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Developer eyes East Whisman for 860-unit housing project

Original post made on Mar 6, 2023

A massive new project from Prometheus proposes five new buildings and a total of 860 housing units on a site in Mountain View’s East Whisman Precise Plan.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 3, 2023, 3:44 PM

Comments (3)

Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 6, 2023 at 4:50 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

Total of 860 housing units

716 market-rate units = 83%

144 affordable units = 17%

Wow, this is the highest ratio of affordable housing that I’ve seen in a long time. HOWEVER, it is also proposing a six-story office building, which will of course add to the jobs/housing imbalance in the wrong way.

638 parking spaces? Every unit will not have their own parking spot, that is true for just the market rate units alone. “The Middlefield VTA station is about a quarter-mile walk from the project site.” I wonder if folks in the affordable units will be given parking privileges, since the VTA station is so close, lol.

Reminder: the latest RHNA targets for MV mandate that 6000 out of ~11,000 total new units be affordable, which would require that over 50% of new units be affordable. Obviously 17% in this project is a much lower number than 50%. FYI, 50% of 860 total would be 430 (but this project only provides 144). So, once again ... LOTS of new market-rate units for higher wage earners, but only a pittance for lower income and average income workers.

Question: What steps if any is the City Council taking to ensure that we meet the target of 6000 affordable units? Shouldn't meeting this target be considered one of their top priorities? Web Link

Posted by Dan Waylonis
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 7, 2023 at 11:20 am

Dan Waylonis is a registered user.

Alternatively, just stop constraining development in MV. As developers build new properties, older ones will become available at lower rates, all the way down to the most inexpensive housing in MV. Building "Affordable" units distorts the actual market demand and seldom achieves the desired outcome.

Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 7, 2023 at 3:11 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

“Alternatively, just stop constraining development in MV.”

??? Over the last 8 year RHNA cycle, the Total Target for MV was 2,926 housing units. The Total Permits issued was 8,078. The number of permits issued EXCEEDED the target! See Table 3, Web Link . This nonsense about “blocking supply” is nothing but a tired talking point.

Table 3 also shows that MV FAILED to meet the targets for all income categories other than for the highest wage earners (a group that makes up less than half the population).

Compare the targets:
814(very low) 492 (Low) 527 (moderate) 1,093 (market rate) 2,926 Total

To the actual permits issued:
371(very low) 372 (Low) 253 (moderate) 7,082 (market rate) 8,078 Total

The only target that was met was for market rate units: target was 1,093, and 7,082 permits were issued! And boy oh boy was that target met! How exactly is that “blocking supply”?

Those who care about facts and data can see that the biggest problem MV had over the last 8 years was in creating housing units for lower-income and average workers. They need AFFORDABLE housing, not expensive, market-rate units.

“As developers build new properties, older ones will become available at lower rates, all the way down to the most inexpensive housing in MV.”

This is the same kind of trickle-down logic peddled by Reagan, “a rising tide lifts all boats”. It gave us unprecedented levels of wealth inequality and national debt.

Lower income and average workers do not benefit from high rates of market rate construction. Just the opposite. The result is called GENTRIFICATION, which results in DISPLACEMENT for those at the bottom of the ladder.

The beauty of this myth is that when it fails, AS IT ALREADY DID FOR THE PAST 8 YEARS (see previous stats), the argument is that "well it would have worked if we had just built even more". But developers are not lemmings who will continue to build once a market is saturated. Developers are quick to pull out when the numbers don't "pencil out".

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