Council moves ahead with new housing fees


The City Council acted quickly on Tuesday so as not to miss out on as much as $24 million in funds from apartment projects in the city planning pipeline.

In a 5-1 vote at the June 5 meeting, with council member John Inks opposed and Tom Means absent, the council asked city staff to draw up an ordinance to impose a fee roughly equal to 4.6 percent of the value of an apartment project to go towards affordable housing developments. The fee would be imposed only if 10 percent of the units in the project aren't set aside as affordable housing for people earning 65 percent of the area median income.

"The council wants units," said Mayor Mike Kasperzak. "When we have higher fees, that gives developer the incentive to provide actual units in exchange for not having to pay the fee."

The fee supported by the council would be equal to $18.95 per square foot, or $2.1 million for a typical 100-unit apartment complex composed of 1,100-square-foot units.

The fee would be just enough to encourage developers to build affordable units into a project. If not, fee revenue would go towards subsidizing affordable housing projects elsewhere in Mountain View. But the consequence of a higher fee is that some apartment projects may not be built, city staff said.

There was some concern that council was not acting fast enough and the city could miss out on housing fees from over 1,200 units being planned in six sites around the city. Kasperzak said that under the new plan, "We should be able to capture most, if not all, of the rental units in the pipeline."

Council members who disagreed with the approach said office developers should pay more towards affordable housing. In a compromise, a study that could recommend a big increase in housing impact fees on commercial developers will also come back for council review when the rental fee ordinance is presented for a council vote this fall.

Office developers "can't argue with the fact they are creating jobs and the need for housing," said council member Margaret Abe-Koga, who was reluctant to support a fee on housing developments.


Like this comment
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm

The last think we need in Mountain View is more apartments, how can we get the city council to stop letting the builders load us up with more apartments.

Like this comment
Posted by George
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 8, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Onward and Downward.... Hey, Council... let's either stop more developments or stick it to the developers...

Egads,,, we really need more houseing for "the poor folks"... Damn, if they can't afford to live here, let them move to Tracy, Turlock or help raise Alviso..

I don't even know if we should allow any more apts or condos.. Why should we concern ourselves with more police, fire, city services, etc.... This is really stupid..

Remember, there will be an election... Other than Means and Inks, toss them all out..

Bye George

Like this comment
Posted by Merlin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

We do not need more units. We need a strong police force and fire department. Think quality of life on a long term basis. I would like to live in Los Altos Hills, Atherton or Hillboro but I can't afford it but I can afford to live in Mountain View. I love living in Mountain View. So folks who can't live here should live where they can just like we all do. Ido not believeit is Mountain View's charter that we should be the poster child for Chapter 8 housing.

Please do not lower the quality of life in Mountain View.

Like this comment
Posted by Sounds Racist to me
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I cannot believe the stupid comments made above regarding income, affordability, and location. MVPD is strong. MVFD is a great force. MV is doing WAYYYY better than Palo Alto. Let us hope the two numb-skulls above keep their jobs and can continue to live in MV OR they can take their closed-minded selves to a more affordable area to meet their needs. MV is a growing community. Council should be concerned with traffic congestion and gridlock (no thanks to Palo Alto) because people from other areas will not FIGHT TRAFFIC to come shop in MV. It's a delicate balance that Council should seriously keep in sight if they want to generate tax revenue.

P.S. it's just not people of color who are hurting and cannot afford to live in MV, it is also senior citizens on fixed incomes, AND baby boomers who have lost their jobs and still have a family to feed and kids in college.

Like this comment
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Again, property rights. Or the lack thereof.

What do we think these very limit number of low income housing units are accomplishing? In a city of 80,000 or so people.

Nothing is the right answer.

I've known people who get these "below market" rate units. They just sit in them forever.

Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Lets see here, City Center Apartments had a unit for rent at 2,800 dollars a month, that would be 33,600 a year. For the 1/3 rule, if you don't know what that means. It means that 1/3 of your monthly income should cover your rent or house payment, now if your yearly is 33,600 in rent your income should be over 100,000 dollars a year. Now remember folks, you got food, car, insurance, gas, power, cable, savings, clothing, taxes, health costs other then car insurance, and other costs I might be forgetting. Now remember this is also based on a single person. I make 32,000 dollars a year

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Nobu Palo Alto eyes next-door expansion
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,393 views

By Laura Stec | 34 comments | 2,058 views

Are We Really Up To This?
By Aldis Petriceks | 3 comments | 1,400 views


Top restaurants to check out

Mountain View Voice readers have officially decided. See which local restaurants and businesses can now claim the title — Best Of Mountain View 2017.

View Winners