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'Lame duck' council set to vote on North Bayshore -- with no housing

Original post made on Nov 21, 2014

Despite calls from residents that action be delayed to allow new council members to take their posts in January, the "lame duck" City Council on Nov. 25 is set to approve a plan for Google headquarters and the rest of North Bayshore that would allow new offices that could bring as many as 20,000 new jobs, but no new housing.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 21, 2014, 10:50 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Been There, Done That
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Wow, is the lame-duck city council tone deaf or what???

I guess we now know that the outgoing city council was really nothing more than a rubber stamp for Google and the developers. But at least they're open about it now.


Posted by Paul
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Nov 21, 2014 at 1:21 pm

The lesson here is to pay my attention to who is running for office, get specific answers to key questions and not elect persons with no clue or with an agenda contrary to the community's best interests.

As to the so-called "lame ducks," at least outgoing Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga will run again for some office and voters can express themselves at that time. Abe-Koga has been an advocate for bus-only lanes on El Camino. A bus would arrive in the lane (at most) every 10 minutes. Maybe the VTA will name the bus-only lanes after her. She could then add "LANE DUCK" to her list of accomplishments.


Posted by Glenn Meier
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm

The Voice is using this article as an advocacy for their position on housing in North Bayshore. This article is not neutral at all.


Posted by KateinMV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm

The EPC has been working on a precise plan for a long time. The current council has spent years understanding the layout of the city. I believe that the current council should appropriately vote on this.

I don't think the new council coming in understand the full picture. I don't think they've read everything the EPC and council have read. I don't think they've heard from as many Mountain View residents as the council have. If they think they know more than the current council members then they aren't as smart as I would hope for from new council members.

A small percentage of voters voted in this election. I believe there are just over 32,000 registered voters and Showalter received under 7,000.

I would respectfully ask that Pat, Lenny and Ken allow the current council to do their job.


Posted by Rick
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm

To Paul @ Rengstorff Park; Maybe YOU should run for City Council and save this town! Let us know!


Posted by Voter in Mtn View
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 21, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Please listen to the voters, and defer the No Bayshore vote until the new City Council is convened in January. Yes, I am one of those, among many, who elected new council members that are reflective on my strong views on the addition of new housing in Mountain View, and specifically in the North Bayshore area. FYI I do not work for Google, LinkedIn, or Intuit.


Posted by California
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 22, 2014 at 8:13 am

Previously, the current city council did not approve the housing plan on North Bayshore because it did not provide a proper neighborhood, and looked more like a dormitory. How does building "housing only" alleviate traffic congestion when children still need to be driven to school, restaurants are out of reach, groceries still need to be purchased, and errands need to be run...all of which are on the other side of 101? Countless companies and industries have come and gone in Mountain View. What happens in the next downturn or when Google decides to leave Mountain View? If the housing plan were approved now, in the future, we will certainly be stuck with an ill-conceived, out-of-place residential ghost town.


Posted by Smart Growther
a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 22, 2014 at 8:46 am

@California. Your description shows you are unaware of what is being proposed. It is only rental housing and people moving in will be well aware of what the amenities are. If this fails, there will be no ghost town, the rental housing will be removed and another company will set up shop.


Posted by OldTimer
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

The outgoing Councilmembers no doubt see the Precise Plans as their legacy -- never mind that the people have spoken, and the "legacy" is just that: the past. I'm looking forward to a more open, transparent Council!


Posted by NoMoreCongestion
a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Our streets are already clogged up in Mountain View. We building faster than any other city in the area. Can't we take a break from all the building?


Posted by Pathetic
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 22, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Since when is a standing council supposed to kowtow to the council elect? Especially when the council elect doesn't know all the facts. I'm paying the current council members to work, not pass work on to someone else. It's quite simple Pat, Ken and Lenny promised something they knew they couldn't deliver on. Technically they're not lying, that makes the true politicians in my book. Not to mention this council was elected by big outside money, NOT Mountain View voters.


Posted by Been There, Done That
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

@Pathetic -- Get back to us when you get back in touch with reality.


Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 23, 2014 at 5:54 pm

@Pathetic - You are right. The false promise from Lenny, Ken, and Pat was that if we aggressively increase housing construction, prices will be held down, and affordable housing will be delivered. Perhaps none of them said this explicitly, but it was the message conveyed by them, by their supporters, and by a series of slanted articles by Daniel DeBolt. This article continues the push.

Predictions:

The new council will approve new, denser housing developments as fast as possible. Within a few years, we will see 6-story “luxury” apartments in every area permitted by the general plan and precise plans, and we will see some amendments to the precise plans.

Almost certainly, they will alter the North Bayshore Precise Plan as soon as they are in office to include Lenny’s 5,000 new units of housing.

In some cases, existing affordable housing will be removed to make room for redevelopment. A small amount of BMR housing will be budgeted, perhaps at a ratio of 5% of the new “luxury” units. Only a tiny proportion of the new construction will be ownership housing.

Rents and home prices will continue to skyrocket.

Of course, I could be wrong. Lenny, Ken, and Pat now have the opportunity to prove that it won’t be doom and gloom. That would be great! I’d love to see prices go down, new ownership housing built, traffic made less miserable, and neighborhood character preserved.


Posted by Political Insighter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 24, 2014 at 10:39 am

@Concerned Citizen

Continuing with the predictions ....

The mass of luxury apartment development will ensure that residents of Mountain View who are renters continue to enrich the builders of those units and will never become financially self-sufficient members of our community. Eventually, the more economically savvy will leave and become valued residents of other communities.

Mountain View will move aggressively to become the bedroom community for the wealthiest of renters in Palo Alto, which has a much higher jobs/housing imbalance (3/1 vs. Mountain View's 2/1).

Council will either grant all of Google's wishes to build in North Bayshore, or they will start building office on the land that they are acquiring in Sunnyvale and Redwood City. Or both. This will increase the jobs/housing imbalance in those cities and making more customers for Mountain View's high density luxury apartments.

Merlone Geier Phase II will be approved for San Antonio Shopping Center, replacing discount stores with high priced shopping palaces for the mega-wealthy. A Santana Row like development will replace the remainder of the core area, ensuring that average Mountain View residents will need to go to nearby cities to buy more affordable goods.

The NEC (Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition) will observe the scene, grooming its next set of candidates for the 2016 election. A recent report on NPR illustrated that political contributions yield the best returns of any investment vehicle in America today. Great to see that our city is a leader in fueling America's economic engine.


Posted by Internet Savvy
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Nov 24, 2014 at 11:52 am

@Political Insighter

Don't be so glum about the loss of average person's retail at San Antonio Center. Google Shopping Express will come to the rescue. And you won't have to take the Bus Rapid Transit on El Camino Real to get to a brick and mortar store! Your future will be a walkable neighborhood between your front door and the sidewalk in front of your house, where the self-driving car drops off the packages. You, too, can be live the glamorous life of a Google employee, where Google provides all of your needs, cradle to grave.


Posted by Political Insighter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 24, 2014 at 12:20 pm

@ Internet Savvy

Well, that will work just fine, until the Google Shopping Express drivers follow the example of the Facebook bus drivers and start complaining about being paid less than the Googlers who design the self-driving cars. They will unionize, and then Google Shopping Express is no longer affordable. Anyway, I LIKE shopping for my own stuff, at least if I can get it at reasonable prices.


Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

This whole area is home to big economic prosperity that the rest of the U.S. can only dream about.

Building housing and offices above retail is smart and has worked well before the automobile age.


Posted by A resident of THIS community.
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Garrett doesn't live here. It's great that he is telling us what to do with our city.


"Building housing and offices above retail is smart and has worked well before the automobile age."

Oh, yes! And residents in those apartments above retail would toss buckets of crap out of their windows on the street. That worked well!


Posted by A Senior Veteran
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 29, 2014 at 9:23 am

What will it cost the residents of Mountain View to redo the Precise Plan?


Posted by A Senior Veteran
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 29, 2014 at 9:23 am

What will it cost the residents of Mountain View to redo the Precise Plan?


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