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Planning commission recommends temporary office development cap downtown, but with some conditions

Original post made on Nov 9, 2022

With concerns about parking and the jobs-housing imbalance top of mind, city staff want to put a temporary limit on office development in downtown Mountain View.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 1:04 PM

Comments (1)

Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 9, 2022 at 10:05 am

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

I was very excited to read this news this morning, but as I continued to read, I began to wonder if it is merely an empty symbolic gesture. The bit about commissioners adding "a few conditions to ensure projects already in the pipeline aren’t punished" sounds reasonable, but it depends on the cutoff date (which should be ASAP or even sooner, IMHO). If everyone who was considering development in the next few years now rushes to get an application in, how much office construction will actually be prevented?

This part sounds GREAT:

"Commissioner Chris Clark shared Cranston’s concerns, and proposed a compromise: he moved that the EPC recommend the temporary cap on office development to the city council, but also include a suggestion that the council prioritize the Downtown Precise Plan Update process alongside their consideration of a temporary office development cap."

CLEARLY, CLEARLY, CLEARLY the Downtown Precise Plan needs to be updated.

This is the part that concerns me:

""His motion also suggested that the council set a cutoff date to allow developers to submit applications for their projects before the cap goes into effect ... "

The EPC is giving developers one last chance to get their proposals in for new projects like the one that is hated so much at 590 Castro. Why? In order to be "fair" to developers. And this is a temporary cap that only lasts two years anyway. If the jobs/housing imbalance is truly a crisis, shouldn't it be treated as a crisis? Why give developers one last chance to make the problems even worse?

Seems to me that this "temporary" measure might have the opposite effect than what is intended, it might ENCOURAGE developers to submit their proposals for office construction before the door closes. Lovely.

Also, sad to learn about the a new state law – AB 2097 – that limits a city’s ability to require developers to include on-site parking. I've lived in places where parking was extremely limited, it's not fun at all. Developers must be thrilled.

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