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Council embraces 447-unit East Whisman housing project

Original post made on Apr 19, 2018

Mountain View City Council members rolled out the welcome mat for the first of many high-density housing projects expected to transform the city's East Whisman tech park into a mixed-use neighborhood with thousands of new homes.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 19, 2018, 1:54 PM

Comments (44)

Posted by Dan Shane
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Our neighbors are very concerned about the high-density housing project and how it will impact the surrounding area's traffic, pollution, noise and general quality of life. We lived a neighborhood (Moffett/Whisman Planning Area) near this project that was zoned medium density. The General Plan was amended again to jump from a medium density to high density population that will greatly impact the quality of life. A high-density project known as 555 West Middlefield Road will immediately impact communities on Cypress Point Drive and Middlefield Road. When these projects are planned independently of each other they do not look so bad. But when you look at all of them together, holistically, you can see how detrimental the sum of these high-density projects are on our communities and society as a whole. That is why we have a well-thought out General Plan for future planning of commercial and residential building to preserve the quality of life for its community members. If this is the intention of our city counsel, why not make the whole city high-density and throw out the General Plan?


Posted by Doug McIlwraith
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 19, 2018 at 3:27 pm

I agree. The original plan "jumped" from some 250 dwelling units (DUs) to 447 DUs by the time it arrived in front of City Council, while the 4-6 story restriction, too, fell by the wayside. Summerhill Homes implied that the project was unfeasible within the original framework, yet was eager to pursue the project anyway, before nearly doubling the DUs. It took Council 2+ hours to wade through their concerns only to have it pass with full (unanimous) acceptance. These were largely silenced when it was stated that the "total" number of units prescribed for the area would not change, and that the 7th story should be set back from the face of the building to reduce their presence. Further amendments/adjustments to the Park in-lieu/BMR fees also were considered that likely would substantially increase their profits & reduce fees collectible by the City. Furthermore, such wholesale capitulation of the code, for the first developer in the area, all but guarantees that all subsequent projects will request similar waivers. Summerhill Homes will make a killing and go on to its other projects throughout the Bay Area leaving the residents to deal with the increased density, for which the already over-taxed infrastructure is unprepared to handle.


Posted by Member
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 19, 2018 at 5:45 pm

As usual the council pretends to have concerns only to lay down everything for the developer. As usual they are hell bent on ruining the city. Increasing traffic crime pollution homeless rates. They have put a giant target on the city ‘come crash here in your RV, run a drug lab inside we won’t do a thing about it!

As usual they line their pockets at the cost of the Mountain View citizen.

We don’t need more homes. We need more schools and parks. We need the larger businesses to pay their share and not get their way every time.

Mountain View could be the ideal place to live, but the council has been ruining it for years.


Posted by Pay attention people
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2018 at 5:53 pm



More residents should have been paying attention and maybe stood up in front of city council saying ‘NO’ when council decided to make the deal with Los Altos school District which involved the transfer of development rights to various other locations in the city — greatly increasing their allowed density and the impacts these developments would have on the residents and city as a whole. The giveaways involved in the TDR’s are staggering...density bonuses, setback variances, open space requirements waived or minimized, parking requirements way loosened, and on and on. It was a wholesale giveaway, at the expense of the residents of Mountain View.

The chickens are coming home to roost...and it’s just getting started.


Posted by Juan
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 19, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Juan is a registered user.

This is a lose / lose / lose for everyone involved, except for some Los Altos Hills residents who get to send their kids to a brand new school in Mountain View and some developers who will profit billions.


Posted by Tommy
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

The great Mountain View give away continues. The council will not stop till every road in the area is clogged. It's time for the other cities to step-up and do their bit. It's built baby build at all costs. The cost of progress - not!


Posted by Ken M
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 19, 2018 at 7:27 pm

I am in support of this project. I like that some of the units will be for sale. However it does not look like parking is adequate.


Posted by Marcell ortutay
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 19, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Everybody wants low rent, nobody wants new development


Posted by SukwinderDixit
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 19, 2018 at 9:08 pm

SukwinderDixit is a registered user.

Man the lack of consideration for cars is simply stunning


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 20, 2018 at 7:19 am

William Hitchens is a registered user.

There goes the neighborhood! High rise nightmare.


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2018 at 10:34 am

Out come all the usual residents proclaiming the apocalypse at a tall residential building getting built, during a housing crunch when there's a whole generation of people behind you trying to live and work here crammed into whatever expensive crevice is available with their crevice-mate, since it's too expensive to rent one by yourself these days.

Glad to see this actually get approved. Hope to see more of it here and elsewhere.


Posted by marknn
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 20, 2018 at 11:36 pm

As a resident and a homeowner of East Whisman, who will live less than quarter mile from the proposed development, I welcome the new neighborhood and removal of old delapidated offices and replacing them with housing and public park.


Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 21, 2018 at 4:29 am

Much needed housing and this is within walking distance of both Google Quad and Symantec. We need to build more of this type of dense and tall housing closer to these massive job centers to cut down on commute traffic clogging our streets and Hwy 85.


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 21, 2018 at 9:03 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Like some of the early posters - this increased residential unit density - is AT A LOSS to the local schools (MVWSD will get more students) and a relative GAIN to Los Altos School District. (they will have less students than the residential development proposed for the San Antonio area.)

Council members Abe-Koga and Showalter were exactly right on the LASD "deal".

I generally support YIMBY tendencies, but the taxation/benefits of this "sale" of development "rights"? A load of c$#!.
(IMO)


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 21, 2018 at 9:44 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Neighborhood school. 'It isn't a question of if, but a question of when!' I guess the old administration of MVWSD was right, even if they didn't really git it! The question of TIME for reopening a neighborhood elementary in Whisman/Slater, is at hand! The shovel ceremony ("groundbreaking") for this school, is this coming Thursday, April 26, 2018!

Web Link


and BTW, Trustee Wheeler finally (after re-re-considering) provided the magic 3rd (majority) vote on this policy

Web Link


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 23, 2018 at 12:14 pm

psr is a registered user.

LASD has been dumped on repeatedly by the city of Mountain View and their plan to pave every inch of land in the city and cover it with multi-story apartment buildings. They are expected to educate the children and provide the park space for the apartment dwellers at the expense of the permanent residents of Los Altos and Palo Alto who have chosen a more sensible approach to growth.

I remember plenty of expansion in the south bay area that has ended up deserted after whatever tech giant causes the building goes broke and sells out. It leaves a blight of huge buildings that serve no purpose other than to remind us that nothing is forever and unplanned growth (with is what Mountain View excels at doing) results in a mess for those who actually have roots and care about the community.

We need less temporary housing and more housing that can be bought with all those tech dollars. Perhaps than those who are here to make a quick buck and move on when they are bored will contribute more to the community that they are benefiting from. YIMBY should be thrilled about that since he wants more tax dollars, but I guess he only wants tax dollars from those who built the community, not from those who are only here to reap the rewards of the older residents hard work.


Posted by @psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 23, 2018 at 12:32 pm

That's hilarious. What did you build except for vast unearned wealth on the backs of people who have done actual work?


Posted by BuildEm Baby!
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 23, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Build em all and as fast as you can. This community is starving for housing specifically for our middle/low income workers.


Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Why not go to San Jose where they are welcoming high rise tenements and let us be. Why come to a neighborhood filled with people who do not agree with your values and ruin their homes? Why do you want to live near people who do not want you there?
It is disingenuous to suggest that people who own homes now have unearned wealth. Taxes will take much of the appreciation.


Posted by @psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 23, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Hey Robyn, you don't even live here ("another community"), so you don't get to speak for what Mountain View residents want. Mountain View residents love having new neighbors.

By the way, what property taxes are you paying? Let me guess, 0.1% of market value?


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 23, 2018 at 5:34 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

So, will the poor residents of East Whisman suddenly become occupants of a "high rise ghetto", just like SF or NYC --- with no on-street parking???? It's time to "retake the Mountain View City Council" and stop this Urbanization Madness!


Posted by @William Hitchens
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2018 at 5:40 pm

How would know anything about that, Hitchens? After all, you haven't been out of your house in years...


Posted by @psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 23, 2018 at 6:44 pm

William here clearly earned the right to tell everyone what to do. Living in Waverly Park, he probably owns a $2.5M house, and given that he's an old crank, probably pays about $2K a year in property taxes. Really keeping the lights running in the city. Keeping housing scarce makes that home value skyrocket and his liabilities stay real low.

How far off am I, William?


Posted by @psr
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Your comments do not invite discussion. Rather than calling people names, ie old crank based upon dubious speculation about tax rates, why not try to respect the rights of others and engage in a discourse. You have no idea when and where people purchased their homes or the price they paid. What about a 25 year old who bought a house in 1996 during a time of high interest rates and worked hard all through the recession when values fell to keep it? Is that an "old crank" by your definition?
New ticky tacky high density tenements (high rise ghettos)will create further discord between the owners and wannabe owners who now rent. Much of the new construction has no patio or terrace. The view is into your neighbors' bath and bedrooms! The streets outside are gridlocked. Natural resources cannot adequately serve those who are already here.


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2018 at 5:21 pm

"New ticky tacky high density tenements"

It's funny how the original mention of ticky tacky was in reference to the massive sprawls of suburbia that were being built in the 60s in response to the massive demand for housing, and now it's being turned around by owners of said housing to sneer at new housing that might house other people.

"will create further discord between the owners and wannabe owners who now rent"

Because blocking all of that housing from being built isn't causing discord?


Posted by peace out
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2018 at 6:27 pm

I was born and raised in the bay area and I have lived in Mountain View for 25 years. I love this community and always thought I'd stay here until the day I died -- until a few years ago when things began rapidly changing in ways that were incompatible with keeping the quality of life that was once here, and one I wished to continue to experience.

I made the tough decision back then (a few years ago) to purchase land out of state and began building a home in a new community -- one which I hope will be warm and welcoming and also provide me with the quality of life that is rapidly being lost in Mountain View.

I am going to miss a lot about this area, but on balance there is just too much going on here that is out of balance...and ultimately, I've got to do what's best for me and my health.

peace out

P.S. I'm not the only one...I know several people who have made the same choice, and for the very same reasons. It's not the cost of living that's driving these folks out it's - to them - the degraded quality of life, plain and simple.




Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2018 at 6:36 pm

@peace out

Thank you for choosing to sell and choosing to move out to a quieter area that fits your needs more.


Posted by @psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 24, 2018 at 6:37 pm

@peace out, of course cost of living isn't driving you out: you bought a home long ago and have fixed your housing costs thanks to Prop 13.

Thankfully, you're acting like an adult and realizing it's not for you to decide how other people live. If only more of the NIMBYs here thought like you, live-and-let-live, we'd be much better off.


Posted by @psr a resident of The Crossings
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2018 at 7:11 pm

What you want for this area to look like NYC? Where quality of life is nothing but bumping into people because there is not enough room on the sidewalks to walk? If you any your type want that, go there, and leave our beautiful place alone. I'm sure google has offices there, you can go there.

So basically all the people that hate prop 13 like you want to kick out our grandparents and the builders of this community so they can bring in more money to the city coffers. Unbelievable what people will do for more money.

Yet I'm sure you don't see the gross mismanagement of the govt. of our money, yet you want to pick on the old and feeble that have live in the community for decades. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!


Posted by @psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 24, 2018 at 7:36 pm

Four- and seven-story buildings won't turn us into NYC, and pretending that it does just makes you sound silly.

Unless you plan on donating your house to charity or are currently housing the homeless, it's fairly obvious that NIMBYs driving up their home values by killing off development are the people who only care about filling your coffers. You're more concerned with making sure your $2.5M home value (on which you pay $2K / year) keeps rising astronomically than giving relief to people forced to live on the street. Save me the crocodile tears for our "community builders."


Posted by peace out
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2018 at 8:06 pm



@psr: "Thankfully, you're acting like an adult and realizing it's not for you to decide how other people live. If only more of the NIMBYs here thought like you, live-and-let-live, we'd be much better off."

Evidently it's people like you (whom I choose NOT to call derisive names) who have decided how I am supposed to live if I wish to remain in my home of 25 years -- so, how is that "live and let live"?


Posted by peace out
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2018 at 8:14 pm


@psr "You're more concerned with making sure your $2.5M home value (on which you pay $2K / year) keeps rising astronomically than giving relief to people forced to live on the street.

Personally, I would GLADLY give up a fat $1.5M+ of my homes paper value, if it meant that we could get the quality of life back in this city that we had just a few short years ago.

100% would do it...in a HEARTBEAT.

Tragically, it's too late for that.

peace out


Posted by @psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 25, 2018 at 12:07 am

No one has changed a single bit of your property, but, unfortunately, you didn't buy the entire city, so you don't get to dictate what everyone else does. No one has decided how you live your life.


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2018 at 12:46 am

@Resident of the Crossings

Oh, spare us from that tortured appeal to the Poor Grandparents kicked out of their home if not for Prop 13. You guys could have just as easily passed a tax deferment for the elderly if you wanted to, rather than a blanket freeze of all property taxes state-wide. And it did nothing for Grandma if she happens to rent.

The only thing Prop 13 has done is allow entitled homeowners to block new housing and cause housing costs to shoot through the roof while shielding themselves from the effects. The rest of us pay the costs of your actions while your property values just continue to climb.


Posted by peace out
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2018 at 7:39 am


@psr: "No one has changed a single bit of your property, but, unfortunately, you didn't buy the entire city, so you don't get to dictate what everyone else does. No one has decided how you live your life."

- Are you honestly suggesting that only changes that physically happen to a single individual's property effect their quality of life?

Don't be deliberately obtuse. It's beneath you...or it should be.

peace out


Posted by @psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 25, 2018 at 7:50 am

I'm not being obtuse. I'm pointing out that you bought a tiny plot of land, not the entire city. Buying a house doesn't mean you bought an entire city and get to tell everyone else what to do with their property. Most adults understand this, and given your decision to leave I thought you did, too. Unfortunately, it sounds like you have the same entitled attitude as the other NIMBYs.


Posted by peace out
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2018 at 8:12 am

@psr

I never once claimed that I purchased an entire city, nor the right to tell anyone else what to do with their property. How did you get it so wrong?

What I did state was:

"I love this community and always thought I'd stay here until the day I died -- until a few years ago when things began rapidly changing in ways that were incompatible with keeping the quality of life that was once here, and one I wished to continue to experience."

Your apparent disdain for anyone who may not embrace your visioning is telling and disheartening, and frankly one of the reasons I decided to leave this city. Life is too short to live it with people who think deriding other folks for no other reason than they may have differing opinions, is good for the community.

peace out


Posted by @psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 25, 2018 at 8:17 am

"Evidently it's people like you (whom I choose NOT to call derisive names) who have decided how I am supposed to live if I wish to remain in my home of 25 years -- so, how is that "live and let live"?"

No one cares how you live or what you do in your house. The entitlement is when, for some reason, other people choosing to live differently than you is "deciding how [you are] supposed to live."


Posted by CourtneyB
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 25, 2018 at 2:44 pm

This conversation is a perfect example of how the internet kills civil discourse. Comments sections enable anonymous conversations with no culpability for rudeness. Try imagining you are talking to each other over a cup of coffee. It might help you see each other's points of view.


Posted by @psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 25, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Instead of sniping from the sidelines, why don't you mediate and lay out what our points of view are?


Posted by CourtneyB
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 25, 2018 at 3:54 pm

As I said above...


Posted by Slater Gators!
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 26, 2018 at 8:19 pm

Dear Steve Nelson, check out the zoning map and look at how many R4 properties are on the map. 291 Evendale ripe for this kind of development. I don't know why everyone is so upset. In R4 zoning, BMR apartments could be set aside for Teachers!


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2018 at 11:35 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Slator Gator - hope you got to go to the Slater neighborhood area neighborhood elementary school formal "groundbreaking". (5:30 PM, Thursday Apr 27) [I'm not-so-into zoning map specifics]

The council woman from N. Wagon Wheel, Lisa Matichak, Vice Mayor was there. She has been active in her 'civil representative job' working on housing issues in her neighborhood and throughout the city. She also was a public supporter of the MVSD Board making a neighborhood school, in the Whisman/Slater area, a school district Public Policy.

I'm no longer on that elected local legislative body. But the new school fields, will come with all-weather turf, and other improvements, that the neighborhood can enjoy. Maybe a new crossing-signal. It's So Fine, the continuing City-MVWSD cooperation.


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2018 at 11:47 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

actually ... if the MVWSD Board made it a public policy "direction" that the administration swap Acre for Acre some street frontage at Wavery Park area's school property (SAVECOOPERPARK.org) for some small R4 properties elsewhere ...

Slator Gator has a very good suggestion. 3 or 4 R1 properties, on Eunice Street, smack in the middle of an existing R1 zone, would not (IMO) raise so much neighborhood opposition. (but ask SAVECOOPERPARK.org : )

Not a complete one-stop solution, but maybe part-of-a-puzzle.


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