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Council OKs North Bayshore plan for offices only

Original post made on Nov 26, 2014

In a meeting Tuesday night, City Council members were compelled to justify their approval of a North Bayshore precise plan without the housing that, according to some observers, voters sought this month by electing three new members who clearly favor North Bayshore housing.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 2:00 PM

Comments (42)

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 26, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I find it hilarious that when writing about Mayor Clark's comments, Debolt says:

"he and other neglected to mention that things had changed: that the city's balance between jobs and housing was not much of public concern until this year, a conversation driven by the skyrocketing rents and activism all over the Bay Area, including members of Mountain View's Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View."


Especially in light of the fact that the Voice barely even mentioned most of the candidates running for Council except, coincidentally, the ones the endorsed; and spiked articles written by other candidates on the issue even though there is nothing in the terms of use that says that candidates are not permitted to do so.

On at least 3 separate occasions, the Voice failed to contact me for important issues because they "accidentally" sent it to the wrong email address. I can understand that happening once, but for it to happen in two consecutive campaigns, I think that one has to assume that it is either deliberate or due to extreme incompetence.

In 2012, the Voice highlighted the fact that we could possibly have our first openly gay Council Member, but somehow neglected to mention that I was the first Black Man to EVER run for City Council and if elected, would have been the first Black person ever to serve on the Council. The Voice forgot to mention it again this year too. They forgot to mention that I was the only candidate that had no special interest money at all and no special interest endorsements when they did their article about outside money. The only reason that I mention all these things is because I want to say that when it comes to leaving information out, in my opinion the Voice can teach a PhD course on how to do it and has no room to complain.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


Posted by Lame ducks
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 26, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Sounds like the lame duck council members want to take some last minute shots at the incoming council members. Pretty silly. The election made it clear that the no-growthers are in the minority and the majority want smart growth.


Posted by Been There, Done That
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 26, 2014 at 4:29 pm

"'I'm proud of what we've done,' said Abe-Koga, who took issue with statements from the three new members that the 'voters have spoken' in support of North Bayshore housing. 'One election that had lower voter turnout is not a mandate in any way,' she said, echoing other members."

Talk about burning your bridges when you leave -- no, make that nuking your bridges...


Posted by Doubtful
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Nice that Siegel always seems to get the last word - even the "day after the meeting". The Specific Plan for North Bayshore that was passed last night is pretty complicated and needed several CEQA overrides. If he thinks he can throw 5,000 homes on top of that something tells me there might be a few court dates in his future.


Posted by captain howdy
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm

What I find hilarious is that many of you think no one else was there at the meeting and we have to take your descriptions as gospel. In fact I was in the same row as Jim who was on the "stage left" with some lady and Lenny was in front of use about 1/3 of the way back and more or less in the center.

Jim. Give it up. It's not about you. Spamming your photo all over town square on a daily basis you think no one knows you are black?

Please give it a rest. You finished dead last in a race with some of the worst voter turnout in history


Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Actually many people do not know that I am Black. You'd be surprised. Also, when you're running for office, it really helps to have your name and picture out there so people at least know who you are, but it doesn't guarantee that you will win. If you have a problem with people posting their pictures with articles, then complain to the Voice, they are the ones that designed the site.

As far as giving it a rest, many Black people marched and died so the rest of us would be able to speak up and speak out.

In my opinion, the Voice went out of it's way to leave out vital information about many of the candidates, and in doing so did a great disservice to the electorate and for them to complain that the Council omitted information in the comments they made is the height of hypocrisy. I used relevant examples to point that out.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View



Posted by Oh no
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 26, 2014 at 8:48 pm

I sincerely hope Lenny doesn't become the next Steve (look to the MVWSD school board if you don't know what I'm talking about). Please, you all must find a way to work together or nothing gets done. I'm fine with the no housing in North Bayshore plan because no one seems to have a clue about how to put housing out there along with the necessary amenities like schools, clinics, groceries, etc.


Posted by my sweet dog
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 26, 2014 at 9:05 pm

while we are at it, let's just fill in the bay...


Posted by North Bayshore Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 27, 2014 at 8:33 am

I was proud to see Christine Cray, one of the leaders in our North Bayshore housing community, set the record straight about housing in North Bayshore. Here's some facts that you won't read in the Voice:

Fact: Candidates opposed to more housing in North Bayshore did better in North Bayshore itself than in any other precinct.

Fact: Lisa Matichak, who opposed housing in North Bayshore, came in first in our precinct.

Why? Wouldn't those of us want our community to have a school and a grocery store on our side of 101? Of course, if it were more than just a lot of election hooey to get the votes of people who don't live here and haven't got a clue what is possible up here. Why would Google give up its land for a grocery store when it gives meals to its employees for free? Why would a grocery store work here financially when all of the businesses around Pear Avenue are failing due to Google freebies?

Thank God the council passed the precise plan! And thank God there are candidates like Lisa Matichak, who listen to us and advocate for what we need in our area. Sorry you didn't win, Lisa. I hope I get another chance to vote for you in 2016!


Posted by Is Dark Money A Mandate?
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2014 at 8:38 am

Lennie Siegel appears to think he has a voters' mandate to jam 5,000 homes into North Bayshore. With the amount of Dark Money that flooded into the campaign on his behalf - that he claims no knowledge of - I and several speakers at the Council meeting see something more ominous than a mandate. Have Mountain View Council elections just been turned into Big Money affairs that distort local issues? Once the source of the money is disclosed it will be interesting to observe just how independent of their objectives Mr. Siegel will be.


Posted by TV Watcher
a resident of Jackson Park
on Nov 27, 2014 at 8:49 am

I watched the council proceedings on TV. Another fact missed by Mr. DeBolt in his article: of the 13 people who spoke for public input, 8 supported the precise plan with no housing in North Bayshore, while 4 supported Lenny Siegel's call for a delay. (One other talked about something else.) The four speaking for the delay were bicycle advocate John Carpenter, two union organizers who thought they would get more work, and Lenny himself. On the other hand, real estate directors John Igoe from Google and Jim Morgensen from LinkedIn supported the plan. Why is Google supporting the plan if they want more housing in North Bayshore? Has Lenny Siegel even talked to Google about what Google's plans are?


Posted by Goes to Meetings
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Nov 27, 2014 at 9:00 am

@ TV Watcher

I was there at the meeting in the audience. Interesting that while Lenny Siegel always gets in the line to speak for Ken Rosenberg and Pat Showalter, they never seem to be there with him to back him up. I'm guessing they have their own minds and will form their own judgments on the issues after they are sworn in.


Posted by Oh yes
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 27, 2014 at 9:04 am

@ Oh no

Oh, yes. Lenny is on a path to be the next Steve Nelson or Greg Perry. Lenny, change course while you still have a chance! Mountain View needs leaders, not demagogues!


Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Nov 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Housing will happen in North Bayshore. The voters have spoken. Jac Siegel asks where the pro-housing people were two years ago. Well, I didn't realize how bad the housing market and traffic was getting, and how City Council had plans to exaxerbate the problems rather than mitigate them, in time to speak at hearings two years ago. That doesn't mean my fellow housing advocates and I should be dismissed now. When you're heading towards an iceberg, it's never too late to listen to someone telling you to change course. We should thank City Council and staff for their hard word on the General Plan, and make the transition to housing as smooth as possible.


Posted by Mobile Home Owner
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Lisa won the NBS mobile home park precinct bc some of her supporters went negative in that area (the only negative campaigning in the whole election). She never publicly rejected or denounced the flyers passed in her name as inaccurate. To me, Lisa encourages negative campaigning and will never earn my vote.

Shame on her. She deserved to lose bc she inaccurately portrayed her record. If she runs again, she will lose again bc the truth is now out.


Posted by Don
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 27, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Margaret Abe-Koga spent 7 years on the VTA Board setting up the public for disastrous bus-only lanes on the way. Maybe the VTA will name the lanes or the new buses after Abe-Koga so she can keep her name out there until Joe Simitian retires from her rightful seat on the County Board of Supervisors. No. Abe-Koga will now "lay low" on the bus-only lanes.


Posted by Yup
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 28, 2014 at 4:48 am

Current council's true colors are really showing now. When they are nearly termed out they won't listen to reason. I hope none of these people find more work in the public sector, they don't deserve it. That includes Chris Clark and his comment that the incoming council members should fall in line, rather than the voters and resident's desires.

It's idiotic. If the plan has us walking off a cliff, I guess we keep walking because it's a plan and it's impossible for them to listen to reason, or accept new information. No wait, let's speed it up!

If only we could force these losers out sooner.


Posted by Voice of Experience
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 28, 2014 at 6:06 am

Well, I live in Mike Kasperzak's neighborhood, and Mike has been on the council for 14 years now. He's been through the whole discussion of this from before they started the General Plan. Here's what Mike told the Mercury News:

"Lenny Siegel's vision for 5000 residences, a school, shops and park there isn't viable. Even if some housing is allowed, the land would be too expensive for a school."

Too bad the Voice doesn't think it's worth quoting what our most experienced council person has to say on this. I guess when it comes to news, you get what you pay for.


Posted by Democrat
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Nov 28, 2014 at 6:11 am

Yeah, Mike has been on the council longer than FDR was president. Heard he's thinking of running for state assembly. At least the council has one democrat we can trust!


Posted by Republican
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 28, 2014 at 6:20 am

Wait a minute. I thought Kasperzak was a Republican:

Web Link


Posted by Baxman
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 28, 2014 at 9:09 am

Baxman is a registered user.

Kasperzak was a Republican...but then the party went too far to the right. It's happened to many Republicans. Most just go "independent" or "decline to state" for their party preference.


Posted by A Senior Veteran
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

Does anyone know what it will cost to change the precise plan. I understand Mountain View has been working on this plan for years?


Posted by North Bayshore Businessman
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 28, 2014 at 9:21 am

@ Jim Neal

Jim, I'm sorry that that Voice never gave you a fair shot at getting your story out. You deserve to be on council after all of your hard work trying to help us keep our businesses afloat. Keep on speaking up for the little guy against the big money interests.


Posted by North Bayshore Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 28, 2014 at 9:54 am

@ Mobile Home Owner

You need to schedule some face time with Christine. I'm sorry you didn't attend the meeting when Lisa laid down the facts.

Don't believe everything you read in the Voice. Lisa has a strong record in support of homeowners, not messing with zoning, voting for good developments and challenging the bad ones. Some council members are "torn" when a chance comes replace our last affordable housing in Mountain View with more high density luxury apartments that average people can't afford.

Web Link

We need people like Lisa on the council who will stand up for homeowners. I don't want to end up like Buena Vista in Palo Alto:

Web Link

Please wake up and get with our leadership while there is still time.


Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 28, 2014 at 2:06 pm

The SJ Mercury covered this story in today’s editions, both print and online. The online and print articles differ somewhat, but both are written in a much more impartial and “reportorial” style than Daniel DeBolt’s.

Unfortunately, Mr. DeBolt has consistently been more advocate than reporter, when dealing with the question of housing in North Bayshore.

For example, here are the first sentences:

Voice article:

“In a meeting Tuesday night, City Council members were compelled to justify their approval of a North Bayshore precise plan without the housing that, according to some observers, voters sought this month by electing three new members who clearly favor North Bayshore housing.”

Mercury print edition:

“The city council approved a new development plan for the North Bayshore area - but without the homes that some critics say it should include.”

Mercury online edition:

“Mountain View has a new development plan for the North Bayshore area, and homes aren't part of it.”

In DeBolt’s next sentence, he tries to create a narrative:

“Between 1,100 and 5,000 units of housing are expected to be added to the plan after the three new members take office in January, replacing the three vocal opponents of North Bayshore housing on the council...”

The Mercury articles say it this way:

“But how long the precise plan remains intact is uncertain.”

The Merc online article is here: Web Link Take a look, and compare it to the Voice article, above.

Actually, I won’t be too surprised if the council goes ahead and rewrites the precise plan as soon as they get into office. However, that would be fairly radical behavior for a newly-elected council with a debatable “mandate”. It’s not at all a certainty, as DeBolt’s narrative would have us believe.


Posted by Works with Jeremy
a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

@ North Bayshore Resident

Google build a brick and mortar grocery store in North Bayshore? Anyone hear of a little idea we have at Google called Google Shopping Express? Why would we at Google support an idea from the Stone Age that is also our competition?


Posted by GSE
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 28, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Wait, Google Shopping Express is competing against Brick & Mortar stores and believes that those businesses are in the stone age?

Lazy people order products and food on Google Shopping Express.
Google sends an army of automobiles to go to Target, Walgreens, Whole Foods and other Brick & Mortar stores.
The drivers get out and walk through the aisles to select the items for the buyer.
They place the products into big, thick paper bags with cardboard supports. (Sorry trees!)
They get back into their automobiles with the bags and drive over to the buyer's home.
The driver drops the pile of paper bags at the front door of the buyer.

Where exactly is the innovation? They are so completely reliant on Brick & Mortar, I now agree that putting housing over in E. Bayshore is a very bad idea. This service will be adding even more traffic if we had thousands of housing units there.

BTW, it just seems that Google has implemented a service at an economic loss to prevent or delay Amazon Local from getting a foothold. 2-3 years down the road and Google will pull the plug from this service like it has with so many others. Enjoy it while you can, but can't see why it's existence should affect community decisions.


Posted by Grocery
a resident of another community
on Nov 29, 2014 at 12:34 am

I'm sure the Safeway in the Bailey Park Plaza could use the business from a few thousand residential units nearby just north of 101. The shopping center for that area doesn't need to be in NBS any more than the movie theaters for downtown Mountain View need to be in downtown Mountain View. No, they are up in NBS. In this case the distance is pretty trivial. A lot of the patrons of that Safeway travel similar distances. Consider the 3 Safeway locations in MV. You'll see that the Bailey Park one could use more residences within its "sphere".


Posted by Voice of Reason
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 29, 2014 at 8:43 am

@ Grocery

I'm sure you are right, that the Bailey Park Safeway would like more customers. But the reason why people talked about having services in North Bayshore is because of the lack of connectivity. There are only three ways to get in and out (Shoreline, Rengstorff, and San Antonio) and Shoreline is at capacity at peak times, with the others close to follow.

Adding residential housing in North Bayshore severely complicates the issue of managing the traffic in and out of the area. Right now, most of the traffic is produced by a few businesses with many employees. These businesses have signed up to a program that limits their development when the number of vehicles entering and leaving reaches a certain number (the trip cap).

But individual residences are far less motivated to sign up to such a system. It's not even clear whether you could restrict vehicle travel by residents (for example, by renting apartments there only to people with no driver's license.)

It's just really hard for me to see Google signing up to build homes on its land that are going to work against them meeting their own development goals. The best case for them would be to build "residence inn" style apartments there and use them for short term stays, instead of renting out large blocks at Madera and Park Place. Call it an apartment, but it's really a hotel, and the city gets cut out of the hotel tax. And hotels are already a permitted use under the new precise plan.


Posted by Dave
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm

All existing and incoming members of the city council are homeowners rolling in equity. Renters should expect nothing but higher home prices and higher rents. A few units of "affordable housing" amount to a drop in the bucket and political chicanery.


Posted by Political Insighter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm

@ Dave

Well, it's not for a lack of renters as candidates in the last election. There were three candidates who were running as renters, so in a city where most of the adults are renters, the voters could have elected three renters to the council if they had wanted to. The renters came in last, second to last, and fourth to last.

Although, you could make the point that only Jim Neal was the kind of renter you were looking to support, as the others had personal or family real estate holdings in the millions, and so wouldn't fit the bill as a typical renters.

The bottom line is most renters are struggling to get by, and council only pays $1000 / month, making it less than minimum wage. Under the circumstances, it makes sense that the wealthy will end up winning the seats and making the decisions for the rest of the city. You get what you pay for. Mountain View finds the money to pay six figure salaries and big pensions to city staff, but only a pittance to council, and nothing to commissioners and committee members. I don't see the equity there.


Posted by Home Owner
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 29, 2014 at 1:50 pm

@ Dave

Hey, Dave, not all homeowners are looking to push their equity to the max, and wreck the community in the process. My wife and I don't have any children or any rental properties so the only thing increasing our equity will do is increase our property taxes. We are older people who are recent home buyers, so we don't have a Prop 13 discount either, so the 2% increase per year isn't cheap for us. So, we don't the prices to collapse, in case we get sick and have to sell the place, but we don't want it to go up either. Don't put everyone in the same bucket.


Posted by Greg Nelson
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 30, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Sounds like our remaining Council members are a tad testy, having been slapped in their faces by voters by their job creation at-all-costs endeavors recently.
Outgoing and continuing Council members don't yet seem to have 'gotten' the voters message.

Is there a recall procedure for non-responsive Council members in the City Charter? Sounding like it may be necessary, given their voter-be-damned attitude.


Posted by Greg Nelson
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 30, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Sounds like our remaining Council members are a tad testy, having been slapped in their faces by voters by their job creation at-all-costs endeavors recently.
Outgoing and continuing Council members don't yet seem to have 'gotten' the voters message.

Is there a recall procedure for non-responsive Council members in the City Charter? Sounding like it may be necessary, given their voter-be-damned attitude.


Posted by Greg Nelson
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Sounds like our remaining Council members are a tad testy, having been slapped in their faces by voters by their job creation at-all-costs endeavors recently.
Outgoing and continuing Council members don't yet seem to have 'gotten' the voters message.

Is there a recall procedure for non-responsive Council members in the City Charter? Sounding like it may be necessary, given their voter-be-damned attitude.


Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 1, 2014 at 9:49 am

@ Greg Nelson

Seriously? You would recall council members that have only 6 weeks left on their term?


Posted by Greg
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 1, 2014 at 8:41 pm

I think he was talking about recalling about recalling the other three. You have to be pretty tone deaf to vote for massive office development after the last election.


Posted by A Senior Veteran
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 3, 2014 at 9:55 am

Just a reminder of the vote totals
From The Voice:
Showalter topped all the candidates with 16.57 percent of the vote. Rosenberg held 14.79 percent and Siegel had 13.31 percent.

Still asking what it is going to cost Mountain View to redo tbe Precise Plan?


Posted by Hey Vet
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 3, 2014 at 11:23 am

What's your point? That the top 3 didn't get a big enough margin of victory? This election result was diluted by having 9 candidates!


Posted by Senior Veterans Against Math
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm

@A Senior Veteran, To get the percentage of people voting for each candidate, you can basically multiply those numbers by 3, since voters were given three votes each.


Posted by A Senior Veteran
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 4, 2014 at 7:58 am

@Senior Veterans Against Math

OK I did what you said multiplied the numbers by 3 and got 134%? What?

But your basic argument is with the Voice since I got those figures directly from that them.

And yes my point is Lenny got about 5,000 votes and only 32,000 people voted.

Please remember you have the right to post your thoughts here because of American Veterans.

I will never forget that Lenny was in SDS during the Vietnam war. SDS was a radical anti-American organization which promoted the nastiness shown towards soldiers returning home.

Lenny is this you? Feels like the same kind of nastiness.


Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 4, 2014 at 9:23 am

These figures are updated from my earlier post on another thread:

The population of MV is around 78,000 (census estimate for 2013). 19.7% are under age 18. That means a voting age population of around 62,634.

46% of residents are registered voters - that's 35,880.

About 15,793 votes were cast in this election by MV residents (sum of Yes and No votes on Measure A).

Lenny Siegel was the candidate who personified the idea that we should ramp up building, to address the jobs/housing imbalance. Lenny received 5673 votes.

5673 voters = about 9% of the voting age population.
5673 voters = 16% of the registered voters.
5673 voters = 36% of those who actually voted in this election.

That's not really a "mandate". However, it is a clear demonstration that with a core group of active supporters, plus a dedicated months-long promotion effort by the Voice, enough votes could be mustered to win, in an election where only 24% of the voting-age population bothered to vote.


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