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Council puts North Bayshore housing back on the table

Original post made on Feb 3, 2015

At a meeting tonight, the City Council is expected to discuss the possible development a new neighborhood around Google headquarters. The issue of allowing housing in North Bayshore took center stage during last year's council election.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 11:31 AM

Comments (15)

Posted by Canela
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 3, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Some considerations for our now pro-housing city council who seem convinced that more housing is the answer to all our problems.

1. Please do not build houses in North Bay in a vacuum. Residents will need access to other basic services - grocery store, pharmacy, doctor, dentist, barber, post office, gas station, schools, library, parks, to name a few. Without easy access to all these services you risk increasing traffic in an already terribly congested area as people drive back and forth to get what they need. Please think carefully about how to make that area truly livable. Just living close to where you work isn't enough, people need other things as well.

2. Understand that while people may start out living there so they can live close to where they work, over the years that will decrease. People here change jobs often (every 2-3 years) but most will not want to also move their house. So they will be commuting out of that area, not in. Google right now probably has lower turnover than other companies, but no guarantee that will still be true 10 years from now.

3. I hear a lot of talk about "housing imbalance", the notion that we are creating more jobs than housing. I understand the concerns here, but I see a housing imbalance WITHIN the housing imbalance. Right now MV has lots of high-density apartments and condos (Whisman, CA avenue, downtown, along 101), but a real lack of "family-friendly" housing. The proposed new projects will most likely include 1 and 2 bed units, or even micro housing that I hear people discussion. That's all fine and dandy, and will certainly attract more young, mostly single people to relocate here, mostly from the city. But what happens 5-10 years from now when these people want to get married and have children? They will likely want to look for a slightly bigger place (3-bed min), possibly with a yard or at least a decent kids play space nearby. They will still struggle to find housing that meets their needs and will end up keeping their family in a small apartment, or will pay dearly for a single family home or family-friendly townhome to either buy or rent. The cost of those types of housing units will still continue to climb to ridiculous heights. I don't see building more apartments as lowing the cost of housing, but merely as kicking the can down the road when we'll face a similar problem 10 years from now.

It's pretty clear there's no room for more single family homes, so sooner or later we'll hit the wall again on housing.

Many seem to think that more building will solve all our housing needs, and I've tried very hard to follow that logic, but I just don't agree. The cost of certain types of housing will STILL be out of reach for many in this area.

Is the answer to then also build more family-friendly housing in North Bay to support the variety of people who want to live here through the years (not just young singles)? Maybe. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I really, really hope our council members are thinking through all these issues before we build ourselves into further problems.

I am not a NIMBY, I'm just not buying the "build more, lower the cost of housing" argument. Seems the only ones winning from building more are the developers (who probably live in Los Altos Hills or Portola Valley - no building going on in their neighborhoods, by the way.)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 3, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Yay, great news!

I hope that the city council avoids micromanaging the development too much, and allows people to build however densely as needed, and allow for shops, restaurants, and other services. It would suck to have a housing island away from any supporting services, especially over the congested Shoreline/101 overpass.

Posted by Local
a resident of Jackson Park
on Feb 3, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Is Google planning an opening a private elementary school? If not, where would those kids go to school...The closest elementary school: Theuerkauf? I don't think so.

Posted by Observer
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Feb 3, 2015 at 4:39 pm

OMG, that crazy "kill the cats" lady's head is going to explode

Posted by Robert
a resident of Slater
on Feb 3, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Robert is a registered user.

Canela has stated my feelings on this issue quite well, as has Local. Will this new council also re-open the discussion of adding at least two bridges over Stevens Creek into Moffett? Connecting to Moffett will double the entrances and exits from Bayshore from three to six, adding Moffett, Ellis and Mathilda/237. The current council is rushing headlong into a planned disaster.

Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Feb 3, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

Robert of Slater, are you in favor of more NB connectivity? I can't tell from your post whether you think opening entrances and exits to NB is a good or a bad thing.

Posted by svsportz
a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 3, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Canela, what is YOUR solution? it is easy to write about the problems. What's the solution? We have to do something beneficial and not ignore the issue. More and more words without a plan for a solution is just words.

Posted by DDD
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2015 at 9:45 pm

I don't get the hate against developers. Everyone who lives in a home has their home built by...wait for it...a developer! So everyone who's not homeless has a developer to thank for their housing.

I don't work in or make money off real estate so you can't accuse me of bias here.

Posted by John B
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm

I work in Mountain View and am currently renting here. I had been considering buying in Mountain View as well. The kind of privilege and arrogance that comes through in many of the views of current Mountain View residents have caused me to cross Mountain View off my list. Mountain View is not a healthy community, and it is not a community I want to be a part of.

Posted by Canela
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 4, 2015 at 8:33 am

@John B

Arrogance? Privileged? Really? How is anything anyone has written on this board arrogant? Mountain View is a wonderful community full of wonderful people. I am actively involved in and volunteer my time everyday to help and support members of this community. Very kind and diverse people. I love MV so much that I am asking people to consider carefully decisions that would bring such massive change to the town I love. How is that arrogant? And don't even get me started on comparing MV to many of our neighboring cities (LA, PA, MP, the hills etc) on a scale of arrogance.

I wish you luck in your new community and hope you find what you're looking for there.

Posted by Patrick
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Feb 4, 2015 at 9:35 am

I am happy that the current city council is respecting the wishes of the voters and revisiting the issue.

Allowing a glut of new office space without allowing housing to compliment it will just mean more people commuting into Mountain View from outside of the city, adding more cars to already congested highways and surface roads. It will also mean that hard-working people won't be able to live close to work since it would only be affordable to those who make extraordinary salaries.

If people are able to live close to where they work, they can rely on more walking/biking/public transportation. Voters seem to agree that more housing will help balance the working/residential population to fix congestion problems and make housing affordable for those working in the city. If Google itself wants to build housing around its HQ, then why not let them? They get it.

Posted by The people for this
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 4, 2015 at 11:18 am

The people for this don't realize we have traffic issues daily and our infrastructure can not handle it. I guess they want use to build build build until no one can move anymore or get around. And if this drought wares on, we won't have enough water for all. So whats the solution svsportz asks,

The solution to keep Mt. View beautiful is not to build.

Posted by Robert
a resident of Slater
on Feb 4, 2015 at 11:42 am

Robert is a registered user.

In response to Greg's question, I am against housing in North Bayshore, but if the new council is going to rush headlong into this issue, and allow it to happen, then they should/must allow more options for access to and from the area. Housing in North Bayshore will only lead to more traffic congestion at the current choke points.
Ask yourself if you would be happy to live over a landfill, or in an area that would be subject to liquefaction during a major earthquake. Standards for housing are much stricter than for businesses. We all know about the Burrowing Owl's living there, but how many remember the big concern over development's impact on the Red Bellied Harvest Mouse?
Good planning and community development is not politically driven. The latest council election does not invalidate common sense, which appears to be in short supply today.

Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm

I hope we find a way to NOT build housing in this area.

Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 4, 2015 at 3:17 pm

A balanced plan is what is called for.

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