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Surprised by local housing costs? You shouldn't be

Original post made on Jan 23, 2014

Silicon Valley has long been a place of human ingenuity, where ever larger worlds of data are packed onto shrinking computer chips — but it's also where cities have struggled for decades to solve a fairly simple housing problem.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 24, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments (92)

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Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm

City council members are all homeowners. They don't care if the housing shortage drives up their home prices.


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm

"City council members are all homeowners. They don't care if the housing shortage drives up their home prices."

~~~~~~~~~~

You might want to double check on the accuracy of that statement. I believe that Mountain View's mayor, Chris Clark, is not a homeowner. I think he's was recently quoted in The Voice about how he hopes to be a homeowner in the future. I'll look for the link, but I'm thinking the comment was published within the last several weeks.


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Posted by Moffett Resident
a resident of Willowgate
on Jan 23, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Let San Jose have the new jobs, and provide the housing. Check this article: Web Link


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 24, 2014 at 8:00 am


My apologies, evidently it is I who needed to double check the facts. Chris Clark is indeed a homeowner. From the article I was referring to:

Web Link

"Clark says he's brought a unique perspective to the job as someone who works in tech and rented an apartment for many years in the city before making a down payment on a house.

"I rented for a long time and made the leap to home ownership, which is really tough," he said. "A lot of people who have lived in Mountain View for a long time don't necessarily recognize how hard it is to make that down payment and make that leap." "


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Posted by Martin
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 24, 2014 at 11:28 am

Remind me again why Madera's plans had to be scaled back? Was it that they didn't build enough parking or that Caltrain and VTA station is too far away?

It's all due to collective NIMBY. No one wants HSR, bigger train stations, grade separations, but complains about housing prices.


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Posted by Jo
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Let the comment wars begin


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Posted by Jo
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Let the comment wars begin


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Anyone who could and did vote for Prop 13 only has themselves to blame.


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

While its silly to think there is some sort of desired jobs/housing ratio, its just as silly to plan to allow for job growth without allowing for housing growth. Rent control will only make problems worse. Maybe we should get rid of all the jobs in Mountain View and become a less diverse town like Los Altos. NOT


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

While its silly to think there is some sort of desired jobs/housing ratio, its just as silly to plan to allow for job growth without allowing for housing growth. Rent control will only make problems worse. Maybe we should get rid of all the jobs in Mountain View and become a less diverse town like Los Altos. NOT


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm


There are only three ways to make housing in Mountain View more affordable; decrease demand, increase supply, or through subsidies.

Mountain View is where Silicon Valley was born. Today, many of the largest technology companies in the world are headquartered here, including Google, LinkedIn, Intuit, Mozilla Foundation, and Symantec. We are all aware of the rapid growth of Google and its plans for expansion. The city is considering a plan that would allow 3.5 million square feet of additional office development in the North Bayshore area. Google is also planning two ground-up campuses, one in Mountain View on city-owned land, and one on federal land at the NASA Ames Research Center that could fit thousands more workers. However, Google is not the only company that is growing as Mountain View is home to many start-ups. In addition, Mountain View residents work in nearby fast growing hi-tech companies such as Apple and Facebook. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) projects that the total number of jobs in Mountain is expected to increase by 40 percent between 2005 and 2030. That means an increase of approximately 17,000 jobs between now and 2030.Based on these facts, the only reasonable conclusion is that demand for housing will continue to increase, not decrease.

Mountain View is built out. There are few areas that are not developed. However ABAG does not agree. ABAG states that strong markets are the best places to build more housing and that these areas include San Francisco, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View.

Per the 2030General Plan, Additional Apartments will be built along transit corridors in the East Whisman, El Camino Real and San Antonio areas. However, there is no available land to build additional single family homes and so the single family home population will remain essentially fixed. If the 222 acre El Camino Real redevelopment project ends up with 50% apartments, then approximately 7,700 additional apartment units will be constructed. In reality, the number will be substantially less, as space along El Camino is required for shopping malls, businesses that provide neighborhood services, and office buildings. Additional housing in the East Whisman, El Camino Real and San Antonio areas may match job growth but it certainly will not exceed job growth. Based on these facts, the only reasonable conclusion is that the housing stock will remain in short supply.



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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm


There are only three ways to make housing in Mountain View more affordable; decrease demand, increase supply, or through subsidies.

Mountain View is where Silicon Valley was born. Today, many of the largest technology companies in the world are headquartered here, including Google, LinkedIn, Intuit, Mozilla Foundation, and Symantec. We are all aware of the rapid growth of Google and its plans for expansion. The city is considering a plan that would allow 3.5 million square feet of additional office development in the North Bayshore area. Google is also planning two ground-up campuses, one in Mountain View on city-owned land, and one on federal land at the NASA Ames Research Center that could fit thousands more workers. However, Google is not the only company that is growing as Mountain View is home to many start-ups. In addition, Mountain View residents work in nearby fast growing hi-tech companies such as Apple and Facebook. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) projects that the total number of jobs in Mountain is expected to increase by 40 percent between 2005 and 2030. That means an increase of approximately 17,000 jobs between now and 2030.Based on these facts, the only reasonable conclusion is that demand for housing will continue to increase, not decrease.

Mountain View is built out. There are few areas that are not developed. However ABAG does not agree. ABAG states that strong markets are the best places to build more housing and that these areas include San Francisco, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View.

Per the 2030General Plan, Additional Apartments will be built along transit corridors in the East Whisman, El Camino Real and San Antonio areas. However, there is no available land to build additional single family homes and so the single family home population will remain essentially fixed. If the 222 acre El Camino Real redevelopment project ends up with 50% apartments, then approximately 7,700 additional apartment units will be constructed. In reality, the number will be substantially less, as space along El Camino is required for shopping malls, businesses that provide neighborhood services, and office buildings. Additional housing in the East Whisman, El Camino Real and San Antonio areas may match job growth but it certainly will not exceed job growth. Based on these facts, the only reasonable conclusion is that the housing stock will remain in short supply.



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Posted by K
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:19 pm

It is not a surprise to long time residents. We know its always been that way, we have been here and paid higher rents to do so. We are not idiots. It is the increase has now seemed to go up exponentially. An apartment that went for $600 went up to $900 and now that same sq ft is $2250 a month. The shock is $8000 a month for an apartment (and its not in Manhattan).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

There are only three ways to make housing in Mountain View more affordable; decrease demand, increase supply, or through subsidies.

Mountain View is where Silicon Valley was born. Today, many of the largest technology companies in the world are headquartered here, including Google, LinkedIn, Intuit, Mozilla Foundation, and Symantec. We are all aware of the rapid growth of Google and its plans for expansion. The city is considering a plan that would allow 3.5 million square feet of additional office development in the North Bayshore area. Google is also planning two ground-up campuses, one in Mountain View on city-owned land, and one on federal land at the NASA Ames Research Center that could fit thousands more workers. However, Google is not the only company that is growing as Mountain View is home to many start-ups. In addition, Mountain View residents work in nearby fast growing hi-tech companies such as Apple and Facebook. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) projects that the total number of jobs in Mountain is expected to increase by 40 percent between 2005 and 2030. That means an increase of approximately 17,000 jobs between now and 2030.Based on these facts, the only reasonable conclusion is that demand for housing will continue to increase, not decrease.

Mountain View is built out. There are few areas that are not developed. However ABAG does not agree. ABAG states that strong markets are the best places to build more housing and that these areas include San Francisco, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View.

Per the 2030General Plan, Additional Apartments will be built along transit corridors in the East Whisman, El Camino Real and San Antonio areas. However, there is no available land to build additional single family homes and so the single family home population will remain essentially fixed. If the 222 acre El Camino Real redevelopment project ends up with 50% apartments, then approximately 7,700 additional apartment units will be constructed. In reality, the number will be substantially less, as space along El Camino is required for shopping malls, businesses that provide neighborhood services, and office buildings. Additional housing in the East Whisman, El Camino Real and San Antonio areas may match job growth but it certainly will not exceed job growth. Based on these facts, the only reasonable conclusion is that the housing stock will remain in short supply.



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Posted by Martin
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Here's an interesting idea. Allow people who work in a given city to vote on local issues. These people spend 10-12 hours a day in Mountain View, patronize local restaurants and businesses for lunch and dinner. Why shouldn't they have a say in the city their employers pay taxes in. Never gonna happen, but such a change would ensure City Council takes a more balanced approach to planning.


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Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm

A well-written and balanced article about a pressing problem!

If we get more jobs than homes, rents go up. There are two ways to fix it: reduce the number of jobs or increase the number of homes. I think the latter makes more sense. I don't think government should stop employers from hiring people. It's very strange to me that some people do.


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Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm

A well-written and balanced article about a pressing problem!

If we get more jobs than homes, rents go up. There are two ways to fix it: reduce the number of jobs or increase the number of homes. I think the latter makes more sense. I don't think government should stop employers from hiring people. It's very strange to me that some people do.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I live on Greenview Drive, it should be called Noview Drive after the two story Cuernavaca houses were built, when they were supposed to be one story houses.
Around the corner on Crestview Drive we have The Solano Apartments, 300 or so units and The Crestview Condos, 500 or so units. Across the street where the billiard pool building was located, more condos or apartment buildings are being built. Most of the cars will funnel onto Crestview then Greenview Drive, both very narrow streets. Then funnel onto Continental Circle and then Americana and finally onto El Camino Real. It will be and it is a real mess getting to El Camino Real.
We are in competition with Hong Kong on housing density in our area. Why the devil can't you build houses and not condos? I am quite certain none of the Mountain Legislature live in our area. If they did, this mess never would have happened.


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Im apologize for multiple duplicate postings due to computer glitches


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Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm

A well-written and balanced article about a pressing problem!

If we get more jobs than homes, rents go up. There are two ways to fix it: reduce the number of jobs or increase the number of homes. I think the latter makes more sense. I don't think government should stop employers from hiring people. It's very strange to me that some people do.



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Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Great article, Daniel. I'd love to see you extend it into a series of articles and get some of the up-to-date jobs to housing ratio data that's missing from this piece.

Don't forget to include the fact that an increasing share of housing everywhere will be occupied by retirees (the Boomers and older cohorts) rather than working-age families.

Lastly, it's always great to hear what Joe Simitian has to say. His intelligence and experience make him our area's MVP -- as in Most Valuable Politician.


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm

"Allow people who work in a given city to vote on local issues. These people spend 10-12 hours a day in Mountain View, patronize local restaurants and businesses for lunch and dinner."

~~~~~~

Sweet. So that should mean that people who work AND live in Mountain View should get TWO votes, and those who happen to work in Mountain View AND are also a resident property owners, should get THREE votes...you know since property owners not only patronize local restaurants and businesses for lunch and dinner, but property owners also pay property taxes, fund bond measures, helps support the public schools, etc. ... oh, and subsidize the salaries of city government employees.

Let's dowit.


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Posted by Malibu1369
a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm

By not approving new housing projects to serve your community, housing projects that will attract families and educated professionals, you are relegating your community to be another east Palo Alto or Oakland. Good luck with your property values when that happens...


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm

@Malibu1369,

Mountain View's population density, if North Bayshore is excluded, is the highest population density in Santa Clara County. We do not have space to house the additional 15,000 Google employees. Meanwhile San Jose has lots of space.

My neighbors are professional who desire to maintain a high quality of life. We are concerned about traffic, ugly buildings, buildings where neighbors can look into our backyard or homes. This requires controlled growth.

Most of us commute to jobs outside of Mountain View and find the Google traffic an impediment.

I would move out of Mountain View to Los Altos in a New York minute if I had the money instead of remaining in "Developerville"


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Posted by Chuck Karish
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2014 at 12:51 am

Forty years ago I walked door to door in Palo Alto in support of a ballot measure that would have blocked the building of an office and commercial development that's now called Palo Alto Square. People were responsive to the argument that Palo Alto was building to attract many more jobs than could be supported by new housing. Then the long period of rises in real estate prices began, driven by this very imbalance, and the imbalance was seen as less important than the homeowners' newfound wealth and the character of their cities.


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Posted by terryb
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 25, 2014 at 2:57 am

Years ago there were company towns and areas built by and controlled by big local industry. Are we headed back there?


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Posted by Patrick
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 25, 2014 at 10:38 am

Why do all these companies have to develop in the same area? Why noy branch out into other cities? It's too congested here. Mountain View will soon become crowded and polluted as China. I don't understand why all the tech companies have to be within reach of each other, when their customers are spread out globally.


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Posted by mr Advice
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 25, 2014 at 5:52 pm

It's a simple formula, supply and demand. The demand isn't going away anytime soon. It's the same as it's been for 100's of years, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Let the church house the poor and needy.


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Posted by Doug Pearson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm

"Anyone who could and did vote for Prop 13 only has themselves to blame." Robert, you are so right. I voted for Prop 13 because increasing the assessed value by 2%/year at most was so obviously unfair that I was sure the California Supreme Court would strike that provision. Unfortunately, they left it in and I've been kicking myself ever since.

But assessing property at market value would do little to increase the supply of housing in the city. The problem stated in the article still stands and I'm sure there will never be enough housing in the city to bring the cost down. Renters, unfortunately, are now the majority and do not have the "low inflation" benefit of Prop 13 because well-managed rental property rents at market value, not assessed value. Meanwhile, the developers are stymied by restrictions on the number of rental units they can build, increasing the market value of the units they are allotted.

Joe Simitian does know what he's talking about.


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Posted by Charles Bransi
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 26, 2014 at 9:28 pm


This article has 2 major logical fallacies. First, that rental price increases only (or mostly) because of a job and housing imbalance. The reality is that rent price increase in almost all major cities in the US. The pressure on rent is not a local problem at all. It does happens all over the US. This price increase is caused by a very accommodative monetary policy that inflate asset price. The big conundrum is that regular folks have very little (if none) increase in salary, and therefore, are not able to face increase of rent through inflation. The second major fallacy of this article is that two wrong will somehow make it right. For example, the San Antonio change area has 56% of its land use for residential, 26% for commercial and only 5% for office. This article leads us to believe that increasing even further the imbalance in land use in San Antonio change area will solve the problem of housing cost. The reality is is that making an area with just office, and another area with just housing will just exacerbate traffic, parking and pollution issues. This is old school. The reality is we need mixed land use, where neighbors share the infrastructure versus compete for the infrastructure. The goal should be to add more office in the San Antonio area, especially near Public Transit like Caltrain. The workers could lived near any other public transit station in the Bay Area and the model would work perfectly. Who says all the new residential unit needs to be in Mountain View. With a better public transit, people can go live in other cities, and still work in Mountain View.

Bottom line, I would hate that people of Silicon Valley would want to be less successful, because people are too afraid of the downside of success. Yes, we are victim of our success. Yes, we need to manage better our growth. But the solution is to improve efficiency of infrastructure (parking, traffic, air quality) by increasing mixed use land. The solution is also to build office space near Caltrain. Office near transit provide the highest yield in public transit ridership. It is a key initiative to fight green house emissions. Also, office worker spend money in our commercial land use. To have interesting restaurant in the San Antonio Center, we need offices around to support their business Monday to Friday, and we need resident for weekend. The mix office/resident/commercial will generate the most revenue through sales tax. We could also believe that Target, Milk Pail, and other store could see higher sales generated by office worker near by.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2014 at 7:11 am

Build, build, build! Pack 'em in like sardines! As long as traffic still moves at all, that's not dense enough! You're doing great, don't stop now, lots of places left to fill!
Glad I bailed out when I did. I'll watch my new property value rise in direct proportion to the decline in Mtn View's quality of life.


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Posted by phr
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jan 27, 2014 at 8:04 am

PLEASE READ: Last year, my husband and I were renting at Whisman Station, a 2 bedroom apartment for $2700.00 a month. We had a home in San Jose, but he wanted to be closer to work at NASA. I was born and raised in Mountain View/Los Altos, and wanted to move back because I loved Mountain View. However, what I found was extremely disappointing. 1) the schools were worse than when I went (Landels) for my son, 2) the housing prices were insane, yes, insane! and most disturbing was that often while living in that rented apartment, I socialized with people by the pool. Not ONE was from the U.S. and had just been recruited to work in Silicon Valley high tech industry. The majority of the people living at Whisman Station were 20's-30's. My husband made a six figure salary, and mine close to that, yet we couldn't qualify for a decent home, they were over $1M. So, we started to look outside the area. We got all the way to Brentwood before we found an affordable house for the size we wanted. $399K for a brand new 3,000 sq foot home in a gated community. Wonderful. But, now my husband had to commute to Mountain View several times a week traveling that Vasco Road and several highways. I had to leave close relatives to do this. Brentwood is beautiful, people are so much nicer, pace is better, but, not as much to do. The worst thing is that my husband died a month after we moved up here unexpectedly. My son and I area now "stuck" up here. I can't afford to move back to even rent an apartment. Thanks for making it impossible to live in my hometown. Thanks for making my son go through major depression because he had to move away from friends as well as dealing with the loss of his dad. THANKS MOUNTAIN VIEW FOR MESSING UP OUR LIVES BECAUSE WE CAN'T AFFORD TO LIVE IN MY HOMETOWN. ALL THOSE HIGH TECH COMPANIES WOULD RATHER HAVE FOREIGNERS THERE THAN MY SON AND I. THANKS.


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Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2014 at 9:53 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

I really like mixed use project, not everyone who is coming here want to live in a single story ranch. Drive around we have a sea of single story buildings, not going to say we need to replace everything with high rises. Even the great cities have low rise housing.

Driving in from Brentwood to Mountain View every day is hard. So sorry to hear about your loss. To some the quality of life means views, blue sky or living close.to work. But what about spending time with your partner, eating together as a family, getting to know the kids and spending less time in the car.


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Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 27, 2014 at 10:28 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Garrett83 -- You make some very good points about quality of life, but I ask you to consider what quality of life sardines have. Yes, eating dinner together as a family is nice, but it detracts from the experience if your dining room is only 100 sq ft! Also, the more offices and residences the city adds, the worse traffic will get. The San Francisco and San Jose areas are two of the top 5 cities in America with the longest (distance-wise) commute. Many people commute over 50 miles to go to work and if they take public transportation, they can expect a 2 hour commute each way! I know because I am one of them.

To everyone I will say that no matter where you stand on the development issues, one thing is clear, we cannot ever build enough housing or office space in Mountain View to keep up with the demand. One business could add over 10000 jobs in a single year and even if the city and the developers wanted to, there is now way to build that kind of capacity in such a short time.

I believe that Mountain View much take a smart approach to growth that provides some additional housing and office space, but preserves our neighborhoods and quality of life. It can be done if we have the will to do it.

As many of you know, I have declared myself as a candidate for Mountain View City Council. I would appreciate it if every member of the community could give me feedback and ideas on what you want to see happen. It is your city. Make your voice heard.

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

Web Link (Article)
www.electneal.org (Campaign website)


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 27, 2014 at 11:42 am

Jim Neal,


We are not "no-growthers', we are for intelligent growth.

We believe that Mountain View should follow the 2030 General Plan. "The General Plan seeks to maintain this high-quality environment by preserving the land uses within most neighborhoods and establishing policies to help enhance and support their distinct characters."

We believe that residents have a right to be concerned about massive, ugly, buildings; tall buildings where people can look into neighbors yards and homes; and increased traffic.

We believe that the financial benefits of developers should be weighed against the effect on residents.

We believe that the City Council members were elected to represent the residents of Mountain View and not just out of town developers.

Take Back Mountain View


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Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Not saying Mountain View needs to build housing for every job it produces. We don't need to pack them in like sardines but spreading them out in sea of low rise housing. We are building and planning new bomes in the Central Valley faster then the transit systems can expand.

People scattered over extreme areas don't make good future transit users. How are you going go run a bus from Brentwood to Mountain View, spread out neighborhoods to spread out office parks.

You have to run the system faster then driving, reasonable costs. Lets say a 45 person bus from Brentwood full of people to Google.


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Posted by Charles Bransi
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 27, 2014 at 1:37 pm

@Garret83,

Yes, bus are good. I think we should look at all alternatives. But if you already have a rail system, we should increase its efficiency. It is going to go electric soon, and the number of train will increase. Builder of office needs to meet 30% traffic reduction target, so let's provide them with the tools to do it. However, the crux of my point is that housing and job imbalance is not why the price is high. People can commute. If you make the commute easy (and eco-friendly), then the housing "pool" becomes huge, and according to some theory floated here, the price should go down (or at least contained). Nevertheless, the reason to build office near Caltrain in San Antonio is to share parking, roads, park, restaurants, etc. I am preaching for a balance of Office/resident/commercial, but in a mixed-used environment.


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Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Konrad -- I never have and never will use the term "no-growthers". I believe that it has become a pejorative term designed to disparage people rather than engaging them on their ideas. Other than that, I agree with everything you said.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


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Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Most people don't live or work close to the Caltrain line, about 25 years ago I explained to a transit planner this idea.

Build Caltrain right into San Francisco Civic Center, the future of the bay area is Silicon Valley. I was told San Francisco would be a major employer in 2015, major financial, business hub and trader center.


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Posted by Tech Worker
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm

For workers like me, we need to build up the work-from-home model. That gives us

* reduced jobs/housing pressure
* reduced traffic
* reduced commute time
* increased local restaurant usage
* increased office space efficiency
* better housing/rent price distribution

Does this make sense?


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Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 27, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Tech Worker -- It makes sense, but it is not practical. Many of us (I am a tech worker too) already have jobs that we have held for many years and the reality of the economy in addition to age makes is very difficult to get work locally. Also, some companies have already tried the work from home model ( I can think of one in Menlo Park) and have reverted to the work-in-the-office model because they said productivity fell off to much. Lastly, there are other companies that are almost paranoid about their trade secrets and security, so I doubt they would be willing to use that model as well. I do wish that more companies would use that model though. If I could work from home every day, I would save $3,000 to $4,000 per year in Public Transportation expenses (Caltrain, Muni, and BART).


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:47 am

Mountain View City Council's housing plan is like trying to pour 5 gallons of water into a 1 gallon bucket. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to
see that it won't work and that results will be messy.

San Jose has room and a well thought out plan.The "Golden Triangle" is looked upon as a great place for a
company to build a campus

Mountain View opposes the Google bridge.
Mountain View is concerned about increased Google traffic.
The Google campus at NASA is up in the air.

I would be very surprised if Google is not keeping an eye on San Jose. No
move imminent but in the long term, who knows.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Passing growth onto a another group of cities dealing with the same issue, housing, traffic and expanding businesses wanting to build bigger offices.

Only connection to Mountain View that some companies have moved out, workers or future workers will reside in Mountain View. People will work where they want to work or live where they want too. Companies will located where the climate is best to grow. Not all companies want to be in San Jose.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Anyone else notice? No one from Atherton/Los Altos/LAH/Woodside/etc. is clamoring to increase their density to be on par with Mtn View. Just plain ignorance on their part, they sure are missing out on some swell benefits!


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Posted by LoveYourDNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Seriously? Call it what it is: GREED! Just because there is a shortage of housing, is the ONLY solution jacking up rents beyond any reason? Why does supply and demand ONLY call for sky-high prices? I can see increases that go along with the owners increased expenses, but what's going on here is not that or justified. Didn't we learn anything from the last boom/bust cycle? UGH!


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Posted by Dave
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2014 at 3:19 pm

For that matter, since Los Altos at 6.4 square miles is over half as big as Mountain View at 12.3 square miles, Los Altos needs to add jobs! Back in 2000, Mountain View already had 69,000 jobs but Los Altos only had 10,600. There's not been much growth in Los Altos. Just to catch up with 2000 levels per square mile, Los Altos should add companies with 20000 employees. How about tearing down the little cluster of shops at El Camino and San Antonio where Chef Chu's and the many small business are. Then we could put up a couple of these 8 story High Rises there. Why should they go into Mountain View? At 40,000 square feet per floor with 16 floors that would be room enough to give new jobs to 2560 people. It would be a start. Maybe there's room enough for 3 of these buildings. We need redevelopment and revenue for Los Altos! Why should Mountain View hogg it all. Really, the traffic impacts to Los Altos wouldn't be any worse than having these towers at California Avenue but it would be a lot of revenue for the city. It already has the housing for 30,000 people which is half of Mountain View, so it should aim for half the number of jobs as well!


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Posted by LoveYourDNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm

And by the way, Google, etc., will implode one day too. So making them the center of gravity in MV is laughable...


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm

50 years from now the workplace will be different, companies change, the tech world has changed, kids will be grown up, taking jobs and need housing. Wonder what housing will cost then.

Right now housing is getting more and more, we aren't building or we know that we can charge so much for rent. Supply and Demand, same rule could be applied to the workforce. We need workers, we need college educated workers, we need college educated worker who are willing to start up companies.

Remember the housing prices will get so high that most people will just need to work to pay off loans for school, loans for housing and cars. No one will want to take a risk. Even have the time to think about starting up a company with the amount time spent driving along to and from a far off place.

Over the last few years I have read about the options of walking, biking, take shuttles, buses, rail transit, each option has its own set of challenges. While housing is cheaper in the Central Valley, the cost of driving becomes more and more. Gas will rise, traffic will get bad.

To center everything around walking, biking and shuttles/buses you need to increase density. To build rail based transit you will need to spend more money per mile, but the challenge of getting people to one central spot becomes harder as people get more spread out.


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Posted by Charles Bransi
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 28, 2014 at 9:18 pm

@Garret. I agree with you that public transit is not a solution for all our difficulties. I also believe medium density should be targeted. I am upset by this article because it is written at a time where the city council is reviewing precise plan for San Antonio and El camino. It pushes for the wrong reasons an agenda to keep building more housing. The reality is all the new housing are pushing the price higher and higher. Who ever heard of 8000$ apartment before the new development ? In San Antonio, everybody in the neighborhood is amazed that the new two bedrooms start at 4200$ month. How does that help lowering the price ? What is really going on is gentrification of Mountain View, and therefore, higher price are ahead for rentals. All the people who are for building apartments don't realize that this will increase the price of rentals, and degrade the life of current resident by overloading the infrastructures (like schools, road, parking, park, air quality, etc.). I am okay for growing the city at a reasonable pace, but every location should try to improve the community, not try to take advantage of it like they are doing now. In San Antonio change area, we have problem with parking, traffic, school overcrowding, and park overcrowding. The solution is about sharing our infrastructure with the few offices around (or commercials), rather than building more rentals which compete for the resources with the current residents.


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Posted by badplanning
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Companies want to be in Mtn View, because their employees think it's great! Build a whole bunch of housing and it will turn it into a horrible place to come to and the jobs will leave.

Does ABAG really look at only the city-level numbers? As was said earlier, Los Altos has a high house to job ratio...and they are right next door! Why shouldn't those numbers be taken into account?

It really peeves me that the residents of mtn view are being penalized for allowing job growth to rapidly expand by destroying the livability of the city.

New council members please!


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Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 9:53 am

@ LoveYourDNA.

The purpose of businesses, other than non-profits, is to make a profit.

Economics 101 - Set prices based on supply and demand. In a free market system, otherwise known as capitalism, what the market will bear is the general rule. Price is the way scarce resources (housing) is allocated. If you set prices below market rate you create scarcity, where demand exceeds supply.


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Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 9:59 am

Development is a regional issue, not just a Mountain View issue. Let's look at a Tale of Two Development Plans


Mountain View San Jose

Location North Bayshore Golden Triangle

Area in acres 180 5,000

Office & research space 3.4 million square feet 26.7 million square feet
Jobs 15,000 to 20,000 133,500
Jobs / acre 83 to 111 27

Housing Zero 32,000

Retail Little 2.7 million square feet

Hotel Maybe 550 rooms


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Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:15 am

Hope this is clearer:

Location: - Mountain View – North Bayshore, San Jose – Golden Triangle.
Area in acres: Mountain View 180 acres, San Jose 5,000 acres
Additional office and research space: - Mountain View 3.4 million square feet, San Jose 26.7 million square feet
Additional jobs: Mountain View 15,000 to 20,000, San Jose 133,500
Additional jobs per acre: - Mountain View 83 to 111, San Jose 27
Additional Housing: Mountain View –zero, San Jose 32,000 units
Additional retail: Mountain View little, San Jose 2.7 million square feet
Hotel: Mountain View maybe, San Jose 550 rooms


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Posted by Charles Bransi
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:20 am

@Konrad. I like your general view on the dev in Mountain View. Can you contact me at mvcrdev@gmail.com ? Thanks

Although I agree with you on many things, I just wanted to point out that I disagree on your basic approach of free market and housing supply. The market needs to be segmented. For example, the not-so-glamorous rentals on California street will never be competing with the luxury apartment. Currently, we are increasing the supply of ultra luxury apartment, at the expense of the supply of middle income apartment. This is a process called gentrification. It happens not only with housing, but with stores too. Milk Pail and Rose market being the poster child. The independent store, small business owner, is pushed out for big chain store front. This process, combined with the higher density model of increasing the supply of luxury home, is definitely increasing the price of rentals, and lowering the value of the neighborhood homes. Yes, in theory, having a revitalize neighborhood is better, but not at the cost of increasing the density with problem for traffic, parking, schools, park, etc.






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Posted by One thing missing
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm

One thing missing in all this is that the major companies are offshoring there laborers or moving them to Texas or Florida (States that are business FRIENDLY). Only the very top people will stay in this area and yes, they can afford those luxurious houses and apartments.

Like someone said you can't put 5 gal in a 1 gal container. This is no longer your Mt. View from back in the 80s.


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Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 2:59 pm

@One thing missing,

You have a good point. Intel no longer makes chips in California, having moved its manufacturing to Oregon, Arizona.New Mexico, Massachusetts, Ireland, Israel and China.

However, Tesla is adding manufacturing jobs in Fremont.

The main high paying job growth in this area is at internet companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The formula has long been established: Go to Stanford, get assistance from their entrepreneurial team, get Venture Capital, hire foreign Computer Science experts with green cards, build revenue,and go public.


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Posted by Moffett Resident
a resident of Willowgate
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Konrad - Thanks for the figures comparing MV and SJ development potential. There is no reason not to let job and housing development happen primarily in SJ and the East Bay, rather than in MV. San Jose actually seems to want this sort of development - see this article from the Mercury: Web Link

There is no reason for MV to commit to 3.4 million square feet of new office space in North Bayshore, and no reason to attempt to house the 15,000-20,000 new employees that would fill that space. This figure doesn't include the thousands more new employees that we can expect in other parts of MV and in adjacent cities.

Thanks also for your thoughtful statement of principles:

"We are not 'no-growthers', we are for intelligent growth.

"We believe that Mountain View should follow the 2030 General Plan. 'The General Plan seeks to maintain this high-quality environment by preserving the land uses within most neighborhoods and establishing policies to help enhance and support their distinct characters.'

"We believe that residents have a right to be concerned about massive, ugly, buildings; tall buildings where people can look into neighbors yards and homes; and increased traffic.

"We believe that the financial benefits of developers should be weighed against the effect on residents.

"We believe that the City Council members were elected to represent the residents of Mountain View and not just out of town developers."

I have just one problem with this: The quote from the General Plan sounds good, but please note the qualifier "most neighborhoods." This is meant to exclude the so-called "change areas" in the General Plan. In the El Camino "change area," 8 stories are now allowed, as city council member Mike Kasperzak reminded all of us. In North Bayshore, the General Plan would theoretically allow for 26 million square feet of new office space and 130,000 new employees (see this article: Web Link). In the Moffett "change area," we are going to enjoy the new 4-story Prometheus development, with the traffic it will bring to an already-congested intersection, and inadequate parking that will burden neighborhood streets. The "change area" designation allows for a corridor of these things. Need I even mention the San Antonio "change area"? I think the General Plan needs be revoked and rewritten.

Charles - Thanks for pointing out that cramming in "luxury" apartments will do nothing for the affordability or availability of lower-budget housing.

Let's start thinking seriously about the next election.


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Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

They aren't going to build 26 million square feet out in North Bayshore, just a number of what if you can. In reality the market controls what you can and cannot do. 26 million square feet would add way too much office space, prices would drop, tax base would, and empty buildings would dot the landscape.

Most of the new 3 to 4 million square feet will come from tearing down old outdated buildings that were either built for warehouse/office/manufacturing space. Today offices/R&D/ and corporate office space. Companies don't want to have a glut of office, in case they have to sublease extra space.

Housing density and height should work like this. 1 to 2. 2 to 3. 3 to 4. 4 or more. Not all of El Camino will become 4 story buildings, small lots, good strong retail location and/ or long term uses.

Also want to point in time those older apartment buildings might end up being demolished for better housing.



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Posted by Moffett Resident
a resident of Willowgate
on Jan 30, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Garrett - Of course, I agree we are very unlikely to see anything like 26 million square feet built. The point is that these limits are like having no limits at all. The extent of development depends both on the "market" (which does not necessarily lead to quality-of-life results), and on the good judgment of Planning staff and City Council (questionable these days).


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Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Most of the development in Mountain View or development after 1950 caused major quality of life issues. Going back to pre 1950 would be like trying to put the genie back in bottle.


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Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

We could build further out, making longer and longer costlier commutes, want to point out if people want.to local business. Spending 10 hours at work plus 3 hours of driving would be hard to support much


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2014 at 12:36 am

You seem to know and are very passionate about this topic Konrad. Maybe you should consider running for city council. I would like to think all of our city leaders are as well versed as you.


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Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 31, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Excerpts from From this morning's Mercury News:


By Pete Carey - pcarey@mercurynews.com

Fueled by mushrooming tech wealth, luxury home sales set new records in the Bay Area last year, according to a report Thursday.

While in most markets million-dollar-plus homes would be considered luxury, in the high-priced Bay Area, real estate agents say it's homes selling for at least $2 million that fit that description. The 2,604 homes that sold for more than $2 million represented a 28 percent jump from a year ago, according to the real estate information service DataQuick, and the highest level in the company's records dating to 1988.

The big-ticket sales were concentrated in the South Bay, Peninsula and San Francisco, where companies such as Google and Facebook were sending waves of newly minted millionaires out searching for their dream homes, which were in short supply. Bidding wars pushed high prices even higher.
..........

In Cupertino, Los Altos and Los Gatos with their good schools, "$1.5 million is entry level," said Mark Wong of Alain Pinel Realty in Saratoga. "We just sold two over-$10 million properties in our office."
...............

Santa Clara County added about 30,000 jobs last year, Levy said, while the region had roughly 8,000 new building permits. "So you have rapid job growth and not nearly enough supply coming online."


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Posted by LoveYourDNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 31, 2014 at 3:55 pm

@Konrad: I'm tired of Econ 101 and talking numbers all the time. Let's have human talk, not numbers talk... We're dealing with peoples survival, and that shouldn't only be available to the wealthy.


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Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 1, 2014 at 11:36 am

Why hasn't someone a Google invented the WORK SIM headset. Put it on in the morning at home and you at work. No more traffic problems, no more high house prices no more need for high density high rise no Mtn View oh...


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Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

The value of the I grew up in. 1.5 million dollars for a 1500 square foot home. My parents today would not be able to afford that same house.

My old apartment, 1500 a month.

I wonder how many people lease space for a small business, employee people and afford to be competitive with the big box stores.


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Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm

@LoveYourDNA,

We have enjoyed living in my modest Eichler home for 35 years. We move to Mountain View for "Quality of Life", which included moderate population density, moderate traffic, available parking, no massive buildings, and many small businesses.

We sacrificed to get good educations, have worked very hard, with long hours, to pay for our home.

We do not want our Quality of Life destroyed in order to provide housing for those you choose not to sacrifice to get a good education, choose not to work hard and choose not to work long hours.


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Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Nearby Housing is plentiful!

San Jose will build 32,000 housing units in the the 237 -101 and 880 triangle. Note that the additional housing units planned is approximately the same as all of Mountain View's single family homes, condominiums and apartments combined.


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Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm

I would love to live in Los Altos Hills. However, so far I have not been sable to earn enough money to live there.

I do not blame the residents of Los Altos Hills, nor do I ask them to rezone and build more homes in order to lower the prices.

What I am doing is improving my education, improving my marketable skills, working harder and working longer, so I too will be able to live there.


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Posted by LoveYourDNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

@Konrad: I've worked my a$$ off in this Valley for over 30 years. I was at Yahoo! during the fake dotcom boom pulling 14 hr. days, so working hard isn't the issue. It's greed. Full stop! It happened back then too, but it's 10x worse now. Someone let us know when those "cheap" housing units become available in the Triangle.


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Posted by Real Solution
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2014 at 4:37 pm

It would be much more help to the local housing market and traffic congestion to allow Google (much as I am wary of them) to built their requested 1000 unit apartment building in the North Shoreline area than just about anything else proposed. It's a low impact way to add those 1000 units where the people up there could certainly then bike or walk or take transit (google's buses) to work. They were talking about small units, so the whole project would be a small footprint with business offices as neighbors, i.e. not existing residential units on which to cast shadows, add traffic etc.

It's a very green idea. I don't understand why the city council didn't jump on it. It's much less objectionable than the plans for that huge complex at Moffet Field or the buses across the creek on a new private bridge.


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Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm

@Real Solution,


You make a good point.

However, I, and others think that Google has outgrown Mountain View.
This morning, as usual, traffic on Shoreline was backed up from Google to Central Expressway - about 2 miles. What will happen when Google adds 7,500 to 12,000 more cars? I expect a backup to Cuesta Park!

The best thing for Google and Mountain View is for Google to move to North San Jose. Cisco has been successful there. Lot's of land there. San Jose probably would be thrilled to have them. Mountain View can then develop North Bayshore for 2 to 3 story R&D.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Google leaves for San Jose because they can't grow in Mountain View, so other companies won't want to come here because they can't grow. Create a product, watch it take off, create jobs, create wealth but don't expand.

We are still going to need the housing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LoveYourDNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm

No. Google should move to Detroit.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Mountain View and the surrounding area has a big attraction to those who smart, want to create and make money. So people who want to start a business, employ people and also create products that will sell, are called greedy. I am Liberal minded person, but I know about the job producing Silicon Valley types that have been coming here since the 50's.

Detroit is a sad example and why would any one want to relocated to Detroit. Silicon Valley has people with the money, the talent, people ready to work, and the natural draw.


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Posted by Konrad M Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm

I am an avid fan of Google and use their software multiple times each day. I proudly point out to my East Coast friends that Mountain View is home to Google, LinkedIn, and Intuit (TurboTax).

However, Google's future growth is not compatible with Mountain View's small size, crowded roads, and limited housing. We are built out! I honestly believe that the best thing for Google, their employees, and Mountain View, is for Google to build a North San Jose campus like Cisco's

The majority of the current City Council either does not understand or does not care about these issues. We need the right people on the Council to guide the city to a livable, sustainable future.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Most of North Bayshore is a sea of 1 to 2 story tilt ups, with some large buildings dotting the landscape. Plan now, plan to get people in instead of pushing growth on another city. 20 years down the road we are going to be doing the same thing over.

Housing will be higher, companies will be growing, yet we are trying so hard to remain little small towns with big international companies that provided a host of products to the world.


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Posted by JohnK
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm

I used to live in Mtn. View. I rented there for about 15 years. When it came time to buy I just couldn't afford it. My 650k couldn't even really get me a condo, but it got me a nice 3/2 house in San Jose. I miss Mountain View and some day, if I can afford to spend 1.5m on a house (todays prices) I'd move back in a heartbeat.


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Posted by PhilC
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 5, 2014 at 12:18 pm

I have rented a 1BR apartment for 37 years here in MV. I value the spot because it is convenient to stores, library and a bank, all within walking distance. (Back in 1977, the rent was $260/mo; now $1650) The buildings were remodeled in 2008, as a concession to local gentrification.
It has been instructive to note the changes over time. A lumberyard, a motel, and a burger stand have given way to a strip mall, two drugstores a photo shop and recently a motor hotel, a second-rate apartment building and a home/shop are being razed for some humongous mixed-use apartment block and a low-rent invalid facility.Most of this has happened within the last six months.
I attempt to keep up with the times, attend the city council meetings to keep up with the latest developments just to understand that the pace of change has radically altered what used to be a renter's bedroom community. MV has *grown up*. Let's see what the future will bring....


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:01 pm

@Garreet,

Remember that Mountain View is a small town - only 12 square miles. After subtracting North Bayshore, where no housing is being planned due to environmental concerns, Mountain View is only 8.8 square miles. You could fit 237,000 people into Mountain View if you want the same population density as New York City. Mike Kazpersak has publicly stated that this is his goal.

How much housing could you fit into North Bayshore? Perhaps 2,000 units. That won't go far ass Google plans to add 15,000 to 20,000 employees.


Meanwhile, San Jose plans to ass 30,000 units in the "Golden Triangle."

Remember, The majority of the current City Council either does not understand or does not care about these issues. We need the right people on the Council to guide the city to a livable, sustainable future.


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:04 pm

@PhilC,


You can fight change, you can ignore change, or you can manage change.

Fighting change just leads to frustration.
Ignoring change does not affect change.
Managing change is the way grow Mountain View in order to maintain our quality of life.

Remember, The majority of the current City Council either does not understand or does not care about these issues. We need the right people on the Council to guide the city to a livable, sustainable future.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Gemello
on Feb 6, 2014 at 6:52 am

@Konrad M. Sosnow
The land you paid for is what you earned, not the city as a whole. When you seek to restrict what other people can do on their own land, what you are doing is interfering with what they have earned.

You can use the political process for your own perceived benefit, but the true purpose of government should be to benefit the community as a whole, including renters. But really, even just recently, the type of planning you seem to be for has resulted in blocking projects (@Real Solution) that would've helped nearly everyone.

You say we just need the "right people" in charge -- isn't that what people have said forever though? Maybe what we need more of is less interference and less planning, especially such influenced by (perceived) self interest?


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm

In Detroit, Google could do whatever they want. Here, not so much.

Detroit is the future: it's the new frontier. It's also the future of Silicon Valley, and not in a good way. Your corporate monoculture will be your undoing.


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 6, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Add to the usual high costs of doing business in California the very simple fact that Mountain View is essentially a toxic dump (22 Superfund sites? Really?) laden with TCE from one end to the other, and you can see why the logic of moving is irrefutable.

Mountain View = Cancer Alley

TCE


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm

San Jose has it owns problems, with growing companies, tight housing, and managing their growth. They are allowing their companies to grow, to add a tax base to their city.

We could send Google and all the job producers to San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, where we could outdated buildings, offices that can be closed to pack up to friendlier cities.

But that won't stop people moving to Mountain View, it won't stop developers.

I say manage growth, not send it packing. Growth is good, smart growth is better, smart growth that is well planned and will attract transportation, more businesses, tax money and residents who will stay for the long term much better.


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm

@ David,


The truth is that renters, who do not own any property in Mountain View, and out of town developers are attempting to destroy Mountain View for the 40% of us who have worked and seated in order tp buy our own homes. It is tranny in its woes form.

Yes, I want City Council members who listen to and respect home owners as well as renters instead of the majority of our current City Council who are too busy kissing developers' behinds to listen.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm

@Garrett,

Each workday morning, Shoreline Boulevard is baked up from Google to the Central Expressway overpass. Adding 15,000 to 20,000 new Google employes will add 7,500 to 12,000 additional cars.

I ask you -- How far will Shoreline Boulevard be backed up in the morning after Google adds 7,500 to 12,000 additional cars? I really would like to know your opinion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I admit Shoreline Blvd at commute times is a nightmare, the street wasn't designed to handle the amount of cars, maybe the 60's ear plan should have been built. Wide 6 lane Blvd, with a major on and off ramp system. This plan was never finished, a small section was built. That is why you have 6 lane section between ECR and Central Expressway.

The Silicon Valley grew into a major center with only the car in mind, even with or without Google, traffic problem remain.

Not all of the problems are Google's fault, we could send everyone to San Jose, all 150,000 with only 30,000 units of housing. What about the 120,000 jobs, not to mention Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.

We built everything around the car, we designed our lives around the car, we talked about transit for 10, 20 or 30 years. We come up with some ideas, light rail running down the middle of Shoreline Blvd, yes the 1964 City General Plan, only to chicken out, then get bitten by traffic. We can't build a light rail down Shoreline, we can't add space or take away lanes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 7, 2014 at 11:42 am

The recent overdevelopment is going to put Mountain View into a state of permanent gridlock.

"They paved Paradise, to put up a parking lot..."


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Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

We could always find more paradise to pave over. Cheap commuter housing on farmlan, more freeways that will take years to study, hold meetings and buy land. Don't forget the lawsuits and freeway revolt types. HSR which is small, compared to building a 6 lane freeway to I-5.

Google inbuilt San Francisco Bay Area freeways.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I wonder who's going to get caught holding the bag on the trichlorylethelyne issue. This town is SOAKING in the stuff. Anybody done a cancer/birth defects study? That ought to make Mountain View affordable to anyone.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Environmental Planning Commission Conflict of Interest


Rachel Grossman, Real Estate Project Executive at Google is the Chair of the Mountain View Environmental Planning Commission.

The Commission has the authority and responsibility to, among other things, Formulate and recommends plans for Mountain View, including the General Plan for the physical development of the City.

Will Rachel Grossman, a Google executive, recommend plans that are in the best interest of Google, her employer, or Mountain View?

Will Rachel Grossman, a Google executive, attempt to sway the other six members of the Environmental Planning Commission to support Google's wishes?

How much of Rachel Grossman's compensation at Google will be a function of how she directs the Environmental Planning Commission to support Google's wishes?

Should we change the name to Google's Environmental Planning Commission?



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