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Housing dealt setback in North Bayshore decision

Original post made on May 15, 2015

Through last year's election and a string of subsequent policy decisions, Mountain View officials signaled they wanted to transform North Bayshore's office parks into a viable mixed-use neighborhood a village where tech workers could live, work and shop. By adding thousands of new homes, city officials reasoned they could clamp down on traffic congestion as well as ease the citywide housing shortage.
But is that vision of tech-ville still feasible? Last week's council decision to divide up bonus development rights in North Bayshore could be seen as a big setback to that goal. In a 4-3 vote, council members threw their support behind splitting 2.2 million square feet in office expansion between four sites, none of which were marked for further residential study by the city.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 15, 2015, 10:19 AM

Comments (10)

Posted by Fred
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 15, 2015 at 12:02 pm

"Explaining his thinking behind the decision, Mayor John McAlister said he put a premium on LinkedIn's proposal because it was a strategic gateway location just off Highway 101"

Great, now would someone please explain what exactly that explanation was attempting to explain to us. Ex

Posted by Greg Nelson
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm

This seems a little crazy. Google proposed a housing 'solution' for Mountain View/North Shoreline as a result of their recent rapid worker/office expansion in MV. Yet the City Council seems to have 'postponed' once again North Shoreline housing decisions. However given the poorly written/worded article, it's unclear to me whether the Council made this decision or the mayor on his own.
It is also unclear why LinkedIn's proposal was chosen - 'strategic gateway location' - what the heck is that?
I believe MV residents voted in several 'pro-housing' members recently. This decision seems to fly in the face of the voters' mandate.
As a 25 year resident of MV, all as a renter (now retired) residing in the same apartment complex for 16 years, I have experienced yearly rent increases with another expected shortly, all due to the influx of Googlers.
Why this decision was made with no mention of a housing component resolution being considered or included suggests a distorted reality field having taken hold of those who allegedly govern MV.
And, what about the Shoreline Blvd. traffic gridlock?

Posted by Best not to build at all
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 15, 2015 at 2:24 pm

How about we build nothing, that way we won't hurt the environment, traffic will not get worse and the animals that call that place home can stay. Lets not forget how it will impede our infrastructure that already exits, like our schools, roads, and most of all our quality of life here. And important, all the water that will be used at these sites.

Posted by DDD
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm

@Best not to build at all

You forgot to mention that without more housing, housing prices will continue to rise, and will price more and more residences out.

Posted by EEE
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2015 at 6:00 pm

You forgot to mention that EVEN WITH more housing, housing prices will continue to rise, and will price more and more residences out.

Posted by Mr PC
a resident of Castro City
on May 15, 2015 at 7:13 pm

tough to balance - but balance we must.
people before profit?
both fine companies - i'm sure - but do what is best for mt. views' current residence and make sure there is affordable housing and reasonable business growth and open space and natural space.

Posted by Mr PC
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 15, 2015 at 7:16 pm

My first response was unprintable
Housing - #1 right now.

Posted by James
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 18, 2015 at 1:00 am

There are council members who feel Google is taking over Mountain View so they will oppose anything Google purposes even if it is 100 times better than other proposals for the people living in Mountain View.

You can't have several giant tech companies in your city and despite to avoid becoming a urban place. That is just impossible. If they let people build 10 floor housing projects we can also plan for the infrastructure to support it. If not then Google and others will keep employing more and more people and the process will continue coming like hell which only benefits people who own houses in Mountain View and benefit from process going up. And they give a s*** about people like me who have to pay almost all of their income just for renting old houses in terrible conditions.

Posted by Fred
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 18, 2015 at 10:59 am

How many know that Google had a futuristic plan for north bayshore 10 years ago? Google’s plan included mixed office, shops and housing, integrated natural areas and a monorail system to move people. The City Council bluntly told Google NO! The council's reasoning at the time? If Google imploded, it would likely take little Mountain View down with it.

But Google did not implode. Google’s value 10 years ago was 23 billion. Today, Google’s value is 390 billion. So our City council was not prescient as they had credited themselves a decade ago. The numbers now prove that the Council was spectacularly mistaken in their assessment of Google’s future trajectory. In my opinion the Council did not act prudently 10 years ago but in fact took the politically safe rout of just saying NO. And amazingly we are repeating that same mistake.

It is fair to ask What If? What if Mountain View had permitted Google to go forward with its north bayshore plans 10 years ago. What would our traffic, housing and natural surroundings be like now? We said no to Google 10 years ago because we thought them too small and precarious. Are we saying no to Google now because we find them too big and solid?

The vote to give Linkedin the bulk of the property in question snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. Not only is Linkedin's proposal a “more of the same” concrete catastrophe but Linkedin is now about the size Google was when we deemed them too small and risky. Someone on another thread made the prediction that Linkedin would soon belly up and Google could then move on in. Maybe so, but that's no way to run our City.

Posted by
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 19, 2015 at 11:30 am

"In fact, two other applicants considered last week for North Bayshore office space, Broadreach Capital and the Sobrato Organization, both indicated their proposed buildings would likely be leased to Google."

Can anyone explain to me the logic of granting approval to two developers who are planning to lease to Google, rather than to Google itself? Considering the community benefits offered by Google, including housing in NBS and below market rate housing in the complex they own on Middlefield?

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