Mountain View is looking to revamp its residential zoning standards on more than 900 acres of city land, aimed at encouraging a diverse range of ownership and rental housing rather than single-family homes or massive apartment complexes.
The overhaul, expected to cost $1.2 million and run into spring 2021, is aimed at rewriting key parts of the so-called R3 residential zones -- multifamily housing zoning districts concentrated in numerous Mountain View neighborhoods primarily located north of El Camino Real. The initial scope of the plan was approved at the Nov. 12 City Council meeting.
City staffers are seeking to update the R3 zoning code to encourage a mix of medium-density housing and less common building types, including duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, courtyard housing and smaller condominiums and apartment structures. These types of housing projects are often easier to fit on smaller properties, and the hope is that these "less common housing types" may be more naturally affordable, according to a city staff report.
The scope of the city's rewrite puts a particular focus on "stacked flats," a type of construction that multiple council members have favored in recent years as a desirable building design worth prioritizing even if it means additional density.
On the whole, however, council members shied away from the idea of imposing a minimum density ordinance as part of the new zoning standards, arguing it could create less desirable projects in a market where developers are often already looking to maximize the number of units to make projects pencil out financially.