Town Square

Post a New Topic

When a neighborhood's days are numbered

Original post made on Sep 6, 2019

With each passing day, the apartments at 2310 Rock St. increasingly resemble a ghost town.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 6, 2019, 12:00 AM

Comments (22)

10 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 6, 2019 at 6:51 am

Before the landlords and their representatives on the city council get away with using this decision by the city council to allow this apt complex to be replaced with condos for sale as a FAKE example of what is wrong with limiting rent increases in old apts, realize that (1) the city council did not need to approve this condo project, (2) the 59 rental units lost are a tiny fraction of the 15,000 rental units still protected by rent increase limits, (3) rent increase limits do not even apply to the initial new rent for new tenants (as a requirement of state law), and (4) allowing landlords to increase (even double) rents for old housing stock adds nothing of value to the city and would lead to the ouster of most or all of the tenants as surely as does a new project. However, the city would be better off if new projects that are allowed to replace existing housing add considerably more living space or housing units so as to help address the shortage of overall housing compared to jobs the city council has chosen to invite into this already-overcrowded city.


26 people like this
Posted by Expected
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 6, 2019 at 7:25 am

The pro comments about rent control are disingenuous. When apartments age, a landlord must eventually decide whether or not to update or tear down his apartments. Rent control made one of these options not feasible. The landlord could never recover his costs doing a complete update. Tearing down and replacing w rent controlled apartments would also not work. Hence the tear down and building market priced for sale units.

A recent Stanford study by economists confirmed this type of result in San Francisco.

Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for.


29 people like this
Posted by Property Rights
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 6, 2019 at 10:17 am

Another one sided hit piece against PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS.

When the day comes that tenants have to also sign the loan documents from the lender and be responsible to pay the debt on the property, no matter what, then they can have a say on what to do with the property.The person who is on the deed is the only person who should have any right to say what he wants to do with the property. It is called property rights.

Living in a rental is temporary housing, not permanent housing. You know that when you sign the rental contract. Nothing in it says that you can live there forever.

Property rights is something that the Voice and people like Lenny Siegel, hate and do and try everything they can to take away those rights, as this is an example of another one sided hit piece against the property owner.


1 person likes this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2019 at 11:07 am

More such activities will be coming. AB1482 will become law. State wide any apartments more than 15 years old will be subject to rent control. The state legislature is essentially forcing small landlords to sell to big developers that will tear down old apartments. This is all in the name of helping the poor. What an irony.


Like this comment
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2019 at 11:14 am

AB1482 will become law. Apartments more than 15 years old will be subject to rent control. Small landlords with older apartments will be more tempted to sell to big developers that will tear down and build new.


22 people like this
Posted by Know the difference
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2019 at 11:28 am

You can have Private Property but just by emphatically saying "This is my PRIVATE Property" does not exclude you from local or national laws, even the ones you disagree with.
So tired of that non-thinking knee jerk reaction.


14 people like this
Posted by @know the difference
a resident of Jackson Park
on Sep 6, 2019 at 11:38 am

Talk about a knee jerk reaction. The discussion is merely focused on the obvious consequence of rent control laws. A lot of laws and regulations have economic implications that help and hurt some people.

So tired of non-economic-thinking.


2 people like this
Posted by Monroe
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 6, 2019 at 1:59 pm

As a student of History who lives in a supposedly democratic country, I am constantly amazed by the oligarchic diatribes of our local gentry. Whatever circumstances allowed you to attain your fortunes, you did not do this in a vacuum. Have you become so entitled that you have lost your humanity? What kind of an American are you ? The Statue of Liberty says: “gives us your hungry, your poor...” It is very short-sighted on the part of the local land barons and the city council to focus on the tech affluenza. The success of our country, and locally has achieved success based on a combination of various cultural and economic factors. The landlords can cry poverty all they want but it was the tenants who sustained their businesses with their occupancy and the local market as well. I highly doubt that any of the landlords have ever had to worry about food or gas for their vehicles. If people can’t afford to live here, then who will be available to work at the local restaurants, ice cream vendors and the like ??

The multiple development projects that are currently being proposed are mostly targeted at rent controlled communities and will likely displace up to 15,000 Mountain View residents when the community elite have implemented their pograms. Such measures appear to be more of a retaliatory response to Measure V more than anything else. The rental market became hot and Measure V stopped you from cashing in on a lucrative stock. For just one time, let’s be honest, it’s all about greed. The war of the haves versus the have nots. Our own local version to mimic the insanity of Washington DC politics. Diversity sustains a community for the long haul; Gold Rushes have been shown to be fickle.


6 people like this
Posted by Dan Waylonis
a resident of Jackson Park
on Sep 6, 2019 at 2:41 pm

Dan Waylonis is a registered user.

Rent control discourages new development. No one will deny that. If you want affordable housing, increase the supply of housing. It doesn’t matter if it’s high end or low end. It will add to the market and pricing will adjust.


4 people like this
Posted by JMM
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 6, 2019 at 3:03 pm

JMM is a registered user.

This explains all the sofas and other garbage that was discarded onto the property of others along Rock Street.


7 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 6, 2019 at 3:16 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

To require a specific subset of landlords to subsidize low income housing is unfair. If the citizens of our town want to offer low income housing, it should be subsidized by taxpayers.


10 people like this
Posted by just_jay
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 6, 2019 at 3:27 pm

just_jay is a registered user.

Yes, it's sad, but what's the alternative? That once people start living in an apartment building, that has to always stay an apartment building forever, even as it gets old and starts declining?


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2019 at 4:23 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Todd I agree with you because:

The new “No Net Loss” laws puts the City in responsibility to replace those lost units. The City passed the plan right before the enforceability of the new law called Section 65863. This only added to the lack of affrdabile housing in the City. On top of that there are Section 65913.4 and also Section 65623. Which will require as much as 50% of new housing to be inclusionary with price controls as long as 45 to 55 years.

In response to Property Rights you said:

“Another one sided hit piece against PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS.

When the day comes that tenants have to also sign the loan documents from the lender and be responsible to pay the debt on the property, no matter what, then they can have a say on what to do with the property. The person who is on the deed is the only person who should have any right to say what he wants to do with the property. It is called property rights. “

Again, there is no such thing as private property rights either in the U.S. or State Constitutions. The only thing they say is that land CAN ALWAYS BE TAKEN as long as there is “fair compensation” made when it is taken or that one is entitled to a “fair rate of return”. BUT the courts have declared that “fair compensation” is only required where the FEDERAL, STATE, or LOCAL Government directly takes full control of the land. Tenants are in effect NOT THE GOVERNMENT, thus TENANTS are not REQUIIRED to do anything. And at the same time, only the land value is taken into account, not the investment into the buildings involved. The California courts have also declared that a “fair rate of return” does not entitle anyone to a guaranty of profits either. You said:

“Living in a rental is temporary housing, not permanent housing. You know that when you sign the rental contract. Nothing in it says that you can live there forever.”

Actually a month-to-month agreement does in fact make it an indefinite arrangement. Landlords who chose to offer them make that choice. Also if the state laws allow for month-to-month leases to be issued AFTER say 12 months of a lease, then so be it. That is the market. You said:

“Property rights is something that the Voice and people like Lenny Siegel, hate and do and try everything they can to take away those rights, as this is an example of another one sided hit piece against the property owner.”

No, it was the risk chosen to be taken with full knowledge of the fact that this business is not stable.

In response to m2grs you said:

“More such activities will be coming. AB1482 will become law. State wide any apartments more than 15 years old will be subject to rent control. The state legislature is essentially forcing small landlords to sell to big developers that will tear down old apartments. This is all in the name of helping the poor. What an irony.”

But all new projects are subject to the inclusionary building requirements. That will not be easy to ignore.

In response to Know the difference you said:

“You can have Private Property but just by emphatically saying "This is my PRIVATE Property" does not exclude you from local or national laws, even the ones you disagree with.”

So very correct.

In response to @know the difference you said:

“Talk about a knee jerk reaction. The discussion is merely focused on the obvious consequence of rent control laws. A lot of laws and regulations have economic implications that help and hurt some people.

So tired of non-economic-thinking.”

The PRIVATE housing sector promised it was able to provide economic housing as far back as 1965 when the federal government “privatized” housing. In 5 years the state of California started the housing crisis. The history can be found here (Web Link), and the housing crisis in California can be found here (Web Link) Especially when the Costa Hawkins act promised it would solve the affordable housing in 1995. The people failed miserably.

In response to Monroe you said:

“The rental market became hot and Measure V stopped you from cashing in on a lucrative stock. For just one time, let’s be honest, it’s all about greed. The war of the haves versus the have nots. Our own local version to mimic the insanity of Washington DC politics. Diversity sustains a community for the long haul; Gold Rushes have been shown to be fickle.”

Sounds about right.

In response to Dan Waylonis you said:

“Rent control discourages new development. No one will deny that. If you want affordable housing, increase the supply of housing. It doesn’t matter if it’s high end or low end. It will add to the market and pricing will adjust.”

And the new inclusionary laws and AB 1482, that may finally do the job, after the PRIVATE sector will be dragged into do so kicking and screaming.

In response to Waldo you said:

“To require a specific subset of landlords to subsidize low income housing is unfair. If the citizens of our town want to offer low income housing, it should be subsidized by taxpayers.”

THE PRIVATE SECTOR PROMISED AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO GET COSTA HAWKINS, THUS THEY PAY THE PRICE FOR FAILURE, SIMPLE LOGIC.


8 people like this
Posted by Richard Royal
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Gee! There's a surprise. Implement rent control and watch the number of units - especially affordable units - go to zero. Who'da thunk it?

Good job, Mountain View!


10 people like this
Posted by Lived here
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 6, 2019 at 8:47 pm

I lived at #2310 for many years in 2000s and 90s and have lots of good memories and eventually moved across town. The people I knew and the landlord also are good people but you can’t force someone to hold on to a piece of land forever to support people who can’t find a different place to live in town. If you buy real estate you have the right to eventually sell it for the current price and move on as long as the renters have a couple of months to make plans. Owning a big piece of land like that is a business and you get loans from the bank just like any home so if selling it makes the most sense that’s what you do. I wish the people who lived there well and hope they find a new place that’s in line with their income. Moving is hard but I’ve lived in a apartment there as long as any renter did and I find nothing wrong with the sale.

Lots of good memories from my years there.


5 people like this
Posted by someone concerned
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 6, 2019 at 9:19 pm

Its really terrible to read the tenants' stories. $7000 payout is not really much at all. Property owners should be paying more. The laws need to be changed to force the landlord and the Developer to pay 6 months of rent , each of them separately to compensate the trouble it causes the tenants. I was paid around $16K, 10 months of rent , just a year ago based on the condition that I stay till the last day of moving out as stipulated by the Developer and the landlord. I hope the city council looks at this issue again and help out the people who are having a hard time making ends meet. I understand that the Property owner has the right to cash out and realize his gains of investment and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. But everyone needs to realize that there are people's lives impacted negatively by these developments and they need to be helped.


4 people like this
Posted by Mountain View Neighbor
a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 7, 2019 at 11:13 am

Mountain View Neighbor is a registered user.

This is so sad! Yet another casualty of rent control as landlords get out while they can. Thousands of apartments have been torn down. A huge one in the Whisman area, east of Moffett was gently bulldozed.

These are direct results of rent control. Horrifying. Literally thousands of affordable homes lost.


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2019 at 1:00 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Mountain View Neighbor you said:

“This is so sad! Yet another casualty of rent control as landlords get out while they can. Thousands of apartments have been torn down.

These are direct results of rent control. Horrifying. Literally thousands of affordable homes lost.”

I greatly believe you overstated the number affordable units lost in Mountain View. From what I see the he project located at 2310 Rock St resulted in the loss of 59 units. The 2005 Rock St. project resulted in the loss of 20 units. From what I have here there are less than 100 units, but let’s say that there have been 200 for argument sake.

My research indicates that you can misread that LA lost 5,260 units, but that occurred over a time from 1997 to 2019. Seen in this report (Web Link) But that comes to only a yearly loss of 240 units. There is no rapid loss of affordable units. By this report (Web Link) one project will build 824 new units in just one project. I am finding it hard to find others, but there is a report that states as much as 8,000 new affordable units were built during 2018.

In San Francisco, there is a record (Web Link) that stated “While the city has built 6,559 new deed-restricted, affordable housing units for low-income people since 2005, it has lost 5,470 rent-controlled, affordable units over the same span.” The question is over what period of time? From 2005 to 2015. Thus the yearly loss only was 547. But also 656 new units per year were built in San Francisco.

Let’s take a count based on recent history, say the years of 2017 to today given you are arguing against the CSFRA and it was only in force since December 23rd, 2016.

The Los Angeles report would count only the number of apartments lost from 2017 to 2019 which would come to 720 units. But you have to subtract any affordable units being built like the one above with a total of 824 units. So during CSFRA Los Angeles has actually gained 104 units of affordable housing just because of one project.

For San Francisco the loss of 1,641 occurred. But at the same time there was an increase of 1,968. So you subtract 1,968 from 1,641 and you got a gain of 327 units.

So while CSFRA has existed there was a gain of affordable housing in the rent controlled cities of 431 units.

Yes current owners will either have to adjust to new business rules, or others will simply take over and succeed EVEN WITH RENT CONTROL.

You are going to have to provide more than just a claim to persuade the City citizens of the REAL story.


11 people like this
Posted by Hmm
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2019 at 10:51 am

It's not the renters property, it's the landlords property and because of rent control if the landlord can't raise the rent to going rates, then only alternative is to sell and get out of the business. Simple logic rent control people do not understand.

If the rent control people want to control rent I suggest they put their money together and buy or build apartments for them to manage. That would be the American way, but with all commie nation it's so much easier to tell others what to do with their belongings.


Like this comment
Posted by Tina
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2019 at 11:55 am

Interesting statistics below. You really need to be making a salary of 60-80k to afford low income housing in this area. The average family in America is 59K.
Web Link
Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by A resident
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 9, 2019 at 10:36 am

Thank you Measure-V supporters. Sure you will all deny it is the cause but that is mute; look at the numbers.


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 9, 2019 at 11:34 am

In response to A resident you said:

"Thank you Measure-V supporters. Sure you will all deny it is the cause but that is mute; look at the numbers."

WRONG, it was the City Councils poor judgement to approve a project with a net loss of affordable housing.

BUT the ne No Net Loss laws will put a stop to it. In fact also the new Inclusionary housing requirements will force the City Council to increase affordable housing, unless the City Council will freeze ALL housing projects indefinitely.

But that will run the chance of the City being sued by the state and by those who are displaced because of their actions. Sorry you cannot put the blame on Measure V.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Su Hong Palo Alto's last day of business will be Sept. 29
By Elena Kadvany | 14 comments | 4,722 views

Electric Buses: Challenges and Opportunities
By Sherry Listgarten | 23 comments | 2,773 views

Natural Wines?
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 1,064 views

Premarital, Women Over 50 Do Get Married
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,037 views

 

Register now!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

More Info