Town Square

Guest opinion: Yes to more homes

Original post made on Jul 4, 2020

In an op-ed, Mountain View residents Ilya Gurin and Allen Zheng respond to a recent guest opinion on a housing project at 1001 North Shoreline Blvd.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, July 4, 2020, 11:04 AM


Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 4, 2020 at 1:06 pm

It is inaccurate to say that the Terra Bella visioning plan was “generously revised” to address neighbors’ concerns. Multi-story homes in peoples’ backyards is hardly generous. Please don’t equate that degree of concern with what was raised regarding the 1001 North Shoreline project - they are apples and oranges, and many of the hundred-plus who showed up to City Council for the Terra Bella Vision discussion would likely agree. Council certainly seemed to think so.

Posted by @MV Resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 4, 2020 at 1:22 pm

It sounds like an accurate characterization of the position of those opposed to the Terra Bella visioning plan is that they are in favor of more housing, but Not In their BackYard?

Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 4, 2020 at 1:31 pm


No it’s not. Because a great many were supportive of either 1-2 fewer stories or a proper line-of-sight easement for whatever was built off their back property lines. That’s sensible growth not “not in my back yard.”

Posted by Humble observer
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 4, 2020 at 2:28 pm

"Multi-story homes in peoples’ backyards is hardly generous."

But where does such reasoning come from? The author of the earlier Opinion piece (Albert Jeans) is identified as living on San Lucas Ave., which runs between about two-and-a-half and five blocks distant from the proposed site. The nearest existing residential areas I can spot on the map are some two blocks away from the site. This project is in no resident's "back yard!"

Moreover, the site offers several unusual advantages for residences, cited in the current Opinion piece above. Albert Jeans's essay last week (with its poorly supported warning about "overall degradation in the quality of life") is one of the weakest arguments I've read to date about a proposed housing project in town.

By the way, I'm a resident cautious about careless growth. But like many others I know (contradicting another characterization projected by the authors of this latest Opinion essay above), I have not "invariably" opposed new housing projects, including those close to me.

Posted by Janet
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2020 at 8:08 am

how much did the developers pay you to write this? Zero impact, what about the population impact and traffic impact. We are OVER DEVELOPING everywhere in this valley. Just because it's an "empty parking lot" doesn't mean we have to fill it with more housing and people. Anyone that is for this have absolutely no investment in the special communities that once occupied Silicon Valley, and just wants to make more money for themselves.

Posted by JustSayIn
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jul 5, 2020 at 10:37 am

Please put "opinions" in their own categories and it out of the latest news.

Posted by Tech Renter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2020 at 11:46 am

My wife and I moved to MV due to the high pay our current employers were offering. We quickly found out that this was a poor decision, as the cost of living was astronomical and after paying rent we now make less than what we were making before, largely due to the lack of housing supply as a result of local zoning restrictions and NIMBY pushback on high(er) density developments. Couple that with absolutely horrendous commute times, boring communities, outdated housing, sky high childcare costs, so-so public schools, and mediocre beaches, and after two years here we don't see the appeal of Mountain View or the Bay Area in general. With Covid-19 pushing employers to make WFH permanent, we, and many thousands like us, will leap at this opportunity to vote with our feet and move elsewhere. I suspect this drop in demand may correct the absurd housing prices, and that $1.7M, 800 sqft house that hasn't been updated since the 1960s will suddenly be worth substantially less. Myopic thinking on the part of current homeowners has led to this. You reap what you sow.

Posted by PauseDevelopment
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2020 at 2:43 pm

TechRenter's answer is the perfect example why we need to pause house development right now. We're going to be living with this pandemic for the next few years and even if we miraculously make it go away people now have learned that they can work remotely. So people that don't appreciate or cannot make enough to afford living here can move to other places where they'll be happier. The last thing we want is to end up with dozens of abandoned buildings that kill the character of the city to supposedly appeal to outsiders that don't actually want to live here.

Posted by Fred
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 6, 2020 at 5:37 pm

I wonder if the authors either work for developers, or do not live in the affected neighborhood, or both. They are certainly entitled to their opinions, but their opinions do not seem to show any concern for local residents. Their notion of "fair consideration" clearly ignores local residents in favor of something more important to them. According to them, there will no impact to the neighborhood, that they care about. To them, the considerations of local residents are insignificant. I consider this to be building at any cost, given that seven story buildings will be inserted into a two story residential area, which will clearly have a huge impact on one of the only two ways in or out of the subdivision. Only if we ignore all impacts other than the beneficial impact of more housing can anyone claim that fair consideration shows no negative impact on the neighborhood.

Posted by Young Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:05 am

Why do people think being in favor of denser residential buildings must mean you are bought out by developers? The city or a nonprofit could propose building denser residential housing and I would support it.

I look at Paris and Oslo and how eco-friendly and livable their cities are (despite all the tall buildings) and wish we could correct our mistake of planning our life and built environment around cars and traffic concerns. In my opinion, people's forced dependence on cars and high rents decreases the quality of life in our city, not seven-story buildings next to new jobs.

Posted by yes it to more housing
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 11, 2020 at 7:11 pm

bluntly, we need more housing just to accommodate our children. I don't see any way that my own children can live near me

Posted by robcarr
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 14, 2020 at 10:05 am

I support that. I might even share your story Web Link here on my website. I hope you don't mind that.

Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2020 at 12:46 pm

I don't see why they didn't go a step further and build these things as 400 sq ft efficiency studio units. In dense urban places like Oslo, New York and San Francisco, we need the economy of having this type of unit to squeeze in as many people as possible into the new construction. Then the heights could have been just 4 or 5 stories and there would have still been many more people accommodated. Also, one has to ask the question: why all the parking spaces? This seems excessive these days given the need to cut traffic back and the idea being that these are places people can walk to jobs. So cut the parking garage down a few floors as well, saving cost and reducing prices further. You aren't going to find parking garages as part of housing projects in any of these big cities,

What's being built is NOT suitable for use in a highly developed city doing infill housing to accommodate 50,000 jobs just a short trip down the freeway overpass to the massive Googleplex with its extreme JOB density. The housing needs to match. But it doesn't have to impact on the neighbors who have been in the area as much as does what has been approved.

Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2020 at 12:47 pm

These new units as proposed are designed to rent at $4000 or $6000 per month. With some more reasonably sized unit designs, the cost could be cut to $3500. Wouldn't that be better and more on the mark?