News


Google backs 5,000 new homes in North Bayshore

 

In a planning commission meeting on Wednesday, Google declared support of zoning for as many as 5,000 homes north of Highway 101 -- the number deemed necessary to create a "self supporting community" next to its corporate headquarters.

Google's real estate director John Igoe made the comments at the Sept. 3 meeting in response to questions from Environmental Planning Commission chair Robert Cox, who noted Google's support for allowing 1,100 homes in North Bayshore when the city's general plan was approved in 2012.

Cox asked if Google would still support planning for those homes now, even if it required an amendment to the city's new general plan and the obvious delays that would come with a new vision for the area. Igoe's answer: "Yes." Cox then asked if Google supports a community of 5,000 homes in North Bayshore, as council candidate Lenny Siegel has proposed.

"When Randy (the city's planning director) originally put together the General Plan, the discussion we had with him at that time was that a really comprehensive community, a really self-supporting community, if you will, would be about 5,000 units," Igoe said. "We still think that having a community in North Bayshore is a good thing. So we would support the eventual growth of the number of housing units to approximately 5,000. It's really whatever is needed to create a community."

A majority of the commissioners at the meeting expressed opposition to housing in North Bayshore, including Robert Cox and three commissioners who are candidates for City Council in November: Ellen Kamei, Lisa Matichak and Margaret Capriles. Commissioners Todd Fernandez and John Scarboro supported housing in North Bayshore, while commissioner Kathy Trontell was absent.

A new criticism came from Matichak, who said the land in North Bayshore -- most of which is owned by Google -- is too expensive for housing development at $20 million an acre. She told the Voice that she had received that number from a real estate broker who wished to remain anonymous. Reportedly, the priciest local real estate buy to date was Google's recent purchase of 700 East Middlefield Road in Mountain View, at a cost of $10.4 million an acre.

The City Council is expected to take up the issue on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall in a study session on the North Bayshore precise plan.

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Comments

4 people like this
Posted by dc
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

Lets see high density housing 50 per acre need 100 acre @ 20 million per = $400,000 for the land alone. Use Google 50% off coupon add a building and were back at 1/2 million per home (condo) and no place to shop for food or go to school just work, sleep, walk around the bay I guess.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2014 at 10:22 am

Good example of a planned mixed use community with.good transit connections? Isle of Dogs/Docklands in East London.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2014 at 10:22 am

Good example of a planned mixed use community with.good transit connections? Isle of Dogs/Docklands in East London.


9 people like this
Posted by Wow!
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm

That's a lot of new houses. Can our roads really handle that? Please check before you just build. 5000 housing units will bring at least 5000 cars. Some people will work at Google and walk to work, but then some will change jobs, but still want to live in their house and then they will be merging on 101 to get to their new job. Some will live there without even working near by and will use the freeway from the beginning. You will still have a lot more cars on already crammed roads and intersections.

Please don't think of building that many homes with out a substantial increase in public transportation. Extending the light rail is a must. Frequent shuttles around the area to major hubs in MV and surrounding communities will also be a must. Also anything enabling more bikers will be needed.

Also, will these be rental units or for purchase? MV is already rental heavy. I would strongly prefer new housing be for purchase, but then that would probably add to the traffic problem even more by decreasing mobility.


4 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Sep 6, 2014 at 3:20 pm

The only way to build housing in North Bayshore without crowding streets and schools is micro apartments (if small enough, it would be illegal for it to be used as family housing), micro apartments in North Bayshore would then alleviate demand on both our streets and demand in other parts of the region by diversifying options.

See SF Web Link
Quote from the article:
"I think of micro-apartments as the architectural equivalent of the Smart Car: not for everyone, but serving a valuable need for certain households in many cities."

See NYC Web Link
"More and more city-dwellers are living alone. Which means that, for the sake of both cost and efficiency, it makes sense to develop so-called micro-units."


4 people like this
Posted by hmax
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Google "self-supporting Community"...aka Mountain View...Google claims more area for its "Google Drone" workforce...coming to your neighborhood in the not-so-distant future...


11 people like this
Posted by Read Please
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 7, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Chris. Did you read the article about SF in detail? Here is an excerpt that speaks DIRECTLY why microhousing in E. Bayshore is not a solution"

"Smaller spaces require us to do a better job with the public realm," said Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of think tank San Francisco Planning and Urban Design. "Think of the Parisian model where people have less private space but the street life is glorious, with the sidewalks, the parks and the plazas making up for that."

I'm sorry, but is the "public realm" of E. Bayshore in any way similar to Paris? Or even San Francisco? No, I don't think so. That means a significant build-up of infrastructure will be required to satisfy the needs of microhousing residents. Once they are there, the city cannot simply say later, "Well, sorry, but Google and ABAG pressured us to build your homes even if we didn't provide the schools, parks and businesses you need. The best you can do is commute 45 minutes through heavy traffic into the part of Mountain View that was intended to have people live in it to do your shopping, drop your kid off at school or visit a library."


4 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Sep 7, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Place creative people living by creative offices, I think we'd all be surprised how quickly a "public realm" would develop on its own within the companies confines and adjacent to them.

Housing doesn't create people, nor does lack of housing make people disappear.
There are many who'd at their current stage prefer to live a smaller carbon footprint by their work, lessening the demand on other types of housing across the region, not to mention cut back on the number of cars coming in and out of Mountain View.

When they do start families, they can then move to the other types of housing existent across the region, which will be slightly more plentiful for them at that time, because we wouldn't be trying to fit everyone into the same current mold.

The whole idea of micro housing is its the only way to legally ensure that family housing is not built in North Bayshore without running foul of state housing discrimination laws. And building non-family housing in North Bayshore actually reduces the pressure on existing family housing elsewhere in the region. I welcome a public discussion on other solutions that may address the housing shortage and traffic issues.


12 people like this
Posted by think again
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 12:07 am

Apparently you are saying that "micro-housing" would be a way to discriminate against families legally, if the square footage were reduced to the point that only one person could live there according to the letter of the law.

My biggest objection to this idea, though, is simple enough: Today it would be essentially company housing, physically and psychologically removed from the rest of the community: Googleville. Tomorrow, when it is no longer bright and shiny, it would just be a tiny, dreary place to live, just a bit cheaper than the rest of the overpriced rentals.


6 people like this
Posted by Creative idea
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 12:45 am

Google already has major expansion plans approved. Let's give then permission to replace the planned offices on the top floor of one or more of their buildings with 500 micro housing units. Since the microhousing idea in E. Bayshore is 100 pct dependent on google anyway, this would make sure they maintain that responsibility.

If Google is truly capable and creative, this should work!


5 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm

I don't work for Google, but I'd be interested in living at this new area. I'm currently renting nearby. It seems like a small cluster of outspoken people not from the tech industry are anti new housing / anti tech, and as a result very few new houses, townhouses, condos, apartments are built even though there is visibly tons of vacant undeveloped area. It's extremely frustrating. MV seems behind by 20 years in necessary housing development due to this small non-representative cluster of people who control the local city council.


8 people like this
Posted by Council Watcher
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:29 pm

"a small cluster of outspoken people" - I certainly hope not. I'm hoping for a clear majority, at the next election.

"not from the tech industry" - Definitely not true. This is one of those developer memes - that if you're not in favor of turning over the city to developers, you are anti-tech, or unsupportive, or ungrateful for the industry. Just not true.

"anti new housing/anti tech" - This is a very extreme label, and again, not true. None of the present council members or council candidates, and probably very few of the people posting here, could honestly be described this way. Many of us are concerned about overdevelopment, congestion, and demands on infrastructure. That does not translate into "anti new housing/anti tech". Personally, I'm in favor of building additional housing, near transit. I'd like it to be ownership housing, and at a density less than what developers have been allowed recently.

"behind by 20 years" - Tell that to Los Altos Hills, with their 1-acre lot minimum. MV is already densely built, with a high percentage of apartments, relative to adjoining cities.

Yes, a lot of people would like to buy or rent here. We could build 30,000 units, bust the general plan, create perfect gridlock, provide generous rental income streams to Prometheus and Greystar into the distant future, and still there would be demand exceeding supply..


5 people like this
Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Now just where will these 5000 new housing units fit? I need a map, and quickly too!!!

Shoreline Blvd will be even more crowded with cars, no matter what other kinds of mass transit the North Bayshore area gets...


4 people like this
Posted by Madellyn Hill
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I can not believe at some point I will be removed from a community I've lived in for over 25 years. When I look at city's near by I can't even afford to move to. I am above lower class and below High. I do not qualify for low income housing and their isn't middle class apartments to apply to. The places I can move to the school systems are so low and the community I would consider to unsafe.

If I stay. I wouldn't be able to keep food on my table nor keep tools in my house to allow my child to stay up to date on technically and learning. This is a cry for HELP.

I am continuing my education so I can get a bigger salary one day. I am doing everything in my power to maintain a healthy environment for my family and yet I feel disciplined for all the hard work I am doing. Why is it ok for these companies to come and change the value of a community and now the community is suffering?


3 people like this
Posted by Love Mtn View
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Similar to Mike, I do not work for Google, and would be excited about developing mixed commercial/residential in No. Bayshore adding 5,000 residences and a vibrant new community in Mountain View. Personally, I would be interested in purchasing a condo/townhouse and living in No Bayshore close to the Bay and 101. I also believe that the tide of opinion has changed in Mountain View from that of the current city council, and that more residents now favor thoughtful planning and development of No. Bayshore, which includes supportive infrastructure.

My feeling is that any decision re North Bayshore should be made after the November elections that would accurately reflect the majority of the community.



7 people like this
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Traffic congestion in North Bayshore is a huge problem.

Note that the precise plan will dictate that there should be no building permits issued due to Shoreline Rd. being at capacity.
What kind of housing can you build without a building permit?

North Bayshore Precise Plan area will have a trip cap and possibly congestion pricing; thus, it would be a bad place to go first with residential housing. It will be easier to meet the trip cap goal of 45% single occupancy vehicles if we are only talking about people commuting in and out for work. Putting limitations on companies is one thing, putting those same limits on individual residents is another.
And can you imagine what would happen if residents in North Bayshore had to pay a toll to get in or out of North Bayshore?


6 people like this
Posted by Skeptic
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 8, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Note what is MISSING from Google's comments about a self-contained community is any commitment or explanation of the following: (a) whose land is to be used for housing, (b)what strata of rents/ownership would this require (so we don't fantasize about affordability if it will never happen), (c) would it be open to the public or only Google workers or available to anyone but Google employees get subsidies and everyone else pays market rents, (d) a commitment to a school (or 3 or 4 schools if even 1000 of 5000 apts. are 2br and generate two children = 2000 children @ 500 per school (as we have now) so approx. 4 schools would be needed...and remember such land use for schools generates zero return on the dollar @ 10 million + per acre, (e)day care centers for those thousands of children and affordable housing for day care workers, teachers, teacher's aides, admin support staff etc so we don't add thousands of of more incoming cars...and (f) is Google going to also give up land for stores, etc and stop giving freebies of food and in-house services of every type so that businesses can thrive outside of the work space?
In other words, whose definition of a 'self-contained community" is Google endorsing? To date it has been The Golden Rule as in, He Who Has The Gold Makes The Rules.
I am sure Google knows about the Internet and the EPC and Council meetings so before anyone endorses "units", let's hear the answers to the real questions that go beyond vague responses and mere numbers. Without some actual statements, I would say look at what is NOT being said. And if there are not to be any spaces for day-care, schools and businesses, and policies that support the latter, how can this be a "self-contained community"? It is just an office park with housing for the rich tagged on, isolated from the city and every possible amenity and generating more commuting to everything on streets that are already gridlocked.


4 people like this
Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Building more housing leads to lower prices than not doing so. We need more housing of all kinds: studios, apartments, townhouses, single-family homes. It should be focused, so a livable neighborhood springs up and the residents don't have to drive everywhere. To me, five thousand units in North Bayshore seems like a good way of doing it.

This would relieve some pressure on real estate prices and rents, and save some people like Madellyn who are being priced out of Mountain View. Remember what Chris correctly observed above: "housing doesn't create people".


5 people like this
Posted by Untrue
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:56 pm

"Building more housing leads to lower prices than not doing so."

That is simply a misleading statement, because:

1) from the above comments, a glowing paradise will flow forth if we only put 5,000 housing units next to a wildlife area. Well, if it is going to be so wonderful, what would that do to local rents! That's right, increase them!

2) put 25,000 units there and there would be a temporary slowdown in local rents. 5,000? Probably not l.

3) law of supply and demand? What about that? Adding those units MUST lower prices. Ok , then how about just adding ONE unit instead of 5,000. According to your "law", prices should drop, right? No? Oh, it's not enough?? Well, show me proof that 5,000 units would significantly drop housing prices. You can't, right?

That's why these lets-pave-it-over arguments are do misguided. Or developer-shills. Probably google-shills too!


4 people like this
Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 8, 2014 at 5:13 pm

@Martin Omander,


Developers build in phases as they don’t want to flood the market and thus drive down prices.

I would expect that it if City Council voted to allow building in North Bayshore a few hundred units would be built each year. Thus, it will take several years until the 5,000 units required for a viable community are built.

Some propose building 5,000 units of Park Placed like housing units in North Bayshore. I have checked the current rental prices (see below) and have calculated the required income based on allocating 30% to rent. As you can see Park Place is far from the general definition of “affordable.” Albeit, it is more economical than Madera.

Park Place Rents
Efficiency - $2,300 - $ 92,000
1BR - $3,000 - $120,000
2BR - $3,500 - $140,000
3BR - $4,000 - $160,000


5 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm

In response to "Wow!" -- 5000 new homes does NOT equal 5000 cars. I'm sorry for being curt, but that's thinking in the past and possibly thinking only within one's own social circles and range of experience. Not everyone wants a car. Three of my closest friends who rent in Mountain View are bike-riders who don't own a car. Two of them are tech workers and the third is not.

These people exist! Really! They do!

And if we plan smart and build vibrant communities, more people will be able to choose to go without a car, or if they do own a car, to use it less often for everyday trips.


6 people like this
Posted by a resident
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Sep 8, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Micro Units, no way. They are a big discussion in Seattle right now. Single family houses are being replaced by micro units, maybe 4 to 6 bedrooms and a common kitchen and NO parking. Now you may be able to live in a bigger city than Mtn View with good bus transit without a vehicle, but sooner or later you want that car, and there is the problem. North of bayshore has no services, no grocery store. Just let's watch them ride their bicycle with a case of beer in the backpack down the road. Yes you have three friends without cars, but 5000 of them ; Mtn View is not San Francisco or New York. If you want that lifestyle move there, but don't ruin our town.


8 people like this
Posted by turn-MV-into-SF-NOW!!!
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2014 at 8:35 pm


Why this fixation about turning MV into a grid-locked traffic mess?

If you like high-density living, why not just live in SF?
Google does a great job of shuttling empoyees in buses.
Other companies could do the same.

MV cannot accommodate any more residents without
becoming an unbearably gridlocked and unlivable city of
glass and concrete.

Having visited high-density towns -- it is a mess
you don't want to aspire to! Once MV is turned into a
high-density mess, there is no way to reverse the mess.
The sad truth is, it is already a high-density mess.
Please don't make it worse!!!


3 people like this
Posted by Amelia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 8:36 pm

I think this is a terrible idea...


4 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm

@jeremy hoffman: i could see that not owning a car is plausible if you don't have much of a life outside work (and yes I know some too) but most recovering students eventually get around to get a car (and license) and their life changes for the better. Entrapping them in an office park seems bad.


6 people like this
Posted by housing won't work
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 9, 2014 at 9:26 am

A couple of reasons why this is just out of whack
1. The corporations have driven the value of commercial property through the roof, its not possible for a real estate developer to develop residential units and rent them at them at affordable rates
2. There is no support services (grocery stores/schools) in N. Bayshore, those would also have to be developed. And on this front, a grocery store chain would never be successful there with minimal housing, high rents and off the path access for other communities.
3.There is not a great public transportation system in and out of the area. Imagine the 5,000 units of housing and the impact on traffic, which is already horrible. Almost everyone living there would need a car, unless they work for google. which gets me to my last point.
4. This seems to be a political play to benefit Google and google only. They are the only ones who have the $'s to pay for the land or redevelop their existing properties for housing and the housing would be for their employees. Probably to recruit those that do not live in the area. But guess what, eventually they will live in the area, thus driving prices up for the rest of us. Look whats already happening to the new developments around san antonio. 2 br. going for over $5k per month!

Keep N. Bayshore commercial only and restrict growth by imposing huge traffic controls.


3 people like this
Posted by GDM
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:21 am

My model for what happens to a city when they have too much housing as compared to Commercial is San Jose. Do you want to become a San Jose where they can't afford enough Police to respond to property crimes? I sure do not.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:29 am

I don't buy these arguments that housing won't work because there aren't enough support services.

The city loves to micromanage everything, but all they have to do is open up some land to dense residential, and some commercial for things like shops and restaurants, and they'll get build to supply their new customer base.

Put the cost of new sewers, water mains, and street improvements on the developments that are going up, there are lots of legal mechanisms to do this.

The expensive cost of land can be amortized by building high. Building high is also expensive because of structural requirements, but that's the only thing that makes sense up there.


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 9, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Jeremy is totally correct.(IMO) My son, 100% MV raised - is graduated and jobbed (in Washington DC). He rented explicitly near a Metro Line to get to job (and nightlife). Could easily afford a new beemer (if raised 'that way') but why? Ever even heard of Uber? The suburbia of 1953 MV (reflected in my single family house, vintage 1953, near Cuesta Park) is not the present. Where I live, is a nice slice of 1950s-60s California suburbia. Lockheed & HP the scientific instrument maker. Pacific Press and shipping out paper publications by rail. etc. etc. etc.
This is the present, a new century. Google and who knows what. Just as I'd like to keep that 1910-20s portion of MV known as Old Mountain View NA - so I'd like to build the future. The question is only Where - and What. (unless you are truly a reactionary or luddite)
But, my $.02 is worth no more than every other VOTER's two cents. If you are not a VOTER, I think your opinion goes for 'quite a discount' :)


6 people like this
Posted by LoveYourDNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Why does one company have so much sway in Mt. View? Why can't Googlers commute like so many of the rest of us do? Why should they have "housing privileges" here? Isn't there land in other areas they can build on? Like in Detroitfor instance ;)


7 people like this
Posted by 15-times-SanAntonio-phase1
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm


Look at the 330 apartments in San Antonio Phase-1.

Multiply that by 15 ...
That is 4950 units... i.e. almost 5000.

Can you imagine what North Bayshore will be
like with 15 new apartment complexes ...
each complex being as dense the San Antonio
phase-1 apartment complex.

Mind boggling...


3 people like this
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 9, 2014 at 9:17 pm

@15-times-SanAntonio-phase1,

No, can you imagine what North Bayshore will be
like with 25 new apartment complexes like Madera (200 units).


6 people like this
Posted by Stephen K.
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm

5,000 units = Sounded like having thirty 15-17 story minimum height 3-4 bedroom unit condo/apt. towers in addition of retails at ground floor? Whoopees!!!!! I want to reserve a penthouse near the bay. Cheaper than SF I suppose. Would beat number of San Jose downtown towers. Go, go towers at badly needed North Bayshore.


15 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 10, 2014 at 9:21 am

Prior to the city council meeting last night I understand that there was some sort of "rally" in support of housing in North Bayshore. After this rally it appeared as if many of the same people filled the city council chambers, and several of those people addressed council during the non-agenda portion of public comments. I honestly had not come to a conclusion on whether or not I thought housing (5,000 units?) might be a good idea for the North Bayshore area, but after listening to all the public comments on the issue I have to say that with the exception of one or two comments in favor of housing in North Bayshore, most of the comments came across as whiny tech workers who somehow seem to feel that they are entitled to live in close proximity to their workplace, and that it is incumbent upon the city to build more housing so they aren't forced to suffer the indignity and/or inconvenience of commuting to their chosen place of employment. Dumbfounding arrogance and sense of entitlement, truly. Just, wow. Nobody owes you anything. Grow up. And, thanks for helping me understand better the mindset of so many of those pushing for 5,000 units of housing in North Bayshore.

You might want to try to serve up your demands with a modicum of grace and humility if you actually desire to get people to understand and possibly embrace these demands. Yeah, and not coming across as "demanding" might be helpful, too.


3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 9:55 am

@MVResident67

That's fine, because those "whiny" tech workers aren't asking nor demanding you, nor the city, to do anything apart from keeping your own nose out of other people's living decisions.


11 people like this
Posted by A Senior Veteran
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 10, 2014 at 12:06 pm

I agree with MVResident67, one of the google employees talked about how great it would be to have dormitory style housing in North Bayshore. The could have parties and all live like they are in college! Oh but what happens when a senior citizen moves in and wants quiet! One young lady kept saying how unwelcome she felt in Mountain View because we won't provide her with a house. I can't afford to live in Los Altos Hills, should I make them build affordable housing for me.

Sorry Robert, when people speak at a City Council meeting it is the business of the entire community. If you want people to stay out of your business don't bring your business to a public forum.

And to the young bicyclers, at some point in life you will not be able to ride. Talk to some 80-90 year olds. Will seniors and disabled veterans be welcome in NB? I didn't hear anyone in favor of housing in NB acknowledge that people other than google employees might want to live there.

Just how many schools will need to be built?

Does anyone remember we were supposed to get high speed rail?

I'm not against more houses, just not in an already over crowded area, that is a sensitive wildlife habitat and is moderately susceptible to liquefaction. Let's look in other parts of the city and also tackle this problem in a regional manner.





5 people like this
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 10, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I hope all these houses going up in E Bayshore won't affect my ability to drop off the cats there that I buy in Craigslist. I can't afford to feed them, but there are plenty of shorebirds for my feline friends to dine on.

Say No to more housing. Save our ferals!


3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm

@A Senior Veteran

Again, I'm not sure where you're coming from, YOU are not being asked to provide anyone with a house... only that, if someone is willing to provide someone else with housing that they want and can afford, its really none of yours or anyone else's damn business.


3 people like this
Posted by Senior Veteran
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

To Robert,
Sorry but you are making no sense to me? I thought we were talking about the City Council meeting last night. It was a public forum. Yes what happens at the city council and in this city is my business.

Who is the someone providing someone?


8 people like this
Posted by 15-times-SanAntonio-phase1
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm

First some imagery...
Look at the 330 apartments in San Antonio Phase-1.
Multiply that by 15 ...
That is 4950 units... i.e. almost 5000.

Can you imagine what North Bayshore will be
like with 15 new apartment complexes ...
each complex being as dense as the San Antonio
phase-1 apartment complex. Mind boggling...

The fundamental problem is building too many offices
in Mountain View. It is very much undersandable that
employees want to live close to their place of work.
More offices and more housing are impractical -- there
are physcal imitatons such as infrastructure inclding
schools, traffic congestion, etc.

So, what MV needs to do is to stop allowing any more
office buildings in MV and put a cap on number of employees
per sqft. This is not about being unwelcoming or unfriendly --
it is about being practical.



3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm

@Senior Veteran

If Google wants to provide dormitory style housing to their employees, or a private developer on their own land wants to build housing that would appeal to young tech workers, where, in either of these equations, are YOU being asked to provide anyone with anything?


3 people like this
Posted by LoveYourDNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Something else to consider: How is the land out there near the bay in MV? Take a look at what's happening in RWC next to 101 up there. All those new units are having issues with sinking. The best solution IS to build high. Very high. What remaining land we do have should be used for outdoor activities, etc. This is something that needs to start happening everywhere, not just here.


5 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 10, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I used to oppose housing N of Bayshore, but now I've come to support it. Let Google build those 5000 units into highrise efficiency apartment ghettos and keep as much of the Google contagion N of Bayshore as possible, where it belongs. Let them mess up their own back yard with high density housing and keep the heck out of the rest of Mountain View.


3 people like this
Posted by Better Idea
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Re: A couple of the earliest comments:

The "visibly tons of vacant undeveloped area" was supposed to remain completely untouched as a natural, wildlife area/park for us all to enjoy. It's sad to see anything there except the original grasslands and bay.

A really bad idea would be building housing atop Google, as it would impact the wildlife area/park side of thing even from a distance, as the area would never get same rest periods it does in nature due to the irregular schedule of its lights, which is especially true with residences. Perhaps if barracks type housing were build by Google for their employee use only, car trips in and out could be reduced. Those trips that remained would be going in the opposite direction of the clogs at peak times. Only a private builder could build something for their employee use only. Maybe if they encircled it in the center of other buildings which do not currently affect the area as much as they might, it perhaps would be more suitable beside this wildlife area, and better protected, also, from the noise of the freeway for the employee residents, who presumably wouldn't need schools nearby, as the barracks would be too compact for families, but still very nice (if done by Google). The residents there could shop via the Google Shoppers, and have some hang outs right there for themselves. Cool way to confab. A Google dream come true.


3 people like this
Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 6:21 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

The discussion over looks the fact that there are ALREADY housing units in the area. It has been going steadily down, but originally this was indeed a residential area of the city. The reasons the city cited for restricting further development of housing back in the 1980's had nothing to do with wildlife. The freeway is a poor protector when it comes to residential "contagion" anyway. There is 300 unit trailer park up there already, and these are 2 and 3 bedroom units on 5000 square feet of land each.

Frankly, I would be more worried about the office development density in terms of affecting the wildlife habitat. This is really only the regional park we are talking about and that's not a pristine isolated environment at all. If it were, the city would not be presently constructing multiple athletic fields ACTUALLY INSIDE THE PARK. It also would not have an off leash dog run, also inside the park.

The beauty in putting housing there is not just the creation of housing. It is also the reduction in possible office development. Each acre of land used to expand the residential footprint up there is an acre of land that won't give rise to an office tower with 150 workers per acre.

Really, the question is why forbid housing on some of the most logical land around where a multistory residential building is not going to tower over 1 and 2 story single family residence.

As for the San Antonio Carmel The Village apartments, much of that development is mixed use with retail on the ground floor. Even so, the residential portion is a small fraction of the overall 12 acre site. What dominates the site is the shopping center. 12 acres of present development. 1.5 acres apartments and parking in one building. Another 2 acres of mixed use which is mainly retail. The remainder entirely retail.


5 people like this
Posted by 15-times-SanAntonio-phase1
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Livability of a city in the longterm needs planning and awareness
of the demographics.

It appears to me that the new residents of MV support super
high-density housing. Now, these new residents are eligible to vote --
they are likely to elect council members that favor super high density
housing.

Perhaps MV needs to take proper and timely measure to ensure
that housing and office growth can be supported by infrastructure
for years to come. If not, MV's new residents (who appear to be
all in favor of super high density) could vote to turn MV into SF in
3 to 4 years. Does MV want all the traffic and congestion that come
with this kind of growth?


9 people like this
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm

We are not Sardines!

Yes, Mountain View needs more housing. The questions are how much and where?
Mountain View is a small city consisting of 12.2 square miles. The area south of 101 already has the highest population density of any city in Santa Clara County. It is obvious that we cannot provide housing for everyone who wants to live here.

Some would like to add one additional residence for each and every one of the projected 20,000 additional jobs by 2030. That would increase our residences by 59%. If 5,000 of these residences were constructed in North Bayshore, the increase in residences south of 101 would still be 44%, a huge percentage.
If each of the additional residences housed 1.5 persons, a conservative number, adding one additional residence for each and every one of the projected 20,000 additional jobs by 2030, would increase our population by 39%. If 7,500 of these additional residents lived in North Bayshore, the increase in population south of 101 would still be 29%, a large percentage.
Sardines are packed tightly together in cans to be sold.

Some would like to pack us together like sardines. Is that the future of Mountain View?



3 people like this
Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 11, 2014 at 2:06 am

DavidR is a registered user.

Hey, the density of new housing is increasing all over the Bay Area. It's called Plan Bay Area. There's no stopping it. The question is WHERE in any given city the denser housing will be built.

The person who said this was 15 times San Antonio Phase I is wrong. That may have 330 units, but its on only 1.5 to 2.5 acres of land depending on how you count it. This acreage includes a parking garage for the denser housing. So if you got to 5000 units in similar densities, spread across a few locations near to existing office complexes, you are talking about 30-40 acres of land in the North Bayshore being dedicated to 4-5 story apartments. 40 acres of land is easily affordable. It would not have to be as deluxe as the Carmel The Village space is. In fact, the different surroundings would motivate a less-luxurious development and more affordable apartments than Carmel The Village.

I wouldn't touch it at all, but the existing trailer park up there (Santiago Villas) is 40 acres by itself, and no one even notices it. There is easily room for 40 or even 80 acres of office land to be rededicated to higher capacity residential spaces. This is very modest. It's still a tiny fraction of the land devoted to office towers, but it's meaningful given the complete lack of any development in years for new residence units in that huge area. It's quite likely the only place that more affordable mid-rise apartments are likely to get constructed.


10 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 11, 2014 at 10:08 am

Robert:

"If Google wants to provide dormitory style housing to their employees, or a private developer on their own land wants to build housing that would appeal to young tech workers, where, in either of these equations, are YOU being asked to provide anyone with anything?"

~~~~~~~~~~

Google does not set land use policy. Zoning (land use policies and ordinances) is a contract of sorts which - among other things - is something residents and others evaluate when making decisions about if/where to make a land home/business purchase. Private developers (employers or whomever) cannot simply waltz in and decide they would like to build thousands of units of housing - or anything else - unless and until the land is zoned for that type of use. All the players know this.

And, residents DO have a stake in the land use decisions of North Bayshore for numerous reasons, one of them being the area is the city's largest recreation space in Mountain View with bay land trails, Shoreline Park etc. ... access, protection and use of this wonderful open space is very important to many residents of Mountain View, as it should be. So, to try and chastise residents who may have concerns over what would be a huge sea change in land use policy in that area, is telling...

Yup, whiny & entitled fits.


4 people like this
Posted by long-term-vision-MV
a resident of another community
on Sep 11, 2014 at 11:52 am

A long-term view will provide more insight....

OK, there are new employees of companies in MV that would like
dorm-like rooms near companies they work for in MV.

In a few years, when these employees are ready to have their
families, they will need to move to single family apartments.
At that point, wouldn't they all want to live in apartments in MV,
close to their work? How many more apartments can MV build?

A few more yars later, the families would like to buy their own
homes -- single family homes, condos, town homes, etc. At that
point wouldn't the aspiring homeowners want to live in MV near their
work place? Where are those homes going to be built in MV?

So, basically MV will never have sufficient infrastructure to support
the demand for housing. High density development will make MV
more unlivable than it already has become.

Google will continue to be the most successful company and will be
employing 100000+ employees in the near future. More and more of the
employees will want to live near the campus. Google is a visionary
company -- Google cares about the community it is a part of. There is
only so much development MV's infrastructure can support... How Google
handles their awe-inspiring growth without harming the livability of MV
will demonstrate the greatness of this truly remarkable company.


4 people like this
Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 11, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Plan Your Work, then Work Your Plan

Mountain View needs a comprehensive, forward looking, Jobs-Housing-Transportation Plan!

Jobs Issues:
1. How many jobs can we add?
2. Do we want to cap jobs? If so, at what number?

Housing Issues:
1 How much housing do we want to add?
2 Where do we want to add it?
3 What densities at each location?

Transportation issues:
1. High speed link between the downtown Transportation Center and North
Bayshore. Employees could live anywhere between San Francisco and
Gilroy and use Caltrain/ High speed link to get to North Bayshore.
2. VTA Light Rail extension to North Bayshore so Easy Bay employees can
use BART/Light Rail to get to North Bayshore.
3. Improve automobile access at the three entry points to North Bayshore.
4. Garage(s) in South Bayshore with shuttle to North Bayshore.
5. Google self-driving, battery operated, cars in long run



4 people like this
Posted by a Senior Veteran
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm

MVResident67

I totally agree. I think Robert missed 7th grade civics.

As Mountain View is a community, we - the residents- of Mountain View have a lot of interest in what happens in the city.

I also believe it would be against State and Federal Housing Laws for any housing to be limited to only google employees.

Robert in your world do you see seniors and veterans being able to rent a Google apartment.

I was going to list out city services that are provided to all residents, but that that's on this website

Web Link

However, this does not include schools


3 people like this
Posted by Who's Perfect?
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 11, 2014 at 6:27 pm

@A Senior Veteran

You just asked Robert a question without a question mark at the end. So you missed 2nd grade grammar?

If Google owns the land on which they provide a barracks for their workers, why are you trying to jam seniors and veterans there? Sure, if they worked there. But isn't the point of this whole idea to reduce traffic coming to Google to work? That's why their workers already living there would be of help to us all: Bayshore wouldn't back up, nor would Shoreline, etc.


3 people like this
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 11, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Why doesn't Google reveal how many,
and the percentage, of its employees
who would live in North Bayshore?

How many if micro-apartments, dorm like?
How many if Park Place like apartments?


6 people like this
Posted by In cheek ?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2014 at 7:22 pm

A possible solution could be for Google to have their employees hot bunk.
No one is in bed at their home when they are are at Google so have the off shift people use it as their abode. We would only need 1/2 as many residences. A great use of available housing.
Also home owners could sell houses for twice as much money as the cost is shared.
And rental owners can charge twice as much.
GREAT IDEA. Everybody wins!!


3 people like this
Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 11, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Is this a response to the failed Google hotel? What else could a community building with 1000 micro rooms 12 x 20 be used for with amenities, cleaning service, rec room, food service, free internet service be. You can " buy " your house with the intent to allow time share use. Hey you get a tax write off too. Think outside the box.


5 people like this
Posted by a Senior Veteran
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 11, 2014 at 8:44 pm

To Who's Perfect?

So Sorry, it must be my PTSD from service in Viet Nam. I didn't get out of going like some people.

And I am more concerned about housing for veterans, and seniors. If any new housing is to be built I want all the housing to be available to veterans and seniors first.

So am I missing something? The report above says Google supports 5,000 new housing units. Are all these units only for Google employees? Will the new housing units be subject to state and federal laws?

This is what is on the website for balancedmv.org run by Lenny Siegel:

We propose:

Enough residential units to accommodate new employees and create an opportunity for a balance of jobs and housing in the area.
A mid-rise, medium-density, compact community with a good balance of jobs, housing and local services, including cafes, shops, and educational facilities, and at least one supermarket, to serve local needs.
A mix of housing that serves diverse income levels and family sizes.
A vibrant neighborhood that stays alive when major employers close for the day or the week.
Comfortable, convenient personal mobility within North Bayshore, including walking, biking, and public transportation.
Permanent connections from North Bayshore to the regional transit system via the downtown Caltrain station and the VTA light rail system.


3 people like this
Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

Google isn't exempt from federal housing laws. The IRS will give them problems if they don't charge market rates to their employees and give others a chance to live there. But consider, this at least takes one form of demand off of all of the other housing units in the city. Google has a history of negotiating a bulk lease on apartments in various developments (such as Madera) which it uses for workers on temporary assignment at HQ when they travel in and for new hires moving to the area as a temporary transitional thing. They are expanding these deals and are working it seems with some of the developers who are in the process of constructing new apartment developments. Google employees are soaking up available apartments in the city and anything that helps Google employees reduces some of that pressure, even if it is still present.


3 people like this
Posted by rolo
a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 12, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Sounds like Goo-Goo has strong-armed Mountain View ..


6 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2014 at 12:54 am

@ Jeremy Hoffman

"5000 new homes does NOT equal 5000 cars." You are right 5000 homes does not mean 5000 cars, it means 10,000 cars!


3 people like this
Posted by Another Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm

I think 10,000 cars is an over estimate of the number of cars found in 5000 housing units in the North Bayshore community. Some portion of these 5000 units would be single occupancy. Some portion would have no cars.

Consider that if you build these 5000 housing units on 75 acres of land, that would take those 75 acres of land out of the office market. If occupied typically, those 75 acres could be the home to 18,000 workers. If occupied in the high density fashion being permitted going forward, that could be the home to 25,000-35,000 workers. How many cars with those added jobs????


3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2014 at 1:14 am

@Another Neighbor

Again, I don't know what to say because people like that are also under the delusion that if housing isn't built there, those potential residents aren't just going to move somewhere else.


5 people like this
Posted by long-term-understanding-needed-MV
a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2014 at 9:14 am


In all these discussion, I see that deep analysis is lacking.
A long-term view will provide more insight....

(1)
OK, there are new employees of companies in MV that would like
dorm-like rooms near companies they work for in MV.

(2)
In a few years, when these employees are ready to have their
families, they will need to move to single family apartments.
At that point, wouldn't they all want to live in apartments in MV,
close to their work?
How many more apartments can MV build?

(3)
A few more years later, the families would like to buy their own
homes -- single family homes, condos, town homes, etc. At that
point wouldn't the aspiring homeowners want to live in MV near their
work place?
Where are those homes going to be built in MV?

(4)
So, basically MV will never have sufficient infrastructure to support
the demand for housing. High density development will make MV
more unlivable than it already has become.

(5)
Google will continue to be the most successful company and will be
employing 100000+ employees in the near future. More and more of the
employees will want to live near the campus. Google is a visionary
company -- Google cares about the community it is a part of. There is
only so much development MV's infrastructure can support... How Google
handles their awe-inspiring growth without harming the livability of MV
will demonstrate the greatness of this truly remarkable company.


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

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