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Mountain View's Housing Element is no longer on track to meet state deadline, city staff say

Original post made on Jan 10, 2023

The Mountain View Environmental Planning Commission (EPC) was slated to discuss and recommend adoption of the city’s Housing Element last week, but the public hearing was postponed after city staff said the draft Element isn’t ready.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 10, 2023, 10:17 AM

Comments (34)

Posted by JAFO
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 14, 2023 at 2:37 pm

JAFO is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

WOW, just imagine a time where developers go to the state HCD for approvals instead of the city.

If the City doesn't fix this, that WILL happen


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 14, 2023 at 2:52 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

It's fascinating to me how the dialog related to MV's housing has morphed over such a relatively short amount of time. Personally, I think the residents of our fair city are being beaten into submission, all for the sake of the rich and powerful Google.

* Jul 2019- Google picked a development firm to “shepherd the company's ambitious plans to construct thousands of new homes in Mountain View” Web Link

“Up until recently, those efforts have been focused on local politics, encouraging Mountain View's City Council to amend zoning and planning guidelines in the North Bayshore area to allow for dense new housing.”

Translation: In July 2019, Google decided to broaden it's efforts to something other than “local politics” to get what IT WANTED, regardless of what the RESIDENTS wanted.

First comment is, “Why are we even listening to Google, when they have not produced any housing in the 6+ years of promising to do so in Mountain View?”

* Apr 2021- headline, “Massive zoning overhaul in Mountain View would increase density, potentially adding 9,000 new homes” Web Link

9,000 new homes

* Aug 2021- target number of new homes changes from 9,000 to 11,000, now per a MANDATE from the state. Web Link

9,000 new homes → 11,000 new homes

“State housing mandates are forcing Mountain View to grow quickly, with new zoning requirements that would increase its housing stock by 32% over the next eight years … What's new this year is the scale of housing which cities are expected to accommodate. Santa Clara County's last RHNA allocation was 58,836 units, but this time it's more than doubled to 129,577 units -- a tall order that's unevenly distr


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 15, 2023 at 12:35 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

Now that the City is going to fail to comply with state laws, it looks like the city council will be removed from the process of approving the housing projects by override by the state.

Too bad, but the city has had real problems with even performing city inspections if you bother to watch the damages in 184 Centre Street posted in the video here regarding evidence of instability of the ground. Web Link

The entire lot of 184 Centre Street is showing the shift of soil so extreme it cannot be more obvious. And this is happening in the entire city. The City did a seismic study in 2018 but has hardly done anything to follow up, it is now too old to be considered valid at this time.


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 16, 2023 at 3:30 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

I do not understand @Leslie's statements on Google (that company does not control city planning; the council, their commission, and the city planning staff do). The Mayor, perhaps because he works in another city government / seems the only? councilmember to realize the folly of waiting Too Long to take the State seriously? Sovereignty rests with the State / through the power of the elected Gov and Legislature, not with local government councils.

Developer's Remedy - is maybe what will help push the needle! (or 'kick the pants'). I hope 'Randy and friends' are ready with low income development plans that will be able to use the state law 1990 HAA - to circumvent the very poor planning dept. and commission. Jump on it low income housing developers! This window may be only open a few months!

Sometimes the race IS to the swift!

Yes - in my neighborhood 'South of El Camino Real'


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 16, 2023 at 5:51 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

The City is a Charter City, it HAS NO MAYOR.

It has a City Manager, that has all the Mayors powers, the title Mayor is only to deal with the management of City Council Meetings and NOTHING more.

We should pass a ballot measure establishing a REAL MAYOR, and eliminate the City Manager, in fact the current one has been working for 3 years and the one prior to that worked for 20 years as city manager. Web Link Never Elected.

You wonder why there is no accountability regarding housing? Face it, the City is not able to manage this problem. It in fact is not a REAL City. It is a PRIVATE corporation and nothing more.


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 16, 2023 at 6:03 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

@Steven– hard to have a convo on certain matters because every one of us is on our own journey + operates from our own context. I am old enough to have experienced many disappointments from politicos. Those who have not yet had such experiences, I can see how their minds can be in a different place.

I now understand that many politicians have “public positions” + “private positions”; that is, 1) views they state publicly in order to win votes, and 2) views that guide their use of power. I have put my faith in politicians based on their public positions, only to be greatly disappointed by their actions once they gained power. I was THRILLED to vote for Obama + see him win, I thought he would be another FDR, and it was such a win for Black Americans. I cried when I saw Jesse Jackson openly weeping in the audience that day. Obama promised to fight for a public option in order to stop price gouging by insurance companies (an issue that affects older people more than younger ones); alas, he broke that promise. Obama ran as a progressive, but then governed like a “moderate Republican” (in his own words). He bailed out Wall Street, and let those harmed by their financial fraud lose homes and life savings. The bottom line: politicians (on both sides of the aisle, mind you) often LIE to the public in order to advance their own agendas. Politicians often use their power in order to please their CAMPAIGN DONORS rather than “we the people”. They all benefit, only the public loses.

Many good people are sympathetic to the hardships of those trapped by high rents; that pain has been milked for political power by the CA YIMBY movement. I see mismatches between the “public positions” (i.e. the pretty words) and the “private positions” (the actual actions of how that power has been used). Most of the legislation benefits developers and Google, not those trapped by high rents.

Why are RHNA targets so unexplainably high for MV, if NOT to help Google? How were those targets set?


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 16, 2023 at 7:18 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Leslie / I to know the story. I was 'disappointed' (I've told him) in Councilman 'Lenney' / that he voted for so much OFFICE square ft.

I'm not so disappointed in "Randy", former development director of MV now Alta Housing President and CEO Randy Tsuda.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 16, 2023 at 8:05 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

Just to clarify, operating on ones OWN CONTEXT means you are saying that you are living in a FLEXIBLE and SELECTIVE reality.

The RHNA benchmarks are in fact quite low, not high. They are based on the bare minimums regarding established needs. To me it seems that the state will be able to override the city to establish INCLUSIONARY mandates that will not be allowed to have in lieu fees to evade them. As long as the City cannot establish its own plan.

I also believe that the INCLUSIONARY mandates will grow and expand, based on the fact that the MARKET refuses to deal with the REAL DEMAND.

This is why I find it too difficult to deal with those that CHOOSE to only base their interpretations on only those measures they agree with. ALTERNATIVE FACTS are NOT FACTS. If you think the RHNA model is incorrect, please demonstrate how and provide evidence to prove it? Because at least the RHNA process is transparent, and does have a methodology that is publicly accessible.

If we cannot even agree on REALITY then there will NEVER be any constructive action, it will only be a war of philosophy or belief, and not a discussion on dealing with the problems. FAITH is impossible to reason with. SCIENCE is based on demonstrable and reliable processes.


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 17, 2023 at 3:10 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

“Just to clarify, operating on ones OWN CONTEXT means you are saying that you are living in a FLEXIBLE and SELECTIVE reality.”

No, it means I have sufficient SELF-AWARENESS to understand that my views are a function of the ideas to which I have been exposed. I don't hold others who may not yet been exposed to certain ideas with disdain, I don't believe that they are “stupid”, “evil”, or “lesser than”. If one has never had one's heart broken, it's hard to really understand that politicians sometimes LIE. Once one has experienced it, it is a lesson that one never forgets.

“Because at least the RHNA process is transparent, and does have a methodology that is publicly accessible.”

Then please answer the question that NOBODY has been able to answer: WHY is MV is being asked to build the most housing, as a percentage of existing households, in the region among cities with more than 5,000 residents? How were those targets set? Web Link

In a letter to ABAG, the city wrote “it's unclear how ABAG arrived at some of its numbers.” Also: "An area near downtown Sunnyvale was projected to add only 195 units to the year 2050, despite having approximately 30 acres of underutilized office near their baby-bullet Caltrain station, while an area near downtown Mountain View was projected to add almost 3,000 units, with (a) similar amount or even less area of underutilized land," according to the letter.”

How did ABAG respond? It's not clear, the Voice never published a followup story on this matter. It's worth remembering that a scathing report about deficiencies in the RHNA process was issued by acting state auditor Michael S. Tilden in March, 2022.

“Overall, our audit determined that HCD does not ensure that its needs assessments are accurate and adequately supported.” - Web Link


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 17, 2023 at 5:14 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

Just realize we just had a GOP office candidate get arrested (Web Link for shooting at his political "enemies" Proclaiming that elections are rigged and are lies.

It is NOT disdain, but a correction. Carl Sagan in his book "The Demon Haunted World" predicted we would start to devolve once those with the ability to would try to manipulate others using junk science or deception. I simply will not tolerate that anymore. It is time to correct our behaviors.

EVERYONE in the area has to do the work to fix the lack of parity housing, it is not just Mountain view being targeted. But Mountain View may have the worst performance in the last 24 years regarding parity development.

Instead of trying to distract the readers here from addressing the problem by QUESTIONING the data, the work has to be done to FIX the problem. But the STATE will use its state laws to order the city to perform. Or the City might wind up with no Federal or State funds because of non-compliance.

A "letter" from the city is not evidence, it is an allegation needing corroborating evidence to be justified. I have seen the 2018 Seismic Study, it used no scientific equipment to produce it specifically:

"Upon receipt of the “given” data in spreadsheet form from city staff, the following steps were applied:

 Visual characterization of a 20 percent sample using online images and data. Review of the sample revealed a substantial number of multi-building parcels, suggesting the need to resolve the parcel data into individual building records.
 Resolution of parcels into individual buildings.Web Link

VISUAL observations are not scientific, there needs to be ground soil analysis using the appropriate equipment. This was not done.

JUNK SCIENCE


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 18, 2023 at 1:16 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

@Steven Goldstein, perhaps you didn't realize it … you talked about how “the RHNA process is transparent, and does have a methodology that is publicly accessible”, but then you failed to answer my question:

“WHY is MV is being asked to build the most housing, as a percentage of existing households, in the region among cities with more than 5,000 residents? How were those targets set? Web Link

I would truly like to understand why MV has been singled out in this way.

I think your claim that “the RHNA process is transparent” is false and wrong. If it WERE true, wouldn't you be able to answer my question?

You wrote: “If we cannot even agree on REALITY then there will NEVER be any constructive action, it will only be a war of philosophy or belief, and not a discussion on dealing with the problems. FAITH is impossible to reason with. SCIENCE is based on demonstrable and reliable processes.”

I agree with you! I am a HUGE fan of SCIENCE. I would like to see the “demonstrable and reliable processes” that were used to set the RHNA targets for MV, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, and Los Altos.

“Instead of trying to distract the readers here from addressing the problem by QUESTIONING the data, the work has to be done to FIX the problem.”

Now you lost me. You want me to unthinkingly accept absurdly high RHNA numbers as correct (a matter of FAITH).

MV has a long history of doing more than our fair share regarding housing. I don't see any rhyme or reason to the RHNA numbers, other than to help Google achieve it's goal of increasing headcount at Google HQ. I am raising sincere concerns about JUSTICE, EQUITY, and FAIRNESS.

Fact: Any community that is mandated to increase it's housing supply by over 30% will experience SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE IMPACTS. And the new goal (17,000 units) ups the increase to about 60%! I'm sorry, that kind of increase is OUTRAGEOUS.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 18, 2023 at 1:42 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

JUst an Observation,

First, remember the first lesson in life "life isn't fair"

Second, if you pursue a mistaken process, the longer it takes to correct your action the more it costs. The fact that housing has been neglected for the last 40 years when it was transformed into a "PRIVATE" market during the Reagan Admin makes it simply a terminal cancer.

Thoird, here is the methodolgy that WAS TRANSPARENT from the beginning Web Link page 36

Again, where is the proof that Mountain View is being SINGLED out for such a lack of housing? Mind you it was the control of the City Council that contributes to it. The fact is that Mountain View is allocated only 8.5% (11,135) of the total housing elements in the RHNA study (129,577). Thus the rest is allocated to the rest of the county.

Where is that proven to be unfair? Sunnyvale has the same portion (11,966) , and given it is the most identical to Mountain view, that establishes a good benchmark.


In any event my application for the City Council is submitted


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 18, 2023 at 2:56 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

“here is the methodolgy that WAS TRANSPARENT from the beginning Web Link page 36”

Sending a link to tremendously lengthy document is not TRANSPARENCY. The public deserves to see EXACTLY how the number 11,135 was generated for MV (that info is NOT provided on page 36).

“Where is that proven to be unfair? Sunnyvale has the same portion (11,966) , and given it is the most identical to Mountain view, that establishes a good benchmark.”

FYI, the population of Sunnyvale (160,521) Web Link is about TWICE as large as the population of MV (84,869) Web Link

Giving MV the same burden as given to a city TWICE it's size? Explain to me how that is just, equitable, or fair. But nevermind that, that target helps Google!

"where is the proof that Mountain View is being SINGLED out for such a lack of housing?"

See the letter sent by the City to ABAG (which I referenced in my previous comments):

“Mountain View’s Draft Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) is 11,135 units. At
32% of existing households, Mountain View received the third most in the region (as a
percentage of existing households) and the most of any jurisdiction larger than 5,000
population."

[Note: the most of any jurisdiction larger than 5,000 population = SINGLED OUT]

"A major input of this allocation is the Plan Bay Area model. The model adds
significant variation between similar jurisdictions, such as between Mountain View and
the City’s neighbors in northwest Santa Clara County, all of which are built-out with
similar land uses and have similar access to jobs, high-opportunity areas, and transit.”

Table 1: RHNA Comparison of Similar Cities in Northwest Santa Clara County

RHNA as a Percentage of Existing Households with Plan Bay Area Baseline and with Factors

Mountain View 32%, Palo Alto 22%, Sunnyvale 21%, Santa Clara 25%

[NOTE: 32% is the biggest increase of all - MATH]


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 18, 2023 at 3:06 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

Remember the allocation is based on LAND not population, the fact is that the City of Mountain View has 9% of the county of Santa Clara land.

Population is not an issue were it comes to poor land management. That is not a part of this problem.

The fact that we are 30% below the needs of housing is simply a fact. The reality is land management in this City is terrible. And more importantly trying to inflate numbers by ignoring the land resources is just another distraction. You are selectivly only discussing the area where Mountain View is with the

"Table 1: RHNA Comparison of Similar Cities in Northwest Santa Clara County

RHNA as a Percentage of Existing Households with Plan Bay Area Baseline and with Factors"

Time for the STATE to rightfully control the land of the City. Time for the STATE to impose more MANDATORY INCLUSIONARY housing in the city.

NO MORE GAMES, EITHER PERFORM OR LEAVE


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 19, 2023 at 2:26 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

@Steven Goldstein, your words would be much more credible if you had links and sources to back up your claims.

"Remember the allocation is based on LAND not population,"

1) How can I "remember" something that has never EVER been explained?

I would like to see the mathematical formula, + the appropriate numbers, that explain how the RHNA targets were set for MV and our neighbors. I have been asking for this kind of info for a long, long time. Facts, data, math, science, these are principles that I hold dear. Also, justice, equity, and fairness.

If LAND is truly the important factor that you say it is, that will be evident in the formula. And other cities that have large amounts of LAND should have similarly high RHNA targets. If this is true, it would greatly ease some of my concerns.

Funny, I never thought of MV as being so rich in land compared to others. I'm curious now, I'd especially like to compare MV to Palo Alto, for years they had their own large secluded private park that was closed to non-residents. And of course Stanford is huge with many hiking trails. What is the precise LAND statistic that I should look for, do you know?

2) In it's letter to ABAG, the city of MV pointed out:

"An area near downtown Sunnyvale was projected to add only 195 units to the year 2050, despite having approximately 30 acres of underutilized office near their baby-bullet Caltrain station, while an area near downtown Mountain View was projected to add almost 3,000 units, with (a) similar amount or even less area of underutilized land," according to the letter.”"

Do you see the problem? I don't think LAND is quite the factor that you think it is. RHNA says that the ~SAME amount of land in Sunnyvale and MV should create 3,000 units in MV, but only 195 in Sunnyvale? Why?

"Time for the STATE to rightfully control the land of the City. Time for the STATE to impose more MANDATORY INCLUSIONARY housing in the city."

Thx for letting us all know your true feelings.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 19, 2023 at 4:05 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

He we go with selective reading, and intentional blindness.

The report (Web Link on page 28 says that Sunnyvale must build 2,968 VERY LOW INCOME units, 1,709 LOW income units and 2,032 MODERATE income units versus Mountain view that must build 2,773 VERY LOW income units, 1,597 LOW income units and 1,885 MODERATE income units. In fact Sunnyvale must build 6,709 versus Mountain Views 6,255 VERY LOW to MODERATE housing units. The total units the RHNA says Sunnyvale has to build 11,966 versus Mountain View 11,135 with ABOVE MODERATE INCOMES housing.

How many units are approved so far in Mountain View and what price breakdown?

Where are you getting your information? I think you are just being argumentative.

All I can say is someone is misrepresenting the information here.





Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 20, 2023 at 4:19 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

Google is about to let go of 12,000 workers Web Link

But so far no info about WHERE.

But this should be a sign that the Google projects are going to start being put on HOLD.


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 20, 2023 at 2:46 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

@Steven, seriously? Once again, you are not answering the question.

"The report (Web Link on page 28 says that Sunnyvale must build 2,968 VERY LOW INCOME units, 1,709 LOW income units and 2,032 MODERATE income units versus Mountain view that must build 2,773 VERY LOW income units, 1,597 LOW income units and 1,885 MODERATE income units. In fact Sunnyvale must build 6,709 versus Mountain Views 6,255 VERY LOW to MODERATE housing units. The total units the RHNA says Sunnyvale has to build 11,966 versus Mountain View 11,135 with ABOVE MODERATE INCOMES housing."

You have provided a link to a report that contains numbers. We both agree on that. But it doesn't provide what I have asked for: I would like to see the MATHEMATICAL FORMULA, + the appropriate INPUT numbers, that explain HOW the RHNA targets were set for MV and our neighbors.

MV has a long history of doing more than our fair share regarding housing. I don't see any rhyme or reason to the RHNA numbers, other than to help Google achieve it's goal of increasing headcount at Google HQ. I have been raising sincere concerns about JUSTICE, EQUITY, and FAIRNESS.

“WHY is MV is being asked to build the most housing, as a percentage of existing households, in the region among cities with more than 5,000 residents? How were those targets set?" Web Link


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 20, 2023 at 3:25 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

Here is another resource "REGIONAL HOUSING NEEDS ALLOCATION
DRAFT METHODOLOGY: San Francisco Bay Area, 2023-2031 Feb 2021

Web Link Starting at page 14. It goes and describes everything I have been discussing. What really is the problem is YOU REJECT all other methods other than the ones you FEEL COMFORTABLE with.

Of course you CLAIM I am not answering the questions, but you refuse to even read the resource. You do not demonstrate any literacy regarding this topic at this time

I guess we are a lost cause in Mountain View at this time.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 20, 2023 at 7:10 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

I had to get a lawyer to demand the City to PROPERLY inspect the flooring of my apartment recently, after sending emails for months to the City and the landlord. First lets make sure this is done correctly this time. I expect every inspection to be performed using methods that will satisfy the Frye or Daubert standard. This is because the previous “inspections” used no scientific methods only subjective tests with not record of where support structures are and to what extent they are performing correctly. In the end John Carr and Peter Von Clem have not done the necessary work in the past and could not actually testify in the hearing regarding any safety regarding the building

The fact is that no devices are used to locate the structural parts and scan them to identify whether they are sound or not. This missing information renders any “opinions” as not sufficient to be considered in court. The facts are these inspectors have to locate all floor supporting beams and check to see if they are working.

The entire process must be properly video recorded, along with having an independent eyewitness to observe the process. So I am also making it clear that my attorney or a independent structural engineer be present during the inspection process. I will demonstrate using an 8 oz plastic mallet from 6 inches above the floor to show that there is MISSING floor support beams (it sounds and feels like tapping a drum) and also the floor is sinking. I have an media cabinet I needed to put cardboard boxes under in order to make it level, the floor is not even, and I want the entire floors level examined as well.

Finally, the city cannot use John Carr or any other inspectors because they have demonstrated bias in favor of the landlord in the past. Since their work in the past would not pass the Frye or Daubert


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 21, 2023 at 3:24 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

First, I think it's really cheeky to present a DRAFT version of a document that was already presented as “another resource.”

“Starting at page 14. It goes and describes everything I have been discussing.”

Seriously? On what page is the part that says the amount of LAND in a town is a more important factor than the size of the existing population? And YOU accuse ME of “not demonstrate any literacy regarding this topic”?

Once again, you provide a link to a LENGTHY document and CLAIM that all of my answers are inside it. That is a cheap political trick used to confuse lurkers, I used to think that only Republicans did that. You don't provide quotes, you cannot use simple words to explain why MV is being asked to build a greatly disproportionate share of housing.

But I think I finally found an answer.

On page 14, we see that existing POPULATION is a factor, at least a bit, but in a way that I find deeply disturbing:

“The baseline allocation is based on each jurisdiction’s share of the region’s total households in the year 2050 from the Plan Bay Area 2050 Final Blueprint. Using the 2050 Households (Blueprint) baseline takes into consideration the number of households that are currently living in a jurisdiction as well as the number of households expected to be added over the next several decades. The HMC preferred using 2050 Households (Blueprint) as the baseline because it provides a middle ground between using a baseline based on the current number of households and a baseline based on forecasted housing growth from the Blueprint.”

Our overlords have decided that looking at the existing population is not enough. Nay, nay, they also used their crystal balls to examine the size of the population in 2050 (!), and issued RHNA targets accordingly.

Friends, this is centralized planning on steroids (aka old Russia before the fall)
Web Link . But I guess if it is coming from Blue Politicians, it must be good.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 21, 2023 at 7:37 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just am Observation,

So it really comes to it, there would be NO explanation possible to satisfy your criticisms. You complain about "lengthy" explanations but you really don't address them. Then you use politically biased terminology "OVERLORDS"?

The facts are the information IS TRANSPARENT. You simply need to know the questions to ask and the information literally is in you fingertips.

If anything you know my position, that MANFDATORY INCLUSIVE STANDARDS must be established based in the parity of need. The MARKET will not address it without being FORCED to do it.

I will agree that the idea of reducing or eliminating PARKING space requirements is a lost cause. Those units will end up empty because the people NEED a parking space.

I remember living on campus at SJSU and having to deal with the shortages of parking spaces even though the sold more permits than spaces. When I was there they had about 1000 students living on campus.
With only 1500 parking spaces total, that allowed for only 500 spaces for teachers, off campus students and others for parking, that was a disaster. And no one is learning a thing about it.

Again the fact is local governments have NO REAL CLUE how to manage land, because elections and policies wind up getting the least qualified people with the lowest quality of campaigns.

In the end, there is no EASY solutions, the MARKET is going to have to adjust to lower returns on investment, and more importantly, be MORE experts regarding prevention of overpriced land and structures. If the market cannot correct itself now, it will end up being even worse in less than 3 years.

Sorry there is no such thing as a Passive income especially regarding the housing market. But many Real Estate Agents like Jeb Smith go on youtube trying to sell that business model.




Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 22, 2023 at 10:43 am

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

“So it really comes to it, there would be NO explanation possible to satisfy your criticisms.”

I've come to expect demonization + personal attacks from those who cannot engage in honorable forms of debate. Increased density inflicts hardships on communities, I'd like to believe that the RHNA targets were set via a just, equitable, and fair process. It is not at all clear to me that you share those concerns.

Requiring voters to earn a Phd in ABAG-speak is a clever way of keeping voters in the dark. Most working people don't have 1000s of hours to devote to research, politicians increasingly exploit this. If avg voter doesn't understand how targets are set, transparency DOES NOT EXIST. Even a proponent such as yourself doesn't understand how the targets are set (“allocation is based on LAND not population").

Had a lovely dream last night, like an episode of Columbo, where villian accidentally spills the beans without realizing it. Apparently Housing Methodology Committee's “knowledge” of what the population of MV will be in 2050 was an important factor in their targets. No wonder I was confused! Unlike the rest of us, HMC can see the future! They know best!

I've just wasted a few hours hunting for the place where HMC documents what the population of Mountain View and Sunnyvale will be in 2050. I'm so curious! Couldn't find it. Transparency!

“Then you use politically biased terminology "OVERLORDS"?”

“overlord” definition: “One in a position of supremacy or domination over others.” MV residents are being DOMINATED, then mocked and belittled for expressing concerns about “quality of life” issues. Who do we think we are, expecting to have “quality of life”?

“Again the fact is local governments have NO REAL CLUE how to manage land, because elections and policies wind up getting the least qualified people with the lowest quality of campaigns.”

Did you now that old Russia fell because the CENTRAL PLANNING was horrific and left the people in misery? True story, 'bro.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 22, 2023 at 11:36 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

When a conversation gets to the point where one is constantly "NAME CALLING" it makes a constructive conversation impossible.

You complain you do not understand the ABAG RHNA methodology? But they disclose it to you with TRANSPARENCY.

Remember this government is designed to work when the VOTERS or THE PEOPLE actually are responsible for whatever they get, remember Abe Lincolns Gettysburg address:

" and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth"

And Thomas Jefferson (Web Link also pointed out: "eternal vigilance is the price we pay for liberty"

If it isn't worth the effort by the people, they get what they get.

The simple fact is the report discloses the process, and that it also demonstrates the history of the lack of proper marketing of real estate as a whole.

The fact that real estate transactions crashed 34% in 2022 and is expected to continue to do so.

Now you go on a rant about COMMUNISM. When are you going to stay on topic? The fact is the ABAG is a collective group of independent city governments, it is not a POLITBUREAU, it is comprised of voted representatives, a "REPUBLIC", just like the NATION.

The facts are PARITY HOUSING MARKET DEMAND has been ignored by the "best government money can buy" and the PRIVATE housing industry.

Time for that to change, time to stop living with the myth that the PRIVATE housing industry are the efficient and the experts regarding satisfying the needs of the market.


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 23, 2023 at 11:24 am

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

Mr. Goldstein, respectfully,

FIXES that you + CA YIMBY movement advocate are not fixes at all, they are POISON. They will NOT lower the rent in any significant way, they WILL harm the community. They WILL ALSO increase profits for developers + Google, which is what the CA YIMBY movement is really about.

YOU are the one engaging in name-calling: “So it really comes to it, there would be NO explanation possible to satisfy your criticisms.”

YOU are the one who does not understand + cannot even explain the ABAG RHNA methodology: "Remember the allocation is based on LAND not population."

YOU are the one calling for CENTRAL PLANNING: “Time for the STATE to rightfully control the land of the City. Time for the STATE to impose more MANDATORY INCLUSIONARY housing in the city.” Buried in your words is acknowledgement that the STATE has reached for new powers that they NEVER had before.

You wrote, “Again the fact is local governments have NO REAL CLUE how to manage land, because elections and policies wind up getting the least qualified people with the lowest quality of campaigns.” Implicit in your words is the idea that the STATE is somehow better qualified. On what basis? Show me PROOF that the State will actually “do a better job,” whatever that means. We know it can publish large documents that are incomprehensible to most of the public.

How DO we bring the cost of housing down? The first baby step is to take the same kind of action that most any business would do: establish metrics + MEASURE progress. I have already proposed a POST THE METRICS project to give the community a SHARED VISION about the reality that we are doing a lousy job at building affordable housing at the lower income levels. ~90% of housing units that are built are UNAFFORDABLE to over half the population: THIS IS CRAZY! IT NEEDS TO CHANGE. Yet in meeting after meeting, the City Council approves new projects having this dismal ratio.

The public is being deceived by many actors: that's politics.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 23, 2023 at 12:34 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just san Observation,

When I said "So it really comes to it, there would be NO explanation possible to satisfy your criticisms.”

That is NOT name calling, that is an Observation. I didn't make any statement about you personally, only that you seem to have no solution nor any constructive point to make.

Thant is NOT name calling.

Yes I am saying that given that local agencies cannot use MANDATORY INCLUSION laws only the STATE can under Palmer decision, that it is a situation that cannot be avoided.

Again all of these agencies are controlled by the legislature and governor as a REPUBLIC, so there is no "CENTRAL PLANNING" in reality.

INCLUSIONARY housing is not a CENTRAL plan, given that it is built by PRIVATE interests. The PRIVATE interest will simply have to adjust to MARKET REGULATIONS.

I know I am just being VERY BLUNT about the topic, but we cannot sugar coat this problem anymore.


Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2023 at 2:11 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

The whole process is either a sham or virtue signalling. Now with employers in Mountain View laying off workers, there's even less reason for speculators to build new housing unit sin the city. It won't be the fault of a bad housing element when it does NOT happen as wishful thinking purports.


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 24, 2023 at 9:51 am

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

“That is NOT name calling, that is an Observation. I didn't make any statement about you personally, only that you seem to have no solution nor any constructive point to make.”

Fiddlesticks. You are making baseless, personal attacks against my character. I point out the flaws in your favored approach and your logic. Instead of responding to my ARGUMENTS, you attack me personally. I could make many “Observations” about you too, but I choose to bite my tongue. Your “observations” are false assertions, which you boldly pretend to be “facts”.

I wrote, “Increased density inflicts hardships on communities, I'd like to believe that the RHNA targets were set via a just, equitable, and fair process. It is not at all clear to me that you share those concerns.” Your response was silence. From this I conclude that justice, equity, and fairness are not priorities for you. You are willing to blindly accept whatever RHNA numbers are handed down by the State, and then vividly demonstrate the truth that “FAITH is impossible to reason with.” The State has DECIDED what the population of MV will be in 2050, that is driving the process. Outrageous.

“Again all of these agencies are controlled by the legislature and governor as a REPUBLIC, so there is no "CENTRAL PLANNING" in reality.”

Now you demonstrate your lack of understanding about democratic republic vs central planning. At least you have the good sense to know that central planning is “bad”.

Naomi Klein wrote “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” to explain how, during times of crisis, questionable policies are often put forward to exploit the public. People in pain are distracted and willing to embrace “solutions” that are deeply flawed; their pain essentially hinders their ability to think clearly.

YIMBY solutions are GUARANTEED to generate profits for developers and inflict pain on MV, but there is no SCIENCE that shows that they will lower rents, especially not in any meaningful way. They are SNAKE OIL.


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 24, 2023 at 10:11 am

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

“you seem to have no solution nor any constructive point to make”

Once again, here is my suggestion about how to actually make progress towards lowering the rents in MV (see comments on Web Link )

“One suggestion that I have for [Emily Ann Ramos]: there is an old saying in business, "whatever is measured improves". Most businesses have metrics programs and dashboards to help execs understand the health of their company. I would like to see the city set up metrics page(s) on our public website to track how we as a city are doing at meeting our RHNA goals for every income category. FACT: over the last 8 year cycle, the goals for every income category other than “highest wage earners” WERE NOT MET. This is our core problem – we are simply NOT BUILDING enough affordable housing for lower income categories. Let's stop ignoring this basic truth.

Every time a developer seeks approval for a new project, our progress towards RHNA targets should be reviewed. Every single time the city council approves a project where almost 90% of the units are market-rate, which is what happens MOST of the time, OVER HALF the existing residents of MV are priced out of living there. That is what DISPLACEMENT is all about.”

The ugly truth is that YIMBYs don't mind building at a pace where almost 90% of the units are unaffordable to over half the population of MV. It is a win for Google and Google workers that almost all new housing units that are constructed are ONLY AFFORDABLE to highly paid techies.

POST THE METRICS. Allow the TRUTH to be known: we are simply NOT BUILDING enough affordable housing for lower income categories. Over half the population of MV is being deceived by the false "campaign promises" of the CA YIMBY movement, promises that would be considered FRAUD if they came from the business community. The truth will out.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 24, 2023 at 11:51 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

I just had an "inspection" done on my apartment for the fact the floor is sinking and making cracking sounds. The inspector used his MAGICAL VISION to say that everything is fine, without the use of any scientific methods to detect structural problems. They exist and I will amend my argument to state that if I am a City Council member my first act is to reform the City Inspector.

The City Inspector refuted that a balcony collapsed in Mountain View. I have that conversation recorded and here is the link to it. (Web Link

Given that the inspector clearly made a false statement, given the news here (Web Link And Here (Web Link That means that the “inspection” is disqualified due to the misrepresentations of the inspector themselves. He in effect proved that the report cannot be trusted due to blatant dishonesty.

On top of that, I did my own tests regarding the “leveling” of the floor with a bubble tool, and found that it has random sinking occurring and with bare feet, I marked where the floor is weak (Web Link

The City residents cannot trust the City Inspector UNTIL proper methods that satisfy scientific evidentiary standards like the Fry and Daubert requirements. By not doing so, the City is putting citizens at risk.

If I had the chance I would force major reforms so that the existing inventory is not degrading, and make sure all required inspections for occupancy certification are performed, it appears the city is doing nothing but collecting a fee.

It looks like the City cannot do their job at all, it needs major REFORM


Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2023 at 1:58 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

The city inspector is concerned with massive damage that would justify red tagging a building so it has to be evacuated. A decaying building will deteriorate very slowly over time as opposed to when something major like an earthquake suddenly puts it out of habitability. Building inspectors have jurisdiction when a construction project is underway, not when it starts to look like repairs are going to be needed.

What I would wonder is if this is a slab where recent storms have caused ground water to bubble up through cracks. That may damange surface finishes like flooring--not a structural issue. This is not quite the same as flood damage but it could explain what's happening. Maintaining drainage outside around the building can help avoid this issue.

In any event, it's not an issue for the city council!


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 24, 2023 at 3:47 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

My floor deterioration started 2 years ago when my balcony was worked on. But it has been accelerating. It was only in a small circle 2 months ago, now its is the entire living room. The fact is that if problems are not dealt with early, it simply will not be manageable later.

I understand that the landlord wants the building to fail, because he bought it for $5M but currently it is only worth $3.9M a loss of $1.1M (-20$). That means it is underwater and the only way to break even is to have it become condemned.

The fact is that again in order to issue a certificate of occupancy and keep it valid you need to satisfy all types of CA codes, (structural, electrical, and plumbing). read this (Web Link

This has been completely neglected by the City. Understand it is not the burden of proof that a tenant proves a place is unsafe. The law states it is the burden of the City and landlord to PROVE it is safe and complying with all codes.

And again, a City Inspector NOT using methods that satisfy the Frye and Daubter evidentiary standards means they are not doing their job. Even if they have "jurisdiction" it is conditional on compliance with these standards. The simple fact is the new tools are designed to prevent larger costs of building deterioration.

But where a landlord or a city intentionally does not use them, that is a major legal problem.

That is a failure of due diligence, and that kills any immunity for civil liability.

Uncle Ben said it right "With great power comes great responsibility"

If I can be given the chance, I will make sure the City knows what's going on in this department, and also hold these agents responsible for failing to do what is necessary. If this disqualifies my application, that will demonstrate the City knows it cannot fix itself.




Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 26, 2023 at 2:37 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

Boy I do not think anyone did a story on the Santa Clara Grand Jury affordable housing report Web Link And here is the Cites response Web Link

There was a recommendation for an Affordable Housing Manager, the City wrote a report claiming it had people in place. But I have not seen any progress.

Recommendation 11 pointed out they had diminishing funds for affordable housing, the city response did not include any progress for the funding. In fact it admits it has no additional funding for it

Finding 14 stated "Relying on commercial development to fund affordable housing has the unintended consequence of increasing the need for affordable housing" and the city agreed. The claimed that had a solution, but so far no follow up indicates any action on it.

The key paragraph stated:

t should be noted that the jobs-housing imbalance is not the only metric that illustrates the housing crisis. The number of people displaced annually, the number of unhoused community members, and the number of community members living in overcrowded or unstable housing are also illustrative and are unlikely to be addressed only by addressing the jobs-housing imbalance. The requirements listed above help prevent the exacerbation of the jobs-housing imbalance, but funding strategic investments in housing preservation and supportive housing are also critical to address housing inequities that are fueled by factors that go beyond the jobs-housing imbalance.

No wonder the City cannot get a good element report certified.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 26, 2023 at 9:07 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just an Observation,

The City Council is going to have to address the fact they have allowed illegal apartments for rent in the city.

David Avny when he bought 184 Centre Street KNEW in 2015 that the apartment was in non conformance of the zone it resides. Here is the documents (Web Link
The City website declares the zone an R3.1 which requires 21,000 sq ft for 11 units, there is only 8,000 sqft in this lot (Web Link

The buyer clearly should have seen it.

This record was found from the cases 16CV291570 and 2015-1-CV-288597 I Ohana vs E. Kalvig

"10. One of the material facts about the Property that should have been disclosed to plaintiffs, but which was not disclosed to plaintiffs (either by the sellers or by Alain Pinel), is that the 11 unit apartment building is a nonconforming use under the zoning laws of the City of Mountain View. Under that zoning law, if fifty percent (50%) or more of the apartment building is substantially destroyed or removed, then the owner of the Property will not be able to reconstruct an 11 unit apartment building. Instead, the owner would be allowed to build only two residences on the Property, having a commercial value substantially less than an 11 unit apartment building."

"On October 29, 2015 Plaintiffs learned that the 11 unit apartment building on the Real Property is a non-conforming use under the City of Mountain View zoning laws, with the result that if fifty percent or more of the apartment building is destroyed, the apartment building cannot be rebuilt; instead, only two residential units would be allowed to be built, which would be a significant decrease in the value of the Real Property."

This was prepared by David Avny’s attorney
SHEA & MCINTYRE, A P.C.
2166 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126


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