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Town Square

Council OKs townhouses without park space

Original post made on Sep 12, 2012

A last-ditch effort failed to add park space to an isolated townhouse development before the City Council approved the 70-unit project Tuesday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 1:06 PM

Comments

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Posted by Laurence
a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Why is everyone so concerned with adding a park or minipark here? This development is like 1/2 mile from Sylvan Park.


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Mountain View has many nice parks. As our population grows, park space should grow proportionally; unfortunately, developers maximize their profits by squeezing in as many apartments or homes a possible,

Bob Dylan said it best:

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot,
With a pink hotel, a boutique,
And a swinging hot spot.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum.
And they charged all the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.


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Posted by BigYellowTaxi
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Actually, Konrad, that was written by Joni Mitchell, not Bob Dylan.


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Posted by Kate
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Developers short-sited "it's all about my bottomoline" views of the world are silly and costly in the longrun.

The main thought for me vav this news story is the city staff remark: "we can't force them to add a park" which tells me we need laws which could "force them to add a park".

That's what needs to change... and if the developers don't like it then let them go to some other careless city and build their condos there.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Developers own this town. City council only has to ask "how high?"


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2012 at 9:54 pm

John, you are correct. They should change the name from Mountain View to Developerville.


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Posted by Orchard
a resident of Willowgate
on Sep 13, 2012 at 9:08 am

This is something I was just wondering as I passed the two new developments on Evelyn across from the train station. How much park/nature area is required for developments.

There is such a thing as Nature Deficit Disorder. Kids and adults are spending less time in nature and obesity levels are rising. When there is a disconnect between people and nature, there is an apathy for nature.

The city needs to address this problem now before it gets out of hand. All developments should be required to have some kind of park space and low water plants. Our parks system will be stretched to the brink if each development is allowed to just build and not provide park space.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about the developers owning the town.
Same old same old get reelected, staff doesn't care, just more money for their bloated pensions.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

They got more guest parking, 17 more spaces which who knows in the owners might want to reduce and put in more open space


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Posted by Tired
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm

"Same old same old get reelected, staff doesn't care, just more money for their bloated pensions."

That's true but it goes further. The city staff are looking at their careers in city government. They encourage high density building. Buildings built right to the road, high as possible and no open space.

More people, means more tax revenue, higher budgets, job security. Even worse, the senior staff want to move up the governmental chain, so they need to show that they are following state recommendations regarding 'smart growth'. ("Smart Growth" are a set of development requirements that are *supposed* to be nicer to the environment (carbon emissions) at the expense of the quality of life of all city residents.)


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Posted by Tired
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm

"The main thought for me vav this news story is the city staff remark: "we can't force them to add a park" which tells me we need laws which could "force them to add a park"."

Maybe you couldn't have required them to have a public park, but you certainly could have denied them a build permit unless they had some openspace (not just a parking lot) within their development that could be used to hang out in. It doesn't even have to be very big. Most of Mountain View's many "city parks" are nothing more than a bench with some landscaping...and that counts as a 'park'. Don't see why a developer couldn't do something similar.

Or, you could have said..you know..this is an industrial area near some major streets and we should not allow large high-density residential units to be built until *after* a local park is built. If the developer doesn't want to pay for it--fine. Mountain View will...someday...when the funding can be allocated. Until then, no building!

It will be interesting to see if any children are run over playing on Evelyn, since there is no other place to play within walking distance. Who gets blamed then? City Staff won't for sure..but they are the obstacle!


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:34 pm

It's a fact tired. No accountability to the citizens who are the city.

Greedy developers own the politicians. Can anyone see the gridlock coming/ if not already here.


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Posted by Tired
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm

"No accountability to the citizens who are the city."

I guess the only 'power' that the citizens have is to elect City Council members who truly believe in preserving the (fading) character of this city...but let's say we do? I wonder if they can really effect change?

I think if the City Staff wants something against Council wishes, all they have to do to keep council in line is talk about a lawsuit. ("Well, if we don't allow this developer to build a 'maximize revenue' high density, concrete and virtually tree-less project, then they will sue us and we will have to spend money we don't have fighting a lawsuit.") They can recommend studies, planning sessions, etc... and make it so brutal to the people that want to keep Mtn View beautiful, that they give up...

Ugh.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Sad but so true


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2012 at 8:53 am

This has nothing to do about park space. The issue is a public versus private park space. There is plenty of park/recreation space on the development. The reporter just doesn't understand the difference.

I talked with some staff members and they feel this was just Siegels way of grandstanding by bringing up the issue at the last minute. He knows the idea wont fly by bringing it up at the last minute. The developer was willing to negotiate if this idea had been brought up when he first proposed the project. Notice how some members want to pile on and extract more concessions from the developer at the last minute. The appropriate time to offer suggestions is at the beginning of the project. Expect to see more of this type of crass behavior from the short-timers on the council.


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Posted by Tired
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm

"There is plenty of park/recreation space on the development."

Political Insider's statement is incorrect. The non-concrete areas that you can walk on are quite small.

"I talked with some staff members and they feel this was just Siegels way of grandstanding by bringing up the issue at the last minute."

Right--so the city employees have no respect for the city council and are badmouthing them. That proves the point I was making earlier that the city employees have a lock on this town at the expense of the residents.