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Too many office development proposals?

Original post made on May 29, 2014

Mountain View's real estate boom has hit a new threshhold: city planning director Randy Tsuda told the City Council that his department has reached its capacity for reviewing development proposals.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 29, 2014, 11:05 AM

Comments (38)

Posted by Of course
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 29, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Of course, anything for the googlites and their developers. The people that live here, who cares about you.

Posted by Konrad M.Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 29, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Mountain View cannot afford to have 40,000 additional jobs and 20,000 additional housing units, unless we want skyscrapers.

We have General Plan 2030, why doesn't City Council stick to it?

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Mixed use both Whisman and North Bayshore is needed, hosing units need to be clusted around VTA or a retail/entertainment center.

Retail/Entertainment Center. Supermarket, restaurants, shops to serve both resident and businesses. Large enough to attract residents living near, attractive and

Not everything is Google, WhatsApp is expanding.

Posted by Voice of reason
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Thank you Randy Tsuda for telling the City Council that his department has reached its capacity for reviewing development proposals! Better late than never.

Posted by Patrick
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2014 at 3:47 pm

God! I'd give anything for these damn tech companies to go somewhere else! I'm so sick of all the tech snobs! They have ruined Mountain View. The only people that want to see them come are the ones profiting from it. One of these days the botttome will fall out, and this place will be a ghost town. Also, if you're gonna import all your workers, make sure they learn how to drive their new $250,000.00 car. I've never seen so many entitled idiots on the road. Mountain View is quickly becoming the new "suck".

Yea, that's right. I said what everyone else is thinking.

Go somewhere else!!!!

Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2014 at 3:57 pm

The best way to reduce the pressure for offices and new housing is to not live or work in Mountain View. I'm assuming most folks complaining though want the *other* guy to make that choice...

Posted by nikonbob
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2014 at 4:18 pm

What? Has the planning department worn out their rubber stamp?

Posted by Unfortunately
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm

The sad part is that this is being driven by the Planning Dept saying they're overloaded. That certainly works for me. However, it would've been much more satisfying to see the decision made on the basis of Council (and Staff) saying enough is enough.

And for those who've forgotten, business happens in cycles. Within 3-5 years there will likely be another downturn. Vacancies will reappear, rents will go back down.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Don't have to approve every project that comes along, this is why we hire planners and have planning and zoning boards.

No wonder why Texas and other states are getting California companies, jobs and the businesses.

Downturn might happen but the upturn might happen someplace else other then here.

Property and Sales tax might crash yet with new upturn, recovery will be slow and hard. Who would want to work in a ghost town.

Be careful what you wish for.

Posted by Texas Can Have it
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2014 at 4:39 pm

More than happy for Texas to get new companies and new high-tech jobs. Texas is attracting employers by letting them come in with low taxes. Guess how they pay for their infrastructure? By passing the financial burden onto the less fortunate! When the people wake up and take back the state from the corporations, those companies will then look for other places to expand to.

That's the way it works.

It doesn't mean that we have to cave into developers and companies on some sort of "ghost town" fantasy/nightmare. In fact, Garrett, is that your campaign slogan? "Cave and Pave Mountain View"

Posted by Kgirl
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Maybe I am missing something but no where do I see or hear any concern for how many projects the city can really take on at once without impacting traffic, pollution levels, and overall quality of life for its residents. I am not surprised that the city planners office is overwhelmed with project requests. I am for forward motion but I do think there has to be a balance. I don't think hiring more contractors to review proposals is the answer. I suggest that the powers that be take an overall look at all projects, timing, and impact to the community and decide how many are truly sustainable. I think everyone needs to step back a little and look at this for the long term.

Posted by NIMBY
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 29, 2014 at 8:55 pm

I'll be a NIMBY as long as the current planning is all commercial density without any real residential expansion. The zoning laws are already nonsense. Whatever character this town has had, it is losing rapidly as the congestion associated with loads of commercial occupancy goes up. Every day I see a close call accident at the intersection of Whisman and Middlefield.

Mr. Texas up there, is way off. Lack of affordable housing will cause much more damaging long-term effects than any amount of rejected commercial construction. As it gets worse, companies will have to keep paying more out on payroll to compensate for a constrained housing market and nightmare commutes. At some point people will burn out and quit.

FACT: People will make the tradeoff of going somewhere else in the country for less money and a nice, affordable house with more disposable income and a better life. It's not either/or.

Apple is in Cupertino but it's also in Texas. Dell is in Texas, but it's also in Santa Clara. Large cap companies will hedge in secondary labor markets. Texas is a nightmare state in my opinion, but if people can go there and have a real house, and they don't mind the heat, chiggers, ants the size of rats, water moccasins, climate change deniers, good for them. It's not the Bay Area. Do understand that it's the potential worker opting for a place with better housing, not because company XYZ decided to go there to avoid some tax.

Someday, my guess is, there will be a commercial vacancy rate of 35-40% and people will be standing around pointing the fingers of how & why that happened.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2014 at 6:32 am

I am for housing in general, affordable or not so affordable. People will decided what is the right place and what kind of housing style suits their income. Demand and supply is very lopsided, 80's, 90's and 00's and guess what? We are talking about the same thing.

Mixed use office/housing and retail projects are needed, currently there is one planned.

Companies want to expand in California but costs are high. Land, materials, labour, housing for their workforce. Not all companies are willing to pay super high wages to remain.

In time the only operations to remain are upper level management, CEO and boardroom positions.

Posted by Been there, done that
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2014 at 6:49 am

Anyone who thinks the tech boom and housing crunch is a newer issue might as well scream "I don't have any historical knowledge of this issue or trends that have been happening in MV for decades"

This has been a discussion for multiple decades going back into 70's that I can attest to, maybe earlier but I wasn't around then.
I take comfort in seeing this cycle play out again and again, without the doom foretold by those with less real life experience here in MV.
It is also clear many have no clue about the tech industry here, except that they hate them and their snobbery. For those people I have this Webster dictionary definition:

a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2014 at 7:37 am

I have watched boom, bust, boom and bust. Then boom again, jobs created, lost and created.

The housing problems aren't getting solved, far from it. Companies have left the bay area for years and different reason. Changes have been part of the bay area.

The housing issue, 35 plus years it has been a problem.

Posted by Last gasps
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 30, 2014 at 9:14 am

I think the developers are trying to get their last chance efforts in before we vote in a council who does not rubber stamp everything.
Somewhat like refugees trying to get into the US embassy in the last days of the Vietnam war

Posted by Bob
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 30, 2014 at 9:25 am

Council should put a hold on ALL new multi-story buildings, (office and housing). Lets stop focusing on growth and focusing on the beauty and tranquility of the existing residential areas. Not all of us want to live in a high rise urban or Asian type of community.
At one time the city had a policy encouraging single family homes. And that is why many moved here and made it a desirable place to raise a family in a suburban setting.
Start with a new planning department policy that would favor the residents concerns over wealthy developers.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

One of the reason why Japan is built up. Protecting farm, been reading how cities of world are protecting farmlands.

If we keep building a sea of suburbs, thousands of single family homes, low rise office buildings, single story shopping centers and miles of freeways.

Not much beauty or farms left.

Posted by Not in denial
a resident of North Whisman
on May 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Any comparison to what's going on now vs. 10-20-30 years ago is delusional. Population has doubled and our traffic is considered among the worst in the nation (e.g. southbound 101).

Here are some facts for you BeenThereSeenThat crowd: there are 5.5 million square feet of office space in the pipeline through 2017. CREDA projects that the square footage per employee will drop to 151. So if you run those numbers, by 2017 we will have an additional 36,423 jobs in this city. Drive through Mountain View (anywhere) at lunch time and try to imagine adding another 36,423 workers on top of that.

GOOD LUCK. As if anything from decades ago means anything in the face of that. Wake up, people.

Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 30, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Suggestion to Randy Tsuda and his 13 planners - leave the 80 development proposals on your desks and take the summer off! Go on a nice long vacation, someplace far away, so those of us back home can take a reprieve from worrying about how you are destroying our city.

Posted by Solved?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Where in the world has the housing problem been "solved?"

Posted by SB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on May 31, 2014 at 7:59 am

Not mentioned in the article is the fact that while council voted to deny the gatekeeper requests, council also voted to let the developers submit "informal applications" -which one council member described as an opportunity for "schmoozing"-.

It's also concerning that the main driver to pace Mountain View's office growth is the workload of a 15 people City department .... not our shortage of infrastructure (schools, transportation, bike network, parks...) and not the growing impact on residents (housing imbalance, housing costs, loss of open space, traffic/congestion, loss of small & local stores/services...).

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2014 at 9:39 am

Some of these proposals will work their way through the planning process, which changes and other redesigns will happen.

Seeing that light rail goes throught Whisman, housing could be placed along Ferguson Dr which I know was planned at one stage. A park would work as a divider from office to residential.

Office and retail would work along Middlefield.

Posted by Martin Pilling
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on May 31, 2014 at 11:44 am

Let's us not forget Merlone Geier's "Public Benefit" of a bicycle lane "going nowhere" between the the San Antonio Road intersections with California Street and El Camino Real ("F" Level of Service rating). This was approved by the Planning Commission last Wednesday. Great place for our school children to ride their bikes!

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2014 at 11:55 am

Not all bike riders are school aged children and bike lanes need to start and finish. Transit and bike networks need to thrive with many places to beside schools and parks. Yes the office is good, but stopping off at places along the way.

Posted by greghume
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 31, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Maybe we can get the Cuesta Annex people to adopt all of Mountain View and then we won't have to worry about 'growth' any more.

Posted by Breathe
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2014 at 9:55 am

Just like we need national parks in our states as breathing spaces, we need refuges in our communities as breathing spaces. For example, the corner of El Camino and Castro, where Sufi Coffee, the Rug Store, Pete's Coffee and the Rose market are. This should be declared a Mountain View Refuge, and keep the damn developer's mits off of it. Business thrives there. People love all the venues and the charm of this corner. Heck, I've even seen City Planner Muckety-Mucks scheming, probably on what to do with this very corner, sitting peacefully outside of Pete's drinking their latte's and looking at blueprints. City of Mountain View, are you paying attention? We like this corner the way it is. It's a REFUGE. It's a breathing space away from all the crazy change and development you've been foisting upon us. We are tired of the rapid pace of change in this town and need a place to take a break from it all, sort of like the rest of Castro Street. LEAVE IT THE HELL ALONE.

Posted by Breathe freely
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 2, 2014 at 10:17 am

Talk to the landowners at Castro and ECR. They are the one pushing to sell their land and have it developed.

Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2014 at 11:35 am

@Breathe -
"City of Mountain View, are you paying attention? We like this corner the way it is."

Your are entitled to your opinion on this, but please do not assume to speak for all your neighbors or all the residents of Mountain View on this.

I am not a fan of the way this corner looks or how it works right now. I find it kind of embarrassing that one of the key gateway corners in our city has the remnants of a burned-down building, with makeshift fencing and random rugs from the neighboring business on display there. I also think that much could be done to improve that corner - and the entire ECR/Castro intersection - for pedestrians and cyclists. It's a really long distance to cross, and the corners are designed for cars to make fast, sweeping turns. I would like to see something happen to improve that corner (not necessarily what Greystar is proposing), and I'd like to see the whole intersection rebuilt to make it safer and more pleasant to cross when not in a car.

Posted by comment7
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 2, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Patrick - I sooo agree with you. Wish Google would go to the East Coast. Anyone ever thought of what would happen if one of those terrorist countries decided to attack us here in Silicon Valley? All the high-tech companies are here ... Yahoo, google, ebay, microsoft, paypal. We basically are the e-hub to the world. They seriously need to rethink their position here, the tech companies. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. And Google's free wifi is so undependable in Mtn. View. Rents have gone up as greedy landlords are salivating at the bit.

Posted by JIM G
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

The once nice and pleasant city of Mountain View is turning in to a clutterd jungle of steel. A lot of you people who live here voted for these people to wreck, destroy are once great little city.

a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 4, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Developers need not only to keep CITY happy, but City needs to keep DEPARTMENTS Happy, by Changings Streets to promote Delays in Traffic, for Pedestrians, etc, TWO Important People needs to be HAPPY THE MVCity and the MV Police Department, who thinks in Middle Class? Even worst who is thinking WORKING CLASS?
Developers are happy when lots of a building means lots of traffic lots of congestion then everybody is happy and laugh all the way to the bank at expense of the working class peace and stability!

Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I agree with Breathe about the corner of Castro and ECR, known as the 801 ECR Project. I always thought the strip along ECR would be rebuilt for the retailers there, after the fire. But why would we want to kill everything at the South end of Castro? It had developed organically, just like the opposite end of Castro, and was just as popular for us! Half of Peet's and maybe Rose, if it can endure being out of business for 2+ years, will get placed on stinky, loud, unpleasant ECR, with only apts. taking all floors along South Castro. That is where we loved sitting in the morning sun, enjoying eating and drinking stuff from Peet's and Rose. ECR doesn't cut it for this.

Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Yep that horrible tech sector that brought the very houses people who complain abut the new tech sector live in.

If only Fairchild et al went some other place, then we could have our orchards and empty dirt lots in peace.

Personally I'm glad to see some changes. I plan on sticking around, and don't care for a bunch of Grandpa Simpsons with selective memory trying to run every discussion.

Posted by CodeRed
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2014 at 9:18 am


Clearly you don't care for opinions which do not align with your own opinions. And evidently the concept of free speech is overrated by some on these forums.


Posted by TQ
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 13, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Google has done nothing to the community of mountain view. They build no community housing, no shopping. They run mountain view like an industrial complex, work here and live somewhere else. They all have free food, hair salon, therefore local business benefit nothing from them either.

Facebook build new office in menlo park, they are committed to $1m a year donation to the city every year. What has google done, their wifi is not even dependable. True they are good to their employee, but as a neighbor, they are bad neighbor, they do not give back to the community

Google X is just moved into our neighborhood, took up the whole thing. Going to congest the traffic, but they build no support function for it. If google wants to keep expanding in mountain view, we will definitely need to see more community/neighborhood benefit.

Posted by Donnybrook
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2015 at 5:55 pm

The problem is that Google's whole design with concentrating office activities around Mountain View is inherently terribly destructive. Some day they'll wake up and realize that. They're obviously having problems growing, and they think if they just put everyone in the same city, that will smooth the way to more of the successes of the past. Nothing could be further from the truth. It accelerates the economic divide to have no room left for smaller business to do less well paid work. No more auto shops. No more light manufacturing. Google bid up the price on all the land and buildings. Screw the middle class, let alone the low income.

How many low income jobs does Google create? How many sub $90K jobs? They hire contractors to drive buses for them, basing the buses miles and miles away. It's a perversion of the American Dream. It's the Rich Employee Only dream.

Posted by Rent Control
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm

San Jose contemplates beefing up existing rent control protections in their city. Average rent up to $2600 per month down there.

Web Link

Web Link

Mountain View doesn't need rent control because soon everyone will work for Google anyway, or not be allowed to rent.

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