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February 04, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, February 04, 2005

Decision time for Mayfield site Decision time for Mayfield site (February 04, 2005)

Council will vote on proposal's timing

By Jon Wiener

Tuesday night's city council meeting will finally bring the controversy over the proposed Mayfield housing project to a formal vote, and how it will turn out is anybody's guess.

The result could wind up reaffirming a previous council plan to back dense housing at the site or reopen the door for myriad other options ranging from city-owned open space to mixed-use development. Many neighbors in the adjoining Monta Loma area have loudly opposed the project put forth by Toll Brothers Inc., arguing for more single-family housing and parks for the 27-acre site.

Three council members -- Greg Perry, Mike Kasperzak and Mayor Matt Neely -- appear to favor moving forward with the 631-unit project. But whether a fourth, deciding vote exists is unknown.

"We certainly didn't expect it to be a slam-dunk. We knew it was a complicated project," said Kelly Snider, project manager for Toll Brothers Inc.

The council is reconsidering its timeline for Toll Brothers' project and could add a public hearing dealing solely with rezoning. That would extend the project timeline by at least six months, according to Snider. Since June, the company has paid the city $150,000 for staff time spent on the project.

Toll Brothers has recently attempted to burnish the project's image by lifting a ban on talking to the local press. Company representatives and city staffers have begun referring to the proposal as 530 units, the number of homes planned for Mountain View. An additional 101 units are planned for the five acres of the site located in Palo Alto.

E-mail Jon Wiener at [email protected]

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