News

Council brief: City seeks to revamp its residential zoning standards

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.

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Council brief: City seeks to revamp its residential zoning standards

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 8:18 am

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.

Comments

Darin
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2019 at 2:40 pm
Darin, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 18, 2019 at 2:40 pm
4 people like this

Zoning is just part of the equation. Increased regulation favors the massive apartment complexes, who can spread the cost of compliance across many, many rental units. Smaller landlords (i.e., those who might invest in duplexes, triplexes, etc.) have to spread their compliance expenses across just a few rental units.


D Moore
The Crossings
on Nov 18, 2019 at 4:26 pm
D Moore, The Crossings
on Nov 18, 2019 at 4:26 pm
4 people like this

Great, more 5 story+ high rises. Walking on California St. or adjacent San Antonio will soon feel like walking down 5th avenue in Manhattan. Little sky and certainly no view of any mountains. Also, please differentiate between rental housing vs. massive apartment complexes. They amount to the same thing. And damnit, don't tell me that nobody would ever again want a single family home. Obviously those that do, leave our state and are seemingly doing so in droves. Good luck filling these awesome structures that cater to age 20-30 high-tech job transients and couldn't care less about families.


MV_Voter
Registered user
Rex Manor
on Nov 18, 2019 at 4:50 pm
MV_Voter, Rex Manor
Registered user
on Nov 18, 2019 at 4:50 pm
4 people like this

what i wonder about mostly is the infrastructure...water mainly, going in AND out...electricity and parking, so traffic woes will increase, too! in their attempt to provide housing for so many of our "age 20-30 high-tech job transients", the council seems to be neglecting infrastructure, which is what supports good, clean living conditions. and what of the schools that will be overcrowded?
and of course, as D. Moore pointed out, what is to become of single family homes, with your own back yard, and the other things we all like about the single family home?


Randy Guelph
Cuernavaca
on Nov 18, 2019 at 6:32 pm
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
on Nov 18, 2019 at 6:32 pm
11 people like this

I think you all are quite confused. Nothing here would make single-family homes illegal, all it does is legalize other forms of currently illegal housing.


Calley Smith
Willowgate
on Nov 21, 2019 at 2:46 pm
Calley Smith, Willowgate
on Nov 21, 2019 at 2:46 pm
9 people like this

"Walking on California St. or adjacent San Antonio will soon feel like walking down 5th avenue in Manhattan."

To be fair, like it or not, this is where the Bay Area needs to be headed if it is going to house everyone who wants to live and work here.

Without this, we will soon not be able to have restaurants, janitorial services, daycare, schools, roads without potholes, new construction, plumbing services, etc., because no one will be able to live locally and staff these jobs, and driving 2+ hours each way for these jobs is mostly untenable.

There are lots of other areas in California and the US you can move to if you are seeking a more bucolic lifestyle.


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