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North Bayshore plan draws critique over housing

Original post made on Aug 7, 2014

Former city manager Bruce Liedstrand spent much of the 1980s running the city of Mountain View, when the downtown was being transformed into the vibrant place it is today. Now he says the city is poised to pass up on an opportunity to create "one of the best places in the world" as Google, LinkedIn and others prepare to redevelop North Bayshore -- all because the plan lacks the key ingredient of housing.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 7, 2014, 2:05 PM

Comments (53)

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Posted by Jim
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm

This is going to destroy Mountain View as we know it. There's very little of it left now as it is. Why is everyone trying to please all the new "young people"? It's the older folks that made Mountain View what it is and deserve better than to be pushed out of their homes. Go build your money fortress' somewhere else and leave us alone. We were fine before you tech-heads showed up, and we'll be fine once you leave. Go build in Texas. They want you. At least they think they do. That is until Texas becomes another Mountain View, or resembles LAX on a bad day.


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Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Well, no need to alienate people by writing rude stuff or calling names, although I can fully understand your frustration. And the answer to your query is probably that young folks are considered better off financially, or more likely to spend their money whether or not it is true that they do have more.

I hate to think of the beauty of Shoreline despoiled, and yet not adding more housing, which will only crowd more and increasingly tower over everyone living a half a block off of ECR, which is allowing many stories right next to single story homes (paid for at top prices and now not so nice any more).

If the 2012 plan was more ecological and had housing, I would like to understand what was really wrong with it. "Pet cats" doesn't cut it as an answer, because tenants can be evicted if they break the no pet rule and there are cat barrier fencing for around housing.


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Posted by Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

I think the issue is what rents have sky-rocketed and there is nothing to keep them in check.. I completely agree with Jim that the "older people" are what make Mountain View great, although I think age is not a factor, but how long one stays in the community. As it stands now, escalating rents are forcing people out, so only the up and comers can take the risk at paying high rents. They will leave as soon as they can.

With rent stabilization laws, we could see Mountain View bloom again and stay that way. What would it take to get such a statue enacted? Can a city like Mountain View legally do it?


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Posted by Alex
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Jim, it's older folks like you that bought houses in the 1970's and now (thanks largely to these 'young people') own houses that are worth $Millions. You have your house and your life, so forget anybody trying to do what you could when you were my age? What, are we less deserving than you were at that time? Not only that, those of us starting out now (I'm 27) face tax rates much higher (thanks, Prop 13!) and home prices much higher than you ever had to deal with. And now Scott wants to do the same with rents.

By all means, though. If you are perfectly happy telling all of us 'young people' to screw off and go away, remember who accommodated YOU decades ago.

Linda, you're complaining about home prices near ECR? I bet there way higher than they were 15 years ago despite all the development. What's the problem there?


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Posted by Alex
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm

That would be "they are" at the end of my previous post.


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 7, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Adding 5,000 housing units to North Shoreline will slow down, but not stop, housing price increases.

However, it certainly will exacerbate already terrible traffic congestion. Not all residents of the 5,000 units would work in North Shoreline. Some of those working in North Shoreline will have spouses or roommates who will work outside of North Shoreline. 101 and shoreline will become parking lots.

Why should current residents of Mountain View have to put up with increased traffic so newcomers can move here?
Why should current residents of Mountain View be treated as second class citizens?


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Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Alex-

I am not complaining about the prices of houses near ECR, although I probably won't get mine pd off in my lifetime, and that is with two incomes paying on it, plus some rental units in it that I let rent for way cheap because rents should not be so high. I bought into this place recently, although I've lived there as a renter myself and improved it by working there as the manager for decades.

What I'm complaining about is that I wish I hadn't. I've wasted my whole life on this place to be where I could live and enjoy the breeze with my windows open on a quiet street. But it isn't that, nor enjoyable any more. It's becoming a giant cut through for traffic in a rush, a parking lot for late night & early morning parkers revving their cars'engines, a sidewalk hang out for cigarette smokers whose second hand smoke violates life or death orders from my husband's doctor, and no longer will have privacy from all the new stuff being built higher, very near by. If we sell it, we have no little apt. to live in any more, nor will we ever have any retirement income for our four decades of extremely hard work. I agree with the first poster that those who found homes here long ago are getting the staff. I could never sell this place for near enough to cover what I've put into it.


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 7, 2014 at 9:17 pm

@ Alex,

* Whom Answer: do you think has been paying for city services, schools, infrastructure over the last 20 – 50 years, making it the city you in which you now want to work and live? Answer we homeowners

* If everyone wants to live in the city in which they work, why does Google run buses from SF? Answer: More Mountain View residents work outside of Mountain View than work n Mountain View

* How many new units would be needed to house all current Mountain View workers?

* How long do you expect to work in Mountain View? Will your company relocate or go belly up? Will you get a better offer elsewhere? If you change jobs, will you move?

* If you have children, will you still want to live in high density housing or might you want a backyard? Will you still reject a car when you have doctors' appointments, soccer games, tutoring, play dates, piano lessons, etc. after school?

* What makes you think more new housing will be affordable? With land selling at $5M - $10M/acre and construction costs rising, what developer is going to build inexpensive housing?

* If developers don't build affordable housing, are you willing to subsidize it for those who truly need it, i.e., don't work in high tech?
(San Francisco will spend $94M in public taxpayer funds to build affordable housing "as the city grapples with stratospheric rents and increased evictions.")
* Why do you think Mountain View – or any of the surrounding suburban cities – will still be a great place to live with taller buildings, unending traffic congestion, lack of parking, crowded schools?


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Posted by mel
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 7, 2014 at 9:19 pm

The discussion has just begun

Balanced Mountain View has changed the conversation

and awakened our residents to the issues of jobs, housing, need for a new school or schools, traffic, pollution, ground toxics,rising rents with displacement of long term residents who have to move or move in with friends or end up in vehicles, unaffordable homes etc etc

so WHAT IS THE OLD CITY COUNCIL'S RUSH????

why not let the discussion continue and come up with the best solutions

i hope they listen to the community and show respect for the concerns of thousands of residents

mel









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Posted by DDD
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2014 at 11:48 pm

@Konrad

Mountain View hasn't somehow repealed the law of supply and demand. More housing leads to more affordable housing. Yes 5000 units isn't enough to make housing affording, but not building them means that the housing will be even less affordable.

And when you mentioned the current residents of Mountain View, are you counting the renters? They make up 60% of the residence, and they certainly would be helped by having more housing so that they can buy their home or at least have cheaper rents.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2014 at 6:48 am

Lost in the debate is the fact that Liedstrand himself was the architect of the current north of Bayshore disaster. He was "running the city" during Mountain Views land-grab annexation of all the autonomous county area whithin the city's reach.


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Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

I agree with Mel- We should compel the city to slow down and let the ideas flow. It's too important to rush and have it be less than the best it can become.

I believe that current members of city council believe they need to finish this to show the public that they accomplished something in their term. We must disavow them of this belief!

Remember the article in the Voice when our new mayor came in? Chris Clark said his goal was to finish North Bayshore, San Antonio Phase 2, and 801 ECR before his term as mayor was up. So let's make sure he knows we all would prefer to go slower with more discussion, than to try to complete any of these projects, as the rapidity of the completion is not the most important thing! E-mail him, and the others, each individually, so they can comprehend this!


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Posted by Alex
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2014 at 11:39 am

Konrad, you ask some good questions but I'm not convinced your answers are correct. Yes, homeowners have been paying for city services, but these days with Prop 13, commercial property taxes are more lucrative for the city than residential property taxes. Why else would the city continue to encourage new *office* development without new *residential* development?

You're characterizing me somewhat incorrectly - I am a homeowner (and I don't plan on moving soon unless my career takes me out of the Bay Area entirely) and I do own a car (so I can't continue to reject a car....). I don't have my own backyard and don't really intend to, even after kids and the like. There's plenty of public outdoor space, and I don't need to maintain my own.

I don't buy into the belief that increased density is a bad thing, and I'm not sure what that assumption is based on. Increased congestion currently is caused primarily by people coming to Mountain View for work from far away.

Developers will only build expensive housing, but right now *all* housing (new or not) is expensive housing.

But the *important* question, Konrad, is this. You had the opportunity to move to the area and start your life. That's right, you yourself were a newcomer. When you moved to the area, was there a chorus of voices 30 years older than yourself telling you to scram? No, the answer is quite clear: you got to start your life, and now that you have your place, you don't think those of us that are in that same position are welcome. In other words, "I got mine - now screw off." I'm under 30 and we are the true second-class citizens here - apparently we don't deserve the same opportunities that you got. If I'm wrong, please explain why - but this is the message that I'm hearing.

Linda, your situation was more nuanced than I assumed.
But let's be real - Mountain View has not been a bucolic rural area for at least 25 years. There were already nearly 70,000 people living there in 1990. Expecting no crowds when you are well within the borders of one of the largest urban metropolitan areas in the USA is completely unrealistic!


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Posted by Prop 13
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Alex, commercial properties reap the benefit of prop 13 too. In fact, homeowners hold their properties for only 5 years on the average, so tax assessments are reset frequently. Commercial properties are often owned by a holding company that leases out to a business. This holding company stays constant for 30 years or more typically and they enjoy the protections of prop13. Even when the company that uses the property changes every few years, the taxes stay very low.

There are some large commercial properties in MV that pay less in prop tax than I do on my very modest house.

Prop 13 was sold to the voters to protect senior citizens from getting pushed out of their homes, but the biggest beneficiary are the commercial businesses. Result? Cities struggle to get enough tax revenue.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Mixed use planned community in the North Bayshore with excellent non private automobile links across 101.


Stores and services are found west of 101. Schools again west of 101 along with Catrain, major bus routes. Even medical services are found west of 101. Mixed use planning is the way to go.



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Posted by Konrac M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:32 pm

@Alex,

I moved to Mountain View because of the quality of life.

If we double the number of residences in order to keep prices flat. what will happen to that quality of life?

I don't want to live in a city with eight story (or taller) high-density apartments. I don't want overcrowded parks, overcrowded schools, traffic at standstill, parking downtown impossible.

I would like to live in Los Altos Hills but have not been successful enough to afford to live there. I don't ask the residents of Los Altos Hills to build high-density housing so I could afford to live there.

It's time that renters take responsibility for their financial situation and stop blaming home owners!



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Posted by Alex
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Konrad, you didn't answer my question, and I'm not blaming homeowners. (I am one!)

I repeat: do you believe that people under 30 that are trying to start out, just like you did, should be shut out of the same opportunities you had? Because that's the direct effect of your attitudes toward this, whether you mean for that or not.


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Posted by Rob G
a resident of North Bayshore
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:52 pm

So many comments about the " horrendous" traffic on Nth Shoreline and how further jobs/ traffic will only make the problem worse.
I work on Nth Shoreline and have been there for over 20 yrs and I say this traffic does not effect most Mt View residents because most of this traffic comes from other cities.
Traffic gets on Nth or Sth 101 or Sth 85 and leaves Mt View every day.
Slow down with destroying Shoreline Blvd from Steirlin to Amphitheatre Parkway.
Lets deal with this housing shortage in a reasonable manner , after all there is a lot of land in Nth Shoreline so let's use it wisely.


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Posted by Rigged 4 City Council
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Basically this decision represents the fact that almost all city council members are home owners. They know that by limiting the housing supply they there by drive up the price of houses. And each member that owns a home will benefit financially from this decision.

Corruption in Practice? You Decide.


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Posted by Tina
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm

What about all the housing at Moffett Field? Why can't that be incorporated, as Garrett says, in a mixed-use planned community with housing, schools & shopping? Either that, or we're gonna need a bigger 101 overpass...


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Posted by Alex and the such
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 8, 2014 at 4:58 pm

If you want affordable housing, go down to san jose, not everyone can work in the city they live in. I live in mt. view yet work in a different city.

As for prop 13, i say we should get rid of all property tax and just have a flat tax for both State and federal, but that would be to easy and tax accounts wouldn't go for it, nor govt, since it would be to easy to account for where the money actually goes.


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Posted by Wishful
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Aug 8, 2014 at 8:34 pm

I really wish Google would relocate their headquarter up to Seattle or some similarly pro-development city. My life would be much simpler and the very nice residents of Mountain View would enjoy their house values plummet back down bellow million dollar values. Just like they want it. I will gladly take my money and spend it elsewhere, on people and businesses who appreciate the benefits of an economic boom and don't detest it.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:13 am

There is an important consideration that I don't see in this discussion: the N Shoreline area is subject to periodic flooding. Homes were not planned there on purpose to protect homeowners from losing their homes. At the time, the thinking was that businesses could manage the risk.

We do need to consider whether this area is truly suitable for homes.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:49 am

@ Konrad

"Adding 5,000 housing units to North Shoreline will slow down, but not stop, housing price increases."

There is debate on this subject. I believe it will bring in more foreign investment,thus raising the prices. From what I have witnessed personally, a new buyer needs to have at least 50% cash down. And this is for a stack and pack house (sorry home), across from the train station.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2014 at 11:05 am

@ Wishful

I do not think that you realize that us folks on the lower end of the pay scale have suffered greatly. For example; house framers get paid per linear foot. A couple of years ago, it was around $14 a foot, a worker the other day told me it was $11 a foot. In 1987 A laborer got paid $10 an hour. Now maybe $12. I am not going to blame this on the undocumented worker. I am placing full blame on the wealthy elite, who crave this cheap labor.

What a shame.


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Posted by Yes
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 10, 2014 at 7:26 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


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Posted by Google fan
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 10, 2014 at 7:37 am

The council missed a great opportunity to provide housing in a growing area. Not everyone would live in the area but it would be perfect for google employees. Unfortunately council pandered to the interests of the burrowing owl group at the expense of doing the right thing.


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Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Alex, I think you have included in your post the reason there is such a disconnect between the older residents and you.

You go on about how you don't mind the density, don't have a yard and don't plan to because there is plenty of public park space.

Did it occur to you that, as the housing density increases, those parks are going to get more crowded? Did it occur to you that, though it's really easy for you to pack up your stuff and go to the park on your own or with friends at your age, it might not be so easy when you are 15 or 20 years older and taking children with you, it might not be such a breeze? Did it occur to you that, with all the extra housing units, we need more schools, so that open space may just not exist?

It think it is extremely selfish to move into an area and completely change its character to suit you, expecting the long-time residents to just accept it. I know when I moved here, I didn't expect the area to change to suit me. Although I know change is inevitable, it does not mean that I should have to accept change that fundamentally changes the quality of life here.

I chose to live in the suburbs because I DON'T want to have high rise buildings around me, I like having my own yard and I want to have my kid be able to ride his bike to the park without the fear of his getting mowed down during rush hour traffic. To have that environment foisted upon me by people who could find that environment in an actual existing city is really not acceptable.


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Posted by Bubbles
a resident of North Bayshore
on Aug 11, 2014 at 1:20 am

My family lives inn North Bayshore , and we agree that is big need for the city reexamine the plans for this area . The traffric horrible, my husband commutes to San Francisco six days a week and his morning ride isn't to bad,hening trip is fine till he gets to Palo Alto. Then his ride from to the shoreline exit takes him up to an hour and if happen to have aomcert it can take up to two hours. I sometimes ride home on Shoreline from work in the morning between 8:45 and 9 a.m. And I am thankful that I ride a bicycle because I have seen how bad traffric is at that time of the morning and one day I decided to single out a vehicle to observe how long it took fot this vehicle too from Middlefield to Pear on that day, it took said vejicle 45 minutes to drive approx. 3 blocks. Had bern in a car and had to reach home quickly, well there would been impossible to do. It would be quicker to park on middlefield and walk.


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Posted by Don't let big money brain wash you
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Aug 11, 2014 at 10:43 am

Everyone is brain washed. Older residents seem to think signing up for a huge mortgage and slavishly paying it off for their entire life, gives them the right the town they live in will remain suitable for them in their old age. Older residents seem to think zoning plans protect them. New comers seem to think they are entitled to live where they want for the price they want to pay. Increased housing has never caused rents to go down. Only corporate resession has had that impact. For each 1000 rentals that are built, after 5 years, only 333 of them will have even one person working in Mountain view. The other two thirds will be traveling else where for work. Of the third that have a local worker here, most will have a spouse that travels elsewhere for work. The only way to get people out of their cars is to build transit systems that work so well, that it is a the option of choice to go to work. That means rail networks that will not move, like bus routes do.
That means requiring big business to build rail systems not bus fleets.

It has never been more affordable than now to buy a home. The deal has always been, buy into a huge mortgage that just about kills you, fix your housing costs, survive on tax law, hang on for 10 years, interest rates force property prices higher, salaries go higher, eventually you get to breath, and in around 20 years later you are living cheaper than renters.

Everyone that owns did this, no matter when they bought. It is only the distortion of time that makes it look like it was easy for someone. Everyone pays their dues. If you want to get ahead in growth area, it is the slow less risky way, perhaps the only way, unless you found some .com that makes you instantly rich,or great at picking stocks.


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Posted by Understand the System
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 11, 2014 at 10:47 am

No housing in north bay shore seems to bother a few silly people.
First understand the system. The plans, what ever they are, is just a minimum amount of building, an entitlement being given to wealthy land owners to build and profit from their land far above what most owners are allowed to have.
Next realize that whatever the plans are, the owners are going to come and ask for more, because even as much hasssle as it is getting through the development loop of asking for more, it is alway a cleap give away, where some inexpensive city benefit, gives a developer way more benefit than it cost them.
Next understand that if the plan for North Bay Shore does not include housing, ANY future council can change that on a case by case basis. City Councils do not need to follow any rules, and are not limited in when that can change or allow.
Even if residents hate what Council does, the trend will always be higher, denser, because down zoning is taking away an already given entitlement and would not be held up by a court. So long as there is money to be had for big housing consessioneers,
and people willing to live a rental life style, there will be new housing built.
It may take time, but in the end, the answer is always build for big money.

Understand that marketing is what drives peoples decisions, and their vote.
Most voters vote blindly for a name that was marketed to them. Our democratic system is for sale to the best marketing. Big developers pay for the bills to get people they want elected. It is not corruption, just the way the system works.

So long as we use a representative system like City Council, that has no limits on what they can and can not do without a vote of the people, big business will own our govenments.


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Posted by Lets Fix Prop 13
a resident of Gemello
on Aug 11, 2014 at 10:53 am


Prop13. You nailed it. Big business sold us Prop 13 to save granny. What we did is shift the property tax burden away from big business to the little guys.

I wonder how long it is going to take to make everyone decide that prop 13 really needs to be fixed. It should not apply to corporate owned property, and commercial property, but only a single residence, get it up for a vote and fix it! Our schools really need this.

We should not kill Prop 13 outright. Without prop 13, Most seniors will be forced out of the area they have lived thier whole lives at a time they most need stability and continuety. Perhaps a limit on how many properties can be inherited with prop 13 intact.


Big business would rather see Prop 13 killed outright than simply removed from them. Big business can out compete everyone on a level playing field.


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Posted by DDD your wrong
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 11, 2014 at 11:24 am

"More housing leads to more affordable housing."
"not building them means that the housing will be even less affordable."

A dense source of high tech workers is why companies start and stay in the area.
The larger and denser this pool becomes, the beter it is for these companies.

The biggest thing holding back corporate high tech growth in the area, is housing.
As fast as housing is built, it will be filled, because there is nothing else to limit corporate growth. When the business climate changes, and we get a corporate down turn, apartment prices will tumble.

It is impossible to saturate the supply when the demand is only held back by peoples ability to pay, and a growth industry that is only held back by its ability to find more housing.

Silicon Valley is sprawl of San Jose, and San Francisco. Lets make those cities dense enough to have subways, and extend a Bart line to the major employers.
Building housing in Mountain View is draining the growth these cities need, and it is spreading the problem!


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Population is growing everywhere - Mountain View, San Jose, San Francisco, and driving up the cost of housing since supply is trailing demand. Mountain View should do what's right for us, irrespective of what the other cities are doing, and whether they could get denser.

The bay area is the most anti-development place that I've ever seen, and whatever development does happen is from giant developers with city hall connections who build cookie-cutter developments that are completely soulless.

I think that Mountain View should allow housing in North Bayshore, lots of it, and allow people to build individual lots, rather than selling land to Classic Communities or such. It will improve traffic on all the 101 overpasses, and take some housing pressure of the rest of the city. In addition to housing, that area will need schools, grocery stores, and anything else to support residents, probably creating another city center, otherwise those residents will still have to drive everywhere over the 101 choke points.

As a long time Mountain View resident since 1998, I would welcome more housing!


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Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 11, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Until there is a plan that includes where there will be schools, fire stations, police substations, etc. to SERVE all the extra people, there should be NO further building. It is irresponsible to build without infrastructure. Visiting your problems on other cities just because you think you can is poor citizenship and creates issues for the people.

Plan first, build after.


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm

@ Tina,

Yes, repurposing Moffet Field into a mixed-use planned community with housing, schools & shopping ,makes a lot of sense.

I am concerned about the environmental impact on North Bayshore such as the destruction of a wilderness area.


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Posted by PH
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Aug 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Don't renters pay the same taxes through their landlords that the home owner pays? We're all in this together and need to realize that the only people who benefit from higher housing costs are those collecting the payments whether rent or mortgage. The one constant is that average people are slowly being bled dry by the greed of those in control and it will cause our economy to fail at some point if we keep on this path. We need to fix the problems or suffer the consequences. More housing, or less, will only help alter the speed of our economy failing and the places it fails first. There is a good reason that you find so many retired folks out in the valley and the foothills of the Sierras. No one but those making really good money can live and retire here any more. It really is too bad that greed is the driving force with so many people these days.


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Posted by Alex
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2014 at 9:10 am

psr, what about the schools and infrastructure the city had to build to accommodate YOU? From 1970 to 1990, 13K people were added to Mountain View. From 1960 to 1970, TWENTY-FOUR THOUSAND people moved to MV. In 1950, Mountain View had less than 7,000 people, and now it has more than 70,000.

So, if you think moving to an area and causing change and requirements for additional infrastructure is unique to my generation, the facts prove otherwise.

Oh yeah, I forgot. You already got yours - so who cares about anyone under 30?

That rush hour traffic? You can thank the Mountain View City Council for allowing office development willy-nilly that of course requires people to traverse your town every day. As for the park you refer to, it's 3 blocks away, what could be easier?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2014 at 10:01 am

@Alex - you are correct in your assessment of the anti-development people.

Last year, I bought a house in Mountain View after many years of renting, and have talked to a number of my new neighbors. The attitude which you mentioned, of having one's foot already in the door and not caring about the difficulties of the newcomers seems very common among them, especially the older residents. People object to any new developments, disregarding the fact their houses were bought at prices from 30 years ago, and they hardly pay any property tax compared to their newer neighbors. One of my neighbors is actively petitioning the city to stop construction of the housing complex 445 Calderon, because she doesn't like the way it looks, even though it's not even close to her house, but she has to drive by it en route to the highway!

I think this can be summed up as selfishness and indifference to the plight of others.

Of course, this is just one type of person who lives here, and there are many wonderful people too, but for some reason, the anti-development people are very vocal in council meetings.


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Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm

@Resident - What "anti-development" people? What does that mean? Are you referring to those of us who want to make sure that neighborhoods are respected, make sure that roads are still driveable, and that schools are adequate? I don't think that necessarily means "anti-development".

We have choices in all this. It's possible to have development that occurs at a pace that infrastructure can handle. But that's not what we have been doing lately, under the present city council.

I cannot see how trying to preserve quality of life equals "selfishness and indifference to the plight of others".

And your neighbor has every right in the world to offer input on design to the city. They may consider it, or ignore it.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm

@concerned citizen

You don't have to play coy, I'm pretty sure you fall into the category of "anti-development"... I know, please regale us with your "I'm not against all development" but then "its just that"...


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Posted by sensible-development-MV
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Let us stop being so divisive by labeling people with pro-development and
anti-development. Making everything into "us vs. them" is not a productive
way to have a dialogue.

How about being supportive of sensible-development, i.e., development
that the infrastructure can handle? There are physical limitations
such as the amount of traffic the road network can handle, how many kids
existing schools can support, etc. MV is blatantly ignoring all the
limitations and building high-density like there is no tomorrow.

Just because MV was able to grow from 7000 to 70000 residents in 60+ years,
it does not mean you can KEEP ON growing. Extrapolation does not work here.

With the devil-may-care attitude in creating high-density development, MV
is not only making a mess for its own residents, it is also creating
untold misery of traffic congestion for neighboring cities.

There is hope. Either the city council will understand the physical
limitations and start being very wise about the level of development, or
the whole area will come to a standstill choking in traffic congestion.
Luckily unbearable traffic congestion should bring any further development
into a screeching halt -- that is the hope.

May sensible development that the infrastructure can support, peace and
camaraderie prevail.

Yogi Berra was talking about MV when he said
"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded." :-) :-)



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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm

@sensible-development-MV

Sounds great, give the old people *more* of an incentive not to invest in infrastructure.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I completely agree that development should be balanced with infrastructure, however what frustrates me is the argument that we should not build until there is sufficient infrastructure, then the infrastructure never happens, then the building never happens.

The city doesn't want to build infrastructure because it's expensive, and it's unknown whether there actually will be future development (because of NIMBY arguments). I think they should authorize as much housing as possible, and put the cost of building the infrastructure on the new developments - approve both of them together. Nobody's going to move into apartments without access to schools, water, power or sewer service. If the city must build the school itself, then figure out a cost, and amortize that over the new developments too.


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Posted by Ah!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2014 at 5:49 pm

"The city doesn't want to build infrastructure because it's expensive, and it's unknown whether there actually will be future development (because of NIMBY arguments). "

How about this "Resident"-- let's have the city accept voluntary donations into a fund that will make infrastructure improvements. If not much money is collected, then there is apparently not enough interest in doing it, right?

It seems that you want to FORCE mountain views current residents to pay for improvements so that people OUTSIDE mountain view can come in. I think it is the absolutely most NIMBY thing to ask for--make us pay for things another wants.

What we really.need is rent stabilization laws passed. Do that and we can finally develop a stable base of renters and build a stronger sense of community.


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Posted by Konrad M.Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm

@Alex,

It sounds like you hate anyone over 30.

I remember when my generation didn't trust anyone over 30.
Now were either over 30 or dead.

Guess what, we all either age or die.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm

I agree with planning and spending money on infrastructure is a must and we must sit down and plan to do. Yes it will take money, it will take time but it is amazing how much time is wasted on planning. We need to push for transit, road and planning for large mixed use projects that will make life getting for one point to another easy with less car usage.

Subway under El Camino Real, extend light right to San Antonio Center, change to traffic planning, better bike mapping for bike use and etc. We spend more time fighting because it will change the solo driver single car trip use.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Davy C
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Garrett is correct. We need to pony up the dollars and turn MV into an ant farm.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2014 at 6:19 pm

However, Konrad, the generation before yours didn't leave you with a mountain of public debt, a completely out of reach housing market, decades upon decades of infrastructure divestment... Need me to go on?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 13, 2014 at 7:02 am

@Ah! - before quoting one snippet of a sentence and ignoring the larger paragraph, how about reading a little bit farther? Why should existing residents pay for things to be built for new developments? Put all the costs of building out the infrastructure on the new developments and people buying into them, which is what I said in the paragraph immediately after the sentence you quoted.

If you force the city to pay for these things, that's how you get stuck in endless deliberations among bureaucrats.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by TV Report
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 13, 2014 at 9:49 am

Cable TV reports that Google is able to build housing and deduct the cost from federal taxes over a 10-year period. In other words, Google gets an asset and federal taxpayers pay for it. What form of government is that? Anyone?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alex
a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Konrad, I don't hate everyone over 30 - just those that insist on closing doors to me that were wide open when they were in my position! (There are plenty of people over 30 that agree with me on this, BTW.)

Robert's comments after yours are very on-point.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pro-Growther in N. Shoreline
a resident of North Bayshore
on Aug 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

What infrastructure needs to be built in North Shoreline? There is a fire station, adequate roads , police patrols, adequate sewer, adequate parks, adequate water supply. Oh, maybe not an adequate library or school in the area. This will really affect Google employees who would love to live near where they work. NOT. For those that do not like the services offered, they can choose to live somewhere else.


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