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Publication Date: Friday, February 02, 2001

Three new subdivisions to begin construction soon Three new subdivisions to begin construction soon (February 02, 2001)

Justin Scheck

The Mountain View City Council approved three new developments Tuesday that will result in a total of 16 single-family houses being built in the next year.

The sites are located at 1143-1171 Boranda Ave., 1579-1595 Grant Rd., and 919-923 Mountain View Ave.

The Boranda and Grant projects will each have six houses, while the Mountain View Avenue site will have four homes.

According to a city staff report, the Boranda Avenue project is made up of three separate parcels totaling 28,644 square feet (.66 acre).

The property is owned by Mountain View residents Zenaida Bautista and Severa, George, and Gil Escobar, through the holding company Boranda Place LLC.

The houses were designed by Mountain View architect William Maston, who is also chair of the Downtown Committee, and range in size from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. They are expected to sell for between $950,000 and $975,000.

The Grant Road and Mountain View Avenue sites are owned by the Los Altos firm Excel Homes, which is also developing the sites.

The Grant Road project will have 6 homes on 1.13 acres at the corner of Grant and Martens Avenue. Two of the units will face Martens Avenue, while the other four will be on a common driveway.

The houses will range from 2,850 to 4,050 square feet, including garages. They are projected to sell for $1 to $1.4 million.

The 25,110-square-foot site on Mountain View Avenue is made up of two parcels, one of which currently has a duplex on it, and the other a single-family home. The existing houses will be demolished.

The four new units will cover between 2,216 and 2,349 square feet, and are expected to sell for approximately $925,000.

While the council did approve all three developments, questions were raised about the Boranda Avenue project's plan to use metal roofs. But after a protracted council discussion, Maston agreed to use a composite shingle roof instead.

The council also requested that the developers leave a palm tree that they had planned on removing.

A large Monterey cypress tree at the front of the Mountain View Avenue property was also the topic of discussion, as council members and Barri D. Coate, the project's consulting arborist, discussed whether to remove the tree, which is suffering from termite damage, root rot, and a cypress canker.

Coate explained that the tree was suffering from structural damage that could cause it to fall over, although that would be unlikely within the next 10 years.

Whitney McNair, a city planning administrator, said Wednesday that "because (the tree) isn't hazardous now, and it's healthy and would be healthy for about a 10-year period of time, the city decided to preserve it for now."

McNair said that the three developments fit well into the city's zoning for their respective areas, and do the most they can with limited building space.

Council member Rosemary Stasek agreed, saying, "We're seeing a similar pattern around the city. People are asking, 'How can we take parcels of various sizes, consolidate them, and develop them in the most efficient way?'"

Stasek said that another important challenge for developers is figuring out how to build a house that will retain its value when the housing market takes a downturn.


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