News

City opts to max-out housing in North Bayshore

9,100 homes proposed for Mountain View's tech hub off of Shoreline Boulevard

The Mountain View City Council on Tuesday pushed to maximize new housing development in the bustling North Bayshore tech corridor. If realized by private developers, the city's vision for the area would add about 9,100 new households next door to the offices of some of Silicon Valley's corporate giants.

The idea to inject housing into what has essentially been a sprawling office park has grown in popularity over the last year, among both council members and other stakeholders, especially Google. The consensus is that Mountain View needs to provide more housing if the city is to continue as a job magnet for the region. Building new residences in the heart of North Bayshore is seen as a way to alleviate the daily traffic jam of workers funneling into the area, and perhaps open the possibility for more tech expansion.

At a Nov. 10 study session, council members gave direction on a variety of tweaks to the city's land-use plans in what they described as a "high-level" vision for future development. Through a series of straw votes, council members made clear they want to study as much housing as the area could sustain. They picked the largest area proposed by staff a cluster of parcels totaling 60 acres near Shoreline Boulevard north of Highway 101.

For those properties, the council laid out a neighborhood vision of tightly packed residential buildings of up to 12 stories high that would be filled mostly with "micro-unit" apartments for tech workers.

Council members explained that they want to take a flexible approach to encourage speedy development.

"All this housing probably isn't going to be built," said Councilwoman Pat Showalter. "But the max (area) where it's allowed, the better."

It was abundantly clear at the meeting that much of this new housing development would be spearheaded by Google, which owns hundreds of acres in the area. The company sent two letters to the city in advance of the meeting, urging city leaders to provide incentives for rapid housing growth. Google representatives particularly wanted assurances that any office space demolished for housing could be rebuilt elsewhere.

Any new housing that is built would include the number of affordable units required by city regulations, said Google spokesman Davis White.

Most council members endorsed the idea of giving some perks to speed up housing growth, although they hinted that some disagreements may be ahead the question of who would live in these new housing units among them.

"I do want to incentivize the property owners to create the neighborhood we want," said Councilman Lenny Siegel. "But as far as what kind of housing and who would live there, I think we have some differences there."

Mayor John McAlister took a harder line. He asked: Does the city really need to provide any perks at all?

"Why are we considering incentives for anything the company (already wants)?" he asked. "Why'd we incentivize something they're asking us to do?"

By providing such perks, the city could essentially guide private development toward a larger vision, answered Martin Alkire, the city's planner on the project.

During their discussion, city leaders made clear they had already put quite a bit of thought into how a future North Bayshore neighborhood should look. Saying he wants a "vibrant nightlife" akin to that of Florence, Italy, Siegel urged his colleagues to support creating an open plaza just west of Shoreline Boulevard, where a new promenade of restaurants, bars and shops could be located.

Showalter signaled that she wants a central community pool with other open space dispersed throughout the new neighborhood. The big theme of the discussion was for mixed development with shops, offices and housing sharing the same buildings.

The council debated exactly what kind of housing they should be promoting in the area. A proposal from staff said future housing should consist of 40 percent studio apartments, 30 percent one-bedroom units, 20 percent two-bedroom, and 10 percent three-bedroom.

That was fine for young single tech workers, but what about families looking to stake a future in the area? Siegel and McAlister said they would be casting aside families if the city didn't encourage units with more bedrooms. But other council members disagreed, saying the city should instead notch down the multi-bedroom units for even more living quarters for tech employees.

"I see this as workforce housing," said Councilman Mike Kasperzak. "I haven't thought of this as a place where people would retire (or) a family-friendly area."

In the end, the council agreed to stick with city staff's recommended breakdown for future housing.

For future study, city officials also decided to include a 16.9-acre lot used by the Valley Transportation Authority to park public buses. VTA officials have said they are interested in selling the property. The agency put out a request for proposals in January and received just one response, from Google. VTA officials said they later decided to put the brakes on that plan to wait and see how the city decided to develop housing in the area. A second request for proposals will go out soon, said Jennifer Rocci, a senior real estate planner with VTA.

"We're open to relocating (this bus lot) provided the buyer provides us with a new property and the costs to relocate," she said. "We've received so much interest from developers asking us if we'd sell this property."

The next step is for city staff to prepare an environmental study, which will spell out how the new housing would impact everything from traffic to the area's burrowing owls. That study is expected to take about one year to complete.

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Comments

26 people like this
Posted by Cuesta Neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 11, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Wow, 9,100 new households? That's more than 25% of the current city total. When did this get into the General Plan? The North Bayshore Precise Plan EIR that was finalized in 2014 showed NO housing. Now we get an increase of 25% of the entire population of the city -- with no new EIR? I'm confused.


37 people like this
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 11, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Sounds like dormitories for Google workers. Twelve (12) stories tall with no single family homes. Should post a sign at entrance - "Families Not Wanted."


3 people like this
Posted by Cuesta Neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm

I see, the new EIR is mentioned in the last paragraph.


32 people like this
Posted by 2014 Election
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 11, 2015 at 3:11 pm

The voters of MV opted to vote for 3 new council members (Siegel, Rosenberg, Showalter) who differentiated themselves in the campaign by their support for North Bayshore housing. They now feel they have a mandate to move forward.

If this is excessive, voters need to pay more attention in the next election. In the meantime, if you object to this pace of growth, speak up!


26 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 11, 2015 at 3:17 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

The original NAVY barracks are still standing. Use those and any abandoned infrastructure for immediate housing while all the yak-yak-yak about the future of affordable housing is planned. Why let the buildings go to waste right now?
Building a dump and water station for RVs that clog up the streets at Shoreline helps people NOW. Let Wal-Mart allow free overnight parking like they do all over the country NOW.
Show that the developers do not control you and the people of Mountain View voted you in to represent THEM, City Council Members!
BTW, just recently, The city council voted 3-2 to get rid of a monument that had a cross on a city owned graveyard site in Knoxville, Iowa.
The next day, those 3 councilors were FIRED in the votes by the city public on the open voting for the City Council membership.
It would be wise to think of that strong possibility if you keep developers first and M.V citizens LAST in your thinking.


52 people like this
Posted by Tina
a resident of Castro City
on Nov 11, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Uh, hello? Everybody is crying out for new housing & reduced traffic & getting people that are living in their cars into housing. This might start to meet those needs. It will (hopefully) reduce the ridiculous jams on Shoreline & provide housing for people who are willing to live in a micro home. This would (potentially) free up housing in other areas of the city for people who want more living space. Win-win. I don't understand the problem. Finally, the council we elected specifically to deal with the housing situation is actually dealing with it - yay!


37 people like this
Posted by mdavis23
a resident of Castro City
on Nov 11, 2015 at 3:45 pm

mdavis23 is a registered user.

Finally. This is wonderful. Young employees of Google, Linkedin, etc. will have a place to live close to work so that they can stop clogging up the roads driving in from SF, Oakland, Redwood City, etc. Housing in other parts of Mountain View may open up for others. Glad to see the new council members making good on their campaign promises.


29 people like this
Posted by Houses
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 11, 2015 at 4:18 pm

As a homeowner I like this idea. I do think it could potentially reduce traffic (or at least not increase it), and once these young dorm dwellers grow up and want to put down roots in MV, they're going to want a real house and my property value could increase as a result.


34 people like this
Posted by Hahaha
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 11, 2015 at 4:20 pm

There is no guaranty that the people that will live there will work in our city.

All it guaranties is more and more traffic.

In a fine city like ours, we should have home owners vote on decisions like this, not leave it up to a handful of people, who get intimidated by some mob showing up at there meetings.


24 people like this
Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 11, 2015 at 4:29 pm

The boldness of the Council's vision is impressive. I applaud it. In today's Mercury News Michelle Quinn wrote about the housing needs of this area over the next decades. It's very relevant to what the MV Council has just done -- see Web Link


16 people like this
Posted by Long Time MV Resident
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 11, 2015 at 4:38 pm

This is very good progress to alleviate the housing shortage, and reduce traffic with a mixed use development. However, there are many others of us that would be very interested in purchasing more affordable housing in No Bayshore other than young tech workers. High Rise Mixed use near transit is a best solution. The new City Council is listening to the voters.


26 people like this
Posted by MV new Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm

"Micro-unit" apartments”!!!!! NO!!!!

Obviously, people with family are not welcome! Pay attention, folks. You are voting for a community that even Googlers hate. In a company’s good years, this “dorm rooms” will fill with young, smart and wonderful people. In the company’s bad years, the “dorm rooms” will be used to house homeless.

The politicians will always win by playing “God” to get some people’s vote--- and it will be on MV residence’s expense. Yes, you will pay!

Have someone ask the following questions:
“Do we have infrastructures in place to support the new community?”
“Who’s going to pay?”
“What if those Googler get older and want to have family? They want to live in a different neighborhood that fills with less-homogenous people and causing traffic in a few more years down the road?”

Mountain View residence. You need to know who to vote for next time!!!


30 people like this
Posted by 2014 Election
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 11, 2015 at 5:02 pm

It boggles the mind to contemplate how anyone can think that adding 9,000 units will REDUCE? traffic. You've got to be kidding.

What's the average time someone stays with a job these days? 2 years? Do people think these folks will sell their home when they move on? C'mon.

These will be new places to live in a tree-lined neighborhood near freeway access, with a beautiful park/lake nearby. I'd bet that after "steady state" is reached, only a small percentage will work in North Bayshore. At that point, the 9,000+ additional cars will be visiting downtown, shopping at Safeway, driving kids to school, etc.


48 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2015 at 5:07 pm

@MV new Parent

You want to know the great thing about these apartments? Nobody is forcing you or anyone else to live in them! If you don't like the concept of smaller units, especially if you have a family, I HIGHLY suggest not living in one.


16 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2015 at 5:51 pm

This is going to turn Mountain View into a city of renters. The political power of homeowners, especially SFH owners, will be dramatically reduced. Truly a south bay Berkeley in the making.


9 people like this
Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 11, 2015 at 7:04 pm

MV Voice: Can we get a readable map, please? Clicking on the picture just yields a somewhat larger unreadable blurry map.

Thanks


13 people like this
Posted by @Robert
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 11, 2015 at 8:09 pm

@Robert - You don't even live here, so it's REALLY none of your business. The sarcasm and rude comments don't help.

Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed today, or are you always like that?


10 people like this
Posted by Former Cuesta Neighbor
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Nov 11, 2015 at 8:26 pm

I used to live in Cuesta.

My landlord decided to evict everyone and double the rent. Yes, both. And in that order. She didn't even give us the option of paying the higher price. So now I live across town.

My former neighbor seems to think that this isn't enough. She wants the city to keep housing supply restricted even further until we have out of town entirely.

Thanks, neighbor.


10 people like this
Posted by ac
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 11, 2015 at 8:57 pm

2+2 = 0

Software Engineer salaries $84,676 - $146,593
Senior Software Engineer salaries $106,327 - $190,254
Technical Program Manager salaries $96,690 - $167,464

Live in 800 sq foot housing?


17 people like this
Posted by Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 11, 2015 at 9:03 pm

Fantastic! I own a home and support this. Mountain View is moving forward. If you don't like the growth then leave. We need loads of hmulti-ousing, transit, and local shopping to keep people from needing to use their cars.

The idea that they should build single family homes is foolish. They SHOULD make sure that 2-3 room units exist for families. But if nothing else, having a night life and small units may make this more attractive and free up multi-room units elsewhere.


34 people like this
Posted by Reasons to worry
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 11, 2015 at 9:10 pm

This is just insane.

1. That whole area is supposed to flood with global warming. I hope someone is planning for that.

2. People who live in those units will not necessarily work in the area. They will move there because they are new (probably cheaper) micro units but will have their cars on the freeway as much as anyone else. Unless there is an awesome public transportation added that connects this part of Mountain View with Caltrain, the traffic will be ridiculous. Even with a great connection I still bet many more cars will be on the road.

3. These units are designed for young people (no families). So what happens when these workers grow up and want to get married? I was once a hot-shot young tech worker with a job at one of the coolest tech companies in the late 90's - Sun Microsystems. But now I'm older, married and I have children, so a micro unit won't work for us. This city has a severe shortage of 3 bedroom units (for families). Micro units will bring lots of new people to Mountain View, but then they'll have no where to go from there as their life progresses. Housing for families will be even more expensive as all these people try to outbid each other for the few 3 bed places available! I'm guessing most will be forced to leave Mountain View once they want to have kids.

For those with short memories, all those apartments on California Ave were built mostly as 1 and 2 bedroom units to support the influx of new tech workers back in the 60's and 70's. Now who occupies them? Not too many tech workers. No we are building the same thing again!

4. Micro housing is great when tech is booming. It will become a ghost town in bust years with units sitting empty and rents crazy low. The economy in this area is very cyclical and we are in a boom right now so I know it's hard for some people to see the busts coming. But trust me they are coming. We must plan for city needs in the long-run, not succumb to knee-jerk reactions to the present moment.

This is very poor planing.


14 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 11, 2015 at 9:19 pm

This month's National Geographic featured micro housing as a way to help fight climate change:
Web Link

I hope the city encourages all North Bayshore housing to be 100% micro housing designed for anyone, single residents or families, who are willing to live a small carbon footprint.

I also hope they encourage units that are for owner-purchase rather than rentals. Rentals only add more profits to entities that are already flush, owner-bought units broaden the class of Mountain View residents, who aren't currently building equity, to begin building equity and planting stakes in our community.

As long as people are living in RVs, it's ridiculous to demand future housing to fit a suburban way of life that is out of the price range of so many new residents.


27 people like this
Posted by About Time!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 11, 2015 at 11:10 pm

All the NIMBY'S are out and crying their heads off. How comical! They worry about their own interests above all others and act/think in obstructionist pattern(s) while not realizing the impact of their own obstructionist ways. Even going so far as to advocate disenfranchising renters as though they should be treated as second class citizens. Goose meet gander...lol.

High density housing is the wave of the future for all major metropolitan areas (including the bay area). It must be to facilitate growth. Move to the burbs/sticks if you want a big house! All of the self-serving scare tactics have been heard before and are old/tired (oh the irony). It's time the city works for a majority vs. a small minority hell-bent on obstructionist nostalgic fits of fanciful "olden day" glory in their own heads. Trying to bind the city to fit your own self-serving vision is ridiculous. The narcissistic nature of many of your comments is quite disturbing.

Blossom and bloom Mtn. View and don't let these NIMBY'S hold you back. They got theirs and they see no need for anyone else to do the same unless they can micromanage every aspect of it to suit them. Ignore their unappreciation (like a spoiled child) and press on!


13 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 12, 2015 at 12:43 am

I have lived in Santiago Villa for almost 20 years and I have
a family. My kids were born at El Camino hospital and have
gone to local schools their whole lives.

I have lived here probably longer than a lot of the city council
and when I moved here there was no Google, no Microsoft, and no VTA.

I hate to break the news to you but I like living here and unless someone pays me a million dollars for my house, I'm not planning on moving.

So deal with it.


12 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 12, 2015 at 12:52 am

Also I am a US veteran, I was born in New York, and my son was born on 9-11.
So you might have a problem if you try to bully me. Every veteran in
the USA will back me up.


13 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 12, 2015 at 1:32 am

My next door neighbor is 93 years old and has lived here way longer than
me. She is a World War 2 veteran. She isn't planning on moving either.


13 people like this
Posted by Kathy
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 12, 2015 at 7:51 am

Reminds me of China, this is what Mountain View is going to look like in a few years.. Web Link

Yes, high density housing is the wave of the future...unless you are a resident of Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo, Los Gatos etc....lucky you.


3 people like this
Posted by @ Kathy
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 8:03 am

In do time Kathy! They are holding the cities hostage but it won't last. A change to prop 13 and/or slowly shifting the demographics to renters (many houses are already rented by multiple households) and you'll see the change there as well. They will be late to the party but will be at party inevitably.


23 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 12, 2015 at 9:08 am

As is typical, the people that claim to be in favor of this foolishness will be the ones that will move and try to subject yet another decent town to their "vision" of a latter-day Utopia.

They will tire of the crowds and the noise. They will tire of the bums who populate the real-life versions of their advanced transportation systems and the crack dealers who live in their ultra-modern high rise housing. They will want their children to have trees and yards and neighbors who stay longer than the latest version of software. They will move to nice, uncrowded place with all those nice things.

What they leave behind will be what the rest of us have to tolerate forever.

Talk about selfish and greedy.


7 people like this
Posted by @PSR
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:00 am

Typical transplant mentality. I moved in now cease any new building and freeze time. Then have the nerve to talk about selfish/greedy. I'm sure the old residents felt the same about "The Crossings" when it was developed/expanded and you took their place and pushed them out and brought more noise, traffic, residents, use more resources ect. The narcissism runs thick with this type of mindset. You can always take the advice many of the homeowners offer up when others complain: Move if you don't like it, you're not entitled to live anywhere. Maybe you just can't deal with city living ect.ect.ect.

Take your money and run (which will be a lot more than your house is actually worth thanks to all those tech folks). The city owes you nothing, least of all, to freeze time because you find it convenient for you. Typical NIMBY.


15 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:23 am

I moved into an existing house when I came here. I did NOT make anyone build it for me.

As for your "transplant mentality", you can put a lid on that right now. My family has lived in the South Bay area for over 120 years, so I am FAR from a "transplant".

It IS selfish and greedy to destroy a city for your social experiment, then leave the long-term residents with the fall out. Or are you going to inform us all of the location from which all this new housing will be getting its water, disposing of its garbage and educating its children? Did you consider that, or does all that just "happen" in your Utopia. @?


17 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:44 am

@psr

Housing built before I arrived = good
Housing built after I arrived = bad


28 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 11:15 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

"The consensus is that Mountain View needs to provide more housing if the city is to continue as a job magnet for the region. Building new residences in the heart of North Bayshore is seen as a way to alleviate the daily traffic jam of workers funneling into the area, and perhaps open the possibility for more tech expansion."

WHAT! The above is a direct quote from the article, and I hope that it is a misquote or misconception of what was actually said. Most residents have informed me that they think Mountain View has already done far more than it's share of providing jobs for the rest of the Bay Area. What part of 'landlocked' is misunderstood? MV is only 12 square miles and cannot expand unless it is to build UPWARDS.

When did we decide to become San Francisco or Redwood Shores? San Mateo is already building a massive project that looks to be about half the size of Mountain View where "Bay Meadows Racetrack" used to be. They and other cities have the space for such projects without significantly impacting traffic and the quality of life, so what is the motivation to "cram and jam" in Mountain View?


I also find it interesting that creating a "vibrant nightlife" akin to Florence, Italy was mentioned for the North Bayshore when it seems that the objective has been to crush that same vibrancy on Castro Street by replacing restaurants and bars with more offices.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


3 people like this
Posted by @PSR
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 11:32 am

You are a transplant. You are not a life-long resident and even if you were that would not entitle you to dictate as some sort of czar. If you really are from the crossings then yes, you moved into a house that was developed in the mid 90's. That was probably a detriment to someone else in some form or fashion (traffic, higher rents, gentrification, more residents ect)

Your a relatively new resident compared to others who have lived in Mtn. View for most of their lives and who are struggling to live in the face of ridiculous rents. You got your house so everybody else can just eat cake, right?


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 11:35 am

As a fairly new home owner in Mountain View who's seen the price of my house skyrocket, I'd like to save Bravo! to the city council. Maybe one day, more of my family could afford to move here. Right now, Mountain View is only accessible to the incredibly wealthy.


10 people like this
Posted by @Resident
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Enjoy it while you can! Timing is everything! This is an exciting time to ride this wave of tech bubble 2.0. This time though, when the bubble pops, at least the average folks will have a bunch of housing options available after the implosion. This will also help the city weather the storm (property taxes) in hopes of a tech 3.0 (if investors have the appetite/free money for it). Just like Sunnyvale, Mtn. View (all of Santa Clara county in fact) needs to keep growing to pay for all those retired folks with the golden retirements and Cadillac health care. (see pensiontsunami.com )

I'm sure no one will shed a tear for the Prometheus and company type property management price gougers if they go under and are forced to sell at a loss and go bankrupt. I'd imagine a great deal will even applaud...lol.

So you see, in the end, everyone will win. Time it right and homeowners can make a bundle before the music stops! Everyone else will benefit from all the housing and commercial space that will be plentiful and cheap once all the carpetbaggers go home and/or move on.

The real question is how long this tech bubble 2.0 illusion will last and just how long the perpetual investing in non-profitable companies,companies who recycle ideas and give themselves a 1000% more magic valuations, and sheer volume of paper money that can be created before the jig is up and the music stops and there is no where to sit!


7 people like this
Posted by Family Friendly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 12:33 pm

How arrogant and insulting to say micro-units are not "family friendly". If you have a family, want to live in an area, and that's all you can afford, you will live there and be just as much a real "family" as someone who is privileged enough to have a nice big "single family home" with a yard.


3 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 12, 2015 at 12:56 pm

I'm not taking sides in whether they should build. But the circle of life of history is after you graduate from college and get a good job you settle down and start a family. Where are all these young people going to go
when that is what they want to do?

I also don't think we are in a tech bubble. This is the new reality.


15 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Nov 12, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Micro housing for a family, what a crazy idea. You think you can live with 3 plus people in a small studio and enjoy it. By that time you move to another area that is more family friendly.
By the way just watch out, our government in Sacramento is working on laws that will make it even more difficult for businesses to survive in California. Yes companies are moving to other states, because the business climate is so much better. Remember before Google there where other companies in north bayshore, some went under others moved.
12 story buildings with 2 airports as neighbors, that might not work to well.


12 people like this
Posted by @Resident
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Right. Microunits can't hold families. They need to live in their RV's instead.


11 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 12, 2015 at 1:27 pm

As a community of Americans I don't think we should design studios for families. That isn't humane.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Hope they design all sorts of housing units and across think of the areas across the freeway. Remember to think about small business space or I would say shop/home housing units. Micro units to large studios would be good, flats and large condo towers.

I think 9,100 units is alot but lets see what happens with designing of what will become a new nighborhood.

Please can we give it a better name also


8 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 12, 2015 at 1:57 pm

This will blow your minds. My Dad was one of the original New York Bell Labs engineers to move to Silicon Valley. Do you know how much he paid for
his house in 1973? 37,000 dollars.


9 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@m2grs I hate to break the bad news to you. Mountain View homeowners are already in the minority at only 41.8% of households. Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Excellent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Glad to see the MVCC make a good decision for a change!


6 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:28 pm

@Janet Lafleur, yes homeowners are already a minority. It will get worse.

This plan sounds like reincarnation of giant public housing projects decades ago. We all know how those went over the years: drugs, crime, seedy streets, urban blight...

This one, once built, and slapped on with rent control, which will happen since more power go to the renters, can become a magnet for such things. Economy can go down. Google can move out. City should not plan based on fashionable and formidable corporations of the day.


9 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:43 pm

If humans were considered the same as a burrowing owl or squirrel in the impact studies things would be different..mv city gov..has failed miserably at controling biz.growth.so we end up with hi rents and rental/purchase shortages.enough is enough stop building office space and build housing.there is plenty of space for all on this bay area..it is just poorly utilized.


5 people like this
Posted by C'mon
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm

It's not like this is a neighborhood that would otherwise support family homes. It's already a giant office park with a few restaurants thrown in.

Why not allow housing, presumably for the people who work in said offices? I mean who else would want to live there?


7 people like this
Posted by @m2grs
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Google will be the last tech company standing. The rest: Twitter, Facebook, Linked In ect will be long gone before Google. Heck even Apple will be gone before google. Once the older folks (who buy their overpriced inferior phones and devices by overwhelming numbers) move on and the youth take over (who are mostly Android fans) they will be the next yahoo.

I suppose what you should have said was that if they make affordable housing people other than Asians and Whites will move in. OH THE TERROR!

Don't worry, you can rest assured that those places will be filled with Whites and Asians for the foreseeable future so that should put your xenophobia to rest.

FYI: Low income in this area is not like in other areas and doesn't mean destitute/homeless/drug addict ect.


9 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@m2grs You're being awfully presumptive to assume I think renters are bad for the city. Did you even pause for a second to think that I might be one?

I happen to own a home, but don't think for a minute that I think I have any more rights in this city's decision-making than renters, nor that I think I am more "valuable" to this city. I'm not and neither are you.

A souring economy affects *all* housing, not just rental housing. Take a look at what happened in Stockton in mortgage crisis of the Great Recession. Complete neighborhoods of foreclosed single family homes.

The good news is that while Mountain View housing prices have gone down in the past (like when I bought in 1993), it's never been that severe. Why? Because we're still in the middle of Silicon Valley, where there's always a new tech company starting up. Your doomsday scenarios are hyperbolic.


7 people like this
Posted by Uh huh, but no.
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2015 at 4:08 pm

The dooms-dayers have been dooms-daying ever since my folks bought there place in the 60's. Back in the day, the "ludicrous" price increases that pushed houses into 6 digit range(gasp!) would never be sustained. Then there was the original tech boom, the .COM days of the 90's. That's when things really took off and where the doomers were proclaiming all the companies were only vapor and would be gone and housing prices would plummet just like in Flint MI. They were slightly incorrect and obviously did/do not understand how things work here. Now the doomers are back with the same wrong story.

It's a modern saying "Hater's gonna hate" but it rings true in many people's negativity or professed doom. I think its more like angry people's wishful thinking rather than actual belief that we're somehow in a teetering economy here. Far far FAR from it. Some just don't understand the new.


13 people like this
Posted by Tyro
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 4:08 pm

How come MV hasn't found a way to ban new people from moving here? Can't we just make sure that all potential buyers are screened before being allowed to move in, with strict floors on income as well as price caps that would prevent bidding up of prices? There should also be strict limits on the number of children and other relatives living in the same home at any given time.

This way we can ensure that Mountain View never, ever changes and that we don't get too many undesireable single people moving in, and certainly not childless couples or couples with too many children.

As far as adult children and grandparents living in the same dwellings, if there get to be too many, we can draw lots to see which adult children will have to be exiled and which grandparents will have to be sent to a senior living facility in San Benito County. Another possible alternative to deal with children who may want to continue living in MV will be to strictly control procreation, and we could issue a limited number of permits allowing people to have children.

To ensure safety, we should also create "green zones" for workers at the various office parks and retail areas, and prevent them from traveling in or through areas reserved for residents. I'm envisioning parking lots on the outskirts of town with shuttle buses that will take workers in and out of their fenced-in office facilities.


5 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 12, 2015 at 5:17 pm

By the time any of this happens will there still be the need?..ever ponder the idea of google moving?..the story goes that they are the magnet that attracts all the other companies.
The heart of this problem is the failure of city gov.not just MV to control Comercial growth in relation to housing its as simple as that,simply building housing is not the solution.
City leaders are blind to this it seems.
They should encourage large companies to look elsewhere in the bay area to set up shop spread the money around instead of saying yes to every big $$ tech campus.
How do people not see this?because they can't resist the oppurtunity to add a feather to their cap which once full they will leave city gov.and the town they claim to have WORKED for and buy a nice place elsewhere.


12 people like this
Posted by ChevChelios
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2015 at 7:04 pm

9100 more homes! Thanks for getting feedback from the residence of Mtn. View and putting it to a vote, but developers and Googles money has corrupted this city. Well there goes the spacious north Shoreline Nieghborhood. As if the traffic in this area isn't bad enough, let's add 9100 more problems into an already heavily populated and trafficked area. Critical mass will come to fruition, gridlock will ensue. I also see this putting a strain on city services.


18 people like this
Posted by Yeah, No
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 7:28 pm

I am a native of the Bay Area and have lived in Mountain View for over 20 years now, and until fairly recently I loved living here and couldn't imagine ever leaving Mountain View or the greater bay area in general...but boy has my thinking changed over the last few years. As of last year the property where the new home will be built has been purchased, and now it's just how the timing works out on the job transfer. It will be heartbreaking for me to leave my home, but honestly, whats happening here --well, I guess I'm just not much of a bright lights, big city kind of person. Thanks, but no thanks.


Be happy, another one of the types so many of you don't seem to want around is leaving town. *Of note, the cost of living was not a factor when considering relocating (top 5% income earner) it was the quality of life, or specifically, the degradation of the quality of life in the area that was why the decision was made to relocate.

Y'all have fun creating a utopian urban society while saving the planet, and I'll go do my thing a little more "off the grid".

Personally, I think the exodus is just getting started.



3 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 12, 2015 at 7:51 pm

I have a big problem with all this micro-housing to support large families. The USA is still a 1st world nation and we don't want to treat people worse than criminals get treated.

I can see young singles in the micro-housing.


5 people like this
Posted by @Yeah, No
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Sweet! That means a vacancy will be opening up. Adiós! I'm sure the city will survive (sarcasm). It would be extra sweet if you could take a few more with you!


5 people like this
Posted by Yeah, No
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 9:30 pm

"Sweet! That means a vacancy will be opening up. Adiós! I'm sure the city will survive (sarcasm). It would be extra sweet if you could take a few more with you!"

-----

You're in luck, kinda. Several people I know are on the same track I'm on, although they are scattered in several cities - Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside & Portola Valley. None of these friends are retiring, just relocating. Not all of them plan on selling their homes either, some are just relocating their primary residence out of the bay area, (out of CA even) while keeping their home here, at least for the time being...no housing freed up, but less bodies clogging the region.

Be happy. Everything here is on fleek.

Yup, it's all good.


11 people like this
Posted by @Yeah, No
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:09 pm

^^^^^That is good news! The more unhappy NIMBY'S that vacate the better! We could use the space. All of those areas are ripe for development and there is plenty of space. Plus it would save a bunch of water at the same time! Win-win!

You should tell them to rent their houses out for as much as they can. That way when it takes 15 people to live there to make rent, there will be more votes and more pressure for development! People need hosing if we are to have a "utopian urban society". McMansions are out and density is in. You can help and get a nice bit of coin in the process.


5 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:30 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Denver is just seeing a tech boom from some of those companies leaving the Let Coast ( a native Coloradan saying ) guess what? I-25 is like 101 twenty years ago! Highlands Ranch is built out and development north of Denver on U.S. 36 and I-25 has been strong.

My parents bought the Wagon Wheel owners house for $25,000 fifty years ago. It appraised out at the first real estate boom at $750,000. It now appraises out at over a $1 MILLION. Do they want to sell? H--l NO!
I participated in the Wretched Excess years of Intel and AMD and did the job hopping days when you were guaranteed a 30% raise by doing so.

So now the boom is still mostly vaporware and selling Internet based dreams. At least AMD, Intel and others were turning sand into gold.
I built computers at Cromemco and Silicon for Data General.

Hawaii is now facing it's first homeless population, mostly minimum wage earners that are not making enough to pay the rent.
Hawaii's answer: Use converted shipping containers to build micro housing. That is another way to recycle shipping containers. Some architects have made trendy multistoryed houses with them. I'll bet Oakland has a bunch of them all ready to sell....
Most chassis built RVs have the necessary electrics and plumbing to actually be considered housing. That is why I keep talking about a dump station in the Shoreline parking lot. That RV Living is employee housing on wheels. I did that once on a job site I stayed 3 weeks on. Driving was a day and a half. Instant hookup and living space for 3 weeks. No living out of a motel room. A similar reason some employees in Mountain View live out of an RV... The payments on a new one ARE CHEAPER THAN THE PAYMENT THEY WOULD PAY ON AN APARTMENT RENTAL...AND THEY KEEP THE RV!
Another reason: Find a job that looks better or pays more, just disconnect things and go!
The whole SFBA is land locked. all the land is owned and built up. The same land is being recycled into other things, often at a loss to a city's character.

Big Yellow Taxi

by Joni Mitchell

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel *, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot


6 people like this
Posted by @the_punnisher
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2015 at 11:12 pm

Ironic thing is, if they didn't "tear down paradise and put up a parking lot" then where would you park your RV? ;)


8 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 13, 2015 at 12:58 am

Most of my family has left the Bay Area. After they made their money they left or because they couldn't afford the cost of living. It is the nature
of the beast.

I still like it here because it doesn't get too hot in the summer and it
doesn't get too cold in the winter. You can't beat the climate here. And
my kids go to some of the best public schools in the country. And except
for the internet trolls on this web site the people are pretty friendly
around here.


9 people like this
Posted by Yeah, No
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 13, 2015 at 8:59 am

@Yeah, No:^^^^^

"That is good news! The more unhappy NIMBY'S that vacate the better! We could use the space. All of those areas are ripe for development and there is plenty of space. Plus it would save a bunch of water at the same time! Win-win!"

You should tell them to rent their houses out for as much as they can. That way when it takes 15 people to live there to make rent, there will be more votes and more pressure for development! People need hosing if we are to have a "utopian urban society". McMansions are out and density is in. You can help and get a nice bit of coin in the process.

_________


Their homes won't be on the rental market. Incidentally, none of their homes would be considered "McMansions", evidently that's your projection & perception of high income earners who have homes in certain cities. One thing you should realize about folks with THAT kind of income is, they don't need to use a property as a revenue stream...it can be kept as a 2nd home and used on occasion for themselves or other family members.

It makes more sense for these folks to hang onto their property and leave it as a trust asset to children - the tax basis on the property resets when the children inherit the property at some future date, which also negates any previous capital gains. This is how many of my friends are handling their exits from this area - not selling their homes, not renting out their homes, they will be used as vacation homes - and eventually their children will inherit these homes thru the family trust...and then the homes will be able to be sold once the tax basis has been reset.

The properties won't come on the market in the near future. No land opens up for re-development. Just less people, less income and tax revenue (of every kind) fueling the economic engine. A few drops in an economic bucket.

*BTW, if you think you are going rent out a property in Woodside to multiple different people...well, good luck with that. You don't know the town of Woodside very well.


3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2015 at 9:58 am

@Yeah, No

Please think about what you're saying "less people, less income and tax revenue" because you and others are leaving... all because the area is becoming too crowded and congested.


11 people like this
Posted by Yeah, No
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 13, 2015 at 10:33 am

Robert: "Please think about what you're saying "less people, less income and tax revenue" because you and others are leaving... all because the area is becoming too crowded and congested."

I also said...

Just less people, less income and tax revenue (of every kind) fueling the economic engine. >> A few drops in an economic bucket.<< Meaning, the loss is clearly insignificant now, but if this type of relocation - top 5% income earners relocating out of the area and not selling their properties or otherwise freeing them up for market use - at some point this kind of loss changes from insignificant to something more. That's all.

Pay attention to trends.


3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2015 at 10:50 am

Sorry, the way you had phrased that almost sounded like you had a concern over the loss of housing units or population.


3 people like this
Posted by @Yeah, No
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 13, 2015 at 11:16 am

Makes no sense. You are somehow bragging that you (and all of your friends apparently) have multiple properties that will just sit and somehow you will be paying less tax? LOL. CA will still tax any income derived from the state and you'll still pay property tax on your empty "vacation" home(s). Me thinks you're more-so bragging while using jargon to sound financially astute on one hand while oversimplifying financial liabilities on the other like you are somehow beating the system. Too funny.


16 people like this
Posted by Chip anyone?
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 13, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Sure are a lot of jealous posters on here. Because I can't afford it then I'm going to ruin it for you mentality. Sad.


15 people like this
Posted by Elitist anyone?
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Sure are a lot of elitists posters on here. Because you can't afford a expensive house, you have no right to live in my city. Don't want to have to mix with the peasants, although, we'll allow the serfs around to labor on our estates. Sad.


6 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 13, 2015 at 4:22 pm

Sorry, but I'm not a transplant. You might be able to say that about my grandparents, but not me.

Also, I actually LIVE in Monroe Park, but the Mountain View Voice doesn't see fit to include my neighborhood as part of the city. Much like most of the City Council, they are happy to take our tax dollars, come and lie to us to garner our vote (Yes, I mean you Ken Rosenberg) and then ignore or abuse us as they wish.

I also note that nobody here has addressed the problem with where the new housing is supposed to get their city services. During this drought, we didn't have enough water for free use by the people already here. Where are we getting enough for 9,000-18,000 MORE?


3 people like this
Posted by @psr
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 13, 2015 at 6:22 pm

El Nino! You aint heard? Come the end of Jan we'll all be complaining about all the flooding! Anyone who's been here for 30+ years knows this is cyclical and much to do about nothing. Besides, higher density multi-use development uses much less water than large single-family lots. Most of the water is used on landscaping and other uses; actual water use for day-to-day living in dense housing is one of the lowest users of water.


12 people like this
Posted by Yeah, No
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 13, 2015 at 6:33 pm

@Yeah, No:

Makes no sense. You are somehow bragging that you (and all of your friends apparently) have multiple properties that will just sit and somehow you will be paying less tax? LOL. CA will still tax any income derived from the state and you'll still pay property tax on your empty "vacation" home(s). Me thinks you're more-so bragging while using jargon to sound financially astute on one hand while oversimplifying financial liabilities on the other like you are somehow beating the system. Too funny.

_______

Call it what you will. I would prefer to stay in Mountain View but - for me - the daily living environment is becoming something I don't care for, so I have made a decision to find an living environment that suits me better. I (along with other people I know) have opted to hang on to our homes here and keep them as 2nd homes -- kids can live in the home while attending university, etc.

I'm not sure where you extrapolated the "less tax" thing. Property taxes are property taxes...no getting around that fact. I'm well aware on the tax rules on income earned within the state of CA. Relocating out of state AND no longer conducting business within the state of CA means one would no longer be subjected to CA state income tax. It's not that complicated, other than the having a property still in CA -- the state does not want you in residence in said property for more than 6 months annually or it will consider you a resident. There are more details that CA uses when considering residency, but the 6 month residency one is biggie.

As for the "jargon" I was using. Sorry. I was using some of the terms the tax & estate lawyers use when explaining things to me. I call it legal-eze. It's their world...I just venture into their offices on occasion.


P.S. Trying to figure out if there is a sound & legal strategy which can save me from paying a huge nugget in capital gains taxes in the long term? Yeah, that's why I consult with the tax law folks. I call that being prudent.


11 people like this
Posted by Rodg
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 14, 2015 at 10:27 am

This is crazy madness, stop stop the north bay shore housing and stop with all the new office construction. Where is our police protection for the people we have living here now, not much. This is not San Francisco it' just a little town being taken over by the build and get out industry. The new offices do not generate tax income for the city. Take Google as an example, they do billions of business but only toss the city scraps.

Recall the city council and start over with people who care about Mountain View


7 people like this
Posted by Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 15, 2015 at 12:02 am

FYI - San Francisco wasn't always full of high rises. Crazy, I know. Growth, success, money, etc, are going to build Mountain View up/up/up. One day, we'll probably have a BART stop. That'll be awesome as hell.

Growth is great, people are great, and the smartest people in the world now call Mountain View home. Now, not then. The people who were here before, it means nothing that you were here before Google. You get your million dollar cash out. Enjoy! Shoo!

Amazon is worth more than Walmart. Walmart is terrified of death and spending all they can here. Car companies are opening new research facilities. You're bafflingly mad if you think this is a bubble. Every company is now a tech company and Silicon Valley is the center of the universe.


33 people like this
Posted by Narcissists
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:30 am

Some people are okay NOT being the "center of the universe", and over time this "center of the universe" mentality begins to reek of hubris and condescension towards anyone who may not be like minded. Pretty ugly stuff.


7 people like this
Posted by Exactly
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 15, 2015 at 10:51 am

Touche


5 people like this
Posted by ROAM
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 16, 2015 at 6:57 pm

MV/GOOGLE'S 9,100 HOUSEHOLDS ROAMING AROUND THE CITY, PARKS, STREETS, BY THE WATER, ROAMING AROUND HUNDREDS, HUNDREDS OF THEM ROAMING AROUND!!!!!


3 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 16, 2015 at 11:23 pm

[Post removed due to personal attack]


3 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 16, 2015 at 11:36 pm

[Post removed due to personal attack]


3 people like this
Posted by Santiago Villa Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 16, 2015 at 11:55 pm

[Post removed due to personal attack]


7 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 23, 2015 at 10:28 am

Question: If more housing is suppose to reduce traffic problems, why not restrict these new homes to be built and owned only by companies within 1 mile of them, and that they can only be used as company housing for their own workers and families -- not sold or rented out to outsiders. Kind of like company dormitories. Without some kind of restriction like this, there will definitely be a huge increase in the number of cars and the corresponding headaches and accidents from the increased traffic going in and out. It might start with local workers but there is no guarantee and few of these workers will stay at one company long.

It seems that unless government wants to invest or require companies to invest in infrastructure, it shouldn't allow increases in workers or homeowners. You can only get so much toothpaste in a tube.


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

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