News

Google throws uncertainty into North Bayshore housing plans

Company representatives warn it needs bonus office development rights to fund new housing

Through all the talk of transforming North Bayshore into an urban neighborhood of tomorrow -- of Google and Mountain View partnering to bring schools, mass transit and 9,850 homes to the heart of Silicon Valley -- that vision now seems to be in limbo.

As a grueling Sept. 26 City Council meeting on North Bayshore stretched into the early morning hours of Sept. 27, the city's relationship with Google became suddenly strained as the company's representatives made clear that their offer to cooperate with the city's ambitious housing plan was very conditional.

Google representatives dropped a gauntlet, saying they needed 800,000 square feet of additional office space in North Bayshore beyond what the city was planning. If the city denied that bonus, it would be a deal-breaker for any housing getting built, warned Joe Van Belleghem, senior design director at Google.

"Just to be clear: no new office; no new residential," Van Belleghem told the council. "We've been very clear all along that we needed this extra office space to make this work."

At that moment -- about 1 a.m. -- Mountain View's years of planning for North Bayshore turned into a big game of chicken. Was the city really asking too much from one of the world's wealthiest companies? Would Google really pull out of building housing even though it would benefit the company's own workers?

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Some council members made clear they thought they should call the bluff.

"I think the housing will get built," said Councilman Lenny Siegel. "Adding more offices doesn't make any sense to me. Once Google looks at this, they'll realize they need the 10,000 homes to add even a portion of what they want."

The Tuesday night study session represented one of the last steps before the city finishes its precise plan for the North Bayshore area. For years, Mountain View has drafted its plans around adding 3.6 million square feet of new offices to an area already packed with corporate offices and clogged with traffic. Following a series of approvals and property swaps, Google was able to obtain most of this new development allocation.

After a political swing in 2015, Mountain View's City Council voted to change course and dramatically alter the city's North Bayshore plans to include thousands of homes next to the tech offices. This vision called for a live-work neighborhood where tech employees could walk to work, potentially reducing the road traffic while helping ameliorate the regional housing crisis.

From the start, Google representatives cheered on the idea of bringing housing to the area. And the city needed Google on board since it is the predominant landowner. Google representatives had long hinted that the city should sweeten the deal by considering extra office space as an incentive for building housing in the area. But the company never proposed specific numbers for this idea, at least not publicly.

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That changed on Tuesday night, as multiple council members revealed the company had asked for 800,000 extra square feet of office space in private talks. The number came as surprise to everyone else in the auditorium, including city planning staff. Mountain View Community Development Director Randy Tsuda later told the Voice this was the first time he had heard of that number come up.

Up until that point, the discussion at the meeting was dominated by other considerations. Dozens of affordable housing advocates, school officials and union members spoke in support of the North Bayshore precise plan, and especially its potential to bring thousands of sorely needed homes to the area. The city's plans to require 20 percent of this new housing to be subsidized for a range of incomes would inspire other cities to follow suit, said Pilar Lorenzana from the housing advocacy nonprofit, [email protected]

"Leadership such as yours and the policies that you taken on are felt across the Valley and the region," she said. "We look to you to be the leaders that you need to be."

The last time the council had examined the precise plan, in June, the discussion was dominated by an idea to set an early "check-in" point to assess North Bayshore when 1,500 to 3,000 new homes were built. That idea raised a flurry of suspicion among housing advocates as well as Google officials that the city was scaling back its goal to build 9,850 homes. At the time, the council was split in a 3-3 impasse on the idea.

On Tuesday, the council unanimously agreed to go a different direction and monitor development based on the traffic congestion and transportation improvements. Mayor Ken Rosenberg gave assurances to the crowd that "9,850 units is the goal, make no mistake."

The meeting veered into uncertainty as the council members began pitching untested ideas for housing. Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga, who years ago had opposed any housing in North Bayshore, came out emphatically in support of maximizing affordable housing. Twenty percent wasn't enough, she said, and she urged her colleagues to raise the requirement as high as 40 percent, saying Seattle had successfully set that mandate.

"If we're serious about socioeconomic diversity, I think we have to reach further," she said. "If we never try, then we'll never know."

It wasn't the only new curve-ball city leaders threw at this late stage in the process. They asked staff to add in requirements for environmental monitoring, local hiring for construction jobs, support for union apprenticeship and more incentives for ownership housing. Google's plans to develop restaurants and retail space also needed to come with some guarantees that the company would help these businesses survive, they said.

For Google, the straw that broke the camel's back came when the talk moved to bonus office space in North Bayshore. A thin majority of four council members were against the idea of setting up a system to consider more office growth, even if it complied with traffic limits and other requirements. Abe-Koga spoke forcefully against the idea, describing it as a loophole for the 3.6 million square feet of office space outlined in the precise plan. She described how Google officials had told her in private meetings how they wanted 800,000 more square feet approved in the area.

"If you're serious about the jobs-housing imbalance, why would we allow more office space?" she said. "What's the point of doing a precise plan if it's not going to be followed?"

It was a growing list of demands, and Rosenberg and Councilman Chris Clark expressed nervousness that these stipulations would discourage housing growth. They appeared to be correct.

Earlier in the meeting, Van Belleghem, the Google representative, had expressed wholehearted support for the city's 9,850-home plan. Now clearly frustrated, he returned to the lectern to warn city officials they were asking too much. Google is currently developing a new futuristic campus at Charleston East and soon intends to build similar campuses along Landings Drive and Shoreline Boulevard. Those sites would use up all of the company's share of the 3.6 million square feet of office space, he said, but they would need to build out two new sites, one along Shorebird Way and the other on the south side of Charleston Road.

If Google had no way to make those office sites feasible, then the cost of building out residential sites wouldn't pencil out, he said.

"We can't invest this kind of money that's necessary for great residential, at 20 percent affordable with the kind of placemaking you want, with the kind of environmental objectives you want. We just can't do it," he said. "The reality is no new office, no residential."

Clark warned his colleagues they could be sending the city's long-sought housing package off a cliff. He backed the idea of considering future office projects, which the city didn't necessarily have to approve.

"If you're saying you want all these things, there's going to be no housing built -- If I were Google, I wouldn't do anything." he said. "If you want to call the bluff, then have at it ... but I think we'll regret it."

In a straw vote, a majority of council members -- Abe-Koga, Siegel, Lisa Matichak, and John McAlister -- opted against adding a process to consider additional office space.

Speaking after the meeting, Community Development Director Tsuda said Google could still propose additional projects through the city's gatekeeper process.

"As for what Google's response will be, that's really unclear at this point," he said.

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Google throws uncertainty into North Bayshore housing plans

Company representatives warn it needs bonus office development rights to fund new housing

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Sep 27, 2017, 5:07 pm

Through all the talk of transforming North Bayshore into an urban neighborhood of tomorrow -- of Google and Mountain View partnering to bring schools, mass transit and 9,850 homes to the heart of Silicon Valley -- that vision now seems to be in limbo.

As a grueling Sept. 26 City Council meeting on North Bayshore stretched into the early morning hours of Sept. 27, the city's relationship with Google became suddenly strained as the company's representatives made clear that their offer to cooperate with the city's ambitious housing plan was very conditional.

Google representatives dropped a gauntlet, saying they needed 800,000 square feet of additional office space in North Bayshore beyond what the city was planning. If the city denied that bonus, it would be a deal-breaker for any housing getting built, warned Joe Van Belleghem, senior design director at Google.

"Just to be clear: no new office; no new residential," Van Belleghem told the council. "We've been very clear all along that we needed this extra office space to make this work."

At that moment -- about 1 a.m. -- Mountain View's years of planning for North Bayshore turned into a big game of chicken. Was the city really asking too much from one of the world's wealthiest companies? Would Google really pull out of building housing even though it would benefit the company's own workers?

Some council members made clear they thought they should call the bluff.

"I think the housing will get built," said Councilman Lenny Siegel. "Adding more offices doesn't make any sense to me. Once Google looks at this, they'll realize they need the 10,000 homes to add even a portion of what they want."

The Tuesday night study session represented one of the last steps before the city finishes its precise plan for the North Bayshore area. For years, Mountain View has drafted its plans around adding 3.6 million square feet of new offices to an area already packed with corporate offices and clogged with traffic. Following a series of approvals and property swaps, Google was able to obtain most of this new development allocation.

After a political swing in 2015, Mountain View's City Council voted to change course and dramatically alter the city's North Bayshore plans to include thousands of homes next to the tech offices. This vision called for a live-work neighborhood where tech employees could walk to work, potentially reducing the road traffic while helping ameliorate the regional housing crisis.

From the start, Google representatives cheered on the idea of bringing housing to the area. And the city needed Google on board since it is the predominant landowner. Google representatives had long hinted that the city should sweeten the deal by considering extra office space as an incentive for building housing in the area. But the company never proposed specific numbers for this idea, at least not publicly.

That changed on Tuesday night, as multiple council members revealed the company had asked for 800,000 extra square feet of office space in private talks. The number came as surprise to everyone else in the auditorium, including city planning staff. Mountain View Community Development Director Randy Tsuda later told the Voice this was the first time he had heard of that number come up.

Up until that point, the discussion at the meeting was dominated by other considerations. Dozens of affordable housing advocates, school officials and union members spoke in support of the North Bayshore precise plan, and especially its potential to bring thousands of sorely needed homes to the area. The city's plans to require 20 percent of this new housing to be subsidized for a range of incomes would inspire other cities to follow suit, said Pilar Lorenzana from the housing advocacy nonprofit, [email protected]

"Leadership such as yours and the policies that you taken on are felt across the Valley and the region," she said. "We look to you to be the leaders that you need to be."

The last time the council had examined the precise plan, in June, the discussion was dominated by an idea to set an early "check-in" point to assess North Bayshore when 1,500 to 3,000 new homes were built. That idea raised a flurry of suspicion among housing advocates as well as Google officials that the city was scaling back its goal to build 9,850 homes. At the time, the council was split in a 3-3 impasse on the idea.

On Tuesday, the council unanimously agreed to go a different direction and monitor development based on the traffic congestion and transportation improvements. Mayor Ken Rosenberg gave assurances to the crowd that "9,850 units is the goal, make no mistake."

The meeting veered into uncertainty as the council members began pitching untested ideas for housing. Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga, who years ago had opposed any housing in North Bayshore, came out emphatically in support of maximizing affordable housing. Twenty percent wasn't enough, she said, and she urged her colleagues to raise the requirement as high as 40 percent, saying Seattle had successfully set that mandate.

"If we're serious about socioeconomic diversity, I think we have to reach further," she said. "If we never try, then we'll never know."

It wasn't the only new curve-ball city leaders threw at this late stage in the process. They asked staff to add in requirements for environmental monitoring, local hiring for construction jobs, support for union apprenticeship and more incentives for ownership housing. Google's plans to develop restaurants and retail space also needed to come with some guarantees that the company would help these businesses survive, they said.

For Google, the straw that broke the camel's back came when the talk moved to bonus office space in North Bayshore. A thin majority of four council members were against the idea of setting up a system to consider more office growth, even if it complied with traffic limits and other requirements. Abe-Koga spoke forcefully against the idea, describing it as a loophole for the 3.6 million square feet of office space outlined in the precise plan. She described how Google officials had told her in private meetings how they wanted 800,000 more square feet approved in the area.

"If you're serious about the jobs-housing imbalance, why would we allow more office space?" she said. "What's the point of doing a precise plan if it's not going to be followed?"

It was a growing list of demands, and Rosenberg and Councilman Chris Clark expressed nervousness that these stipulations would discourage housing growth. They appeared to be correct.

Earlier in the meeting, Van Belleghem, the Google representative, had expressed wholehearted support for the city's 9,850-home plan. Now clearly frustrated, he returned to the lectern to warn city officials they were asking too much. Google is currently developing a new futuristic campus at Charleston East and soon intends to build similar campuses along Landings Drive and Shoreline Boulevard. Those sites would use up all of the company's share of the 3.6 million square feet of office space, he said, but they would need to build out two new sites, one along Shorebird Way and the other on the south side of Charleston Road.

If Google had no way to make those office sites feasible, then the cost of building out residential sites wouldn't pencil out, he said.

"We can't invest this kind of money that's necessary for great residential, at 20 percent affordable with the kind of placemaking you want, with the kind of environmental objectives you want. We just can't do it," he said. "The reality is no new office, no residential."

Clark warned his colleagues they could be sending the city's long-sought housing package off a cliff. He backed the idea of considering future office projects, which the city didn't necessarily have to approve.

"If you're saying you want all these things, there's going to be no housing built -- If I were Google, I wouldn't do anything." he said. "If you want to call the bluff, then have at it ... but I think we'll regret it."

In a straw vote, a majority of council members -- Abe-Koga, Siegel, Lisa Matichak, and John McAlister -- opted against adding a process to consider additional office space.

Speaking after the meeting, Community Development Director Tsuda said Google could still propose additional projects through the city's gatekeeper process.

"As for what Google's response will be, that's really unclear at this point," he said.

Comments

Christopher Chiang
Registered user
North Bayshore
on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:10 pm
Christopher Chiang, North Bayshore
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:10 pm

When will Google's own employees organize to make it known to their own company that they also desperately need more housing? Until this stakeholder group, Google employees, stands up for their own interest, this seems to be going in circles.


Juan
Registered user
Rengstorff Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:12 pm
Juan, Rengstorff Park
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Tell them to take a hike. Go build 80,000,000,000 square feet of office space in San Jose, traffic is already bad enough here.


YIMBY
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:16 pm
YIMBY, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:16 pm

@Juan

Traffic is bad because you guys spent decades neglecting to invest properly in transit infrastructure.


m2grs
another community
on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:45 pm
m2grs, another community
on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:45 pm

@Juan, Google will take a hike.

They already assembled a huge campus in Sunnyvale north of 237, bigger than their Mountain View campus, I think. When San Jose campus deal is finalized and approved I'm not sure why Google wants to build more in Mountain View.


Google like Russia
Blossom Valley
on Sep 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm
Google like Russia, Blossom Valley
on Sep 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm

Google is interested in Google - not a community in the way,


Bored M
Cuesta Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm
Bored M, Cuesta Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm

Scattering our housing and not fixing transportation infrastructure seems misguided. Mountain View should just have a high density area with no new buildings less than six stories and from there build great transportation alternatives such as to North Bayshore. The space between El Camino and Central and bound on the other sides by Castro and San Antonio is ideal for really dense housing. We should not be forcing people to live in places where roads and services don't support residential living.


Bye Felicia
North Bayshore
on Sep 27, 2017 at 10:19 pm
Bye Felicia , North Bayshore
on Sep 27, 2017 at 10:19 pm



Please, let google's 'threat' materialize, and don't let the door hit 'em on their way out of town.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2017 at 10:41 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2017 at 10:41 pm

As I said months ago. Google was playing with this city. And the city was so easy to get manipulated by Google. Being teased into giving Google almost anything it wanted. This was so sad to eye-witness. If you think Google will be satisfied if the City agrees with it after this, you have got to be kidding, they will move the cheese forever.

It is time for our city to stand up and stop capitulating.


In Awe of the Nerve
another community
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:48 am
In Awe of the Nerve, another community
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:48 am

Google sounds deceitful, unless they build at least a good portion of the
housing. They can play their games about the exact number, but they started
this idea not being straightforward. Don't get hung up on the 9,567 number.
They will come around. Maybe they will build more at Moffett Field,
of somehow they manage to get a bridge to connect the 2 locations. Maybe that
bridge should be conditioned on housing in North Bayshore.


Renter
Monta Loma
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:11 am
Renter, Monta Loma
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:11 am

I'm glad Google got tired of a greedy local government trying to cook the golden goose. I hope they move to San Jose and all the nimby owners property values plummet. It's a nice dream.


Do No Evil Day?
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2017 at 6:48 am
Do No Evil Day?, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2017 at 6:48 am

Google employees should declare a "Do No Evil Day" and sit home to protest Van Belleghem's threat to build no housing in North Bayshore. gGoogle execs can run the company by themselves.


Chuck
Shoreline West
on Sep 28, 2017 at 7:40 am
Chuck, Shoreline West
on Sep 28, 2017 at 7:40 am

WTF? Why is Google the only company that can willing to build housing in North Bayshore? When housing already sells for $1000+ a sq/ft, there should be no problem finding other developers to fill the void. There is something seriously[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language] with your development requirements if it's too expensive for developers to make money. Google is not the problem here.


Political Inciter
Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2017 at 8:55 am
Political Inciter , Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2017 at 8:55 am

@Chuck

Google owns or has very long term leases on about 70% of all of the buildable property in North Bayshore. It's not that Google has to build the housing themselves. They can contract with a developer to do that. But without the land to build on, a development project can't go anywhere.


YIMBY
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2017 at 1:52 pm
YIMBY, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2017 at 1:52 pm

@Political Inciter

Owning the land is only one piece of the puzzle. NIMBY groups can still throw roadblocks in the way and stall construction.


Sayonara
Waverly Park
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm
Sayonara, Waverly Park
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

I will be very happy if Google leaves, my house plummets by $500k, and traffic lessens. Maybe a few others can leave too.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:12 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:12 pm

In response to Renter you said: ”I'm glad Google got tired of a greedy local government trying to cook the golden goose. I hope they move to San Jose and all the nimby owners property values plummet. It's a nice dream.”

I am surprised you aren’t aware of the millions of dollars of incentives Goggle received to build their office complexes in the City of Mountain View. That without those incentives Google would not have been as successful in as short a period of time as they are today.

Just equate that they are a multi-billion dollar corporation or a very sadistic cat, the city of Mountain View is nothing but a mouse to play with before the mouse is eaten.

I refuse to be a mouse.


Kathleen
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm
Kathleen, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Thank you City Council! Finally something to be proud about what you have done. I see nothing but greed, greed and more greed from Tech.


Anke
North Whisman
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm
Anke, North Whisman
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm

In today's SF Chronicle there's an article about a study report that finds it would cost California $26 billion to build enough housing to even put a dent in the shortage. The "shortage" is caused by the tremendous influx of tech workers in recent years. When are we regular folks going to stop subsidizing the wealth of the tech companies, their executives and their investors?


No TechFan
Cuesta Park
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:36 pm
No TechFan, Cuesta Park
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:36 pm

What benefit do we non-techies have by this endless tech expansion? They keep their wealth abroad, drive up the rents insanely and provide no common solutions to the problems they generate such as traffic congestions, overloaded schools and drags on infrastructure. Silicon Valley seems close to collapsing under the weight of the success of our much admired tech titans. Sadly they are solely interested in their own success and being very poor citizens. No surprise Alphabet dropped the "Don't be evil" motto, they must have recognized the inappropriateness too.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:48 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Anke,

Costa Hawkins almost guarantees that these projects will be profitable.

Why has it gotten this bad? Costa Hawkins was supposed to prevent this deficit. With all the free unfettered profit. What does the industry say, it's everyone else's fault.

How could it be? They had virtually infinite money to influence the state and local governments. You surely (not shirley) cannot mean that they failed to use that influence? For developers, it was just much easier to build office buildings instead of residences. Especially where state and local governments were bending over backwards to get "their" share of the jobs opening up.

All I am observing is that the citizens of California got the raw end of those deals because no one ever looked at the big picture, nor attempted to restore the work and living space balances. Should the people living in California be forced to pay that price?

NO the industries that didn't act are solely responsible for the problem. They made profit for 20 years. It is time for them to fix the problem, and they should expect no public money to assist them, unless they are willing to drop Costa Hawkins.


Anke
North Whisman
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:59 pm
Anke, North Whisman
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Amen, Business Man!

"How could it be? They had virtually infinite money to influence the state and local governments. You surely (not shirley) cannot mean that they failed to use that influence? For developers, it was just much easier to build office buildings instead of residences. Especially where state and local governments were bending over backwards to get "their" share of the jobs opening up."

"It is time for them [industries] to fix the problem"

They will never do that simply on the basis of it being the "right thing". All of this is exactly why we need to get big money out of politics, fix our broken system that allows those with the big money to buy our politicians and coerce or hoodwink them into enabling the rich to get even richer at the expense of the rest of us.



The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:11 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Anke,

I cannot disagree with you. The idea I have is that the state should give the industry this deal:

First, the state will not revoke Costa Hawkins for another 5 years contingent on:

Second, a temporary voluntary 20% discount on all rents.

Third, that there will be a 15% increase in existing housing inventory approved projects. Not that they need to be built in the 5 years.

Given that those steps are considered a good faith evidence, another 5 years extension of Costa Hawkins would be allowed contingent on:

Second, a temporary hold on all rents.

Third, that there will be a 25% increase in existing housing inventory approved projects. Not that they need to be built in the 5 years. But the previous 15% will need to be completed.

Given that those steps are considered a good faith evidence, another 5 years extension of Costa Hawkins would be allowed contingent on:

Second, an increase of 10% on rents are allowed on all rents.

Third, that there will be a 25% increase in existing housing inventory approved projects will be completed.

Thus, this is voluntary and fixes the problem with the least public efforts and provides that the industry will still be able to remain profitable as long as the owners are practicing good business judgment.


MyOpinion
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm
MyOpinion, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Why doesn't Google expand into areas with affordable housing, like Tracy, Reno and other parts of the USA? If they build it they will come.


Bye Felicia
North Bayshore
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm
Bye Felicia , North Bayshore
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm



So, Google has been advocating for months, years even, to allow for a substantial number of housing units to be developed in North Bayshore...hard enough that the city of Mountain View has spent nearly two years working on revising their very recently adopted precise plan for North Bayshore in order to see about including 9,850 units of housing...and now that the city is close to making this come to fruition, Google is threatening to derail the entire thing if the city doesn't give them more development rights? Really?

Good corporate citizen my a$$.

The the time and effort that has gone into the 9,850 unit visioning plan has been extensive, and will have a significant impact on all of the current residents of Mountain View, and is ultimately expected to increase the population by 65% and increase the public school enrollment by 46% - which will also require land purchase and the construction of FIVE new schools (THREE elementary schools, TWO middle schools, and ONE high school - which was somehow left out of the EIR.) Cost to construct the schools - not including land costs - is expected to exceed 162 MILLION dollars.

The city of Mountain View recently agreed to *sell one million gallons of water daily - in perpetuity - to East Palo Alto (so they could do more development) and it is unknown what effect the housing development in North Bayshore will have on Mountain View's 20 year water projections...other than there is a projected deficit -- without adding in google's demand for an additional 800,000 sf of office space. (* Sold for a one time fee of 5 million dollars)

The city of Mountain View has been desperately trying to add housing units to help balance the jobs housing imbalance, and here google is selfishly trying to undue all the good things that Mountain View has been working so hard to do - by demanding an additional 800,000 sf of office development rights in order to allow the housing development to happen on the land they control in North Bayshore.

Let your flag fly google.

Gtfo


Anke
North Whisman
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:51 pm
Anke, North Whisman
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:51 pm

"Why doesn't Google expand into areas with affordable housing, like Tracy, Reno and other parts of the USA? If they build it they will come."

@MyOpinion, some of us have been advocating for variations on that for some time now. I would not wish on Tracy, Reno or any other city the ills that have befallen Mountain View and the Bay Area. These are the result of the tech companies taking over, bringing in massive numbers of outsiders to take the jobs they create, and leaving the locals to languish. Much more logical would be for the tech companies to set up shop in cities that have been depleted and would actually benefit from a huge influx of newcomers. There was a mass exodus out of Detroit following the mortgage meltdown. Are there other examples?


Anke
North Whisman
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:54 pm
Anke, North Whisman
on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Here's another article about the council meeting that folks might be interested in. It's basically the same information, but they add a few angles not included in the Voice article.

Web Link


Political Insighter
Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm
Political Insighter, Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm

@YIMBY

I was at the council meeting and I didn't hear a single person in the public testimony queue say that we shouldn't build the 9,850 units.

If there were NIMBYs, they were REALLY quiet.


Dan Waylonis
Jackson Park
on Sep 28, 2017 at 4:34 pm
Dan Waylonis, Jackson Park
on Sep 28, 2017 at 4:34 pm

The council has clearly prodded Google into a corner with their demands of nearly 2000 affordable units and environmental requirements.

Given Google's expansion to Sunnyvale and San Jose, it's also clear that Mountian View is not their only option.

I suggest that council gets a dose of reality and plays nicely with Google to resolve this issue.


Monta Loma
Monta Loma
on Sep 28, 2017 at 6:23 pm
Monta Loma, Monta Loma
on Sep 28, 2017 at 6:23 pm

If you weren't at the meeting, check the video. The Google rep's ultimatum is way at the end. He's not asking nicely, he's ordering the City Council to give them the extra office space, or else: "Just to be clear - no new office, no new residential."

What contempt they seem to have for this city and its Council.

What is their problem? What is 800,000sf to them, with something like 10 million sf in the pipeline in MV, SV, and SJ?


Robyn
another community
on Sep 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Robyn, another community
on Sep 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Will they bring their own water and resources to sustain life? What about roads and schools and hospitals and cemeteries and other infrastructure? How about garbage dumps?
This is an excellent opportunity to stop the overcrowding.


Juan
Registered user
Rengstorff Park
on Sep 28, 2017 at 7:01 pm
Juan, Rengstorff Park
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Mountain View was founded in 1902, Google was founded in 1998. Believe it or not, Mountain View existed for 96 years without Google, and somehow, someway, we made it through the darkness. My memory isn't too sharp, but I don't recall murder sprees, cannibal zombies roaming Castro street, or citywide riots before Google came to town. We mostly got along just fine. Someday Google will leave, and we'll still get along just fine.


Regular person
Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2017 at 11:07 pm
Regular person, Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2017 at 11:07 pm

Why has the city of Mountain View sold it's soul to the devil? You have a whole city of residents to serve, most of whom don't work for Google. You are not Google's minions, and it's time to honor a set of values that existed before the high tech god came in and started leading you around, as you salivated at the money being dangled in front of you. GOOGLE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT MOUNTAIN VIEW; GOOGLE CARES ABOUT GOOGLE. Get a backbone Mtn. View, and remove your lips from Google's behind.


Kevin
Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2017 at 11:32 pm
Kevin, Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2017 at 11:32 pm

If the city of Mountain View really cared about adding more housing they would stop demanding subsidized low-price rents and just allow building at market rates. It's Google's land, let them build what they want already.


Zee Kay
North Bayshore
on Sep 29, 2017 at 12:13 am
Zee Kay, North Bayshore
on Sep 29, 2017 at 12:13 am

We own a small restaurant in the strip next to the theater. Google is our landlord since the land swap last year. As a small local business, our sales are suffering on a daily basis: google employees get free food and Microsoft is renovating its campus for the next one year. Google won’t let us let us sell out lease so we are stuck until Google has plans for the land they bought.

Google, please give vouchers to your employees to dine at Plymouth street restaurants so we don’t shut down for good! Please decide soon.


GooglegotoDetroit
Monta Loma
on Sep 29, 2017 at 10:01 am
GooglegotoDetroit, Monta Loma
on Sep 29, 2017 at 10:01 am

I wasn't at the City council Meeting, but the tone of Van Bellegham's words left me aghast. Sounds like a bully to me. Mountain View City Council - Please don't cower.


It's new so I'm afraid
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 10:56 am
It's new so I'm afraid, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 10:56 am

Just some hardball negotiating tactics...not for the squeamish or the uninitiated. They'll hash it all out.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 11:41 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2017 at 11:41 am

In response to It's new so I'm afraid:

I just wonder what Google is saying in secret to the City, if that is what they say in public, I can only imagine the threats being made to the City in private?


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 1:35 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Hooray to the citizens.

The Governor signed all housing bills this morning. ESPECIALLY AB 1505.

Mountain View can now DICTATE that affordable housing is included in all projects.

Along with many other provisions.



stopthemadness
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm
stopthemadness, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Kevin - wake up! there must be some affordable housing included in any new development.. Google doesn't get a free pass just for being Google -


stopthemadness
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 2:12 pm
stopthemadness, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Kevin - There must be some affordable housing included in any new development.. Google doesn't get a free pass just for being Google -


Anke
North Whisman
on Sep 29, 2017 at 2:34 pm
Anke, North Whisman
on Sep 29, 2017 at 2:34 pm

BusinessMan helpfully shared:
"The Governor signed all housing bills this morning. ESPECIALLY AB 1505.

Mountain View can now DICTATE that affordable housing is included in all projects."


Some voices have been skeptical as to how much these measures will really do to ease the housing cost pain and the harm done to regular, non-techie folks (can't even say to "low-income" folks anymore as now even some 6-figure earners are struggling). I wish one of those bills would have required cities to build enough housing for the number of jobs they have, and furthermore to require the housing be there before the commercial development is started. Of course that will never happen, but think about it. A law like that would have forced our and other city councils to think about the cost of giving google carte blanche to expand indefinitely before the damage was done, instead of waiting until so many beloved local businesses and longtime community members were pushed out.


Darin
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 2:53 pm
Darin, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Re: "If they build it [elsewhere] they will come."

It isn't as simple as that. Even a huge tech employer like Google, Facebook, or Apple is going to find it difficult to build a completely new development center in the middle of nowhere. Employees want other potential employers located nearby, so they have at least a chance of getting their next job without relocating again. And employers benefit from having a pool of local employees.

So you end up with locations with tech companies and tech employees gathered together, like Silicon Valley, Silicon Glen (Scotland), Research Triangle (North Carolina), etc., etc., etc.


Not a Googler
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 3:57 pm
Not a Googler, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 3:57 pm

When I went through Google's months-long interview process in a moment of complete insanity. The Google recruiter could not believe I lived in Mountain View. I was literally the very first local they had dealt with since that recruiter had been with the company. That I was a local, and had lived here for decades was viewed with suspicion since, in Google's mind, I should have already applied of course! I'm sure there are exceptions, but definitely the majority of a Google recruiter's time is spent interviewing folks who do not live here, shuttling them through their byzantine hiring process and helping the folks they ultimately do decide to hire to move into the area. And at the rate Google is importing folks, they had better get serious about building housing, or all their engineers will be living in trailers in their parking lots. Call their bluff.


lan
Rengstorff Park
on Sep 29, 2017 at 6:23 pm
lan, Rengstorff Park
on Sep 29, 2017 at 6:23 pm

And the public display of bullying begins. I was waiting for this. Google doesn't care about Mountain View and will use Mountain View to get what it wants, without giving back in return. They may throw peanuts at us thinking that Mountain View residents are so desperate for Google's presence in North Shore that will accept their goodwill gestures as evidence they care about the city and the people who live in it. No, we're not that desperate. Call their bluff. No more office space, period.


Bye Felicia
North Bayshore
on Sep 29, 2017 at 8:11 pm
Bye Felicia, North Bayshore
on Sep 29, 2017 at 8:11 pm


If Google is going to hold a proverbial gun to the head of the city of Mountain View, then maybe the city should respond in kind and impose an annual North Bayshore employee 'fee' of $2,000.00 per employee for any company that houses more than 1,000 employees in the North Bayshore district. No exemptions.

Are you listening Google?

GTFO


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 8:34 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2017 at 8:34 pm

The California Apartment Association and the California Realtors had a very bad day today. The following laws were enacted today by the signature of the Governor

The CAA and Realtors hates the new SB 2 (Atkins), the Building Homes and Jobs Act, because it creates a new funding source for affordable housing through a $75 fee on real estate transaction documents. It will provide funding based on all transaction documents.

The CAA and Realtors hates the new SB 35 (Wiener) streamlines the approval process for infill developments in local communities that have failed to meet their regional housing needs. It will give affordable housing an advantage regarding getting projects approved and built.

The CAA and Realtors hates the new SB 166 (Skinner) ensures that cities maintain an ongoing supply of housing construction sites for residents of various income levels. It requires that diversity of housing will satisfy all income levels.

The CAA and Realtors hates the new SB 167 (Skinner) increases the standard of proof required for a local government to justify a denial of low- and moderate-income housing development projects. (SB 167 is identical to AB 678.) The local governments will not be allowed to arbitrarily or capriciously disregard all citizens based on their earnings.

The CAA and Realtors hates the new SB 540 (Roth) streamlines the environmental review process for certain local affordable housing projects. The CAA and Realtors hates the new AB 678 (Bocanegra) increases the standard of proof required for a local government to justify its denial of low- to moderate-income housing development projects. (AB 678 is identical to SB 167.) It will give an advantage to affordable housing projects, instead of benefiting the luxury projects.

The CAA and Realtors hates the new AB 72 (Santiago/Chiu) strengthens the state's ability to enforce laws that require local governments to achieve housing goals. It makes local governments accountable for failure to provide the new housing inventory defined in the state and area housing needs

The CAA and Realtors hates the new AB 1505 (Bloom/Bradford/Chiu/Gloria) authorizes cities and counties to adopt an inclusionary ordinance for residential rental units in order to create affordable housing. This provides local governments the power to require sufficient affordable housing to be provided in every project.

The CAA and Realtors hates the new AB 1521 (Bloom/Chiu) gives experienced housing organizations a first right of refusal to purchase affordable housing developments in order to keep the units affordable. This will allow the city governments the ability to prevent property dumping and transfer being done for the purpose of simply raising rents on the property after the transaction.

This has been a lousy day for the California Apartment Association and California Realtors


Albert
Stierlin Estates
on Sep 29, 2017 at 10:08 pm
Albert, Stierlin Estates
on Sep 29, 2017 at 10:08 pm

During his comments about needing additional office space, the Google rep plainly stated, "We have a business to run." Originally, didn't they just want to build dorms on their land to house their employees? I don't think they want to get into the housing business and help out employees of other companies. Why should they? 70% of the apartments will be studios or 1 bedrooms. Is this the kind of mix that promotes a stable neighborhood? Of course none of this is going to happen overnight. How do you phase in retail and schools when you haven't got critical mass yet? Does anyone really believe Google will subsidize either of those? I think this is way more than the city of Mountain View can handle, both in terms of dealing with Google and managing a project this size.


Lisa
Gemello
on Sep 30, 2017 at 7:48 am
Lisa, Gemello
on Sep 30, 2017 at 7:48 am

Why is it that Mountain View is choosing to become adversarial with their economic base. Calling their bluff? Really?
These companies will begin to change course, may have already started the process, and then City Council will not be agonizing over bike lanes and affordable housing any more. There are ways to manage growth, and nobody wants to live in a company town, but stop calling these folks greedy and evil. It gets kind of old very quickly.


Sophie Mutter
Registered user
The Crossings
on Sep 30, 2017 at 8:23 am
Sophie Mutter, The Crossings
Registered user
on Sep 30, 2017 at 8:23 am

Google intends to hire out-of-towners, immigrants, and foreigners instead of local so that those employees will guaruntee to work hard enough to keep up with the living cost and housing in Bay Area.


Bye Felicia
North Bayshore
on Sep 30, 2017 at 11:18 am
Bye Felicia , North Bayshore
on Sep 30, 2017 at 11:18 am

Google's parent, Alphabet, evidently has about $52.2 BILLION of it's 86.3 billion in profits parked offshore in order avoid paying their fair share of taxes...so, yeah, greedy fits.

Google has been advocating for months, years even, to allow for a substantial number of housing units to be developed in North Bayshore...hard enough that the city of Mountain View has spent nearly two years working on revising their very recently adopted precise plan for North Bayshore in order to see about including 9,850 units of housing...and now that the city is close to making this come to fruition, Google is threatening to derail the entire thing if the city doesn't give them more development rights? Really?

How is it that Google suddenly came to this realization publicly on Tuesday night and not one or even two years ago, when Google was imploring the city to allow housing in North Bayshore?

Good corporate citizen my a$$.

The the time and effort that has gone into the 9,850 unit visioning plan has been extensive, and will have a significant impact on all of the current residents of Mountain View, and is ultimately expected to increase the population by up to 65% and increase the public school enrollment by 46% - which will also require land purchase and the construction of FIVE new schools (THREE elementary schools, ONE middle school, and ONE high school - which was somehow left out of the EIR.) Cost to construct the schools - not including land costs - is expected to exceed 162 MILLION dollars.

The city of Mountain View recently agreed to *sell one million gallons of water daily - in perpetuity - to East Palo Alto (so they could do more development) and it is unknown what effect the housing development in North Bayshore will have on Mountain View's 20 year water projections...other than there is a projected deficit during drought years -- without adding in google's demand for an additional 800,000 sf of office space. (* Sold for a one time fee of 5 million dollars)

The city of Mountain View has been desperately trying to add housing units to help balance the jobs housing imbalance, and here google is SELFISHLY trying to undue all the good things that Mountain View has been working so hard to do, by demanding an additional 800,000 sf of office development rights - literally at the 11th hour - in order for google to allow the housing development to happen on the land they control in North Bayshore.

I'll say it again...

Let your flag fly google.

Gtfo




YIMBY
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2017 at 11:24 am
YIMBY, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2017 at 11:24 am

"The city of Mountain View has been desperately trying to add housing units to help balance the jobs housing imbalance"

In what dimension is this happening?


Lisa
Gemello
on Sep 30, 2017 at 12:21 pm
Lisa, Gemello
on Sep 30, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Anyone who has sat through councils project planning reviews for the last three or four years and come to the conclusion that they are desperately doing anything must be smoking some really good stuff. The housing projects coming on line now should have been completed years ago.


It's new so I'm afraid
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2017 at 1:59 pm
It's new so I'm afraid, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2017 at 1:59 pm

@The Business Man: "I can only imagine the threats being made to the City in private?"

Precisely. Its only between your ears, what you have imagined. The problem is you take that and run with it.
I think I imagine something different than you but I'm not here to throw shade on what ever you want to dream up at home. It'll all work out, you'll see. My undies are not yet bunched on this one.


Bye Felicia
North Bayshore
on Sep 30, 2017 at 2:45 pm
Bye Felicia, North Bayshore
on Sep 30, 2017 at 2:45 pm



According to ABAG's 2007-2014 RHNA (regional housing needs allocation) update, Mountain View was at 102% of it's overall target of 2,599 with 2,656 permits issued. Hit link below, scroll down to page 6.

Note: Given that 2014 is in between 2007-2014 and 2014-2022 RHNA cycles, Bay Area jurisdictions were given the option of counting the units they permitted in 2014 towards either the past (2007-2014) or the current (2014-2022) RHNA cycle. ABAG did not include permitting information in this report for jurisdictions that requested their 2014 permits be counted towards their 2014-2022 allocation.

Web Link


The city of Mountain View website shows that there are 2,739 units that are either under construction or have been approved by the city and are now in permit review. (This list does not include completed projects.) This list, of course, does not include anything in North Bayshore. Hit the link, and scroll to your hearts content.

Web Link






Wondering
another community
on Sep 30, 2017 at 3:49 pm
Wondering, another community
on Sep 30, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Which city gets to count housing built at Moffett Field? It's potentially a lot of
housing since both NASA and Google have announced plans to add units there.

Certainly, these units will use Mountain View city services and contribute to
Mountain View traffic. 3000 units of housing up on government land is worth
remembering.

Google is a real drain on the area. They should spread out to other places and I wouldn't
mind if they left entirely. Those buildings would not sit empty, but it might stop some
of the new construction.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2017 at 5:43 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 30, 2017 at 5:43 pm

In response to Bye Felicia you stated: “According to ABAG's 2007-2014 RHNA (regional housing needs allocation) update, Mountain View was at 102% of it's overall target of 2,599 with 2,656 permits issued. Hit link below, scroll down to page 6.”

The data you provided is significantly misleading because you only looked at the totals, and do not look at the complete housing profile of Mountain View, here is a real breakdown:

Mountain View satisfies Very Low (0-50% AMI) housing where the need was define d as 571 units, but it has only 237 units or 42%, a deficit of 58%. This really indicates a strategic under source of this type of housing.

Mountain View satisfies Low (50-80% AMI) housing where the need was defined as 388 units, but it has only 28 units or 7%, a deficit of 93%. This really indicates a strategic under source of this type of housing.

Mountain View satisfies Moderate (80-120% AMI) housing where the need was defined as 488 units, but it has only 4 units or 1%, a deficit of 99%. This really indicates a strategic under source of this type of housing.

Mountain View satisfies Above Moderate (120%+ AMI) housing where the need was defined as 1,152 units, but it has 2,387 units or 207%, a surplus of 107%. This really indicates the strategic upward forcing of the increased costs of housing in Mountain View. By the use of NOT building a proportional equal access of the variety of housing that should be provided in the city.

The City is not alone in this respect. Thank goodness for the new laws just enacted.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2017 at 11:10 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2017 at 11:10 am

[Post removed at the request of the poster]


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2017 at 11:13 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2017 at 11:13 am

Minor correction:

In response to Bye Felicia you stated: “According to ABAG's 2007-2014 RHNA (regional housing needs allocation) update, Mountain View was at 102% of it's overall target of 2,599 with 2,656 permits issued. Hit link below, scroll down to page 6.”

So let’s look at my information another way:

Mountain View needs Very Low (0-50% AMI) housing units based on 571 - 237 = 334 units to remediate the current report.

Mountain View needs Low (50-80% AMI) housing units based on 388 - 28 = 360 units to remediate the current report.

Mountain View needs Moderate (80-120% AMI) housing units based on 488 - 4 = 484 units to remediate the current report.

Mountain View needs Above Moderate (120%+ AMI) housing units 1,152 - 2,387 = a surplus of -1,235 units to remediate the current report. Thus someone who owns the 1,235 units will have to either destroy them, or they will need to be shifted over to the other housing brackets if that is done you get this:

The Above Moderate (120%+ AMI) housing units 1,235 units surplus – (Very Low (0-50% AMI) housing units 334 + Low (50-80% AMI) housing units 360 + Moderate (80-120% AMI) housing units 484) which still leaves a surplus of 57 units.

The City council now has the authority to allocate those surpluses into the other needs groups, and it still has a surplus of apartments according to the ABAG report.

It would seem the solution already exists for Mountain View, it is just that the city and the industry simply doesn’t want to be a part of it.


YIMBY
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2017 at 11:17 am
YIMBY, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2017 at 11:17 am

@Wondering

Home owners paying a fraction of the property taxes that they should be in order to fund services and infrastructure while trying to run business out of the city are the real drain on Mountain View.


Irina
Registered user
Whisman Station
on Oct 1, 2017 at 1:43 pm
Irina, Whisman Station
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2017 at 1:43 pm

@Wondering,

Google has a market capitalization of $580 billion. That's larger than the countries of Portugal, Pakistan, Iran, Iceland, individually. The idea that they will just pack up and move away is unrealistic. In addition, they hold 60+ year leases on some of the property. If they don't occupy their own buildings, they will inevitably find someone else who will.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

In response to Irina you said: “Google has a market capitalization of $580 billion. That's larger than the countries of Portugal, Pakistan, Iran, Iceland, individually. The idea that they will just pack up and move away is unrealistic. In addition, they hold 60+ year leases on some of the property. If they don't occupy their own buildings, they will inevitably find someone else who will.”

So what you are saying is that the City of Mountain View should behave itself and give anything to Google it demands?

I hope you are not serious.

For the last 30 years governments have been fighting to be the ones easiest to be manipulated into giving gifts to corporate interests. What is another way of putting it? It is called the “Race to the Bottom” which is described as:

“The race to the bottom is a socio-economic phrase which is used to describe government deregulation of the business environment or taxes in order to attract or retain economic activity in their jurisdictions. An outcome of globalization and free trade, the phenomenon may occur when competition increases between geographic areas over a particular sector of trade and production.[1]

The concept of a regulatory "race to the bottom" emerged in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th century, when there was charter competition among states to attract corporations to domicile in their jurisdiction. Some described the concept as the "race to efficiency", and others, such as Justice Louis Brandeis, as the "race to the bottom".[2]

In academic literature, the phenomenon of regulatory competition reducing standards overall was argued for by A.A. Berle and G.C. Means in The Modern Corporation and Private Property (1932), while the concept received formal recognition by the US Supreme Court in a decision of Justice Louis Brandeis in the 1933 case Ligget Co. v. Lee (288 U.S. 517, 558–559).[2][4][5]

Brandeis's "race to the bottom" metaphor was updated in 1974 by William Cary, in an article in the Yale Law Journal, "Federalism and Corporate Law: Reflections Upon Delaware," in which Carey argued for the imposition of national standards for corporate governance.

Sanford F. Schram explained in 2000 that the term "race to the bottom":

“ ...has for some time served as an important metaphor to illustrate that the United States federal system—and every federal system for that matter—is vulnerable to interstate competition. The "race to the bottom" implies that the states compete with each other as each tries to underbid the others in lowering taxes, spending, regulation...so as to make itself more attractive to outside financial interests or unattractive to unwanted outsiders. It can be opposed to the alternative metaphor of "Laboratories of Democracy". The laboratory metaphor implies a more sanguine federalism in which [states] use their authority and discretion to develop innovative and creative solutions to common problems which can be then adopted by other states.[5] ”( Web Link)

In the end this results in the government’s actions to get caught in the “Cost Cutting Death Spiral”

Since corporate and wealthy interests refuse to raise revenues and starve funding by the race to the bottom. The only course is to cut costs. But eventually the cuts in costs cause long term financial problems in handling simple maintenance of existing services.

Let alone planning future issues or worse the fact we are due a significant tectonic event that is likely to cause devastation equal to an atomic blast here in the valley. We are simply setting ourselves up for such a significant economic or physical disaster of the likes that will make our current situation look like heaven. We have to get our act together NOW or we will all lose. Google and the City of Mountain View.

IT IS TIME FOR GOOGLE TO SHOW THE WORLD THAT A TRUE CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW CAN BENEFIT ALL. THE CITY IS NOT ASKING FOR UNREASONABLE COMMITMENT FROM GOOGLE GIVEN THEIR RESOURCES. GIVEN WHAT YOU STATED A .1% GIFT TO THE CITY OF ABOUT $500 MILLION WOULD RESULT IN MUCH BETTER LONG TERM BENEFITS FOR BOTH. TO GOOGLE IT IS PETTY CASH.




Irina
Registered user
Whisman Station
on Oct 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm
Irina, Whisman Station
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm

@The Business Man, thank you for the history lesson. Respectfully, I suppose we should agree to disagree. Cheers.


Albert
Stierlin Estates
on Oct 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm
Albert, Stierlin Estates
on Oct 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm

To see what 1.8 million square feet looks like, take a look at Moffett Towers 2, currently under construction in Sunnyvale next to Moffett Field. Each of the new, 8-story buildings has over 350,000 sq ft, and a total of five will be built.

To me, this exemplifies the fallacy of city planning here: huge tracts of land are zoned for industrial use, yet no commensurate land nearby is zoned for residential. Gridlock on the freeways is inevitable.


Bob
Cuesta Park
on Oct 1, 2017 at 5:36 pm
Bob, Cuesta Park
on Oct 1, 2017 at 5:36 pm

Make your money and exit. That's what i've done. I made it on the renters!

Do you know what it's like to wake up in the morning and hear the quail calling each other, watch the deer play in the grass?

Do you know what it's like to walk out onto your property and look at the mountains in serenity with a cup of coffee and know it's yours, all 5 acres of it as you walk down to the creek that runs through your property?

No, what you do is get up at 6 a.m. and spend 50 minutes driving to your job only to hear your corporate god tell you you're late!

Enjoy your prosperity!


Resident
Stierlin Estates
on Oct 1, 2017 at 5:51 pm
Resident, Stierlin Estates
on Oct 1, 2017 at 5:51 pm

So Google is trying to play hardball, but just look at the average time a Google employees stays with the company. It's 1.9 years as per business insider. It looks like a revolving door at all the fang companies.
It's about time Mtn View's council looks out for the residents, and we are getting very tired of all the extra traffic. No more office buildings, enough is enough. The EIR for North Bayshore is flawed with no mentioning of schools, the land is all fill, just think of liquefaction during an earthquake. And were is the water coming from. The council sold it to East Palo Alto.


Lisa
Gemello
on Oct 2, 2017 at 7:33 am
Lisa, Gemello
on Oct 2, 2017 at 7:33 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Anke
North Whisman
on Oct 2, 2017 at 9:28 am
Anke, North Whisman
on Oct 2, 2017 at 9:28 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


I just read Bob's Post
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2017 at 9:47 am
I just read Bob's Post, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2017 at 9:47 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2017 at 9:21 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2017 at 9:21 pm

I just read the Mercury News, Google appears to be apologizing:

On Monday, the search giant sent a letter to the council saying it was sorry for what city officials and many in the public took as an ultimatum.

“We apologize that this came out as a demand, when the intent was to open a conversation to address a potential issue,” Google’s vice-president of real estate David Radcliffe wrote.

Google “strongly” supports having 9,850 housing units at North Bayshore, and is “committed to finding creative solutions … within the 3.6 million square feet” of office space, Radcliffe’s letter said.

“I think they heard from the public and their employees that they looked like bullies, and we’d been working on all this housing, why would they pull out now?” Siegel said Monday.

“I think we’ll basically be able to move forward in designing North Bayshore with them,” he said.

Google’s letter proposed that city fees from development of housing and parks in North Bayshore could be used to offset housing costs, particularly for affordable homes.

“The possibility of using various fees to get a better mixed-use urban neighborhood, that’s fine,” Siegel said. “What wasn’t fine was saying, ‘No topping off of the offices, no housing’ — that was the problem.”( Web Link)

WOW


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