Some final thoughts on the Grant Road farm vote
Council demonstrated a lack of vision in its decision to develop the property
I wish to share the following thoughts, as I did with the City Council following its June 5 meeting to decide the fate of the farm on Grant Road.
After attending that meeting, where the council voted 6-1 to zone for developing the last large plot of agricultural land in Mountain View, I have the following issues I would like to put to Mountain View residents:
• The very important point and underlying fact that I did not hear addressed by any member of the council is that this is currently, and has been for a long time, agricultural land. Thus it is special. And this is the reason why it's the best place to have a farm in Mountain View. Healthy soil is the basis for growing things, and takes much time and care to develop.
• Another point that I did not hear addressed is that all the owners of homes around the farm bought their homes when there was agricultural land at this spot. So rather than "No Farm," the slogan "Develop the Farm" would have been more accurate.
• Yet another point, which was not brought up at all, is consideration of factors that are "priceless." The economic models presented did not factor in those costs and benefits which cannot be measured in dollars. The following benefits, if factored in, put farmland in a city at "priceless" value: connection to food for children, local food for community, beauty of the space, benefit to birds and other wildlife in the area, to name just a few.
• Finally, consideration of creative and alternative funding possibilities for maintaining a portion of the current farmland were not given a chance to burgeon — for example, a public fund where individuals could contribute and grants could be sought.
With these above-described themes left out of the debate on June 5, I am left with a sense that this council does not represent the values that I hold dear. In addition, I believe that the pressure of the homeowners around the land in question caused the council to limit its vision.
I do appreciate the move to consider developing a farm somewhere in Mountain View, but again this does not address the loss of good agricultural soil to single-family dwellings.
The zoning that has been given to the land does not allow for much else than large plots and large homes, so those issues concerning "high density" or "affordable housing" or any other services for the greater community are now also lost.
After attending that council meeting, it has become clear that the kind of vision that resulted in projects like Shoreline Park is not alive in our city now.
Denise Sacks lives on Creeden Way.