With Mountain View’s Housing Element and R3 rezoning featuring prominently in the community discourse recently, I’ve repeatedly encountered a misguided talking point that I want to address, namely that existing homeowners somehow need “protection” from new neighbors.
First of all, homeowners already benefit from immense protections that the rest of us don’t enjoy. They have full control over what they do with their property, including keeping it exactly as it is today if they so choose. They’re their own landlord, so they’ll never face the fear of their rent getting raised. At least in Mountain View, they almost all own multi-million-dollar assets. And thanks to Prop 13, the longer they’ve owned their home, the less they contribute in taxes and the more they rely on the rest of us to subsidize the municipal services they consume.
But more importantly, the idea that neighbors and the mere sight of their homes constitute a threat that one would need protection from is a truly shameful, anti-societal mindset that is in the same vein as repugnant Trumpist nativism.
We all benefit from our neighbors’ presence in our community. Your new neighbor might be your next babysitter, or your next doctor, or at least your next customer. As the rezoning plan takes shape, let’s not oppose homes for more neighbors in Mountain View, but rather get ready to welcome our new neighbors, and encourage City Council to allow even more neighbors to move in.