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Mountain View council balks at developer's proposed 'public benefits'

Original post made on Jul 6, 2017

The insatiable need for more housing was enough to win approvals for a 211-unit apartment project that will go up along Mountain View's crowded El Camino Real corridor. But the City Council rejected the developer's ideas for what would constitute required public benefits of the project.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 6, 2017, 10:18 AM

Comments (36)

97 people like this
Posted by frustrated
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 6, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Although I recognize the need for housing, this appears to be a vicious cycle for more jobs and then more housing and then more jobs. Notionally more jobs are good but after living in MV for 20 years, I find myself not being able to travel around 20 unless I plan for 20-25min delay at times.

MV is going to have to decide if we want to be an office-complex driven city, or a city to live in.



70 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 6, 2017 at 2:47 pm

@frustrated, you are so right. The problem with all the new jobs is that they don't go to locals but instead to people brought in from far away expressly for the purpose of filling them. This is utterly unsustainable.


141 people like this
Posted by Rossta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 6, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Rossta is a registered user.

Again, our city council is replacing space that provides services to the community with an increased demand for services. Not mentioned is that the project also eliminates a car wash - so none left in MV - have to drive to Sunnyvale for that. Losing a restaurant while adding 400+ more hungry mouths. Losing a hotel - something we already have a shortage of.

I will take small consolation that the council didn't accept the developer's lame excuse for community benefit. Better to get this in cash for the city to decide upon, lest we are left with something like at the El Camino Real corner of Mariposa, a grand apartment entrance that was billed as something like a $1MM community benefit? Who, outside of the residents will ever use that? Developers only look out for themselves. They have already detracted immensely from our city.

The apparent solution to our housing shortage seems to be to make it so no one wants to live here anymore.


133 people like this
Posted by Ramone
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Open the 5th floor dog park to everybody. Nice view from up there I bet.


5 people like this
Posted by D. Moore
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2017 at 3:35 pm

@Rossta - where does it say anything about losing a car wash? (Lozano's). The properties at stake are the Indian restaurant and Hotel Aria both across Del Medio Ave from the car wash.


11 people like this
Posted by SukwinderDixit
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 6, 2017 at 4:14 pm

SukwinderDixit is a registered user.

Just as long as that Taco Bell down the street stays open I'm cool


16 people like this
Posted by Why destroy our home?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2017 at 6:16 pm

This city is overcrowded with everyone from everywhere but mt view! I live within a mile of the hospital and it is usually a 20 min drive. Used to be 5. There is no more community vibe here. With the immense homeless situation, traffic and no community how can we reelect these flunkies. This council gives no thought into future quality of life. Pure greed and tackiness. What a place to call home. The corner of grant and el Camino is starting to rival 13th and Oakland streets in San Jose. So sad to see our home become a victim of greed. BTW, Google and Facebook, Ohio has tons of land to be developed and lots of Americans looking for work.


3 people like this
Posted by Alan L
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jul 6, 2017 at 6:29 pm

The population growth, and all the lifestyle destruction that would come from it was known years and years ago, and you fools didn't do a thing about it. What's more, you're not doing anything about it now---It will only get worse, greedy little baby makersw!


15 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 6, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Do I understand right that these are apartments for rent? Can't we avoid more apartments for rent and make houses, and townhouses that are sold to families?


10 people like this
Posted by Diablo
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 6, 2017 at 9:42 pm

Every single project should be evaluated with traffic weighted as highly as affordable housing, jobs/housing balance, community benefits, etc. Traffic comes up most often with respect to NBS expansion, but not much serious discussion otherwise. What about San Antonio, Rengstorff, Central, etc, etc!?

I don't know how much density city leaders think this part of town can absorb, with San Antonio phase II about to come online, and apartment complex after complex being erected along San Antonio and El Camino. The leaders voting for all these projects obviously don't have to live with the consequences (ie don't live in this part of town).


1 person likes this
Posted by jody lee
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 7, 2017 at 10:35 am

[Post removed; keep it civil.]


8 people like this
Posted by Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 7, 2017 at 9:49 pm

No, don't. Build townhouses. Build condos. You get families and future rentals, without the predatory front-office staff.

Also, we should be building higher than 5 stories on a major road. Make the ground floor into retail, food, etc.


15 people like this
Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Jul 9, 2017 at 6:56 am

NO MORE RENTAL UNITS. Our city council seems to rubber stamp these projects despite their token objections to details. To build a vibrant community, you need residents with a sense of OWNERSHIP. You don't get that with renters.


4 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2017 at 4:01 pm

@Alex

Housing costs are so high that people buy condos and townhouses and immediately rent out every corner so that renters can help pay off the ridiculous mortgage. We need to build high-density housing both for rent and for sale and drive down costs enough that renters can save up a down payment and then actually buy their own place for themselves.


4 people like this
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Darin is a registered user.

FWIW, a number of rental units were recently torn down and rebuilt as townhomes in our neighborhood. And the rental units on another property were torn down, and are being rebuilt as row houses right now. So individually owned homes are being built.


Like this comment
Posted by Kristine
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 11, 2017 at 5:18 pm

with podium construction a developer could easily build a seven story building with similar cost per sq ft. Considering the hassle and cost for every lot it would add up to quite a bit cheaper on average. We need to use every tactic possible to bring housing market to sanity level.


6 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2017 at 6:58 pm

Stop the building. Why not telecommute?
Our quality life is eroded by each new high density building. Enough is enough. There is not enough water, infrastructure nor local resident desire for more hordes to invade the area. And don't forget the spare the air days. And lack of parking and patience for bicyclists blocking turning lanes. Enough is enough, or too much.


4 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 7:10 pm

Bringing in more people from anywhere in the world - existing residents be damned - is consistent with the guiding principles adopted recently by the City Council majority (5-2). They say favoring existing residents over foreigners is a form of "bigotry" not to be tolerated. It is, get this, evil "NATIVISM." The only valid basis for distinguishing among would-be residents, some may imagine, is how much money they have and will bring in. Even Russian mobsters are welcome in this city. Isis fighters. North Korean traveling salesmen. Thai sex traffickers. Come one, come all.


2 people like this
Posted by Et tu Brute
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2017 at 7:25 pm


Expecting city council members to act in the best interests of the residents of the city should be fundamental.

I am SO out of here.


10 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Hahaha, thanks, Gary, for making your side of the argument look completely ridiculous, yet again. No wonder you keep losing. By the way, how'd parcel tax campaign go?


2 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 8:04 pm

@LOL. You are funny. And evidently incapable of articulating a defense of your (city council) principles. Do you imagine not discriminating based what country a would-be resident is from is only fair? Is it the same as not discriminating based on where someone was born? It is not. But why think LOL. Just keep mouthing off anonymously. Maybe the Russian mob will even support you as a candidate.


6 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2017 at 8:21 pm

I take it the parcel tax campaign didn't go so well?

Your inability to string together coherent sentences probably plays a significant role in why you keep losing. Take some time to think about your posts before feverishly mashing your keyboard.


Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 8:35 pm

@LOL. You have not made a coherent point. But maybe you think you are "winning" in a Donald Trump kind of way.


6 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2017 at 8:44 pm

You have yet to make an actual argument. Please try again. No wonder we got that parcel tax.


Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 9:17 pm

The parcel tax was peanuts. That is why it passed. Two-thirds of registered voters skipped the election completely. But LOL, I have a stock tip for you and/or your clients (if that is your line of work). Exxon stock will soar when your President and Secretary of State announce the resumption of the oil-drilling deal with Russia. Buy now.


6 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2017 at 9:35 pm

Can you stay on topic for more than two sentences at a time? Yet again, I thank you for making your side look ridiculous.


Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 12, 2017 at 3:45 pm

@LOL. You "win" Donald. You have made no argument at all on any topic. You just keep posting babble. It reminds me of a conman who called at radio show in New York to boast about Donald Trump. It was Trump himself pretending to be someone else. LOL.


4 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 12, 2017 at 4:43 pm

C'mon, Gary, your posting here has made it quite clear you're a Trump voter. This is a safe space, you can admit it here. Being a Republican isn't a crime, just ill-advised ;-).

Thanks again for showing your inability to stay on-topic, however. All the way from housing to an anecdote about your preferred presidential candidate...


Like this comment
Posted by Density
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2017 at 11:41 pm

Tbe state density bonus doesn't give the council a choice. They can zone it for a 4 story building but with a piddling number of affordable units the developer can jack up his profits and get 100 units per acre rising 5 stories and each renting for the same price as if it were only 75 units per acre and 4 stories in height.

As for the dog park, well, at least the residents' pets will be safe from coyotes. This is no small consideration.

I don't like the density either, but the blame lies with state laws that REDUCE the number of affordable units that Mountain View would otherwise require.


3 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2017 at 5:44 pm

"Residents' pets will be safe from coyotes". All wildlife will be gone.
Our quality of life is degraded every day.
It is shameful to treat the people who made this place enjoyable this way. We are more like a third world nation with crumbling infrastructure, insufficient natural resources and no peace and quiet.


Like this comment
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2017 at 6:01 pm

@Robyn

What's shameful is your attempts to pull the ladder up in Mountain View and prevent any growth to accommodate the next generation of workers and citizens in the Bay Area. Mountain View is not a gated community off in some sleepy corner of the bay. It's in ground zero of Silicon Valley, one of the hottest economic zones in the world. You're in the worst possible place to want to stop growth.


Like this comment
Posted by Doug
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2017 at 9:57 pm

The article mentions that a few council members were disappointed about the 5% affordable units in this project, which is 1/2 what local zoning would require for this project. If City Council didn't like that, why did they ultimately vote for the proposal?

Does the state law used by the developer to get more density require them to only provide 5% affordable, or could developer offer more of these units if they want to? Just because the developer uses state law to bypasses the local density rules doesn't mean they _have_ to ignore the local 10% affordable rules, right?

Or if Council had to vote yes on this because the developer used the state law, then why even go through the motions of reviewing the proposal?


3 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Dear YIMBY,
I have lived here over 25 years and seen the steady decline in the quality of life, mostly a lack of privacy and gross congestion. Responsible growth is tolerable but trying to see how many sardines can fit in a can is too much. We are at or near capacity now.
When the interest rates go up and the builders/developers default on their loans, who will be left holding the bag? The residents and taxpayers. We have been down this road before. Look at the expensive wasteland in downtown Sunnyvale. And they continue to build condos and apartments where sleeping people's heads are a few yards from speeding cars along crowded Mathilda.
We can agree to disagree.


Like this comment
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2017 at 4:44 pm

We are not at capacity. We are suffering decades of NIMBY efforts to oppose upgrading infrastructure to support a growing population. We could have had BART ringing the Bay Area in the 80s if not for the same old NIMBY song and dance, and now instead we have clogged roads.

Families are forced out of the Bay Area every day because housing costs finally hit a breaking point. California is steadily seeing a new generation of long-term renters because saving up for any form of property ownership is becoming more and more difficult. Your concerns are solely focused on yourself while everyone else suffers.


3 people like this
Posted by Too much
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 17, 2017 at 5:05 pm

Please, no more rentals!

The complex at Castro and El Camino, Castro and central expressway, San Antonio center, along middlefield, each one has hundreds of units. When the economy goes down, yes it does, remember SGI, Sun Microsystems? Our city will be an empty shell.


2 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Yeah, remember when SGI went under and everyone left Mountain View, never to return again?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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