before someone criticizes renters for not being self responsible, own up to the degree your own success is helped by external policies, or be sensitive that rent in Mountain View is as much influenced by zoning policies that shape that supply, as it is by tech-driven demand.

I still hold out hope that our community can envision a revolutionary solution in North Bayshore that provides for "eco-warrior" micro-housing that could contribute to supply of housing in our tech corridor without worsening traffic, in lieu of some planned office growth. Like any housing, it doesn't have to appeal to everyone, just those willing to live responsibly by nature without cars.

This is just one idea, I hope residents can join in and think of other ideas to help our neighbors, rather than make light of our neighbors' hardships.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ron
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 30, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Greedy greedy. .... one big earthquake. ....or Google relocates to a cheaper place equals. ....homes for cheaper price. ..period. ....if you like your price you can keep it. ...Obama. ...... $35,000 dinner ......walmart. ....any questions......


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ron
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Greedy greedy. .... one big earthquake. ....or Google relocates to a cheaper place equals. ....homes for cheaper price. ..period. ....if you like your price you can keep it. ...Obama. ...... $35,000 dinner ......walmart. ....any questions......


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thinker
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 31, 2014 at 3:24 am

The answer is a complete and no-holds-barred redevelopment -- razing everything down and building skyscrapers (super-high-density, super-high-rise apartment towers) along the California street.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not so sure
a resident of Slater
on May 31, 2014 at 6:21 am

There's simply way too many people saying "We need a big earthquake" to make me think any mass exodus will occur if there is a big earthquake.

Sort of like how everyone are waiting for everyone else to use mass transit, so they can drive traffic free. The problem is, everyone is thinking that.

Don't expect much "I'm outta here" after a quake. One thing that might happen would be fire sales of uninsured damaged homes, but the speculators will be piling in with cash and a likely total rebuild would need to happen.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pdview
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 31, 2014 at 7:30 am

There's so much to love about living in Mountain View from the high-tech economy to the wonderful open space nearby, easy access to the bay and ocean, great schools, nearly perfect weather, and the now vibrant downtown. Housing and scarce water are our toughest issues.

I don't like developments like the one at San Antonio and El Camino that are built up right next to street side but on the other hand I totally support building new high-density housing, hopefully with green spaces and gardening opportunities, like those now being constructed where the Tropicana Hotel used to be.

My problem is not that the City Council approves new development projects for high-tech industry, we need them, but that they have been woefully lacking in their ability to keep pace with housing for the new workers or for the service people who support us all.

The city council is composed, I think, mainly of well established pre-prop 13 homeowners. What we need is a better balance of homeowners, younger workers and renters on the City Council and we need to approve housing projects commensurate with the amount of jobs we add. We have the resources to be a model community and we should be for all of our community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2014 at 10:10 am

Renters worry about the rent rising beyond what they can afford.

Future homeowners worry about home prices becoming beyond reach.

These are 2 very valid concerns, but watching.people being.driven out is not good. So what if they the only thing in life is becoming successful, might be different to other people.

Some people might find success in helping the community thrive for future generations.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pat
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 31, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Love the way "Big Brother", gets to decide who gets to voice their opinion. Communists!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of North Whisman
on May 31, 2014 at 1:32 pm

We already had a big earthquake, in 1989, and it didn't drive people out. IIRC, it did drop house prices, but only for a couple of months.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on May 31, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Those interested in learning what other cities are doing to help with housing can read the Association of Bay Area Governments' recent report at the following Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Holistic Healer, Yoga Instructor, Teacher, Nurse and the Piano Teacher which to me provide services to the community. Meaning the only jobs aren't tech and Mountain doesn't evolve around peoples tech jobs. The race to be successful doesn't mean landing a job with Google, other might find that successful.

Being from California you really.don't want to a earthquake wipe out peoples home, businesses or ways of life.

Don't want to see my hometown become a battleground of us versus them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bored M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 31, 2014 at 9:58 pm

My job isn't tech and I bought a million dollar house last year with a 50% down payment. I even renovated it. My wife and I are raising a kid on a single income as well. Please stop blaming tech and please start blaming people's individual decisions. I don't deny that I've been fortunate and lucky, but I don't think removing the possibility of unequal outcomes will solve anything. There are thousands just as lucky as me in the non-tech fields and they'll succeed regardless.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Yep, nimbys have truly ruined the bay area. My wife and I are 28 and collectively make 240k,living in San Francisco in our early 20s to our late 20s was the right choice. The greatest city I've ever experienced. But now that we're older, there's no chance of a house purchase and we're moving to Austin. Expect tech in general to make a big play into Austin.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Gemello
on May 31, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Getting rid of artificial restrictions on housing supply will not remove the possibility of "unequal outcomes".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bored M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 31, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Sam... There's nothing wrong with moving to the minor leagues. Assets are priced globally... I hope you appreciate that when you're looking at college tuition.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by B
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 1, 2014 at 10:30 am

"'I think there should be a cap on how much money you can charge for a house,' Williams said. 'There's no rhyme or reason, it's insane almost.'"

Sadly, there IS a reason. It's called supply and demand.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by B
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 1, 2014 at 10:34 am

"'I think there should be a cap on how much money you can charge for a house,' Williams said. 'There's no rhyme or reason, it's insane almost."

There IS a reason. It's called supply-and-demand. Not saying it's right or wrong, just that it's a fact. If people weren't willing to pay $4,000-5,500 for the 3- and 4-bedroom places quoted above, landlords wouldn't be charging it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by FedUp
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 1, 2014 at 10:51 am

We've already lost another community leader due to high rents.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Betsy
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Excellent article. I agree and find it especially disturbing that people who are active participants in or community are being forced out. Mountain View needs to be a place where not only young technical people can live, but also where families can settle and stay and help build a stronger Mountain View.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2014 at 12:52 pm

A community needs civic minded residents, people make the community not real estate. Yes young people fresh out of university want work and to be able to succeed in their position. Not so much success but to start paying down college debt, move ahead and who knows? Family life might come later.

One size does not fit all.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Aaron
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2014 at 9:47 am

If our "representatives" were actually doing their jobs, they would force business to more evenly distribute themselves about the Bay Area. Like, hey Google, why don't you open a campus in East Palo Alto? They could use some development. Hello? Can you leave us the heck alone in Mountain View for a while? Seriously, give us a break.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2014 at 10:58 am

Time to pull out Eniment.Domian, teling businesses they have to relocate part or all of their operations. Something wrong with thar.

Did you know thousands of homes, business, schools and churches forced out because the government tried before. Freeways were another sore point for landownerz.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I'm back in NYC, delighted to have seen the last of Mountain View. If I'm going to spend half my income on rent, it sure as heck ain't gonna be in some narcissistic backwater nothing like Mountain View.

I called California code enforcement on my predatory Mountain View landlord on my way out and cost him a bundle on repairs that I'd been asking for for years. Good riddance to you and your awful little town.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rented out Ben's pad for $2K more!
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 2, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Good for you! You sound happy Ben, really happy. Glad you feel connected enough to come back and visit with us all as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Coming and Going
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 2, 2014 at 3:47 pm

When someone moves out, somebody else moves in. What's wrong with the new person? Any reason to believe that person won't contribute to the community?

I grew up in another community, but couldn't afford to (comfortably) live there as an adult. So I made a choice. And even to be here, it was a struggle for awhile. Again, more choices.

Find the place that's a fit for your means and desired lifestyle...then become involved and make that place a great community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Old Ben: We're equally delighted to have seen the last of you! Buh Bye!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm

When one moves out, another just moves in. I love MV though. Moved here a few years ago at the ripe old age of 72 and have been in love with it each day since.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anthodyd
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm

A view from a long-term renter in MV; when I moved here from SJ in 1977, the rent for the 1-BR apartment here in mid-town MV was ..$265... I liked the place then as now, and stayed contently for its walking distance to work, mini-mall and city library. The current rent is $1600 plus utilities ($36) and such makes my continued living here somewhat tenuous- but moving itself is expensive, and frankly there are few if any appealing alternatives.
An above observation that MV is a future PA seems cogent- our nearby border with Los Altos is difficult to discern, aside from the street signs and curb/gutter treatment. All very well for an upscale community, tho I think that our future depends mightily on an uninterrupted prosperity. May that be so, for many people's sake.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Coming and Going
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm

My post wasn't directed at Ben. It was in response to people bemoaning how wonderful people are being pushed out. Maybe someone equally or more wonderful will be moving in.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pushed out
a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2014 at 10:20 pm

I and my partner are highly educated professionals but we could no longer afford to live in Mountain. View. We lived there for many years and we were very connected to the city and were volunteers on city committees. The massive exodus of long time residents lreally does change the character of a city.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Mountain View and Palo Alto are being ruined by foreign real estate investors, mostly from certain Asian country.

They are greedy rent-seekers with no connections to the community other than money, the very kind described in the book The Price of Inequality by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz.

The confluence of high job growth, prop 13, congested highway, negligible public transportation, and low interest rates makes this area a perfect playground for rent-seekers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Back In NYC
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2014 at 12:47 am

@m2grs: YOU GET IT. You have got it. These people are greedy suicidal morons.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 3, 2014 at 9:54 am

" They had owned a 3,000-square-foot home there which cost $240,000"

So move back to Michigan!!! Problem solved!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 3, 2014 at 9:59 am

"You have to put $500,000 down"

20% down is sufficient. So unless you're buying a $2.5M home...

There are quite a number of houses for sale in the area for under $600k. Even a few under $400k. But if you want a mansion, you'll have to pay millions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 3, 2014 at 10:03 am

$349k, 3 bed, 2 bath in San Jose near Campbell/Los Gatos. Buy it cheap, spend $200k on renovations - there you go. Your mortgage will be less than $2000/month.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2014 at 10:13 am

A case in point: 3xxx Babbits, Palo Alto.

Some folk bought it in May for $2.225M, overbid $320K, and guess what he does with the house? Immediately turn it in into rental, charging $6300/m.

Minus the fixed cost of property tax and insurance, the return on even an all-cash purchase is merely 2% per year.

Why the new owner did it? Obviously he/she is counting on price appreciation, low interest rates and prop 13.

Such speculative buying is rampant in Mountain View and Palo Alto. Not a good sign.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 3, 2014 at 10:23 am

"Such speculative buying is rampant in Mountain View and Palo Alto."
Rampant you say? What percentage equals "Rampant"? 50%? 75%?

That's some data I would like to see. Obviously someone without actual data wouldn't post this, so please forward the link so we can all see this and know you're not just another incarnation of our favorite MV hater.
Thanks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2014 at 11:12 am

Lets see I have read in these papers, Asian Investors, Google, Tech Workers, Prop 13, Greedy Landlords, and Developers.

Look at the amount of jobs being produced over a 30 year period, the housing part hasn't kept up with demand, supply side it terrible. I am talking about the bay area as a whole. Just because a house in for sale in San Jose, Campbell or Fremont, we still have the same supply problem.

Low income people are seeing a hard time in staying, either work 3 jobs or move away. Folks the bay area has changed in many ways. Middle income people are now finding the same problem, get educated and still can't afford a studio or 1 bedroom apartment.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Barry Burr
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 3, 2014 at 11:27 am

By failing to implement some form or rent regulation, Mountain View is effectively slamming the door shut on resident renters with reasonable paying high tech jobs from being able to save enough for the down payment.
The city is allowing property owners who neither live or nor vote in the city to write their own pay raises, at the renter's expense.
I have constantly watched as my savings chases what's needed to get a mortgage, but the house prices keep going sky high as "inflated assets", not just appreciating assets. The 20% increase over the last year took this way over the top.
So I and thousands other like me who have lived in town for many years, are trapped with landlords sucking the lifeblood out of out savings just to be able to stay with a stable roof of over our heads at a modest middle class standard of living that any of us deserve based on the level of jobs we have.
The Voice' article on rental costs last winter had terrible unintended fallout. It signaled to may landlords that its time to jack up the rents again.
My previous 2 bedroom rental in MV for eight years cost me from $1795 up to $1970/ month until recently. The owners pulled the "we're renovating" scam to abruptly require me to move out. After slapping a coat of paint, new cabinets, and the stereotypical marble countertops in, they're getting $3200 a month, and they didn't even remove the 50 year old drum of toxic chemicals from the attic.
A few years back when commercial landlords threatened the integrity of the downtown area and existence of longterm businesses, the city got involved and "sent a message" to those landlords to chill out.
Now its time for the city to tell its thousands of residential landlords the same message.
Mountain View can remain a thriving community, only if the people who live here and make the city what it is, can afford to continue living here and afford to keep spending their $$ at Mountain View's businesses instead of seeing it siphoned off to out of town landlords' greed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lets Roll
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Yes. A change of policy/law should address this situation. It is fixable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

We need to make a choice: more jobs and more housing, or cap jobs and maintain Mountain View as we have known it. Personally, I think some high rise apartments are in order that can have all the amazing amenities the techies can afford, and by increasing supply, leave some of our more standard apartments affordable.

Also: Rent control please.

I want to live in a diverse community that doesn't push out lower and middle class people. The people cleaning our floors, and even running local businesses shouldn't have to commute an hour to get here. What kind of world do we want to live in?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Barry - It's supply and demand. If a company offered you more money than you were making last year, would you turn it down? Why do expect landlords to turn down more money?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2014 at 3:04 pm

From Gummybutt-"I am surprised they paid $4200 to live in a nice private home instead of living in an apartment for less and saved some money for down payment ."

Me too! Cry me a river! I lived in a dump and saved money. We lived on one salary and then in our early thirties we bought a house for 900k (without help). It can be done. No one is entitled to live where they can't afford. I grew up in the east bay because despite having to college grads as parents and above average income earners, they could not afford Peninsula prices, they weren't crying in their beer over it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm

How is it that year after year, decade after decade, some families can come to the US and buy a home with in 10 years...and their kids go to great universities. Some who have lived here all their lives--speaking English-- have little to nothing. Likewise some families who come here don't end up doing anything paying rent for 20 or 30 years. It is societies fault? Corporate America's fault? How did some families escape? Was it hard work? Having and or cultivating skills that were in demand at a high price?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Why should landlords have to subsidize people who can not afford the going rate? Why don't you and your friends pull out your wallet and subsidize the people who can't afford to pay?

@aaron-what are you talking about evenly distributed? Take a look outside of Mountain View and tell me what you see.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

It's called buying second hand, living with roommates, not buying the newest gadgets, having one used car, lving in a small space, scrimping and saving. Now people are saying oh it's ok, just give them rent control so they can maintain their luxury lifestyle. No thank you, pull out your own wallet and leave mine alone.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Sparty has the best question of them all.

I have know people right in Mountain View, arrive in the states with family in tow, the live all one one apartment, taking any job that they can get. They work, they save, they work, as a family unit they save and buy a home. They make sure the kids are going to school, doing the homework, they make sure the kids go to school and learn English.

The kids graduate, the kids get jobs, repeat work, save money, work as family, buy a home or open a business. Repeat as many times with the number of family members.

How I know, I asked my neighbor.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I have to say I am turning down more money because it is the humane thing to do. The long term residents who live in my apt. complex, as I do, deserve to be treated as I would want to be. Both my spouse and I work two jobs to be able to carry the note on the property without letting it get rundown and without raising the rents to the current market level, or even near it. The rents are about one third or fourth what could easily be charged for what we offer.

Sounds stupid, but this is characteristic of "Mom & Pop" operations. Their renters become sort of like family and they don't raise their rents much at all.

The only thing that would require me to raise the rents, suddenly and way up to market, would be the imposition of rent control in MV. I'd have to catch up all at once in order to be ready to go up only 10% a year or whatever after the city sets rent control into law. That is because I would have no power to catch up even by a 20% raise (which would still be a rent of about a dollar per square foot) in case either of us lost either of our jobs supplementing this, or in case of us having health problems, or whatever.

I know many other rental property owners who would be forced to jump their rents way up to catch up if rent control got voted in. Many don't do it in order to keep long term tenants, but certainly will, should a law becoming that will not allow them any catch up at all when someone new comes in. Catch up, all the way, all at once, and then always go up as much as is allowable each year. No more chance to be Mr. Nice Guy to win your tenants loyalty.

And rent control would reduce the new housing being built, as it would not be as profitable to build and/or to own, even when there are those who can easily afford the best, no matter what it costs. This will limit the supply catching up with the demand even more.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Rental control will not happen.

I say the solution is annexation of Moffett Field. Turn it into massive residential housing. Don't worry about super fund pollution. That can be easily handled, as it has been done in Mountain View.

That is the only viable way to provide enough housing for the number of jobs we will see in Mountain View.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Reality and Compromise

We need to face the fact that the $440,000 single family, one story, ditched home and the $2,500 per month, three bedroom apartments, are part of Mountain View's history and will not occur again.

We do need more housing, but how much is enough? Some will say we need one additional residence for each new job (13,000 for LinkedIn and 15,000 to 20,000 for Google). Others would prefer things as they are. Somewhere between is the solution. No-one will be overjoyed with the result, but we can achieve a compromise that we all can live with.

We need a Light Rail connection from the downtown transit center to North Bayshore. That way, residents of other communities can take Caltrain and Light Rail. Soon, East Bay residents could take BART and Light Rail. This need is obvious.

Limit Office construction. We can't add three new offices for every new residence. Housing prices and traffic will continue to go skyward.

The only sane way forward is through accepting reality and forming compromises.







 +   Like this comment
Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 3, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Well said, Konrad.

And well said, Linda - I don't often agree with your posts (I'm still shaking my head about your arguments on another article that we can never afford to sacrifice space for cars because we might need to evacuate from tidal waves)... But I think you're right on about the downsides of rent control, and I think it's valuable to have the perspective of a local, "mom & pop" landlord in this discussion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yep
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Get real. The bunch defending the going rates are, in actuality, against increased supply at the fear that they'll end up underwater for the inflated values they bought their homes at. Intellectually dishonesty. For those people (e.g. "neighbor") this is pure schadenfreude.

The profligate, nouveau riche, low empathy out of towners overtaking Mountain View. It's lovely.

Hypothetically, if a bunch of supply was being brought on to the market here and bringing those values back down, they'd be crying about too many permits being given out for residential construction. Because then it would be a policy decision, not the reality that they overpaid at an order of magnitude beyond the national rate of inflation.

No, they're never the problem.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Since when is there a right or need to live in the same town your work in? I know plenty of families who had someone working at the Ford plant in Milpitas, and none of them lived in Milpitas...because they all lived in my town. Likewise my friend's dad who worked at MJB in Hayward... didn't live in Hayward. Or my dad who took BART with thousands of others to SF.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SupplyAndDemand
a resident of Gemello
on Jun 4, 2014 at 7:52 am

The Law of Supply And Demand dictates that if one wants prices of housing to go down (Demand), then one must increase the Supply. I did some calculations and if we create 10,000 new homes now, that will stabilize prices in the less desirable areas of Mountain View for at least 2 years! Then, we only need to approve about 3,000 new homes every year. Of course, this won't drive prices DOWN, but the increased Supply will help stem the rising Demand.

We already have beautiful neighborhoods to live in like Los Altos, so I suggest that we just sell our Mountain View homes and move to those cities that care about their residents and let this place turn into an antfarm.

Remember, you can't fight the law of Supply and Demand. It's influence is unstoppable--might as well surrender.

It's. That. Simple.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MV Renter
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 4, 2014 at 8:02 am

I've been renting a two bedroom condo for the past 4 years and my rent has gone from $1800 to $2700.
By this time next year, I'll have to move somewhere south, just to make ends meet.
It really sucks, because I make decent money.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Supply
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:02 am

One tenet of supply and demand dictates increased supply leads to a lower equilibrium price.

Maybe that's why it seems to have hit a nerve with the "if you don't like it, move" people. (They might get their own medicine someday.)

This is not a simple problem to solve because it has many steps, but the city council needs to act and fix the zoning laws and prioritize residential development, to not just stabilize real estate pricing but to bring it down.

It's appalling how willing & eager people are to have the whole town sold out to Google & other large cap companies, and how unwilling they are to fight for a good residential community, moderate inflation and congestion levels appropriate to the infrastructure we have in place.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:32 am

@Supply:

"It's appalling how willing & eager people are to have the whole town sold out to Google & other large cap companies, and how unwilling they are to fight for a good residential community, moderate inflation and congestion levels appropriate to the infrastructure we have in place."

I agree with this.

FYI: I'm not afraid of any competition from additional housing being added. It relieves the mob scene I must deal with whenever I might have anything available to rent out. It is very intimidating, not just due to my low rents, but because my place is one story with beautiful gardens and is so quiet and nice. I wish we had more houses with yards available for families, like this.

My objection to some of the housing planned to be crammed in, is that it is where it is not desirable, like along ECR, and that MV is becoming more and more of an "ant farm." Housing along ECR really doesn't make sense to me. Put it in better, quieter spots that are healthier and more pleasant. Build more housing instead of more offices, like at Phase II of San Antonio, and at the Century Cinema complex. This one could easily link across 101 to the business park with a ped & bike bridge directly connecting. That could help with the increasing gridlock of our ant farm...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 4, 2014 at 12:30 pm

" I did some calculations.."

Did you calculate what will happen when you add 30,000 people to MV no, and then 10,000 people ever subsequent year?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Prop13 helps homeowners
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 4, 2014 at 3:20 pm


Prop 13 - protects home owners from govt taxing them out of there homes. It protects home owners who brought their homes a long time ago as well as it protects people how buy homes today. What kind of idiot would think there is something wrong with that? Oh, I know the idiots in govt that what more of your money to waste.

Property tax should be abolished. Once you have brought your home, you shouldn't be taxed on it every year. You already paid tax on it when you brought it. Rents could go down, since the overhead for the property wouldn't be as much.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm

"Property tax should be abolished." ???

Who pay for police, firemen, teachers, road maintenance, etc. in your community? Where do you live? Antarctica?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by VoteOutTheCouncil
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 4, 2014 at 4:03 pm

No more lip service about residential affordability. In the most recent city plan for Land Use and Development, there is little language to be found that makes this a priority.

"LUD 3.5: Diversity. Encourage residential developments serving a range of diverse households and incomes."

"LUD 3.7: Upgraded commercial areas. Encourage the maintenance, enhancement and redevelopment of older commercial districts, shopping centers and corri- dors."

"LUD 12.3: Land uses and revenue. Encourage land uses that generate City revenue."

"LUD 12.4: City-owned land. Maximize revenue from City-owned land and strategi- cally acquire new land to generate revenue."

"LUD 14.2: Affordable commercial and industrial space. Promote and support afford- able and flexible commercial and industrial building space for new and emerging businesses."


Note the difference in language between "encourage" (residential) and "promote and support" (commercial). You'd be forgiven if you thought they are the same. We don't need encouragement/hope, we need policy and a plan.

Certainly a lot more policy weight is given towards business development. Given our recent history and current pipeline, it's obvious that commercial development is the only priority.

This council does not apparently care about its current residents & future residents enough, they only care about maximizing revenue and giving the biggest payers whatever they want. Vote them out.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm

@VoteOutTheCouncil, there is a reason why the City Council is revenue-focused: Pension Obligations.

They look down the road and see how much they need to cover pension for past, current and future city employees. It should be obvious that money is in short supply. They don't want to be like San Jose.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by VoteOutTheCouncil
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Nonsense. 5.5M square feet of commercial space till 2017 is not to cover pensions. Sorry, that's weak. We are in one of the few recession proof areas in the country. We do not have a revenue problem. We might have a spending problem, and awful prioritization, but we do NOT have a revenue problem.

Mountain View is being run like Afghanistan, sadly, where the only agenda is the one set by whomever brings the biggest bags of cash (to paraphrase Hamid Karzai's verbiage). Unfortunately, the residents cannot compete revenue wise with Google/etc.

Their own LUD language makes this plain. They speak clearly about acquiring land for strategic city purposes but nothing about rezoning to benefit residential development. It's abhorrent.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

@VoteOutTheCouncil, how do you know Mountain View does not and will not have a pension problem? Throughout California government employee pension liability keeps going up. The number is astronomical.

Property tax is the most sustainable revenue stream in this area. Better than sales tax or other types of revenue that fluctuate a lot. Naturally city government wants to expand the revenue base as much as possible.

Another issue is a lot of old timers, under Prop 13, are not paying enough property tax to cover city expenses. Someone paying $2000 a year for a $1.5M property is clearly taking advantage of others who pay $16000 a year tax on the same kind of property.

You can argue that city should cut some services. But let's imagine Mountain View has had no house for sale in the last 20 years, then everybody would have been paying very low property tax. The tax revenue would be clearly not enough to cover salaries for current city employees.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm

In fact, I bet the extremely low volume in house transactions in recent years, excluding new constructions, would have had City Council worried. Low transaction volume means low number of property tax base adjustments.

As I said, if nobody sells in the next 20 years, and no new constructions come up, the tax revenue will be horrible.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 4, 2014 at 5:54 pm

I rented different apartments in Sunnyvale for more than ten years. In 2000 it was about $2000 for 2 bd, in 2003 (IIRC) it went down to about $1300. In 2010 as a result on 'renovation' it went up to $2200 and I told myself: It's time to buy a house. Now I live in a new house in MV that appreciates every year and my mortgage is not that different from the rent I used to pay. My friends, on other hand, were renting a 3 bd house in Cupertino all that time, they were paying ~50% more than I did, could not save money for down-payment and had to leave the area after the latest rent increase. Every person can decide for himself what to do with their money, but it is very hard to develop a sympathy for the person who pays $4200 for the house and do not have enough money for down-payment.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lydia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 4, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I find the "I have mine, screw you.." attitude shared by many to be sickening. I was born and raised here. I am fortunate to have bought a home here almost 20 years ago, when it was more affordable. It is sad to see what my hometown has become. Mom and pop businesses closing and skyrocketing rents driving out many who are a valuable part of the fabric of the community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 4, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Yes, housing has become increasingly unaffordable. But we can't just build our way out of this. We could ruin the city trying to do it, and it still wouldn't work. The imbalance is too great. Infrastructure couldn't handle it. Key intersections are already - right now - at "Level of service F".

It is unfortunately not the case that in the MV of the future, everyone will ride bikes and take public transit. Even if we could double the percentage of bike commuters, it wouldn't make much difference in the traffic, given the amount of development in the pipeline.

The idea that people can be forced out of their cars by road diets, intentionally inadequate parking, and intentional congestion, is a fantasy. Sadly, that is City policy, although no one in Planning or on the council wants to come right out and say it.

We can't entirely stop development, either business or residential, nor should we want to. All we can do is try to moderate it, to a tolerable level. I'm looking for City council candidates who understand that. I haven't seen much in the way of clear positions from any of the candidates yet, but I'm hoping that at least three of them will have some grasp of reality.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:30 pm

@concerned citizen, this is a ponzi scheme.

The existing property tax base grows revenue at about 2% per year. But city expenses (salary, material, etc.) grows far more than 2% even if no new development at all, just serving existing people.

Let's say the expense to serve existing people grows at 4.5%, where do you think the city get the extra 2.5% of net revenue growth? Answer: new development, of course.

The new revenue must not only cover the 2.5% gap to serve existing customers, a.k.a old timers under Prop 13, it must also cover new people that come with the new development.

So the new revenue growth must be more than 2.5%. I'd say more like 5%.

Therefore the city must be revenue-focused, and do whatever it can to increase revenue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Allow me give another (real) example why Prop 13 is wrong.

Say you bought your house 20 years ago. You lived there, raised kids, and so on. Now kids are gone. You get old. So you argue it's fair to pay less property tax, since older people use less service, no kids in school and all.

Wrong! Because you rent your house to another family with kids. You buy another house somewhere else. The rent is more than enough to cover your mortgage.

This new family consumes lots of city services. But you only pay miniscule property tax under Prop 13. In fact, I bet some of the landlords in this article are just like that.

The city government is left to handle the baggage. It therefore must turn to find as many newcomers as possible to fill the resource gap.

I know many people (landlords) who are doing it now.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2014 at 1:02 am

"This new family consumes lots of city services. But you only pay miniscule property tax under Prop 13. In fact, I bet some of the landlords in this article are just like that."


Made up for by the people buy who have no kids, don't drive to work, or even work at home. I know plenty of people like this, but probably only because they're in my age bracket


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2014 at 7:44 am

If you think my analysis in various posts above is reasonable, you would realize why the city government prefers new office properties, at the expense of traffic and other inconveniences for residents.

Offices do not have kids living there. They consume much less city resources when compared to the property tax revenue they generate. No new classrooms, no new schools. Probably no need for new policeman either. The revenue can be deployed elsewhere.

For those who protest and argue that Mountain View should prioritize residential projects over offices, think more. In the long term, offices are better "egg-laying chickens".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CodeRed
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2014 at 9:42 am

Stop the tax payer subsidized malignancy - aka, city staff - which is a like a cancer that feeds upon unmitigated growth. More growth - unprecedented growth in nearly every form - means more city staff is "needed" to try and facilitate the process within city government. Each additional city staff hire costs the taxpayers more than a fistful of dollars. And, once one is hired on with the city and manages to retain employment for just a few short years, they qualify for all kinds of tax payer subsidized benefits. It's a sweet deal for those who are feeding at the trough filled with tax payer dollars, all while nonchalantly dismantling the city of Mountain View in piecemeal fashion. This type of malignancy that will ultimately prove fatal for Mountain View.

Mountain View residents need to come up with a plan to treat, and neutralize, this aggressive cancer that is sucking the life out of the city, one ill-approved development at a time.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:30 am

@CodeRed you have a good point. What can we do about this?

So when are we all going notify the local newspapers and show up en masse at a City Council meeting, holding our signs that say "Residents First" and form a huge line of people waiting for their 3 minutes of public comment at the microphone?

June 17?

Can we get on a meeting agenda or should we just show up for public comment on non-agendized items?

I'm ready!

Do we have any reason to believe that council reads these forums? I'm guessing they are being bombarded with emails, do those even have any impact?

Also, someone please explain, after all those visioning and public input meetings the city hosted, do the projects that council is approving correspond at all to the input at those meetings?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dylan Carlson
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I love how this thread won't die and that this issue is getting out in the open somewhat. Also that people can speak freely here without necessarily giving up their identity. That's important.

I doubt the City Council is being bombarded with emails. Maybe I'm too cynical about politics, but I doubt emails would do much even if they are being sent.

The only thing that matters for average people is what the City Council puts into plan. Not what they say, what they do. Revenue seems to be Job 1 for this council. If that is an unfair judgement please take me to task and show me where I've got it wrong. Revenue IS an important aspect of managing the city, but it seems to be dominating everything else.

So what that implies is that the biggest sources of revenue get the kind of governance they want. This is kind of like the net neutrality debate. It doesn't matter what you meant & contributed to this community 5-10-15-20 years up to now. In the new world order, those who can overpay get whatever they want. The rest are lectured on how it's simple economics and that they should shut up & move somewhere cheaper.

The only tool everybody else has is the vote. If re-election & future political career is important to this council, I hope the residents can organize and make an impression upon them that affordability & concerns longtime residents of Mountain View matter as much (if not more than) than tomorrow's truckload of cash from Google. We have retirees and other long-time residents here that have paid their dues and deserve to have the community they bought into before Google's ascent.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MV resident
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm

I work in Sunnyvale and live in MV. Building less offices and more houses in MV is not a panacea. Are you going to solve the problem that affects the whole Silicon Valley? Offices will be built in Sunnyvale instead. And MV will need to spend money to provide schools and other services to serve the newly acquired population.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dylan Carlson
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm

@MV resident

Fine. Let them be built in Sunnyvale then, if that's what the people of Sunnyvale want. This discussion is about Mountain View and what kind growth policies are sensible for this town. 5-6M sq ft of additional office space in the next 3 years with little discussion of ratio to residential development, residential affordability, or infrastructure to support an additional 30-40,000 workers (commuters) is extremely troubling.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by @m2grs
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 5, 2014 at 2:19 pm

"Who pay for police, firemen, teachers, road maintenance, etc. in your community?"

We pay plenty in Fed and State taxes to cover all that. Just look at all the waste on the wars. To bad people like you only want the govt to have more and more money to waste.

Your example shows how ignorant you are. The same couple you say brought their house 20 yrs ago had to pay the same percentage for their house as someone today pays for their property taxes. If someone rents out there place, it's none of your business!! It's not your place, so why are you so concerned? Should i tell you what to do with your house? No, otherwise we would be in a communist society, or are you a communist?

But you are probably a newbie, so you have to buy a house that is available and you have to pay the same percent for property tax. So that is totally fair.



IMO, Once you buy your house, that is yours, there should be no more tax on it, especially yearly.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by out-of-the bottle
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2014 at 6:30 pm

The growth path is set by city staff when they re-write city plans and precise plans.
If you were a city planner, would you want to have a job of keeping things the same?
City planners like Peter, come make growth that will assure their pension, then move on, to the next city they can cause change in. That is their carreer of choice.

Make no mistake about it, City Staff controls our City future, much more than council.
The constant push is for change. There is huge money behind wanting the change.
There is huge money that gets applied to promote council candidates that want change.

Our city is bought and paid for, maybe not directly, but it works out the same.

Building more housing.....
yes building more housing will eventually bring down housing costs, because Mountain View will become a less and less desireable place to live. Eventually demand will be brought down. Is that what we want to do? Make Mountain View an equal choice with other places that are less expensive? That seems stupid! I would rather let the wealthy have it than ruin it for everyone! At least I can visit if is still exists!


Prop 13 is what makes it possible for someone to buy and hold on. Otherwise it would mean that when incomes stop growing in your 40s, you must plan on leaving the town you have lived your whole life. The taxes would drive you out.

What we need to do is get rid of Prop 13 for anything that rents, or is corporate owned. Prop 13 has shifted the tax burden away from corporations that live forever to people that sooner or later move or die. It is one of those great ideas that corporations sold to us, and we thought we were sticking it to the man! We shafted ourselves.

Balanced housing is much the same. We need to build more housing! More will fix things! But it won't.... The people selling this idea are those building corporate owned housing. If you are renting you are carrying someone else's burden.

The only way to get ahead in the valley is to fix your housing costs and survive until you come up for air 10 to 15 years later. Inflation pushes things past your fix point, and you are over the hump. You can now live in the valley. If you are a renter, you beter have a plan to live on a very short budget until you can be an owner.

If you start when you are in your early 30s you will come up for air in your mid 40s.
How many of us came to Silicon Valley thinking we were going to get rich only to find out it is hard to eat on a starting high tech salary!





 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dylan Carlson
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm

If ... adding 6 million sq ft of office space to Mountain View in the next 3 years isn't stressing this city to its limit by itself (especially since all of those 30,000+ new workers will be commuters, not residents) I'm not really sure what your definition of "ruin" is.

It's funny how explicit language and action can be taken to expand the capacity, lower the cost of commercial property to attract companies, but the same cannot be done for residential. This debate is so schizophrenic.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MV resident
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 6, 2014 at 9:26 am

@Dylan Carlson
OK, Sunnyvale will build more offices and Mountain View will build more houses - is this what you want? Will it magically help MV to solve traffic problems or improve student/teacher ratio in schools and quality of life? You should be very naive to think that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by @out of the bottle
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Just read what you said. "Prop 13 is what makes it possible for someone to buy and hold on." Isn't that what every property owner wants to do? Or do you suggest that someone take it away from them?

Boy, ignorance is bliss. Especially from residents in another community, spewing their communist attitudes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

How many jobs have been created in Mountain View, alone? In 20 years?

How many housing units have been built? In 20 years?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2014 at 11:26 am

The bottom line is Mountain View has too many long-term rental units. Rentals, especially to families with kids, are raw deals to the city government. The property tax collected from rentals are far less than the cost of services required to serve those living there.

Offices and hotels are better deals for the city. They are more sustainable in terms of revenue vs. cost of service.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dylan Carlson
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm

@MV Resident

So your argument seems to be: if there isn't a less disastrous outcome in residential than the current disastrous pipeline of commercial expansion, discussing the residential shortage and affordability problem is pointless. That's some weird logic.

I can't figure out if there is astroturfing going on here, or if there's something in the taps that is making people crazy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dylan Carlson
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Anyway, as we are all seeing once again (thank you, MV Voice), the Council is looking to develop Moffett commercially rather than for much needed residential. Commercial availability and affordability seems to be the only thing on the agenda with this administration.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by @m2grs, a resident of another community
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 10, 2014 at 9:09 am

If the property tax were abolished no one would have to fiddle with who pays what. Making m2grs cringe at the thought someone may rent out their property for less than what the going rate is.

We need one flat tax and that should be all the govt. gets.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Data Point
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 10, 2014 at 11:30 am

Today's Palo Alto Post had an interesting data point on the rise in housing prices over the past 3 years. In Mountain View prices rose 31.5%. The corresponding increase in other cities: North San Jose 38%, Los Altos 37%, Sunnyvale 48%, Palo Alto 50%.

So, in a comparison, The crisis in Mountain View isnt all that its purported to be, particularly in comparison with neighboring cities. Always good to have some hard data that sometimes refutes prevailing "wisdom".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kathy
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm

I know Prop 13 is a hot potato (the 3rd rail so to speak), but could they at LEAST do something about Props 58 and 193? Nobody ever mentions those two. Unbelievable. Web Link

Proposition 58 extended the protections of Proposition 13 by allowing parents to transfer property to their children, and vice versa, without requiring a reassessment for tax purposes. Proposition 193 expanded this tax relief to transfers from a grandparent to grandchild when the grandchild's parent – who was the grandparent's child – had already died.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by @Kathy
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 10, 2014 at 4:13 pm

So if you give your house to your kid or grand kids, you would want them to pay higher taxes?

Really bright!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Only so many rental units to go around for all the new graduates, families, people moving here, locals and people wanting to downsize.

We keep creating jobs, but not enough housing, rental or ownership homes.

Not everyone can afford to by a home at this present moment but are waiting for the prices to stabilize.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm

@Garrett,

I agree with your comments.

While these issues are difficult, why is City Council willing exacerbate them?
Adding offices at San Antonio Center, instead of housing will increase the jobs to housing ratio in Mountain View.
This is a perfect location for more housing!





 +   Like this comment
Posted by kathy
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm

To Monta Loma, yes actually I think it IS really bright to re-visit the impact of these propositions (thanks very much). If you leave your house to your kid when you die, they inherit at cost basis, sell with no cap gains, if they keep it there should be some adjustment in prop tax. But I can see your point, that long term homeowners should count their blessings, not rock the boat and let the newcomers in the area bear the brunt of backbreaking property tax. It might not be an issue because you might need to sell that house anyway for nursing home expense, oh never mind I forgot your home is not a countable asset for Medi Cal, the kids can protect it with a trust, Medi Cal (welfare) pays for your nursing home, it is a win win, for everyone except the taxpayers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2014 at 7:41 pm

It is quite ironic, actually, that Mountain View residents want more housing instead of more offices. More offices without more housing => higher property values for existing houses.

Sure you get some inconveniences due to traffic jam. But your property value goes up much more because of increased housing demand. The city is actually helping Mountain View residents to increase their financial assets!

Why the residents want to stop the city??? Look around. Palo Alto residents usually protest against more housing. Not against more offices.

As for Prop 13, realistically there is no chance of repeal. What can be done is to allow local governments to institute a separate "use tax" for commercial properties, including rental properties, while keeping Prop 13 intact, and thus protecting seniors living in their primary residences.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2014 at 9:23 pm

The City Council can ask all protesting residents this question:

Do you want Mountain View to become Manhattan, or to become Queens?

The answer should be quite clear.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 12, 2014 at 1:37 am

@m2grs,

You want more offices because it will increase the value of already ridiculously expensive houses.

The latest developer-built house for sale on Martens is a record $2.58 million. No, we're not talking about a mansion in Los Altos Hills on a couple acres with horses and sweeping views of the hills and bay, This is a house in the suburbs on a busy street, 1/4 acre corner lot, small backyard. There's a very narrow slice of the population that can afford that house, and that slice does not include any of my friends or family. Is it a good thing that our children can never afford to buy a house in their hometown? Is that really the kind of town you want Mountain View to become, where the working poor share a small apartment on Latham, and the mega-rich live in their single-family homes that they barely spend any time in because they're always at work? And the middle and even upper-middle income folks have can't save for retirement because all their money goes to rent?

That's not the kind of diverse, vibrant, caring, balanced community that I want, that's not the big city with the small-town charm that Mountain View once was.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2014 at 7:55 am

Cities like Mountain View need business development, San Antonio Center.area can be a example of well planned mixed uses in development. Small to big offices with retail both local and drawing neighboring cities. Housing should be a mix of rentals and ownership housing.

The biggest headache in all this is the amount of piecemeal development on different properties. With San Antoino Center a core is planned, offices. We spend up to 60 hours per week at work. If VW can build a large plant in a neighborhood that fits in, why can't we?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nah
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2014 at 9:22 am

Most people will not live in the same city they work in, unless it is large and amazing like SF. Fantasizing that mixed use developments will allow people to live, work and shop in one place is silly. There is no example of this working anywhere .

MV should be focusing on making this a great place to live. Better, larger and more parks, museums, community center upgrades and more. Instead the city has been focused on maximizing profits for developers and business owners at the expense of its residents.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2014 at 10:28 am

More and more new housing around me. Near downtown, San Antonio Village, all along El Camino...

and yet houses on my street are selling for 45% more than they were 9 years ago. (if not more)

So much for more housing keeping costs down.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2014 at 10:52 am

@incognito, the "working poor" will be squeezed out of Mountain View. If I were one I'd be moving to East Palo Alto as fast as I could before EPA gets too expensive.

The Mountain View you grew up with was different from the Mountain View for the generation before you. I'm sure there were people 30 years ago complaining about the disappearance of cows and horses. But in the process enormous value, a.k.a, wealth, have been created, for its residents.

Fortunately this process is continuing (and accelerating) today in Mountain View. We have been blessed. We don't want to see cows and horses returning to our streets, like it might actually happen in Detroit.

Current residents should think like a business. We should ask what can the city government do to maximize wealth creation for everyone in a sustainable way, while minimizing downside risks when economy inevitably fluctuates.

This means a city that is attractive to diversified, high-quality, and high-value industries and residents. A city that has pleasant amenities to live and work for these people.

With that principle in mind we can then discuss what to do with each land development project.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2014 at 3:43 pm

We have mixed use projects in Mountain View, The Americana, The Old Mill, Park Place and City Center plus Two Worlds.

The Old Mill was sold on nearby retail and offices with dining. Changes to the Americana and The Old Mill but residential porition remain. Old Mill still has original offic complex, Americana lost large department store but still has retail center.

Two World is mixed use.

I think both rental and ownership housing around San Antonio Center will take pressue older.housing stock. Designed just right people will rent, buy units before they have children or.empty nesters.

Green spaces, private space, common space and townhouse look in back of mixed use apartments with ground floor.commercial space.

Big office in San Antonio, small retail/service/office. See Medical, Salons, Insurance, and Pet Groomers.

Older outdated rundown office buildings can be.reveloped. Older apartments buildings can be redeveloped. Nicer, better designed properties.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 12, 2014 at 4:23 pm

@ Nah (and others speaking like him/her) "Most people will not live in the same city they work....."

I don't believe the majority of those, speaking in regards to their concerns for the outstanding rental rates in this market, are people who can't 'get in' to the market. This article concerns those of us that have lived here for decade(s) who are being forced out of the rental market. Why should I have to move from the city where I live, and have been employed in for 15 years, to another city, most likely 50+ miles away, only to back here every day?

The city won't fix 'my problem', so I will. Buh-bye Mtn. View.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Reply to @Nah's statement: Fantasizing that mixed use developments will allow people to live, work and shop in one place is silly. There is no example of this working anywhere."

I think the evidence points to the contrary. Google wanted to build housing in Bayshore, Facebook is building housing in an isolated part of Menlo Park by its HQ. Housing next to these companies in lieu of some of the slated development is the only way to provide more housing without straining already full local roads, bike paths, and Caltrains.

"Facebook, partner to build Menlo Park housing complex" More info at
Web Link

"Google housing axed in city's general plan" More info at
Web Link

Rather than taking a dismissive attitude towards SF, we can see many model worth discussing there and around the world. Mission Bay by the new UCSF campus is an example of a low traffic/high density mixed use housing/commercial development. I encourage people to visit it before judging mixed use development.

What is smart growth? Mission Bay is smart growth. It provides needed housing, reduces traffic by leveraging public transit, bike paths, and car services like ZipCar and Uber. More info at:
Web Link

What isn't smart growth is new car dependent luxury housing that neither inspires nor cuts down on the traffic choking our city.

Preserving MV's quality of life and helping solve our regional housing crisis doesn't have to be a zero sum game. I challenge our city's residents not to turn a blind eye to the region's suffering. If every city only cared about itself, and if every state only cared for itself, there would be very little accomplished for the common good. What is right doesn't depend on what our neighbors do, nor does it depend on us sacrificing uncessarily.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 12, 2014 at 6:43 pm

@Nah.

I agree that the City Council should be focusing on making this a great place to live. However, that has to include a better place to live for all current residents - renters as well as home owners.

Yes, the majority of the City Council's members first priority has been, and continues to be, maximizing profits for developers at the expense of its current residents.


Better, larger and more libraries, parks, museums, community center upgrades and more.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2014 at 6:50 pm

If you are still alive--living in Mt View, you are part and parcel to ruining how the valley was 75,100, 150 years ago. You're part of increased climate change, toxic runoff in the bay, and the near extinction of Native Americans.

Just because you showed up 25,30 years ago doesn't mean you magically have no hand in irreversible changes to the area.

It is understandable that you want to shut the door to anyone who came after you--and dismiss after having displaced the former character of the land you live on today.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm

M2mgrs

What makes you so sure residents want more housing? Who knows who the 10 -20 distinct people posting here are, or where they live. Most residents I know are tired of the growth of all kinds. They are not in favor of more housing. And they'd prefer the commercial development slowed until we figure out the infrastructure to support growth.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jun 13, 2014 at 7:08 am

@Christopher Chiang

Mission Bay sounds like a well thought-out and balanced development see: Web Link

- 6,000 housing units (28% affordable)
- 500,000 sq. ft. of city and neighborhood-serving retail space
- 41 acres of new public open space
- new 500-student public school, new public library and new fire and police stations and other community facilities


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2014 at 8:41 am

Planning for Mission Bay has changed over the years, high rise neighborhood to UCSF campus. Not everyone works for UCSF or even in the city. Mission Bay as a whole is still being built as a neighborhood.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by whatithink
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm

It may be helpful to look at the necessary income to rent or buy housing in Mountain View. With The term "middle class" is defined many different ways. To include in this definition two worker families with a total income of over $200,000 per year is delusional. Craigslist offers 400 - 600 square foot apartments for between $1500 and $2,000 per month. This is over $20,000 per year for rent for one room. A person with a middle income (say $60,000) andany kind of family simply cannot afford to live here. I think one real problem for Mountain View is that many folks want both the luxury of living in a "high end" city, and the "down home" feeling Mountain View has always been known for. As more and more lower end middle class people leave, Mountain View will appear and, in fact be, increasingly elitest. We can't have both a limitless upward spiral of housing costs AND economic diversity. It seems that MV has made it's choice, and will soon belong to the rich.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Since the 80's, Silicon Valley has produced too many jobs and not enough housing.

Micro housing here is not new, they built apartments near Maude Ave in the 80's. Land was zoned R & D, they did build housing deeper in the Golden Triangle.

Area inside highway 101, 237 and 880.

LRV, Carpool lanes and other transportation projects were the end result of community meetings.

Yet rents and home prices went upward, costs have gone and to attract top talent you had to pay or offer more.

Each boom, bust and boom has attracted new types of tech bringing countless young people. Funny thing is valley has always came out bust cycle, meaner, leaner, hungry to suceed with new ideas.

Don't out price the talent, the labour, the future middle class by trying to stay small town.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Wish MV Voice would have a go back and Edit feature. Typing on hand device, hoping you don't have to start over again.

Home prices and rents gone upward, public and private sector have to offer more in wages and benefits.

10, 20 or 30 years ago prices weren't this crazy but prices go up


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Neighbors Helping Neighbors
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Hello Neighbors,
NHN can really appreciate all the concerns of homeowners and renters who are 'overburden'.
We maybe able to help. NHN has many programs for basic needs. Now, that rents are at a historic high, everyone from middle to low income is priced out of the rental market or continue to be financially overburdened with paying 50% or more for housing. We strive to match everyone with suitable housing. In order to accomplish the best outcome possible for all those on our housing rosters, details of their household are needed.

PRIVATE HOUSING NETWORKS – NHN has a large online private 'market rate' housing network that we receive leads for available apartment, cottage, house for rent.
It would be important for us to know special details and needs of your household. Do you have pets, etc.
Host-Guest, cost & no cost
Some categories are House sitting, Shared Housing (roommates), Apartments. Cottages, Houses, etc
After we receive the NHN program form and budget worksheet completed, you will begin to receive leads for rentals via email.

PUBLIC HOUSING NETWORKS – NHN receives periodic announcements for available units and open waiting lists. You will need to submitted applications to some subsidized & non subsidized public housing complexes.
It is important that you keep track of each complex where you have submitted applications. Plus, keep a copy of all completed applications for your records. Also, if you update any information after submitted original application, write down the date and name of person you gave any additional info.
Some categories are Family complexes, Senior, Youth, couples & singles.
Contact us to receive NHN program form and budget worksheet to complete, after we recieve completed forms, you will begin to receive leads for rentals via email. Plus, we we send you a 'relocation packet'.
It's all free, no cost and no income restrictions, minium or maximums.

Help with other basic needs available,

NeighborsHelpingNeighbors2013@gmail.com
Phone: 650-283-0270
P.O. BOX 113
Palo Alto, CA 94302
FACEBOOK: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 11:33 pm

@Garrett,


San Jose plans to build 32,000 additional housing units in the Golden Triangle Area inside highway 101, 237 and 880.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 11:39 pm

@Christopher Chiang,


Note that Redevelopment Agency sponsored non-profit developers will build 1,445 of the affordable units on 16 acres of land contributed by the master developer. The remaining 255 affordable units will be included in privately developed projects

So private developers will build 15% of the Affordable units.

With this model, Mountain View only needs to locate non-profit developers to build 85% of new housing!

What do you project as the probability of doing that successfully?


Also, Mission Bay is expected to create more than 30,000 new permanent jobs Vs. 6,000 housing units.I calculate that is a 5:1 Jobs to Housing Ratio
How does that balance the Jobs to Housing Ratio?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 14, 2014 at 7:14 am

@Konrad, good questions: I don't know if the percent of public housing supported by a wide range of affordable housing agencies in SF could be replicated in MV, though I believe it can be with the right advocates. That said, the merits of Mission Bay stand even if looking at the private development alone.

Mission Bay didn't have many jobs prior to this development (it was a railyard), so:
30,000 jobs/6,000 (5/1) housing is better than

North Bayshore
30,0000 jobs/0 (5/0) housing

We could achieve a 5/1 ratio in North Bayshore simply by slating some housing in lieu of some of the future office development.

I'm not proposing we bring their jobs to North Bayshore. That has already happened, we already have the jobs comparable to what Mission Bay aspires to be. What we lack is Mission Bay's balance.

I encourage those interested in this issue to visit Mission Bay (turn right as you exit SF Caltrains) and see how the housing makes Mission Bay a more inspirational place to work than an office-only commercial zone.

I agree with Konrad that the rest of the city can't support more housing without contributing to the already paralyzing traffic. The one place that allows us to maintain our local well being and help this real regional issue is North Bayshore, where housing would be reverse traffic patterns and a community could be designed from scratch to de-emphasize private cars (targeting those who would be willing to rely on bikes, public transit, Zipcars, Uber). To do this, we don't need to touch open space or intrude any more on single home neighborhoods. We just need to swap some office growth for some housing in North Bayshore.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett -
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2014 at 10:52 am

San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Miliptas and of course Mountain View are all producing jobs.

32,000 housing units at a.first come first serve basis.

Housing in Mission Bay most likely open to all residents or future residents of San Francisco. If housing is built for needy residents of San Francisco and they are on S.F. sponsored waiting list which I would imagine that part is closed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by One Flat tax
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm

We need to get rid of PROPERTY TAXES and have one flat tax for both State and Federal.

This would Eliminate a huge overhead for the Govt and housing and rent prices would come down.

TAXES are way too complicated, they need to be simplified so that accountability can be had.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

I totally agree. A flat tax would be a great solution. Its a shame it will never happen though. Too much politics involved. I'd vote for it though.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Civility Please?
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Reading through these comments, I can't help but wonder how many of you who make such mean-spirited remarks from both sides of the debate would be willing to do so if not protected by the anonymity of this posting. Maybe some of you would be just as rude in person, but I kind of doubt it. It's pretty scary to call someone an idiot to their face. Differences of opinion are what drive us to the best decision, but this kind of sniping is so grade-school-playground-bully. It gets old really fast and just makes the problem harder to solve.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by @Civility Please
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I see you are using your real name. Ha

Do as i say, not as i do? Really bright.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ex resident
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jul 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I lived in Mountain View in the mid 2000's paying $1600 for a decent 2 bedroom apartment. Nowadays, it's $2500 for a 1 bedroom!

I actually found a better deal in Los Altos for a (smaller) 1 bedroom at 2100 but it looks like they're also raising the rents to 2400. We are making all this money and can't keep it! It's such a mind f*ck.

Now regarding Mountain View: It's a pathetic city. There is NO "downtown" unless you call 5 blocks of fast food restaurants and bars a downtown (which means you just haven't traveled much). I just hate the lack of culture.. all you see are geeky pretentious kids with their google badges and I want to punch them in the face.

If I could leave the Bay Area COMPLETELY I would!! It's in my 2 year plan.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tilly K. Lopez
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 12, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I have lived in Old Town MV for more than 5 years. I rent. My rent was just increased by $875. I will not do as the Romans do, so I am leaving.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by On moving
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Sep 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm

That probably means the landlord will bump the rent $1500 for the next person who will likely be happy to pay it.
Its a good time to be a landlord. There are down times as well, but this is an upside time.
I've seen this kind of rent cycle 3 times now in the past 40 years.