Letters to the Editor | November 16, 2007 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |


Mountain View Voice

Opinion - November 16, 2007

Letters to the Editor

High density housing creates more problems


The Voice's article on Hawthorne Park reported that Tamara Colby, a member of the Sierra Club, wants high density infill housing on Whisman Road ("Greens clash with neighbors over 'Hawthorne Park,'" Nov. 9).

Ms. Colby does not realize that high density developments are the source of our present traffic congestion problems. Traveling north on Highway 101 is now stop and go, including in the diamond lane, for several hours in the evening from Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto to Ellis Street in Mountain View.

The City Council was asked if they had any responsibly for traffic congestion due to high density housing in Mountain View. They failed to reply during a study session about a Rengstorff development. The mayor stated they do not answer questions in a study session.

Infill housing destroys the efforts of other Sierra Club chapters to save the Sierras and the Central Valley from development. For example, these new residents will require more water. The governor is asking for more dams to store water when the dams we have are only half full. Meanwhile, the Sierra Club is asking for dams to be removed so that the salmon fishery can be restored to its natural level.

The City Council should go for more open space that will not tax the environment, create even more traffic congestion and burden city services such as water, schools, etc.

Godfrey Baumgartner

Betlo Avenue

Money spent at local businesses stays in town


Every night when our Wal-Mart store closes, an armored car takes the day's receipts and sends them back to Bentonville, Ark. While this has been great for the Arkansas economy, it does little for Mountain View's.

Next time you go shopping, consider stopping at a locally owned business. The money you spend will most likely remain in circulation in the Bay Area, the products probably won't be from offshore or faraway warehouses, and the local businesses you support are generally much more supportive of local nonprofits and charitable causes. Charity really does begin at home.

Ed Taub

Devoto Street

SFPUC's chloramine policy a disgrace


As a 20-year resident of Mountain View, I am very pleased to see our local paper take a stand on this issue, and thank the editors for doing so in the opinion piece from Sept. 28, "It is time to test chloramine."

There is no question that people are suffering as a result of chloramine exposure. There is most definitely question as to whether this suffering is in any way contributing to the "greater good," or that it is necessary at all. It is certainly clear that the decision to make this change was made by persons completely unaccountable to those affected.

Did anyone in Mountain View have the opportunity to vote for the members of the SFPUC? Their actions affect millions of people. Throwing it back on the EPA — which has much to answer for, to be sure — is no excuse. The SFPUC should have been the very first to demand thorough testing of chloramine as a condition of implementation.

The fact that they did not, and still maintain that they were justified in failing to do so, is reprehensible.

Dyann Bingham

Space Park Way


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2007 at 10:50 am

This is in response to Ed Taub's thoughts on spending money at locally owned businesses vs. stores like Walmart. I agree with his idea and would rather support a locally owned store vs. a national chain. However, I have a question... if national chains like Walmart reap the benefits of the Mountain View consumers at whatever state happens to be their headquarters; then what about other chains like Safeway, Whole Foods, Target, etc. We are surrounded by national chain stores... where else would we be able to purchase toilet paper and basic household supplies? I can understand if there was a local butcher shop or mom & pop owned pet supply store or restaurant... but I don't see any locally owned places that can sell me toilet paper.

Posted by Ben, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 19, 2007 at 2:19 pm

Godfry should stop whining about traffic. It's not that bad in the morning and I have no idea what these supposed "hours" are in the evening. I'd rather have efficient infill than have everyone priced out of the MV area and have businesses leave due to the unsustainable unaffordability of the area.

Posted by Bo, a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:16 pm

Godfrey wrote: "Traveling north on Highway 101 is now stop and go ... for several hours in the evening from Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto to Ellis Street in Mountain View."

That's south.

Posted by Matt Raschke, a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 24, 2007 at 3:37 pm

"Traveling north on Highway 101 is now stop and go ... "

Thanks to infill housing, I am not one of those cars anymore. High density housing promotes sustainability. Suburban sprawl is the source of the traffic congestion. The Sierra Club is intelligently promoting "smart growth" that keeps housing away from undeveloped open space, farms, and forests. I can walk to three grocery stores, 3 large department stores, and numerous small shops and restaurants. I regularly bike to work too. For the same price I paid here, I could have bought a McMansion in Gilroy. But then my carbon footprint would be HUGE, and my free time would be wasted behind a steering wheel.

I don't know if the Hawthorne Park project is a good one, but it is wrong to vilify "smart growth" as a means of opposing it. I really fail to see how "Infill housing destroys the efforts of other Sierra Club chapters to save the Sierras and the Central Valley from development." High density housing needs far less water per person than a huge suburban subdivision in the Central Valley with acres and acres of irrigated lawns. Mr. Baumgartner's argument equates to "No Growth" at all. That is probably not viable, and it surely isn't good for the economy. I'm not opposed to "No Growth", but I support the reality of "Smart Growth". For reference, the Crossings is used as a good example of "smart growth" by the US EPA: Web Link