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After much ado, Minton's project is approved

Original post made on Apr 29, 2010

The City Council gave the green light once and for all on Tuesday night to a 203-unit luxury apartment complex which will take the place of Minton's Lumber and Supply at 455 W. Evelyn Ave. — but not without a word from a few council members.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 29, 2010, 3:13 PM

Comments (18)

Posted by CEQA
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm


To be honest and forthright
A number of violation with the process will be reported to the Attorney General and a writ of mandate may well be filed with the Judical
Web Link

1) The activity was not reported to the county or state as required by PRC code
2) The activity did not complete the CEQA process in the time allowed by law 6 months since application was complete as required by PRC code
3) The report in the form of NMD was not informative and had errors in analysis.

The process for any further GateKeeper Activity the city has planned the process MUST change. The City of Mountain View is NOT following state Laws and the required CEQA process.

This will include the City itself falsifying dates involved with the project Start and NOD dates at the meeting

I'm very sure the Court will find the Cities behavior to be an insult to the State of California. This is light of the fact the project was not reported to the state or county as required.

Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Just watched the replay. The Mayor did a great job in explaining her position. Common sense prevailed. Pretty sad and embarrassing to watch Siegel and Macias. Siegel went on and on for nearly 30 minutes, totally incoherent, mostly emotional, and basically ignoring all of the data and conclusions in the report. The whole speech is a classic on how to filibuster when you have nothing substantive to offer and just want to stall the decision.

Macias was just plain nasty. Some highlights were chastising the other council members with; I won my re-election with the most votes, I know more than the others about planning, we should demand/require 21 BMR units (even though it's illegal) and the council gave the developer everything he wanted and sacrificed the integrity of the city. That last comment drew a stinging rebuke from the Mayor. Would love to be a fly on the wall at the next closed session.

Posted by PlsRuinMyBackyard
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2010 at 1:43 am

I am so ashamed of our Council for ignoring the General & Precise Planning process and allowing this 'spot-rezoning'.

The City Staff wants density, as it can only help their careers and help ensure no layoffs are needed. They do not have the best interests of the residents in mind.

When was the last time that a development was *not* approved?

Disasters like these are irreversible...let us all not forget who did this to our beautiful downtown....

Posted by Mike R
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2010 at 11:00 am

Council failed to convince residents that this project would be beneficial. A show of hands at the EPC meeting indicated roughly 75 opposed and 15 in favor (5:1). Yet council approved it.

I don't know exactly how a city council is supposed to operate, but I'm pretty sure acting against the wishes of the residents is not it.

Posted by bill
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 30, 2010 at 11:43 am

Typical Mountain View council, inept bunch of people indeed.
Come see the Pulte home disaster on Ferguson Drive....incredible.

Posted by Hmm
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Actually Council did a fine job convincing residents that the project would at least not be harmful, as demonstrated by the fact that approximately 70,000 of us did not feel it necessary to attend an EPC meeting to oppose it.

Posted by Disappointed in the Council
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm

The council has their own agenda, which isn't necessarily listening to the local residents that would be affected by this project. I'm not sure what the role is of the Environmental Planning Commission is, since I believe they opposed this project. It's sad that special interest groups are more important to the council members than the residents that voted them in. The answer is to vote them out of office.

Posted by steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Typical small suburban town with delusions of grandeur. What do I mean? For an example, look at the buildings at the intersection of California and Castro.

Posted by Alfred
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 1, 2010 at 9:55 am

At $1800 a month for a single bedroom, they better do something about caltrain horns.
90 trains a day x 3 crossings in DT MV X 4 horn blows per crossing = 1080 train horn blows a day less than 100 yards from the Minton site from 5:30 am to 1:15 am
Who is going to want to live there!

Posted by Nick
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

"Who is going to want to live there!"

Try asking the hundreds of people who live in The Crossings?

The person who pointed out that 70,000 people did not show up to oppose this project has a valid point; people who attend public hearings do not necessarily reflect the amount of support or opposition in the entire city.

The City Council's job is to carefully listen to points made on both sides of the aisle, and then decide what's best for Mountain View, not just what the neighbors nearby think should happen. In this case, focusing our city's residential growth near our main transit station and downtown seems logical to me.

Posted by Home Owner
a resident of The Crossings
on May 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm


We own our homes, we don't rent them. And they are much bigger than the ones planned. Also, very few residents here use the Caltrain, especially since the number of stops declined and the fares went up. That said, the density is too high here, and much higher for what they have planned.

Posted by Mike R
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 1, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Regarding the comments about the 70,000 residents that did not show up at the EPC meeting - I see your point. Almost. Does this mean as long as only a few thousand people object to each specific project, while the majority of the residents are not affected and indifferent, council should approve? Perhaps next year Cuesta Annex will be rezoned industrial, and the following year Grant at Coventry will be rezoned for landfill. Just because 70,000 people don't show up at the EPC meeting doesn't mean it's not a mistake.

If density is the issue - why is the city keeping the lot on Bryant street vacant? Why was the Mondrian property not zoned for higher density? Or the Classics Communities property next to Minton's? Or the new condos nearby on View Street?

Why is density important to the city anyway? For tax revenue? Apartments will generate less property tax than SFR because of proposition 13. Are folks thinking that higher density would support a grocery store? Even downtown San Jose cannot support their Zanotto's. Why so anxious to put Mountain View Market (the existing downtown grocery) out of business anyway? I understand the argument for density with respect to carbon footprint etc - but it's at the expense of people who invested their life's savings into property in downtown Mountain View - with the expectation that the property next door would be built at what it was zoned. If the city and the special interest groups honestly believe that high-density will benefit the city, they should share some of those benefits with the affected property owners by compensating them financially.

Posted by parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 2, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Would somebody PLEASE run for City Council?

Last I heard no one had taken out papers to do this.

I completely agree with what Political Insider said above about two council members whose behavior (regardless of whether you agree or disagree with their position) was sorely lacking in substance and tact.

Posted by Alfred
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 3, 2010 at 10:56 am


The San Antonio Caltrain station near the Crossings does not have any at grade crossings so they can sleep at night without being awaken every hour or so by a salvo of caltrain horns.
Seriously, this is going to be hard for Prometheus to rent this expensive units if people can't sleep at night because of Caltrain

Posted by Questionable arguments
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 3, 2010 at 1:23 pm

@Alfred - "Who is going to want to live there!"
Why are you skeptical that people will pay $1800 or $2500 to rent the planned apartments with train noise nearby, when people pay $750,000 to $900,000 to buy homes (on Minton's Lane) exactly the same distance from the train tracks? Perhaps an inherent anti-apartment or anti-density bias you're not admitting to?

@Mike R - "Even downtown San Jose cannot support their Zanotto's." Zanotto's, which admittedly did take a subsidy to locate in downtown San Jose, was doing fairly well until the Safeway Marketplace opened up this past fall. Perhaps it's the fact that there are two full-service grocery stores within 2 blocks of each other that's causing Zanotto's to have trouble...

Posted by Mike R
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm

@Questionable arguments -

Zanotto's problems go back to 2003. It even closed for a year. The money in question is $1.7M redevelopment loan that is being forgiven.

Posted by the299crew
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm

PlsRuinMyBackyard, and others:

Spot zoning is the way to describe it for sure. Why bother with the Precise Plan, why bother with zoning, why bother with the EPC, why bother with the City Planners and City Council. My solution, send them all home, save a few bucks in salaries, lock the front door at City Hall and leave a nice new "APPROVED" rubber stamp and ink pad by the door. End result, nothing changes.

Posted by Progressive Owner
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 14, 2010 at 3:29 pm

In regard to the previous postings:
A number of people state that there is adequate high density in Old Mountain View and no need to increase the housing density stating that the home owners are sufficient population.
Yet the business portion of Old Mountain View is not supported by the neighborhood residents that surround it, especially those reliant on their cars.
High density housing tends to attract a population that is pedestrian and less likely to drive to Costco but rather, walk to their local businesses. Cities should evolve and not be afraid of change.
Price out the condos at Mission Bay near AT&T park where the CalTrain ends... owners pay $155/day to live there.. horns and all...

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