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Issue date: May 26, 2000

City council considers hotel and conference center City council considers hotel and conference center (May 26, 2000)

Leah Bower

A 400-room hotel with a conference center could be built at Charleston Road and North Bayshore Boulevard if proposed changes to Mountain View's North Bayshore Precise Plan are passed next month by the city council.

The Mountain View City Council reviewed staff reports and listened to public testimony in council chambers Monday night in preparation for a public hearing and vote on June 13.

The plan change, which the planning commission recommended the council pass, would add hotel and conference center uses to the primary cultural and educational use on the Charleston East site, said Mike Percy, principal city planner.

"It would not take away the cultural and educational use," Percy said. "It would just add the hotel and conference center use."

Carol Olson, president of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, said the city is in dire need of hotel space.

"It is virtually impossible to get a hotel room in Mountain View Monday through Thursday," Olson said. "The opportunity with this site is tremendous."

The possibility that a new hotel with a conference center would add to the already congested traffic patterns concerned Mountain View resident Andy Knipe, but he said the city needs a hotel. "The only thing better would be to have a couple of good hotels," Knipe said.

Mayor Rosemary Stasek said she had initially opposed commercial development of the site but has since altered her stance. However, she feels a meaningful amount of space should be made available for educational and cultural use.

"I think if we allow all 18 acres to be developed, we'll be reneging on our deal with the public," Stasek said.

Originally, Mountain View planned to have the California Air and Space Center occupy the site as the primary cultural and educational use. However, that facility is now set to be built in Moffett Field's Hangar 1.

Although no educational or cultural tenants that could occupy the entire site have yet been found, Percy said several smaller organizations have expressed interest in using sections of the lot.

One possibility is an eco-campus, Percy said. The campus would house a consortium of ecology related organizations such as Greenbelt Alliance, Bay Area Action and the Peninsula Conservation Center and would demonstrate the organizations' principles through architecture and design.

Councilwoman Sally Lieber said she is uncomfortable with the idea of allowing all 18 acres to be developed into a hotel and conference center.

"I'd like to see some part of the site have the eco-campus and open space," Lieber said. "I think this is something that would really put us on the edge."

The public hearing on the proposed changes will be June 13, in the city council chambers on the second floor of Mountain View City Hall. 


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