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No more offices without new homes

Original post made on Nov 6, 2019

The Mountain View City Council voted Tuesday night to approve the East Whisman Precise Plan, a comprehensive strategy to transform more than 400 acres of the city from a low-density office park into a mixed-use urban center.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 1:21 PM

Comments (23)

18 people like this
Posted by Crossings Resident
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 6, 2019 at 4:08 pm

Will there finally be a neighborhood school for NEC, like the quoted Crossings parent said? That would be great news, since the Los Altos parents seem to be trying to stop NEC from getting a neighborhood school. LASD needs to treat Mountain View neighborhoods including Crossings with the same respect as they treat Los Altos - follow through on their Measure N promises and give us a neighborhood school, especially since this is a gift from OUR city, Mountain View. Walk the walk, LASD!

4 people like this
Posted by Patrick Neschleba
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 4:13 pm

Glad to see MVWSD officials speaking up for the needs of our schools. City Council needs to be collaborative with the District and other local education interests, and developing a strategic plan before going too far down the planning approval path is a good idea. It needs to comprehend not only how to pay for the growth, but also what kind of growth happens; if public and private schools are boxed in to current campus footprints, expansion means expensive multi-story buildings, overloaded cafeterias, more traffic congestion at dropoff and pickup, and disruption of the beautiful facilities and campus designs that Measure G gave us. Not the best experience for students, parents, residents, or the people who have to pay for all of it.

The upcoming Terra Bella vision discussion is another opportunity to ensure we have adequate land use allocated towards future school growth, which can take advantage of having Crittenden Middle School right next door. Hopeful that there will be more collaboration happening by then.

25 people like this
Posted by NEC Neighbor
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:02 pm

@Crossings Resident - I hope Colleen Farley has inside information that it will be a neighborhood school, despite the LASD Workshop fiasco, where everyone saw that Sangeeth Peruri and others put their voting sheets promoting bullet voting only for BCS at the 10th site. Sangeeth has been promoting the 10th site options at the Charrettes and Workshops and outside of them, too. While he is free to speak his opinion outside of the events, he also has a personal investment interest in the immediate vicinity of the 10th site and a self-interest in that 10th site going through and, as a result, should not be involved with the district's process relating to the 10th site. LASD should not have allowed Peruri to be involved in the 10th site project in any way or let him promote the 10th site votes at the LASD-run engagement processes or otherwise - tainted the whole process!

16 people like this
Posted by NEC school
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:21 pm

Hallelujah! LASD/GB teacher Colleen Farley says the San Antonio neighborhood is getting their own neighborhood school! Either she missed the Sangeeth and Peipei circus performances at the workshops or she is in the know! Great! We can all chill out now upon hearing that the LASD Trustees finally took a look in the mirror and decided to stop their own discrimination against the NEC families in the LASD and are giving them a neighborhood school. Thank our lucky stars for TDR's and MVCC! Colleen too.

8 people like this
Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Nov 6, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Alex M is a registered user.

I am wondering why schools need to be sprawled out like they are. Most schools I've seen are single-story buildings. Why not a multi-story school? In my past I attended a school that had 4-story buildings. That would save valuable land space.

If land space for play areas is a concern, then just do what Terman Middle School in Palo Alto does: shared use with a park. During school hours, the school has priority on the use of the park, otherwise it's a public park.

4 people like this
Posted by How many more jobs?
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 8:04 pm

How many more jobs? is a registered user.

5,000 housing units would cover 5,000 new employees (plus families). How many new employees are contemplated in the added million square feet of development? Watch no one answer.

Like this comment
Posted by marknn
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:24 pm

Well @How many jobs,
it does say 3 units for every 1000 sq feet of office. I think it basically means 3 units for every 3 employee. Given that most units have 2+ people in it, this would greatly contributing to reducing housing balance.

2 people like this
Posted by Whisman Station neighbor
a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 7, 2019 at 8:28 am

Are there requirements around a local grocery store within walking distance?

We lack grocery stores with fresh produce and diary in that area.

That would make the neighborhood a real walkable neighborhood. Until we get some kind of grocery store, neighbors will have to drive to Safeway (Shoreline) or Nob Hill (Grant), causing more traffic in an already congested area.

2 people like this
Posted by Kevin Forestieri
Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on Nov 7, 2019 at 9:57 am

Kevin Forestieri is a registered user.

@Whisman Station neighbor

The East Whisman Precise Plan is purportedly written to encourage a grocery store, which is described as an "essential service." The expectation is that it'll either end up in the mixed-use or Village Center portions of the map included with the story. Apparently a developer can also set aside land for neighborhood commercial uses (i.e. a grocery store) in order to comply with community benefit requirements for larger projects.

6 people like this
Posted by Gia
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm

This is great news but also not. The Whisman area is all a super fund site and not a great place to live. Children and pregnant women aren't supposed to play in the dirt there. It's super toxic and many people don't buy houses there because of it.

8 people like this
Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 7, 2019 at 12:42 pm

That's a great point, Gia. Surely this means you support increased density in the Cuesta Park neighborhood, where there are no Superfund sites.

11 people like this
Posted by Perspective
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2019 at 1:24 pm

It really only helps a little to go multistory on schools. You have a school on 10 acres of land and the actual footprint even 1-story is under 1 acre. So 10% of your land is consumed by the building, but 90% is available for outdoor space. Go to 2 stories and best case you go to 95% of space available for outdoor space.

There is indeed this group Los Altos Families for Public Education who are fighting the idea of neighborhood school here. They feel that their families are more important than the ones in this area. The problem is that so many kids live near the new school site that serving them there would decimate the size of 3 schools located in Los Altos. They would be less than half the population needed to operate a school, so they're afraid one or more would be closed. It's a question of who has more influence on the school board, the families with the $3 Million homes in Los Altos or the families who already live in the area around San Antonio or who will move in over the next 5 years as so many new apartment buildings with affordable units included are occupied.

5 people like this
Posted by Perspective
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Part of what makes this decision about school use difficult is the timing. You have this area where there is a lot of new construction which already has 900 kids attending LASD schools. They may be happy where they are and not want to change. But no change will happen for 5 years. At that point a LOT of new kids will have moved into the area around the new school. People have trouble recognizing a change like this. It's planning for the FUTURE. The school board members keep asking the current residents to provide input, but they don't have any input from the new ones who will move in. So their potential needs get ignored.

It's also hurt by a lack of visualization of what the area will look like in 5 years. There will be lots of new multistory buildings and also lots of new green space around those buildings. It's not going to be a shopping center parking lot by the time the new school opens. People are not very imaginative.

2 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Nov 7, 2019 at 2:32 pm

Jeremy Hoffman is a registered user.

Great work by city council and staff on this undertaking. As long as housing and infrastructure is fully accounted for, we have little to fear from density, and so much to gain, from more inclusive communities to more people walking and biking to work and retail instead of having to drive for every trip.

Our far-flung fellow Californians are regularly, at best, stuck in hours of traffic, or, at worst, powerless, or on fire, or both.

At such a time, we should welcome increasing density, sustainably, in a place like Mountain View.

5 people like this
Posted by Hugh Jasol
a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 7, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Have to agree with @Whisman Station neighbor, we need a decent grocery store in the neighborhood. I hate having to drive to Sunnyvale to pickup my case of Schlitz

5 people like this
Posted by Don Keedick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 7, 2019 at 3:46 pm

Don Keedick is a registered user.

This seems like progress, but doesn't it also mean that the new Vargas Elementary will be too small to serve the expanded neighborhood? I mean, they should have refurbed Slater, kicked google out and they'd be in a better position to serve the kids of the neighborhood. the MVWS school district is really a piece of works

2 people like this
Posted by Perspective
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2019 at 3:55 pm

They can still kick Google out in 5 years, rehab Slater and combine it
with Vargas. Vargas is so small it doesn't even count. You won't need as many new buildings when the old ones at Slater are torn down to make a larger combined site school. I think the drop off might work better.

Will they start griping that the new development should give them some land
for a school? I mean Vargas/Slater is in the same neighborhood. We'll see...

4 people like this
Posted by Evan
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 8:09 pm

This concern about schools is ridiculous. My parents bought a house here in 1983. I can inherit it, continue to pay $5,000/yr in property taxes on their $3m home and send my kids to school with no additional taxes or school costs.

Developers will build new homes and their assessments will be sky high, paying huge property tax bills (which can then go toward the school district). How exactly is this new development a problem? If we need more schools, these are the only buildings in town that will be assessed at market rates for taxes. So their taxes can pay for more schools or more teachers or both.

Where is the problem? If it's anywhere, it's that MY taxes are too low due to prop 13. New development at least will bring in big tax dollars.

3 people like this
Posted by New school
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 8:33 pm

the New school at San Antonio will not be a Los Altos level quality school, because it will not have the Los Altos population.
I don’t understand the desire of the residents for the new school. Yes, they won’t have to drive, but they also won’t get a Los Altos school for MV money.

6 people like this
Posted by No 10th Site
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2019 at 8:42 pm

@New School

I've heard a couple of people in the Crossings area say that they want a neighborhood school. But, none of those have current-age elementary school kids.

I've also heard other Crossings residents say that they rather have their kids go to Los Altos for school - for obvoius reasons - lots of trees, school surrounded by houses (not tall commercial building), and Los Altos school rankings.

7 people like this
Posted by No 10th Site
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2019 at 9:21 pm

There's been allegation in numerous places that Sangeeth Peruri owns property in the vicinity of the 10th site and stand to gain financially if the 10th site deal goes through.

He has denied it, but oddly, he was in favor of Egan moving to 10th site during the Egan Debacle. Perhaps the "only" LASD-proponent that was actually in favor of it.

Now he is convincing people at the Los Altos Community Engagement Workshops that BCS should go to the 10th site.

It appears that he'll do anything to make sure the 10th site deal goes through, which 1) includes throwing Egan under the bus, and 2) supporting BCS going to 10th, which has no chance of happening.

Oh, and current LASD Board President is an employee of his company VoterCircle.

Conflicts of interest abound with the LASD Trustees.

8 people like this
Posted by No 10th Site
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2019 at 1:08 am

At the Los Altos community engagement workshops to decide where to place BCS, residents were told NOT to go to more than one workshop. An exception was somehow made for Sangeeth Peruri who went both times.

Keep in mind that Sangeeth is the boss (or former boss?) of current LASD BoT president Jessica Speiser.

The trustees also allowed Sangeeth to "tell" people how to vote. Sangeeth passed out guides which allowed for only one solution - BCS to 10th site - either partially or entirely.

How does Sangeeth stand to gain financially from the purchase of the 10th site. My guess would be that with 10 acres being alloted to a school/park, there will be less land available to developers. So, his land then becomes more "valuable". And maybe more density can be built on his land because the 10 acres is now not that "dense" - because of the school.

4 people like this
Posted by Former MV resident
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:40 am

Evan-- you bring up a good point: it is a preposterous feature of prop 13 that children can inherit their parent's cost basis for property tax purposes. I know of a couple former 70s HS classmates who inherted homes in Waverley Park who in turn raised their own families while paying a couple thou annually in prop taxes. A ridiculous and unfair benefit that helps create a landed gentry.

It's open to debate whether higher property taxes attached to new homes is cost effective in a high priced area like Mtn. View. Probably not as cities still prefer office development.

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