Google housing axed in city's general plan | July 13, 2012 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - July 13, 2012

Google housing axed in city's general plan

by Daniel DeBolt

Council members were not moved Tuesday night by last-minute efforts by the Chamber of Commerce and the mayor to keep housing as an option for future development of Google's neighborhood north of Highway 101.

This story contains 1061 words.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Google has been a good neighbor, but they have to remember that, regardless of how large they grow, this is still a town of the people of Mountain View, not of the company. WE still live here too (some, like me, our entire lives), and don't wish to be crowded out by high-tech workers bought in from overseas.

Let them commute here. That's what we have buses, light rail and Cal-Train for.

Posted by R
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 13, 2012 at 8:32 am

Great news. I would have dreaded the flux of techies acting as tourists in our city. Not to mention that Google employees are trained in the art of jaywalking.

Posted by Kathy
a resident of another community
on Jul 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I lived in Mountain View for 10 years and still am nearby; I am really surprised that MVers and city council are opposed to Google housing "on campus"! Hasn't anyone else gotten stuck in that horrendous Shoreline traffic that backs up both 101 and 85?? Wouldn't putting in small apartments (which would not bring in kids for schools I assume or other non-working adults) would keep hundreds and hundreds of cars off the road and encourage those employees to bike and walk to work. Not only that, they would hardly then be interlopers or "foreign workers", but Mountain View residents who spend money and pay taxes locally, strengthening the city in the end, and cutting down enormously on greenhouse gases and congestion!

Posted by Monica
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

We live in a Google household. We pay local taxes and spend locally. Having more high income engineers move in and do the same can only benefit Mountain View.

Not to mention that it's insulting to imply that we're not "real" Mountain View residents because a family member works at the biggest local company, which incidentally also pays tons of taxes.

Posted by Marcin
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm

This is a very disappointing decision by the city council. We've got severe housing pressure in Mountain View, and allowing housing closer to the big employers in North Bayshore would have relieved some of it. I used to work at SGI and Google in North Bayshore, and the morning traffic is really intense. Allowing a few thousand people to live near work would have been beneficial in many ways; traffic, spending at the few businesses on that side of 101, etc.

It's sad to see NIMBY-ism being this strong.

Posted by Moffett Resident
a resident of Willowgate
on Jan 17, 2014 at 10:53 pm

@Marcin - For a while I thought that maybe a little dense housing in North Bayshore would be a good idea, but after thinking it through, I'm very much against it.

From the article:

"One thousand units of single-occupancy rooms, that's not a community, that's dorms," said council member Ronit Bryant. "It's done a lot in China. Huge factories, huge apartment blocks, I don't think everyone lives happily ever after."

"Housing by companies went out with the mining towns," said member Jac Siegel. "That just went away a long time ago. This is not a university. People need to grow up and they need to go out" of where they work.

"We need to respect nature and allow it room to grow," Macias said. "There are over 22 endangered species at Shoreline and North Bayshore. We've provided this wonderful barrier that gives a home to wildlife there." She added that she was shocked to see the largest colony of egrets in the South Bay living in the middle of an office park at the end of Charleston Road.

For once, in this case the City Council got something right. And I'm sorry, "NIMBY" name-calling doesn't really fit this situation.

A better way to keep the congestion from getting worse: Let's reduce the planned office development, and reduce the housing density.

Posted by David
a resident of another community
on Jan 18, 2014 at 12:48 am

I think that is very much a misperception and a stereotype to compare these small studio apartments to dorms. It is a reality that the cost of housing in this area is increasing. Smaller apartments is a natural evolution. When the city of Mountain View approves 1 bedroom apartment construction where the rent for a unit will be $4000 per month, you can darn well bet that a good number of these units will be shared by 2 people. What's the difference between 2 people sharing an 800 sq ft apartment and 1 person each in a 400 sq ft studio apartment? A lot depends on the amenities provided in the couplex and the rental rate, which is what determines the type of community. If these are nice units filled with workers who have jobs in the area, this will be an upscale apartment complex, and not dorms. Mountain VIew is missing a bet and creating extra traffic by not permitting housing in that area. It makes zero sense.

Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Castro City
on Jan 18, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Actually, the letters here sound like the usual game Peninsula cities have been playing for decades now. Build as much business near freeway entrances as possible to expand the tax base. Then restrict housing as much as possible to keep house prices as high as possible. Where the employees live is someone else's problem. To ice the cake, through traffic is to be eliminated if possible. In spite of the game it's someone else's problem.

But the traffic and density in the most of the West Bay has gotten to a point where the old game is not sustainable any more. Perhaps we need metro government on the Peninsula.

Google may be running into a growing fault line even though they are good corporate citizens in general. While most voters focus on "amnesty" in immigration bills, corporations, famously Facebook, have been lobbying to slip in many hundreds of thousands of new visa workers from hi-tech to no tech. That would include hundreds of thousands of H1-B visa workers. While it's a privilege to brain-drain the world and get numbers of excellent colleagues and good neighbors as we meet here in Mountain View, the devil is in the details for anything coming from Washington lobbying.

We note that corporations aren't going for the Green Card stapled to a Master's degree idea, they go for mass numbers of H1-B indentured workers instead. The time to Green Card has lengthened to many years and fewer and fewer of the workers elect to stay. Further, realistically most in such mass numbers are nice, but average tech workers. A result of such mass programs is also to make it a bad idea for US citizens to go anywhere near engineering or Computer Science in general. Many such students now get Masters in business or marketing as a course correction. There's no "technical track" any more. Further, US workers must compete with the world, but no one can compete with indenture. Of course, the more US students bail on tech majors that will not give them any career path the more H1-B's the corporations lobby for.

There is a trend to micro-apartments in some US cities given the cost of rents, so it is impossible to read Google's intentions in this. They spend enough on transporting people as it is. Having workers closer than commuting from the East Bay, say, seems reasonable for them. But dorms to route temp workers through does nothing for the city or the area. ???

Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Castro City
on Jan 18, 2014 at 7:56 pm

ps - I live in downtown Mountain View. Is that "Castro City"?

Posted by former_resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Thanks Mountain View, for contributing to the bay-area wide housing shortage. Remember, you're part of a wider community, and your lack of action on housing is affecting everyone in the Bay.

Web Link

Posted by current_resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 19, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Thanks Mountain View, for contributing to the bay-area wide employment boom. Remember, you're part of a wider community, and your actions on office space is employing everyone in the Bay.

Posted by Frank
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jan 6, 2016 at 1:10 am

Fear of density because of...foreigners? Wow, this is laughably wrong and pretty nasty. Didn't realize this was Trump country.

Posted by Build smart
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 6, 2016 at 10:35 am

1. Get a proper transit link between downtown and North Bayshore, to close the 1.5 mile gap.

2. Continue building a world-class mixed-use downtown and Moffett Blvd, with an abundance of townhouses and condo units.

Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 6, 2016 at 12:24 pm

WHY are you people adding comments to an obsolete, 2012 report about a City-Council action largely superseded and eclipsed by later policy actions??? There is no shortage of more recent and pertinent stories available here if you really can't resist sounding off on these issues.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of St. Francis Acres

on May 28, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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