Council greenlights 716 apartments, teacher housing | News | Mountain View Online |


Council greenlights 716 apartments, teacher housing

Mountain View Whisman district to pitch in $56M for a portion of new development

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Mountain View City Council members gave a warm reception to a massive 716-unit apartment proposal Tuesday night, following a deal between the developer and the Mountain View Whisman School District to reserve a 144-unit apartment building on the property specifically for teachers, school staff and city employees.

The 4-0 decision -- with two council members recusing themselves and Ken Rosenberg absent -- caps off seven months of intense negotiations between the developer Fortbay, the school district and the city for a fairly unusual deal to get teacher housing built at 777 W. Middlefield Road. The roughly 10-acre site is currently the home of the 208-unit Village Lake Apartments.

Under the proposal, the project's required low-income housing units would be isolated on one part of the property and leased out to the school district in exchange for $56 million. With the district in full control of the 144 affordable units for at least the next 55 years, the income eligibility can be rejiggered to meet the needs of school staff who make too much to qualify for low-income housing but too little to make ends meet in the Bay Area.

Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph called the partnership a unique opportunity to build teacher housing -- likely one of the first of its kind in the state -- and that it could serve as a blueprint as other school districts seek to attract and retain teachers in a high-cost housing market. Rather than make the leap from educating students to building homes, Rudolph said the district is simply piggybacking on work already done by Fortbay.

"From a school district perspective, we are not proper developers. We would have to hire an outside firm to create affordable housing," he said. "This is so unique because it takes the onus off the school district to do all of that legwork for how to make that happen."

While it's a big real estate investment on the part of the school district, amounting to a public agency cutting a $56 million check to fulfill a developer's low-income housing requirements, Rudolph said told the Voice that the rental income should fully offset the costs over a 35-year term, with maybe $500,000 in excess income. If rent revenue starts to far exceed the cost of the loan, Rudolph said the district could look to decrease rents.

Surveys have shown that teachers and staff working in the school district are commuting long distances and paying huge portions of their paychecks for housing. Nearly one-quarter of employees surveyed said they travel 46 minutes or more to get to to work, and more than two-thirds said they are spending more than 30 percent of their paychecks on rent or mortgage, according to one 2016 survey.

Trouble is, the vast majority of those school employees make too much to qualify for low-income housing, which excludes residents making more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). Housing constructed for people making between 80 and 120 percent of the AMI is virtually nonexistent, constituting what some city officials call the "missing middle."

The numbers appear to back that claim. Annual housing reports going back to 2007 show Mountain View needed to generate more than 500 "moderate-income" homes to meet the demand, but issued permits for only four units. The dearth of moderate-income housing is consistent across all cities in the nine county Bay Area, fueled largely by the lack of tax credits and subsidies.

Recent teacher town hall events held this year have given local elected officials a chance to hear personal stories from local teachers struggling to keep up with the high housing costs, driving long distances, sharing rooms and preparing to either leave the profession or the Bay Area.

Under the proposed framework for the Village Lake redevelopment, the school district would provide $56 million in exchange for a long-term lease for 144 of the total 716 units. The district would then give the city of Mountain View first dibs on 20 of those units -- in exchange for a to-be-determined amount of money -- before filling the rest with district employees. It's possible that employees from neighboring school districts could rent any empty units after that, but Rudolph said it won't be difficult to fill the apartments.

"In the event that we can't find people who want to rent, then we can open it up to other people who qualify within that area," he said. "But I don't think the concern is that we won't be able to fill it up."

In some ways, the three-way partnership may have saved the project. Perry Hariri, representing Fortbay, told council members that the cost of construction has increased so much in recent years, from $250 per square foot to over $400 since the original proposal, that the company would need to pony up what he said amounts to a $30 million subsidy for the 144 affordable units. Absent the funding from the school district, Fortbay's original project would be infeasible, according to a city staff report.

The rents at the proposed teacher housing complex aren't exactly dirt cheap. Average rents for the 36 designated "low-income" units would range from $1,409 for a studio to $1,811 for a two-bedroom apartment, whereas rents for the 108 moderate-income units would range from $2,630 for a studio to $3,381 for a two-bedroom apartment.

With little discussion, council members largely supported the proposed partnership and instead focused their concerns on parking. Fortbay is seeking to construct one parking space per affordable housing unit in order to make the project financially feasible, while providing 734 parking spaces for the remaining 572 units. This is much lower than the city's standard parking ratio, which has the potential to push cars into surrounding neighborhood.

Albert Jeans, who lives near the project, urged council members to consider more stringent parking requirements, and said that a total ratio of 1.8 parking spaces per unit would reflect the reality of the situation -- which is that plenty of city residents still have cars and drive. If the city misses the mark on demand for parking, nearby residents have little recourse to deal with overflow, Jeans said.

"I know we're trying to reduce the number of cars and everything like that, discouraging people from owning cars, but the reality is people still need cars to get around," he said.

Councilwoman Lisa Matichak said that it's great that the city is making progress in getting people out of cars, but the public transportation infrastructure simply isn't there to support such lean parking requirements -- at least not yet.

Mayor Lenny Siegel said the solution will come, in part, from the city's residential permit parking system, which could provide relief to current residents as the city clears the way for housing growth along Middlefield Road and the Terra Bella area.

"There will be many parts of town where there is a chance for spillover parking if we don't include residential parking as part of our transit demand management," Siegel said. "If we're going to become more of a car-light city over time, this is a good place to begin."

Saving Cooper Park

The Mountain View Whisman school board has been considering its options for a teacher housing project since 2016, leading to a feasibility study last year that concluded the district's best option would be to develop 9.5 acres of district-owned land at Cooper Park.

The idea may have made financial sense, but it prompted a firestorm of opposition from local residents who cherish the open space nestled in in the center of a single-family neighborhood and bristled at the idea of turning it into three-story townhouses -- even if it was for teachers. Even after district officials backed off of the idea, residents in the area were wary of the district's future plans for the property and kept green "Save Cooper Park" signs on lawns and at street corners long after the dust settled.

During the fallout of the feasibility study, Rudolph told the Voice that he began meeting with City Manager Dan Rich to figure out a partnership that could lead to teacher housing while at the same time preserving the open space at Cooper Park. After reviewing several properties, Fortbay's proposal at Village Lake came to the forefront as the best opportunity.

"It was the one that was the fastest approach, and the most unique approach," Rudolph said. "You have a developer that's already working on developing housing, they have their plans in place, they already have a carve-out for affordable housing, so a lot of the stuff was already down the road."

The "unique" part, Rudolph said, comes from the fact that districts typically build staff housing by repurposing district-owned land, which requires zoning changes and environmental studies that take up time and money. Rudolph said the district can avoid the headaches and get the teacher housing built much faster through the Fortbay project.

As a condition for the partnership between the district and the developer, city officials want an agreement in writing that the district would maintain the open space on Cooper Park and won't redevelop it into housing. The land would still be available for "another district purpose," but the district would need to consult with the city in advance.

"The city said what they're looking for is an affirmation that we're not going to develop Cooper Park for teacher housing, and that's essentially what we agreed to," Rudolph said. The district would seek to preserve the fields regardless of any future use of the site, he said.

Waverly Park resident Dale Kuersten, representing the Save Cooper Park group, said he believes the proposal and the guarantees laid out by the city to restrict future use of Cooper Park defuses the yearslong concerns about what might happen to the open space. Not only that, he said, the school district's deal with Fortbay includes 144 units -- more than the 82 townhouses envisioned in the feasibility study -- and opens the door for housing city staff as well.

The project is expected to go through another round of revisions and will come back to the council for approval, along with a detailed agreement between the city and the school district on the housing and Cooper Park.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?


5 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 24, 2018 at 2:27 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

"Under the proposal, the project's required low-income housing units would be isolated on one part of the property and leased out to the school district in exchange for $56 million. With the district in full control of the 144 affordable units for at least the next 55 years". First, I applaud the City Council's creative and unique use of the affordable housing mandate to favor people of critical importance to Mountain View. Second, $56 million seems awfully cheap for a 55 year lease. Will MV kick in any money for this too? Third, this won't be the last challenge to the open space at Cooper Park. Just as with the Questa Park Annex "Dog Park", open public spaces (actually quasi-public in this case) are magnets that draw all sorts of unsavory attention from developers.

61 people like this
Posted by Catty
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 24, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Or another idea is we could just pay teachers the market rate, so they can afford the housing and to pay off their student loans too.

13 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 24, 2018 at 3:40 pm

The superintendent and school board deserve praise for this innovative solution to the single greatest compensation concern for MVWSD teachers, housing. The 700 unit development will no doubt make a big dent in the teacher housing/turnover crisis, though one should recognize the specific costs, in that 200+ existing residents will be displaced. This is a bitter victory in that light, but one that is better for Mountain View as a whole, in that Mountain View will be able to attract and retain high-quality teachers, and the entire city benefits from a strong school district!

32 people like this
Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 24, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Oh, no, not again. Yet another rental housing project given the rubber stamp of approval.

How about affordable housing projects that residents can OWN? That's how you get a vibrant community, with residents who actually have an ownership stake, not by bloating the rental population.

I'd like to see all MV council candidates issue statements on whether they will approve new housing projects based on ownership rather than rentals. That is one point on which all candidates have been silent.

13 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2018 at 4:31 pm

AC is a registered user.

@Alex M:

I agree with you in principle, but there's no way I can afford $900K for a one-bedroom condo, even if they built it.

I'm glad there are rentals available; because at least that I can afford, just as I have for over 25 years now. And not without difficulty sometimes...

We're hovering between $3.60 and $4.40 per square foot in rentals now, per Zillow's current available listings. I can only imagine how much that goes up if we don't build rentals to keep apace.

17 people like this
Posted by Advocate
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2018 at 5:50 pm

It maybe cheaper to use the funds to pay the teachers a living wage and forget about all of these complexities. The school district should not be in the residential rental real estate business. Probably not part of their charter! The devil is in the details!

11 people like this
Posted by Landlords
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2018 at 6:49 pm

A lot of landlords here are really upset that they won't get to get rich off the teachers, hence why they'd prefer the school employees get cash that'd be handed right over to them.

11 people like this
Posted by Old Fart
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 24, 2018 at 7:48 pm

While paying teachers a wage that would allow them to rent/buy in Mountain View _seems_ like a reasonable proposal.... remember that if you were to do that, then the “School Administrators” would demand raises as well so as to maintain their current Teacher/Admin wage ratio.

19 people like this
Posted by Taxed to death
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2018 at 8:20 pm

This all depends on the fine print... What happens if the teacher moves out or retires or is laid off or their spouse later makes more money? Are they able to keep living off our money?

Just pay them a bit more and also please stop coming back to the voters each election to ask for yet another special property tax.... We're sick of being told how cruddy our schools are each time there's an election and how we're 49 out of 50 or whatever... Give us the bill just once to fix it and put it up for a vote! No more special property taxes each election... Once and done! Come up with an honest bill for once...

13 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 24, 2018 at 8:37 pm

Rentals at $1,409 for a studio to $1,811 for a 2 bedroom may be high for teachers, but that's doable for an educator in a working family, add the benefit of being in the community you teach, it becomes quite reasonable. Add that teachers would then be sending their kids to MVWSD schools, add that students would be able to return to visit familiar faces and school would have a feel of stability. Teacher housing is a needed policy for the Silicon Valley.

There is no salary a K-8 district can ever pay that could make it reasonable for teachers to pay market rate rent or ever buy in Mountain View. So to say income alone is the solution would operationally mean the status quo, drained teachers that leave our schools at record rates, leaving schools in an endless cycle of re-training and new faces.

The superintendent and school board was 100% wrong to dismiss four principals in one year, and this teacher housing policy may not be right for many other regions, but it is 100% right for circumstances in Mountain View.

22 people like this
Posted by Cleave Frink
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 24, 2018 at 8:58 pm

Cleave Frink is a registered user.

The issues here isn't just around teacher pay. Having our teachers drive an hour and sometimes two hours both ways to get to our schools doesn't make for teachers who want to stay in this community for years. We benefit from teachers who can stay in our district for 10, 15, 20+ years. We benefit from them taking an interest in the community, volunteering in city interests, coaching youth teams, attending community events. When teachers have to live so far away in order to have affordable living, we miss out on their contributions to the rest of the community, not to mention the quality of life the teachers themselves miss. I think this is a fabulous idea and I hope that more teacher housing can be made available if this works well.

12 people like this
Posted by Cleave Frink
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 24, 2018 at 9:03 pm

Cleave Frink is a registered user.

@ Christopher Chiang

I think it's a bit presumptuous for you or anyone to say the district was "100% wrong to dismiss four principals in one year". It's unclear to me why anyone would keep an administrator in place if they believed they were not properly managing the school entrusted to their care to the desire of the district. Principals pretty much have to hang around a whole school year. Sometimes, if you gotta clean house, you gotta clean house. Allowing substandard performance to settle for yet another school year is not what makes a good administrator or a good board. You should know this.

14 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2018 at 9:31 pm

Teachers absolutely need to be paid more, but that isn't a solution to the problem of making it easier for teachers to live here. As long as the supply of housing is constrained, competition for units will push rents up. Pay them more AND keep adding new units to the housing supply.

13 people like this
Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2018 at 12:07 am

Lenny Siegel is a registered user.

@Alex M - We have been encouraging ownership housing too. We have two projects moving forward in East Whisman, as well as one at Terra Bella, that include substantial numbers of ownership units, but setting aside affordable units in ownership projects targets large subsidies to a relatively small number of households. That's why some of us have been promoting the community land trust model, in which people are able to buy below market, but then they have to sell below market. But it's still good for entry-level ownership because people get to keep their "rent" as equity. - Mayor Lenny Siegel

4 people like this
Posted by Joan Eleanor
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2018 at 6:44 am

The Greenhouse One and Two Condominium developments on San Antonio Road were built with 10% of the units as affordable housing. Below Market Rate (BMR) programs are an excellent way to provide housing for teachers.
The requirement now is for 15% of new construction be affordable BMR units. City of Pao Alto maintains the list of those eligible. When a unit is to be sold it is offered to the next person on the list.

22 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2018 at 9:17 am

Like rent control below market housing sounds good. In economics we look at the results of such good sounding solutions. That's right, econ 101 which about two thirds of people end up forgetting. Virtually all government solutions in California end up damaging the construction of housing. Partial ownership schemes, inclusionry zoning all at expense to the free market production of housing. There is one simple step to providing an explosion of housing in Mt. View. I'll be discussing this after the election. Mayor Siegel should go buy an economics 101 text and read it cover to cover. Inks, hopefully will be able to lecture the rest of the city council about basic economics or bring in Dr. Means.
George Drysdale the tireless social studies teacher

14 people like this
Posted by @george drysdale
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2018 at 2:33 pm

As someone who has also taught economics and social studies for over ten years, supply and demand work well unregulated when both supply and demand are elastic, and when there are not highly negative social externalities as a result of each transaction.

In the case of Silicon Valley housing, there is highly inelastic supply as a result of local government housing restrictions. There are so many kinds of housing that by law are not allowed, even if the market would support them.

So to say that supply should remain inelastic, but in the same breathe tout that demand and prices should be elastic is not faithful to true economic principles.

Want a free market, fine, build away, and prices can be what the market determines them to be. But then there's the other key economic concept of externalities, uncontrolled housing leads to social costs like traffic, parking, and stretched public resources.

If Mr. Inks, Mr. Means, or "Mr. Drysdale" really support a free market (And I recognize Mr. Drysdale does not speak for Mr. Inks and Mr. Means), they should allow new housing to be built unrestricted. Or if they don't support more housing, and just support unregulated rent, then they are not supporting any true free market principles, they are just supporting a subsidy for landlords masquerading as economics.

Rent control is a subsidy, so are housing regulations, each regulation aims to achieve a social outcome (regulations=quality of life, rent control=diversity).

6 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 25, 2018 at 8:39 pm

@Cleave, I respect the care, time, and viewpoint you bring to MVWSD.

However, 15 years working in education, I can say 100% that removing half the district's principals in one year creates unnecessary adult-oriented frenetic energy and instability. Such moves can always be done over several years, with a patience to do a principal searches carefully. No district can do a quality search for that many leaders in such a few months.

Teaching is busy enough without outside changes, and changes in principals create a stream of new initiatives, ways of doing things, and training needs that disrupt what would otherwise be a natural child-focused rhythm that drives healthy elementary schools.

Teacher turn over and fatigue over housing demands urgent action, so I applaud quick action in that front. A school board doesn't have to intuit when to speed up or go slow, all they have to do is listens to teachers and parents to know when to speed up and when to slow down. This housing initiative is a positive sign that the district is taking seriously the concerns of its educators.

7 people like this
Posted by Weird
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 25, 2018 at 9:46 pm

Come on. Cleave is just a Stevenson drone that'll cheerlead the district no matter what. He needs to curry favor with the administration, so wouldn't dare criticize.

8 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 26, 2018 at 6:58 am

Cfrink is a registered user.

@Christopher Chiang

Again, as a manager, I reject the idea of allowing substandard performance to persist for “years” simply to avoid appearance. I know of no management team in this area that would swttl4 for that kind of complacency simply because it might be challenging to find good people. In fact, the implication is ridiculous. If you don’t have the right people in place, you find good people and ,are replacements. We owe it to our kids to have the right people running our schools and since I still have a kid in our schools, it matters to me how this s done and I agree wholeheartedly with the action that was taken as it was for the good of the community.

In fact, I would argue that the way teachers “do things” was likely one of the most important reasons to make such a move. If the teachers don’t have the leadership they needed to accomplish the tasks that the district found necessary, this also creates a stress that creates unrest among teachers. So allowing the apathy to persist in half our schools seems a bit inappropriate. We can agree to disagree on this. I’m good with that. If I was in the same boat with my staff, I’d have done the same thing. Keep it movin.

18 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 26, 2018 at 7:33 am

Ok, now we've gotten that out of the way, how do we approach taking care of those people living in their RV's? It's disheartening to see these folks living in a box on wheels. You can see a whole entire caravan next to Rengstorff Park, Shoreline and even in Sunnyvale in some roads off of Mathilda Dr.

These RV's need to be off the roads and parked inside a dedicated KOA-like campground where they properly need to be. If these folks can afford to buy a beaten-up RV, then I'm sure they can afford to pay for space rent at a dedicated RV park. Why not convert the corner of Calderon/El Camino into an RV park? Is that corner lot still being used by the "BMW" dealership as outflow of their precious inventory? I think that land can be put to better use instead of the playground for the fortunate and their precious luxury cars. It's time to get these RV's off the road period!!

12 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of another community
on Oct 26, 2018 at 10:15 am

Mountain View teachers should be among the highest paid teachers in the world given the income level, now, of Mountain View. There is all sorts of land to develop in Mountain View which should provide steep increases in taxes to be had. Teacher housing should be only a temporary solution. Homo sapiens sapiens specializes in his learning ability. History teaches that even governments can learn. After the election. Ideas will overcome any vested interest.

George Drysdale social studies teacher and land economist

5 people like this
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2018 at 10:32 pm

If a rookie MVPD cop can make 100k plus benefits plus OT, why not pay teachers the same?? Take this money and allocate it to teachers!!! Wouldn’t they prefer that? School District should NOT be in the real estate business!!!

6 people like this
Posted by Karl
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2018 at 5:34 am

<i>"The dearth of moderate-income housing is consistent across all cities in the nine county Bay Area, fueled largely by the lack of tax credits and subsidies."</i>

No, the lack of naturally-affordable housing is due to 40+ years of entirely self-inflicted, NIMBY-driven policies that have consistently thwarted the creation of adequate amounts of housing -- which has led inexorably to the present crisis and skyrocketing housing costs.

7 people like this
Posted by Housing
a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm

<i>"The dearth of moderate-income housing is consistent across all cities in the nine county Bay Area, fueled largely by the lack of tax credits and subsidies."</i>

There is no way to add land. We were greatly heart by recessions in 2000 and in 2008 in efforts to recover from shortfall in housing stock. At those points, there was plenty of land available but no capital to use for construction. This is where the subsidies could have come in.

Meanwhile the crime ridden areas had low cost land but still another deterrent to investing there. Now we get gentrification which wipes out huge swaths of low income housing that arguably could need wiping out. But it's all done in a very rough way that causes displacement and other problems.

The real problem is an unreasonable fad-like fascination on the part of companies like Google to chiefly expand in this one area that isn't as well equipped to deal with office growth as other cities would be.

You would have to be saying that every city in the country is in obstacle to housing growth to account for there still be a housing shortage nationwide. The government mounted a huge housing stimulus after World War II and that has gradually subsided over the decades since. It makes sense to resume such efforts because they deserve the credit for the initial success at creating expanded housing opportunities. The drop off has nothing to do with city planning policies.

3 people like this
Posted by Trumpian GOP economics
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 29, 2018 at 9:38 am

@Housing. The previous posting of an economics teacher also needs to be remembered well - housing is not a free market/ Besides the post WWII housing government efforts there were a lot of hidden subsidies for suburban middle-class housing. Federally funded freeways, the federal MORTAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION, etc. This last hidden subsidy I believe is one of the two largest in the nation (the employer-paid health care write-off is another).

SO - should we invest so much of the nation's wealth in large expensive homes? Why is this happening? Peplos desires, over support, development company support, union construction worker support. Does it make economic sense, or just political sense? In Germany you get a tax deduction for SAVING FOR A HOME, in the USA you get a deduction for getting a HOMEBUYING LOAN.

The Trumpian Limit on Mortage Tax Deduction (new Federal tax changes). There may be some value in damping down excess 'investment' (speculation) in million dollar homes. As a multi-million dollar homeowner I'm sad, as someone who has been disturbed over the last few decades in over-investment in non productive giant homes, maybe this would be good for the economy (although painful in how rapidly it was introduced).

8 people like this
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 1, 2018 at 4:02 pm


**** TO MAYOR SIEGEL - THE CITY's RESIDENTIAL PARKING PROGRAM-RPP IS A JOKE, A CUMBERSOME PROCESS SET UP TO DISCOURAGE RESIDENTS FROM USING IT, WITH PETITIONS, VOTING, FEES ETC. AS FAR AS I KNOW, NOT A SINGLE NEIGHBORHOOD HAS SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED RPP. PLEASE DO NOT ALLUDE TO SOLUTIONS THAT ARE NOT FEASIBLE. "Mayor Lenny Siegel said the solution will come, in part, from the city's residential permit parking system, which could provide relief to current residents as the city clears the way for housing growth along Middlefield Road and the Terra Bella area."

AND WHERE ARE THE SPILLOVER PARKING AREAS??? THIS IS NOT A CAR LITE AREA, WE ARE NOT URBAN, PUBLIC TRANSPORT AROUND HERE IS TERRIBLE, TRY TAKING A TRAIN AFTER 7:30PM "There will be many parts of town where there is a chance for spillover parking if we don't include residential parking as part of our transit demand management," Siegel said. "If we're going to become more of a car-light city over time, this is a good place to begin."

Mountain View cannot survive four more years of this.

5 people like this
Posted by @Neighbor - KOA Campground???
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 4, 2018 at 5:46 am

@Neighbor - KOA Campground??? is a registered user.

@Neighbor - Building a KOA campground on Mountain View land is not feasible, land is too expensve. Econ 101. Not going to happen. A more reasonable option would be to look outside of Mountain View for a place to live how about San Jose? I would like to live in Atherton, but I cannot afford it. End of story.

Like this comment
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 11, 2018 at 8:52 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Money for public education does not grow on trees, and in the economics of Mountain View:

The economics of the Google district (Shoreline quasi-redevelopment agency 1969):
The public schools are not guaranteed any new general property tax revenue generated from new property sales or buildings. TAX INCREMENT financing is what SHORELINE district depends upon. Public education gets a fraction of the GENERAL PROPERTY TAX revenue that it should (a bit is 'shared' by a Joint Powers Authority).

So: a Billion Dollar sale of property to Google, reported recently, will not result in even one cent of guaranteed general revenue to the local schools*. The new assessed value increment, about 2/3 of a billion dollars, is all legally assigned to Shoreline district to generate new general property tax revenue - completely under control of the MV City Council members.

= SUNSET ON SHORELINE, after 50 years it is overdue. =

[students of this 'Shoreline effect', study the North Bayshore finances of the City, the JPA involving contracts between MV and MVWSD & MVLA, and the Santa Clara County yearly property Tax Report - Appendix H] [or just read past articles from Kevin of The Voice :] * special bond repayments not included

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