In a move that may reduce parking for nearby businesses, the City Council voted to sell a city-owned parking lot on Tuesday to a developer proposing to build 200 apartments at the corner of El Camino Real and Castro Street.
The council voted 4-3 to sell the .4 acre parking lot along El Camino Alley to developer Greystar for a price of $1.95 million, only if their project is approved. It was bought in 1968 for only $69,000.
City Manager Dan Rich said the city had no compelling reason to keep the lot, and though several nearby businesses use it, none need it to meet parking requirements. Frankie, Johnny and Luigi's restaurant even paid $150,000 to have the city pave it years ago, for which the city still owes $37,500 to the restaurant. Greystar will pay back the money.
Opposing the deal were council members Margaret Abe-Koga, Jac Siegel and John McAlister. McAlister said the lot should have been offered to Frankie, Johnny and Luigi's. Abe-Koga and Siegel said the city should lease the lot, which Rich said would overly complicate the development process.
Zipcars to come to downtown
In what one member called a "no-brainer" on Tuesday, the City Council voted quietly and unanimously to allow Zipcar to park four of its cars in downtown Mountain View.
The car-sharing service will have spaces for four of its cars available to anyone with a Zipcar account. Two will be in the garage at California and Bryant streets and two more in a city lot just south of the post office on Hope Street.
The city will see $960 a year in revenue from permits for the four cars, each of which is estimated to remove five to 20 single occupancy vehicles from the road, according to a city report.
Safer stoplights OK'd
Two busy intersections should soon be much safer after the City Council unanimously voted to replace a pair of aging stoplights on Middlefield Road and California Street Tuesday.
Stoplights that allow protected left turns for cars will soon be installed at the corner of Ortega and California streets and the corner of North Whisman Road and East Middlefield Way. Both intersections have been the scene of accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists who find cars turning left into the crosswalk while the walk sign is on. The cost, including new curb ramps and median improvements, is $607,000.