Children from new North Bayshore housing would flood local schools | June 16, 2017 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - June 16, 2017

Children from new North Bayshore housing would flood local schools

Superintendents say several new campuses needed for estimated 2,400 additional students

by Kevin Forestieri

As Mountain View's City Council approaches a final decision on whether to allow nearly 10,000 new homes to be built in North Bayshore, school district officials are raising concerns that the explosive residential growth would require several new schools and dedicated land to accommodate the avalanche of new students.

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Posted by Head in the sand
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

It's telling that the environmental impact report for the North Bayshore Precise Plan states that developer fees would "offset impacts to local schools," and would therefore result in a "less than significant impact" for local school districts. The report says that enrollment growth from North Bayshore would presumably be handled by adding portable classrooms on existing sites, adjusting district boundary lines and providing bus transportation."

However, when the numbers were crunched using the anticipated number of "affordable housing" units, the reality is, if the North Bayshore build out proceeds at 9,850 housing units the reality Is the school district can expect to see an increase of 2,358 students ... nearly a 50% increase in enrollment compared to the number of students the district has today. And the DEIR, grossly underestimated this number and stated "less than significant impact" because developer fees would mitigate this student increase to fund building portables and pay for busses?! WTF

We are talking about the need to build several new schools. A new high school, a new middle school and most likely 2 additional elementary schools..."less than significant impact". Right.

Nothing a few hundred million foisted upon the taxpayers won't cure, right?

Oh, and...good thing Mountain View City Council saw fit to sell of 1MM gallons of water daily, in perpetuity, to East Pablo Alto for the super hard-nosed negotiated one time fee of $5MM, because if the increased intensity buildout of North Bayshore comes to pass, the new projections for when Mountain View will hit its cap (run out of water) is now 2037.

Looking good.

Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jun 16, 2017 at 11:25 am

SRB is a registered user.

While the article focuses on challenges of adding school sites/classrooms, there will also be a challenge in running these schools. School operations are primarily funded by property taxes. However, because Shoreline is a special tax district, schools don't get their fair share of tax revenues even as North Bayshore will add considerable demand on school services.
Probably time to start discussing phasing out that tax district and/or letting all school tax monies flow to our districts.

Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 16, 2017 at 12:25 pm

The need for schools in North Bayshore and elsewhere in Mountain View to accompany new residential development is no surprise. In fact, I have often talked about the need to create neighborhoods in North Bayshore, not just housing. And more often than not, neighborhoods are anchored by public schools.

If we allow the expected 13,000 to 17,000 new jobs in North Bayshore, as called for in the December 2014 Precise Plan, the people who work there will have to send their children to schools somewhere. If we don’t build new neighborhoods here, those schoolchildren will be a one or two-hour commute away from their parents – perhaps in districts with lower academic standards. It will be difficult for working parents to volunteer at school, care for sick children, or respond to emergencies – to say nothing about the stresses and greenhouse gas emissions from their commutes.

By building new neighborhoods in Mountain View – with homes, schools, parks, retail, and transit – we can enhance the quality of life of the workforce that makes Mountain View and other Silicon Valley cities the envy of the world.

I am hoping that my colleagues on the Mountain View Council will join me in building new partnerships with our school districts, sharing parkland as we do elsewhere in town. I, for one, will be open to sharing more of the property tax revenue from the Shoreline Community district. Historically, we have devoted that money to infrastructure, such as transportation and preparing for sea level rise. As new commercial and residential development takes off, tax revenues will grow. In making plans to increase employment and population, we should be prepared to pay the cost of serving those people and their children.

I believe that the concept of community sustainability must include the opportunity for residents and employees to raise families without having to move to Tracy or Seattle.

Posted by Boggles the Mind
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2017 at 1:52 pm

MVWSD has a history in inaccurate planning. Saying that adding 10,000 units to the
city would make 46% growth in students just doesn't pass the smell test. The mix of housing that will be in that 10,000 isn't established. How can you make an estimate without refining the plans? 10,000 is an upper limit in the first place, unlikely to be achieved. The city can't force the landowners to build housing that appeals to families. A better question would be why there is more foreboding over potential growth there than elsewhere. There are thousands of new units outside of North Bayshore. What about their impact??? One thing to keep in mind is that back in history, MVWSD once had many more students. It has closed 5 or so schools over the years. It still owns 3 sites that once had schools and a 4th that was planned for a school to be built. You could argue that 4 sites is enough to add 46% more students, but just maybe not in the right place. What's new about that? You might have to provide transportation for the students, but at least 2 of the closed sites are very close to the North Bayshore area just across the Freeway. Both of them formerly served many students who lived at Moffett Field.

Posted by No name
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 16, 2017 at 3:14 pm

So what that MVSD closed schools in the past and has X numbers of buildings? We never had extra middle schools or high schools high schools sitting unused. Using tunnel vision to say the problem does not because some elementary schools exist is nonsense when the actual physical sites are just not there K-12 as a whole.

And in particular the cost of the staffing for all of these students, which will just be beginning when the paint is dry, will dwarf our capacity to sustain this size district. The perfect storm is the aging population of homeowners who can be exempt from new parcel taxes, Prop 13 which undercuts the taxes which could be gained from commercial real estate, and the density of units per acre which puts more students into the schools per acre that existed before. I regret that our Council has seen fit to create monster projects and continues to do so despite the warnings re the impact on schools. The fantasy for NBS was that it would be populated by 23 yr olds on bikes, not families. Cut the head off the snake and stop the office towers and the destruction of our retail when ECR is redeveloped with more monster projects and 6 story offices. Downsize our city projects so that it we are an economically viable entity or tell us who will pay the bills for these overwhelming and costly problems.

Posted by Points to Ponder
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm

The situation in MVLA is a bit different than in MVWSD. But MVWSD is truly remarkable for having in its real estate portfolio a total of 3 former school sites each on about 10 acres of land, plus owning a 6 acre park that is maintained by the city. There could easily be 4 extra schools. You can't tell me that doesn't matter at all in this concern.

Funding is a different concern, but property values keep going up. If the economy should stop that progression, it would probably put a halt to adding these new residents as well. Meanwhile state funding continues to increase. We're talking 10 years before this population growth even begins to be felt in North Bayshore. A lot of the new apartments being added to the city don't seem to be generating many kids. It would be interesting to see in a year or two what has been the effect of 3000 new apartment units being occupied (being that they have finished construction already now after years of work) and more on the way outside of North Bayshore.

But it's worth noting that this is all bad planning. MVLA did once operate THREE high schools, each on about 40 acres. Because one was in downtown Mountain View, they sold it off for development. Sigh. Same old story. But, high schools are formed using less land when there is the need. MVLA could adapt as well to this urbanization.

Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Any time a portable classroom is placed in a school it means less space per child on the playground. You might not think that is a problem.

It means that schools have to have "quiet" activities like chess clubs at lunch time because there isn't enough space for all the children to run around. These children then don't get rid of the wriggles and find it hard to keep focused in school.

It means that schools have to stagger lunch times to prevent overcrowded play space.

It means that schools have to limit certain areas to certain areas. Lower grades use the fields MWF and the other grades use the play structures, on Tuesday and Thursday they trade.

It means that the staff room and space for teachers to socialize at lunch time or before and after school are more crowded. Staff parking will spill over into residential streets.

I'm sure it means other things too, but these are what come to mind.

Posted by School Playgrounds
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2017 at 8:13 pm

When you have 10 acre schools, then placing a portable is hardly going to subtract much from the playground. PA elementary schools are smaller, like only 4-5 acres. Bubb in Mountain View is 10 acres and not only that, it's right next to a 4 acre city park. Huff is 10 acres with plenty of room for a few portables if planned right. Next year they are adding 4 portables but they have elected to place them on the existing blacktop. That does reduce the blacktop. They could have easily placed them on the edge of the grass. Not representative of the best design. The issue with Slater is that it is currently mostly closed. It's 10 acres but 7 or so acres are leased to Google for one of their employee daycares. There is going to be a public school squeezed into the remaining 3 or so acres of land not leased to Google. Just because that's a crock does not mean that the district does not have more land available than in Palo Alto.

Posted by Stan
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 17, 2017 at 8:21 am

Google, Inc. will not be paying for new schools or school employees or pensions or traffic congestion relief occasioned by its take-over of part of Mountain View. It will just pay or otherwise convince a few politicians to declare that everyone with money from any far-flung territory or corrupt regime on the planet is welcome to ruin Mountain View with endless development. You will soon learn that Donald Trump got much of his money from real estate deals with Russians. And how do you think Russians (in Russia) got and get enough money to buy Trump real estate? From the Putin regime. The world is not one big happy family. It contains active threats to your very existence. Don't just take my word for it. Google it.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 17, 2017 at 8:35 pm

good old Lenny - Maybe it is time for Sunset On Shoreline. The "quasi-redevelopment" agency ("Community') is one of the last in the entire state of California that gets by with diverted-form-the-schools property taxes. "Tax Increment" is the old RDA term for this crock. For most of the 1000 RDAs, Gov. Brown was able to convince the legislature to completely close them. A brave move - they were collectively diverting 11% of all the property tax revenue in the whole state.

Castro's RDA was closed, it was a 'regular stature' RDA. Now MVWSD gets at least $1 more in property taxes a year (and some of the revenue from the parking garage/drug store.) This revenue formerly went to the city run RDA.

There is a limited contract, for transfer of less than half of the diverted revenue back to schools (Share Shoreline). That is for a limited number of years - and is subject to cancellation by a vote of the Council. “We would not want to give the impression that staff is saying that is affordable on a long-term basis,” he said (City Manager Duggan). About 8 yrs ago - there were over $3,000,000,000 in Assessed Valuation in North Bayshore, and over $5.5M a year in revenue was diverted from MVWSD (C. Goldman)

The special legislation forming this special RDA needs to be legislatively changed by the STATE. Then operating money can properly flow from this revenue source.

Does someone else have a lance? I think I may be too old for taking this fair taxation project up again.

Sunset On Shoreline (SOS) (SOS) (SOS), (schools need operational revenue)

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 17, 2017 at 8:53 pm

typo corrections "diverted-from-the-schools" property taxes.

The Castro Street (Downtown) RDA was closed and that area now provides more than $1 Million a year in operating revenue to MVWSD.

Web Link
Link to the Voice reporting on first Share Shoreline council discussion meeting, Note OPTION No. 1 is a straight through 20% of property taxes to the schools.

Go for It, if you really care for public education funded by stable public tax sources (Google money - collected by the County Tax Assessor)

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