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Downtown district is out of business

Original post made on Jan 6, 2012

The California Supreme Court shut down Mountain View's Downtown Revitalization Authority last week along with 400 or so other agencies like it statewide, freeing up $5 billion in property taxes for cities and schools.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 6, 2012, 10:40 AM

Comments (12)

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Posted by Jon Wiener
a resident of another community
on Jan 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm

"City officials say they are looking at alternatives to fund ongoing development downtown, including a parking garage that may be needed in a few years."

Charge for it?

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Posted by Thom
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jan 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Thank you Gov. This made me smile. Is this the same committee that decided to dictate what color or type of chairs can be used fro outdoor eating? The same committee that replaced the downtown light poles...twice?

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Posted by Ben
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Down town garage? I though that down town was walk able according to the people and the Council that keep putting more high density apartments down town in an overcrowded city.

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Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm

@Ben - The claim that downtown is walkable and a good place to locate higher-density housing is not at all incompatible with the fact that eventually we may need another parking structure downtown.

The City currently owns many acres of land on the perimeter of downtown, behind the businesses along Castro Street. The opportunity cost of maintaining that land as surface parking -- not to mention the actual cost of maintenance, landscaping, security of those lots -- is a huge cost to the city. The city's plan for downtown has long been to develop some of those lots with other uses, gradually, over time. As those lots are redeveloped, eventually there will be a need to find replacement parking.

Turning some of these city-owned lots into housing, for instance, would have many many benefits - reducing long commutes, expanding the customer base for small businesses on Castro Street, keeping Mountain View an attractive place for tech companies to locate and grow.

As the first commenter suggests, it would make a lot of sense to consider charging for parking (at least in some places) to help raise funds for downtown improvements including possible replacement parking.

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Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm

"Today's ruling by the California Supreme Court validates a key component of the state budget and guarantees more than a billion dollars of ongoing funding for schools and public safety," Gov. Brown said in a statement released last week.

I totally agree with this statement. What's more important a pretty looking downtown or the schools and safety of the people that live here. With all the gang violence and schools lacking funds, i think this is a great idea.

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Posted by Nick
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm

It makes sense to free the funds for safety and schools, though those funds are increasingly redirected to rising pension costs instead of actually being used for policing the streets or educating kids.

I'd rather have the parking garage now, force our politicians to make the hard decisions on pension reform, and then close this agency.

Otherwise the funds go straight into more six-figure pensions for 52-year-old retirees.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jan 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm

How many times have the state have raided local money, money that would have gone to the schools, the city or the county. This is just another raid.

The state is in trouble again, what will be next.

We have big Malls, Shopping Centers and other places that don't charge for parking, free parking, big easy lots without parking tickets. Are we ready to complete with the big lots.

As for a waste of money. I live in place that has empty buildings, failed projects, a bad rep for studies after studies. One project that was done, it is nice, good project but ends at a brick wall. I will take the light poles any day.

As for lights poles certain mistake are done, but light poles are better the mistake of buildings being pulled down.

Add up the money, the city and the schools get over 2.3 millions dollars, what happened to the other 2.6 million dollars out of the 5 million dollars.

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Posted by m
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm

If they are looking for something to revitalize why didn't they do something about 'Food Street, the shuttered eyesore that has been sitting derelict for years, talk about blight. I think it has been closed for at LEAST 5 years

Another weird thing...if you call the old Food Street phone number you get Google...all roads lead to Google in Mtn View. (650) 961-2638

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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Let's not be naive about this. The state's motivation in eliminating these districts has nothing to do with benefiting cities, but in exposing more funds that the state can use to backfill the deficit its faced with.

As stated, the court ruling frees up property taxes from being used to fund redevelopment agencies. The most important question then is: WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO NOW? If I'm not mistaken, property taxes are first routed to Sacramento, where they are then doled out by the state to localities. Its a big shuffle game.

Now, how many of you truly think that the state is going to take all those incoming property tax dollars and not succumb to using some or all of it for its own purposes?

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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm

In determining the value of the Castro Street district and Shoreline districts, we need to remember that neither of these localities live in a vacuum.

A prosperous downtown and shoreline district contributes to the quality of life for all people living here, either directly or indirectly in the form of jobs, local entertainment, and increased desirability and standard of living for Mountain View.

There should be an ongoing analysis to determine where this money is best spent, but swinging 180 degrees by removing all funding and focusing solely on something else (like schools), would eliminate the progress made so far in these areas, and the benefits they continue to bring the City.

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Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jan 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

The money should go to salary increases which would have the added benefit of being stimulative to the economy generally since we are facing a possible slowdown this year.

Web Link

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Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Schools need and will put to good use the money that was being diverted into making the downtown better for the merchants, let them fund the downtown upgrades. Stop building apartments and we won't need more parking, the city has way to many apartments, how can we get this stopped.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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