Mayfield proposal still needs work | July 6, 2007 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

Opinion - July 6, 2007

Mayfield proposal still needs work

by Wouter Suverkropp

The current Mayfield site development proposal remains severely flawed. In response to requests from the City Council, the builder has slightly lowered density, found a few more trees to save, and has proposed other minor changes to their plans. These changes are largely cosmetic, and do little if anything to address concerns from Mountain View and Palo Alto residents.

One of the justifications for the proposed density is that the site is "transit oriented." However, the site requires a treacherous crossing to reach a poorly served railway station, is surrounded by "F" rated roads, and is barely served by bus services. Most of the site is more than a half-mile or five-minute walk away from the railway station, a measure used to establish suitability for high density. This would indicate this site it not transit oriented.

Adding over 1,000 cars to this part of town will do nothing to relieve traffic or noise issues on either Central Expressway or San Antonio Road, and is likely to add significant cut-through traffic on neighboring streets. Unlike the vehicles used by HP employees, the new cars will also drive outside commute hours, so their impact is worse.

Largely cosmetic mitigation measures will not change the fact that adding 1,000 cars to local roads will have an impact far beyond the direct neighborhood, and will affect residents from other parts of Mountain View driving on San Antonio and Central each day.

Finally, the city has funds to purchase land to create parks. The Mayfield site is a unique, and the last, opportunity for the city to use these funds and purchase additional park space. This would remedy the significant lack of park space in this part of Mountain View, and create a development in which people want to stay as their families develop.

Local parks limit car trips, congestion and pollution, since you won't have to drive to a park somewhere else. The current plans include some additional park space above the minimum required by the city, but this is not nearly enough to restore the balance of park space as required by the city's own rules.

There are many other issues with the proposals, such as their very tall, cookie-cutter building designs, and many heritage trees being lost.

Almost all of the main concerns with the current plans can be eliminated by lowering building density to something more like the Monta Loma neighborhood. The precise plan that was approved by the previous council allows for, but does not require, high building density or very tall condo buildings. Let's implement a development that will serve both residents and the city well for years to come.

Wouter Suverkropp is president of the Monta Loma Neighborhood Association.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 11, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Two thumbs up for the park there! There are a lot of mature trees so the site is almost a park by itself!