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May 28, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, May 28, 2004

Council allows more downtown development Council allows more downtown development (May 28, 2004)

By Corey Pride

The Mountain View City Council tweaked its plans to renovate some downtown areas surrounding Castro Street, changing land use and height restrictions.

Specifically, the 100 and 200 blocks of Castro Street now allow for four-story buildings with no more than 35-foot facades; the 300 block allows 50 residential units per acre and 55-foot facades for businesses; Fairmont Avenue will receive a use permit for a four-story hotel; and new retail businesses will have a ground-floor parking exemption.

At the meeting, some were upset at the council's decision to allow larger facades and more homes downtown.

Ronit Bryant, chair of the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association, said she is concerned that the downtown area will lose its identity.

"My concern is homogenization and preserving the historical look of downtown. Building more and more buildings is not the way to go. It starts to look like everything else," she said.

Council member Greg Perry responded: "I understand the concern of (more) homes downtown. But we can't have it both ways. We can't have a pharmacy and a grocery store downtown and not have the people to support it."

Council member Rosemary Stasek sympathized with some downtown residents who were concerned about the new height regulations for the facades. "The current height of 45 feet is just too high," she said.

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