City should step up for Milk Pail | April 4, 2014 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

Opinion - April 4, 2014

City should step up for Milk Pail

It is difficult to believe that City Council members and top city officials are backpedaling rapidly when asked how they are going to support the Milk Pail market at its treasured location on the edge of the new San Antonio Center.

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Posted by SB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Apr 4, 2014 at 12:38 am

Hear Hear

Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2014 at 9:34 am

Shared parking is the only way to make the center pedestrian friendly. If you can't park once and run all your errands, walking between stores, then who wants to park several times just a short distance away? We need centralized, shared parking.

Posted by JW
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 4, 2014 at 10:46 am

It's the LEAST the city could do to not completely sell out to MG. I agree with PA Resident above - shared parking is key, right? Isn't that what we want? We don't want people moving their cars after every store visit, so let's share. Easy way to keep Milk Pail and show some dignity, and show that MV isn't COMPLETELY revolving around money and Merlone Geier.

Posted by Yes!
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 4, 2014 at 11:09 am

Los Altos has requirements for shared parking among businesses. there is no reason why Mountain View cannot do the same, unless the council is in the back pocket of Merlone. The council needs to show some backbone for once.

Posted by Neighbors Helping Neighbors
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

Hello, Neighbors and Friends,
This an excellant editorial that speaks to the heart of the impact of losing the Milk Pail. We would like to add that it isn't just Mtn. View residents who will be impacted. Many residents in neighboring cities shop at the Milk Pail. Especially, in the last three years, our organization has seen an increasing number of folks who can no longer afford their basic needs, top of the list good healthful food (produce & groceries).
Neighbors Helping Neighbors, who now serves 800 households in Palo Alto, MV and MP, we rely on Steve and the Milk Pail to supply our monthly food program with affordable foods and food donations. It's scary for us to imagine not having this resource that helps so many. The Milk Pail has provided us with a major nutritional component, 'rolled oats'. So, in large part it will be the health of these vulnerable households who rely on this stable food.

The negative impacts are great and profilic to our 'most vulnerable' citizens beyond the needs of one developers idea of what his shopping center should look like and who in the community it serves. City government should be about preserving and finding improvements to serve all needs of it's residents.
Very Concerned,
Neighbors Helping Neighbors

[email protected]
Phone: 650-283-0270
P.O. BOX 113
Palo Alto, CA 94302

Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 4, 2014 at 11:12 am

Apparently the current policy is that I have to move my car from one parking spot to another when I shop at Joann Fabric, Milk Pail, Trader Joes, Walmart, Safeway, etc? Really?

Of COURSE the city can do something to save treasured local businesses, just as easily as they can roll over and play dead to the out-of-town developers whose vision of what Mountain View should become is greatly at odds with the Mountain View that residents want.

Posted by Greta Garbo senior!
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 4, 2014 at 11:36 am

I do 90% of my grocery shopping there from fruits, vegetables, fresh ground beef, milk, bread and bulk grains. And it would be a travesty to find that I cannot park to make way for much more expensive stores that do not have the kind of fresh foods I can buy there. This will be really at odds with Mountain View and neighbouring communities that shop there.
Also, I don't have to walk the huge aisles of bigger supermarkets. I hate that kind of shopping and avoid it as much as I can.

Farmers markets are too expensive for me. May be I will buy one or two items there occasionally.

It is good for the budget. I can buy a lllllot of food and spend just 25 dollars and fill several grocery bags with fresh greens. You must pay attention to the needs of seniors and families on limited budgets too.

Posted by Max Hauser
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 4, 2014 at 11:43 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

Something not cited in all the reported back-and-forth is that developer Merlone Geier chose to create the current dilemma.

As a professional commercial-property developer assembling a large project from diverse land parcels, M-G would have spent due diligence investigating the San Antonio complex it was investing in. Unless M-G chose to be negligent in that advance work, it will have early discovered Milk Pail's local landmark status, and its regional draw of shoppers from beyond Mountain View. The developer could readily have made its own plans to preserve Milk Pail as-is, had it wished to.

DeBolt's March-28 article mentioned "Merlone Geier also wants to buy the Milk Pail property. It's the last one of the small corner lots by the Milk Pail that the company hasn't bought."

The overall picture here is of a large developer whose planning chose to ignore the established community significance of Milk Pail, perhaps even choosing to see Milk Pail as the last hold-out to a complete ownership of the nearby land, whose resistance to sale might succumb to the current pressure.

The City's response to the situation must acknowledge (as, to date, it has not) not only the conflict between businesses, but also the element of Merlone Geier's volition in creating this conflict.

Posted by Richard Law
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm

We need shared parking for the Milk Pail and other businesses that will be part of the new plan. Shared parking has been a great part of downtown Mountain View's success. Please help keep Mountain View bicycle and pedestrian friendly as well. Thanks!

Posted by MV Mama
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm

City Council, what are you good for if not to protect the interests of longstanding Mountain View business and citizens? I applaud this editorial and hope it prompts some pressure on these council members since they clearly aren't interested in doing the right thing for residents without public shaming.

Posted by Alison
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm

At a meeting I attended, your mayor slipped and said to the Merlone Geier representative, "...when you get the Milk Pail" space... Not if. When. He was telling them they needed to scale down the building they proposed to put as a massive wall up against Steve's space, saying they wouldn't be able to utilize his land as well once they got--I would say seized--it.

Clearly he is in Merlone Geier's pocket, and I think your other council members need to grow a spine. His protest of the city not choosing one businessman over another is sheer garbage--that's exactly what he's trying to do. Choosing the one that will pay for the political career he thinks he has.

Thank you for this editorial, get a clue, Mountain View, and long live the little shop that brings me to your city to do my shopping.

Posted by NoExceptions
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm

The city cannot require Merlone Geier to lease parking spots to Milk Pail. If the developer wants to strictly enforce their private property rights, then that's fine.

However, since Merlone Geier wishes strict adherence to the rules, then the city could certainly exercise their rights by denying any request for variances on San Antonio Project.

Isn't that fair and reasonable?

Posted by Ortega Ave neighbor
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm

The Milk Pail needs to stay in Mt View and needs to stay where it is now! We Have shopped there for years and think forcing them out over a small amount shared parking is wrong.

Posted by Susan
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm

I am a former Palo Alto resident who now lives in Marin and STILL shops in Mountain View only because of the Milk Pail. Frankly, I have no reason to bring my business to Mountain View because, besides the Milk Pail, there are no other businesses that I cannot find elsewhere at a more convenient distance. On the peninsula alone, one can find every other business at San Antonio Center in several locations, such as Daly City, Colma, or Redwood City. It seems to me that the city of Mountain View should do everything possible--and not much is even required--to insure that it is not strong-armed by Merlone Geier, a development firm with no real investment in the actual community, into destroying one of the most vibrant small businesses in the city. As more and more small businesses become replaced by big-box stores, the Milk Pail has assumed ever-increasing responsibility in maintaining Mountain View's individual character. It provides real economic, social, and cultural value to the community.

The solutions, as other commenters have noted, are glaringly simple:

1) Shared parking. I find it mind boggling that San Antonio Shopping Center expects customers to re-park for each destination. That seems extraordinarily inconvenient and, frankly, environmentally irresponsible.
2) Stipulate that Merlone Geier provide parking for the Milk Pail as a condition of Phase 2.

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

As far as I know, I am the only candidate that has been outspoken on this issue. I have addressed city council about this several times:

Web Link (City Council 3/18/2014)

Web Link (City Council 4/1/2014)

As well as writing my own articles in the online version of the voice:

Web Link (Nov. 2, 2013)

Web Link (March 19, 2014)

Please join me in trying to save the Milk Pail. In order to focus maximum attention on this issue, I am asking those of you who support keeping the Milk Pail right where it is to send the following tweet to the Mountain View City Council ( Web Link Mountain View City Hall Twitter Account) :


I am hoping to get 1 Million re-tweets! Let's do this!

Jim Neal
Candidate,Mountain View City Council
[email protected]

Posted by Susan Barkan
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Those of us with long memories recall the time when DeMartini Orchards in Los Altos, a popular small grocery with some similarities to the Milk Pail, decided to relocate to a conventional space in the San Antonio shopping center. . Few customers shopped at the new location, and after several months, the owners moved it right back. People LIKE the open-air, old-world ambience of the Milk Pail, crowded and cluttered though it may be. Moving it to a sterile new site, as Merlone Geier proposes, would destroy its ambience and drive customers away. How many parking places does M/G need, anyway? Grocery shoppers are in and out quickly, and would not significantly impact the high-end shoppers the developers hope to attract. I cannot understand their greed and total disregard of the wishes of the community.

Posted by Mr. Ed
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm

In five years, this wretched snotty little town will be indistinguishable from Paramus, NJ.

You deserve it.

Enjoy your TCE contamination, you're paying a fortune to get that cancer.

Posted by Amber Kerr
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I agree that the demise of the Milk Pail Market in favor of another big, corporate, chain-store redevelopment would be "one more example of how Mountain View is rapidly losing its soul." City Council, please don't let this happen. Unless we have long-term visions and community priorities, within a few years Mountain View is going to be the slickest, most expensive, most boring, and most heartless place in the whole Bay Area.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Even if Phase 2 gets built or any kind of project, alternate parking must be found.

Shared parking agreements must stay in place.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm

There were a lot of business affected by this development in addition to The Milk Pail. Why would it be fair for the City of MV to support Mr. Rasumussen when others have been driven out and have had to face the realities of setting up shop elewhere? The City made their choice to stay out of it and should retain that position or it would be completely unfair to the other businesses that have been affected. Change is hard and it's tough for a small business owner to face up to it but the reality of the situation is that the center will no longer be the type of place the Milk Pail belong. Maybe moving out of Mountain View is the answer.

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm

How did we elect these do nothing's? We might get sued...we have an out of town shopping center developer building a massive complex that is beyond stupid and our elected officials won't do anything? Maybe Inks is right about "bribes"

Posted by Tien
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm

I live in Sunnyvale, but still shop at the Milk Pail. It's a wonderful local business that sells excellent produce and wonderful cheeses at terrific prices. I would hate to see it close (or even relocate) - I sincerely hope the City Council will step in to support the Milk Pail in negotiations with the developer. It's one of the few things that regularly draws me to Mountain View.

Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm

There were a lot of business affected by this development in addition to The Milk Pail. Why would it be fair for the City of MV to support Mr. Rasumussen when others have been driven out and have had to face the realities of setting up shop elewhere? The City made their choice to stay out of it and should retain that position or it would be completely unfair to the other businesses that have been affected. Change is hard and it's tough for a small business owner to face up to it but the reality of the situation is that the center will no longer be the type of place the Milk Pail belong. Maybe moving out of Mountain View is the answer.

Posted by Concerned Community Member
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2014 at 1:14 am

Political Insider: The other businesses you are referring to were not the same as the Milk Pail.
How many of those businesses could claim ownership of Mountain View real estate?
Wouldn't property ownership increase an owner's 'skin in the game'?
How many of those other businesses drew shopping traffic from all over the South Bay Area and regularly bested the foot traffic of Ross and BevMo combined?
How many thrived in spite of being within two blocks of a handful of big name competitors?
How many contributed to the community in the broad way the Milk Pail has over the last 40 years with low prices, hundreds if not thousands of donations, and support for other local businesses?
How many of those businesses have had such vocal, sustained support in this debate?

There are things that can be required of MG that would solve this problem for everyone. MG could always complain but talented, professional developers should be able to design around any requirement. [MG's Phase 1 makes one wonder.] What promises were made by the council in the beginning that require preserving or protecting? Of course, MG's already displayed how they are willing to fence out others who don't bend to their will and the council has shown how deep pockets can influence their behavior on many occasions.

It looks like at least one candidate has already picked up on the political possibilities of actually supporting the community that speaks up for small, interesting, place-making businesses. I wonder who's next.

Posted by Christine Luc
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 5, 2014 at 7:37 am

The Milk Pail is an institution. I encourage friends to go and when I ask people in neighboring cities for a similar alternative they can't think of any. Please let it remain in Mountain View.

Posted by reader
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2014 at 9:04 am

@ Political Insider aka Toms Mean, you are on the losing side of this argument. you don't have to be "the only economist in the room" to see that there are a whole lot of MV residents that want the Milk Pail to stay.

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 5, 2014 at 9:05 am

Development council is approving 400,000 square feet of office space!
Then the same city council says there isn't enough housing!
We're stuck between the whipsaw of merlone greed and Prometheus.
Meanwhile conserve water and tell local owned businesses to go somewhere else!
This whole story from phase 1 to the fencing off of small businesses to force them to sell,
To not working out a deal to allow a local institution to stay, is like the pig who put its snout in the door
And now it's all the way in!
Good luck with the many years of construction, by time it's built who will want the office space?

Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2014 at 9:35 am

I am beginning to wonder if we are not seeing the big picture here.

Is this really about Milk Pail, Bev Mo, JoAnnes, Ross, etc. Or is it really about Milk Pail and whatever is going to be built in place of those other stores. Is this article really saying that Bev Mo, JoAnnes, Ross, etc. are all going and we are going to get more high end jewelry/bedding/restaurants instead?

What we have at present works well. I for one would normally visit both BevMo and Milk Pail at the same time, and often one or other of the other stores in the area. But, if these other stores go, Milk Pail would be my only store.

So, please can you clarify. Are we really losing all these other useful stores and only Milk Pail will remain?

Posted by Steve Rasmussen -Milk Pail Owner
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

@Political Insider

We meet again. A few months ago I remember I invited you to come from behind the curtain of anonymity and meet at a public coffee shop to discuss some of your views, but I never received a response to my invitation, even though I promised to keep your identity a secret!

You may not realize that I own the property that we occupy. We are not tenants. This is a very significant distinction.

You are correct, the current City Council has made a choice to stay “out of it”. But in 1990, the City Council at that time did not stay “out of it”. In fact, they voted to ratify the original San Antonio Precise Plan that clearly supported the open parking that is consistent with shopping centers. This Precise Plan also encouraged property owners to collectively work towards cooperative land use practices between all properties.
In 1990 the City of Mountain View and WIRET, a real estate development company that remodeled the current ROSS and BevMo stores, entered into an agreement that required WIRET or future parcel landowners to work in good faith with their small property neighbors if any of those neighbors wanted to improve their property and enhance the San Antonio Center. One of the expectations of that City agreement was the possible future need for sharing parking with adjacent properties. Today, as a result of the Milk Pail remodel in 2006, we have a City sponsored agreement to provide the Milk Pail with shared parking, parking that we pay for monthly.
Also, in 1990, the City of Mountain View and La Mancha, the real estate development company that built the corner building next to the Milk Pail, entered into an agreement that required La Mancha to work in good faith with its two neighbors, the Milk Pail and the Pilling property, if future redevelopment were to occur in that area.
Since you are clearly interested in facts, I encourage you to look into the wording of the original San Antonio Shopping Center Precise Plan; it is easy to find on the Mountain View City website. I also suggest you read the two City executed agreements; the WIRET agreement and the La Mancha agreement, for additional information.
As you said, City Council has made a choice to stay “out of it”. A City Council absolutely has that prerogative. Just because the City Council of 1990 agreed to a land use policy in 1990 does not mean they must do the same again in 2014. But for the City Council to say they don’t want to go down that “slippery slope” is not accurate. The City Council has already gone down that slope in 1990 for the benefit of both large and small property owners in the San Antonio Center for the good of the community.
It could be said that the San Antonio Shopping Center is a community benefit that historically has included open parking. Even today this historical policy continues in the San Antonio Center. Have you noticed that diners that park at Chili’s, a free standing independent property, will walk over to Safeway or Trader Joe’s to shop? Have you noticed that patrons of the Counter restaurant have to find parking over by the tall six story office building, a property that stands alone like the Milk Pail but is used by everyone?
@Political Insider, I believe you are clearly on the outside on this matter. The Mountain View community does not want the Milk Pail to leave, especially leave Mountain View. If you read the recent Voice article “Will the Milk Pail Survive”, even the City Council members and Department heads of our local government clearly expressed the hope that the Milk Pail would not leave town nor close.

Posted by Outsider
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2014 at 11:24 am

Expecting the self-styled "Political Insider" to stop hiding behind anonymity is like expecting "Political Insider" to think anything besides what "Political Insider" wants to think.

People who are determined not to understand something will usually succeed. Even when it's something clear to almost everyone else.

Posted by Elizabeth Houck
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2014 at 11:29 am

Parking for Milk Pail should be manditory in the conditions of approval for Phase!!. It's as simple as that! Go Steve!!

Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2014 at 11:30 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

I agree with the owner of the Milk Pail, shared parking agreements must remain in place. Only reason why this center survived but it does need major investment.

Ross, BevMo and JoAnne are in leased space which is space becomes too high. They can relocate elsewhere which I think the Milk Pail would find difficult.

Posted by Way to Exploit for Personal Gain
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 5, 2014 at 11:49 am

How embarrassing for the Mountain View Voice to have to continue to sensationalize this topic to get residents riled up about something so they will pay attention to you. Has the Milk Pail really spent that much in ad dollars over the years that the publisher is in his pocket? How much HAS he paid out to the voice? And why isn't the voice disclosing THAT information as part of their piece?

While you admit that city hall opened its doors and invited you in to talk about what could be legally done by government, their side of the story was buried at the end in hopes that most people wouldn't bother to read it. Good job there, because by the responses on this page, most of the people didn't read the full story.

And if I were a city official, I would never trust you or invite you in again. Some of us were hoping you were working to repair your relationship with the city and practice responsible journalism - but this smacks of a paper trying to MAKE policy rather than report objectively on it.

If people want to save the Milk Pail, try writing letters to Steve Rassmussen and Merlone Geier and tell them to put on their big-boy pants and work it out without trying to force mom and dad to stick someone in the corner.

Seriously, I would be miffed if the city told me I couldn't build on my own house until I had to do something like pay for my neighbor to get new siding. Why is this different? Would people really want that to become the standard every time THEY wanted to make a change to the property they owned? And why is everyone glossing over that the "public benefit" only benefits ONE PERSON and screws the rest us?

Posted by Outsider
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2014 at 12:24 pm

"Way to..." :

1. Um, you commented on an Editorial Opinion piece, not a news story.

2. Um, the analogy isn't "if the city told me I couldn't build on my own house until I had to do something like pay for my neighbor to get new siding" (or a similar one, suggested by a City staffer in a recent Voice news story ). The accurate analogy is if you bought property entailed with an established, publicly popular agreement to share a common space with an adjoining property, but as new owner you chose to ignore all that.

3. Um, you can see even just from responses here the consensus that the "Public Benefit" in question benefits far more people than just the Milk Pail's owner.

Posted by DC
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 5, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Someone let a building be built with 5 parking spaces. Someone made rules that require 20 spaces for a business. Someone allowed use of common space for stores. Someone ain't talking anymore.

Posted by Edward Perez
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm

What the hell? Why don't you just leave the place be, build your stupid building and let the Milk Pail's customers park where they please?

If you're going to build your huge piece of crap building that necessitates 1,400 parking spaces I'm sure there will be plenty available for the patrons of both places. I often park in Trader Joe's parking area and then walk over to Walmart and vice versa ... what the hell large conglomerate loser?

As an aside, that you for degrading Mt. View and the surrounding area with more and more traffic, way too many people, incredibly high rents, and higher and higher buildings.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the scourge is marching west from the east. First Europe was degraded so everyone left for the Americas, then the east coast was degraded with things like Lake Erie catching on fire and the Hudson River becoming and open sewer and now California is being ravaged as well.

Leave the milk pail be because it will provide your 'high-end' clientele with the local, organic, sustainable, overly priced produce they crave ... oh no wait. Sorry. That's Whole Foods.

Posted by Edward Perez
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Jezus ... why don't you just redraw the property lines of the Milk Pail to afford them enough land to expand their parking? Sell them the space to put in parking ... is it really that difficult?

'cause then, after you did this the Milk Pail could post signs saying "Milk Pail Customers Only" and then when the people from the huge piece of crap complex they are going to build park in their lot the Milk Pail can have them towed away which would provide revenue for Mt. View's towing companies.

Win, win, win. Yes?

You're right ... sarcasm.

Posted by Whaddabout...
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 5, 2014 at 7:45 pm

How much did the property value of the several parcels bought by Merlone Geier increase by the changed zoning that the City Council handed them?

Jus' sayin’.

Posted by Phil Cali
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 5, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Fine Editorial. We need a new City Council. Time is running out folks. As a side note, don't shop at The Disaster at San Antonio Center.

Posted by Lada Adamic
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 6, 2014 at 8:22 am

It's ridiculous that parking cannot be shared and that this would force out as wonderful of a local institution as the Milk Pail. Please, city council, do whatever you can, because I always buy too much there to bike it all back home ;).

Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 6, 2014 at 9:28 am

Bikes2work is a registered user.

The old Precise Plan did require shared parking. That was quietly amended out when it was revised for Phase 1. Why can't it be amended back into the new Precise Plan?

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 6, 2014 at 9:38 am

The city is behind the milk pail. City employees and the majority of elected representatives aren't.
They envision some grand regional destination center to gather tax revenue, to fill egos and salaries/pensions.
They could care less about anything else as merlone grinds away any and all opposition.
The deal is done and it smells.
Thanks for the editorial, time to support candidates who are outside the box?

Posted by notAnn
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2014 at 9:51 am

I live in South Los Altos but prefer to shop at the Milk Pail because I am mobility-impaired and I can get in and out in a record amoount of time with everything I need. They also have specialty items I love and can't find anywhere else. Good parking is important to me. Please don't mess with the Milk Pail and let us have the parking we need.

Posted by Gardener
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 6, 2014 at 10:20 am

Gardener is a registered user.

The City Council's excuse that they don't want to pick winners and losers is a transparent cop-out. They pick winners and losers every meeting when they agree to re-zone properties, waive requirements, etc for large developers.

None of the incumbent Council members get my vote in the upcoming election because clearly they don't care about the community's interests.

Posted by cisco ochoa
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm

In support of The Milk Pail, I feel the city council should, as mentioned previously, make parking for The Milk Pail a condition prior to moving on to phase 2. While we love being able to call places like Google, Intuit and Shoreline Amphitheater our own, we also like places like Shoreline Park, and the character of Castro Street, as well. The revitalization of Castro, in my opinion, was done very well. Please help keep the character of the rest of our city intact. We need places like The Milk Pail, Mi Pueblo Market, which, even though it's a chain, has always been in keeping with the character of Mountain View, as we know it.

Posted by Mary
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm

My 93 year old Mother has lived at The Old Mill since she was widowed in 1977. She no longer drives and gets around walking pushing her "granny cart" She has shopped at the Milk Pail since moving to the Old Mill. She finds the produce, dairy and other treats of good nutritional and economic value and the walk is one that she can do from her condo and back without tiring too much. While she does not occupy a parking space, if the Milk Pail were to move anywhere else in Mountain View, other than to the vacant lot at the corner of Ortega and California, it would mean that my mother no longer has access to the items offered by the Milk Pail. I truly hope that the City Council intervenes to assist MG understand that the Milk Pail is a business that will bring more traffic to its other stores, and the amount of shared parking that they would need to make available is an investment good for their business and bottom line.

Posted by Another idea
a resident of another community
on Apr 7, 2014 at 12:13 am

Here's what the city COULD do. It could require land from the developer as a condition of approval to widen California Street and to create on-street parking (diagonal, not parallel) all along California Street between San Antonio and Showers Drive.

There, THAT would provide Milk Pail with all the parking it needs.

Stupid city. It is breaking its promises to the owner of this Milk Pail parcel because it is trying to get a hotel in this complex, which isn't even needed. Strong arm tactics were used against the other landowners to get them to sell at below market value to this developer. Disgusting.

Posted by Rob
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 7, 2014 at 8:25 am

Mountain View has never required a developer to add adequate parking before, why start now? Overflow parking from the apartments on my street lines both curbs every night. Sure its annoying, but not worth destroying the Milk Pail over something similar. If city council wants to help, they should require new businesses to provide enough parking. Grandfather the old businesses in. There can't be that many left.

Posted by Caroline
a resident of another community
on Apr 7, 2014 at 9:23 am

For the people wondering why the Milk Pail should be important for the community, it is for people like me or the earlier commenter from Marin.

You see, I used to work in Sunnyvale along Central Expressway and quickly discovered that if I drove west long enough, I could find all of the wonderful fruit and veggies I could possibly want. The produce was fresher and had a far better variety than the local chain grocery near home and much cheaper than Whole Paycheck.

Even after I left there, I still drive up from South San Jose for the produce, cheese, and other items that I can find at Milk Pail. And, you know, as long as I am all the way up there, I usually stop by other Mountain View stores as well - like BookBuyers, Nijiya, Esther's Bakery, etc. While they are all great places to shop, I would go far less often if it were not for the fact that I need some gooseberries, baby artichokes, or whatever kind of produce I need that week. I don't need to drive 25 minutes for fresh bread, books, or even Japanese groceries. I can get all that down here. But there is no substitute for Milk Pail.

Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Apr 7, 2014 at 10:33 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

The city council should talk with a very well know apartment developer about the use of the old Safeway parking lot while Phase 2 is built.

City Council should keep the shared parking agreement.

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 7, 2014 at 11:39 am

It will take a city wide referendum to stop this smelly mess.
A luxury movie theater, hotel, and 400,000 square feet of office space, along with a 1700 car garage?
Sorry but city council majority is not listening and could care less about your comments.
Its a done deal.
Palo Alto residents shot down the "arts district at 27 University and the Jay Paul project, and has a moritorium on community give back developments.
Too bad we are not as smart, and developers are taking full advantage.

Posted by Volha Kameneva
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm

People needs this place. All my family and my friends need it. I don't know how we can support Milk Pail.

Posted by Curious
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Does the SCOTUS decision on McCutcheon impact financial donations for local city elections? Maybe City Council has too many dollars signs in their eyes to see clearly.

Posted by Valerie F
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Shared parking for adjacent businesses makes sense. I prefer to walk for my errands, but sometimes I can't - so parking once and making stops at multiple shops is ideal for me. For example, I'll often go to Milk Pail, Safeway and BevMo and not move my car.

Some places, like Michael's by Costco have put up weird barriers to stop people from crossing into their lot from another on foot. People do it anyways, and I know I've often gotten bruises and clothing snags while doing so. Why make this hard on your customers?

incognito: currently, you do not have to move your car, because of a shared parking agreement.

M-G is trying to put up walls around a classic institution. I've seen enough small businesses forced out of Mountain View over the years - let's keep one here! I know I have friends that come from all over the Bay Area to shop there, and then they'll go to dinner, and maybe pick up something else at another store - you see how this works.

The Milk Pail parcel is so small compared to the rest of San Antonio Center, that I cannot see any reason why the designs cannot be modified to incorporate the Milk Pail.
M-G wants to add a "Farmer's Market" instead. Why? We already have one at this site that keeps better daily hours, and that can operate into the evenings: Th Milk Pail.

M-G should have their property flow into the Milk Pail, to leverage their brand and quality.

[Yes, I've seen the 'offer' of a very expensive rental property for the Milk Pail - that would be the end of the low prices!]

Valerie F.
Rex Manor Neighborhood

Posted by Very long time MV resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 7, 2014 at 10:16 pm

I hope that the comments here supporting the Milk Pail are being read by our city council members, and that they are taking note. What disturbs me more than anything else is that Milk Pail OWNS their land. They COOPERATED with the city on a Precise Plan. The community APPRECIATES the low prices and variety of foods that the Milk Pail provides.

I'll bring up another analogy - Pontius Pilate. The city council is "washing their hands" of this project. I agree with an earlier writer. The city council has created this disaster. Let them earn their city council seats and help save a valuable asset to our community.

And then let me ask the city council this question - if Larry Page or Sergei Brin were to ask that you save Milk Pail, how many of you would fall all over yourselves to make it happen? Sorry, my cynicism and disgust for the city council continues to boil out on this issue.

Posted by JM
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 8, 2014 at 6:03 am

This is so disappointing. Small business is one of the things that makes this area great - why Mountain View would fail to support a popular, long-standing, and successful small business like the Milk Pail in favor of things like an unneeded movie theater and chain stores for jewelry, cell phones, and mattresses is beyond me. Please listen to your citizens and help the Milk Pail!

Posted by SB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Apr 8, 2014 at 7:26 am

Aside from Jim Neal, there is an embarrassing silence from the MV City Council candidates.

Voters ought to know where they stand on an issue so close to "Mountain View's soul".

MV City Candidates, if you read these comments (as you should), please speak up: We're all ears!

Posted by Anon
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Why is "save Milk Pail" any more compelling than "save Mi Pueblo"? Simple answer. Rich people buy food at Milk Pail. Poor people buy food at Mi Pueblo.

Therefore, people clamor for someone to save our preferred access to 20 dollar a pound goat cheese. None of whom said a word when Mi Pueblo was close to closing.

Posted by Longtime local
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm


Mi Pueblo is a 21-store supermarket chain with financial issues. Mountain View being only one of its many locations.

Milk Pail is a small, land-owning independent market, with a standing agreement (created with City support) to share parking. (IIRC, Milk Pail began as a drive-through shop, but evolved to present form, requiring more parking.) A new developer of adjacent land chose not to honor the standing parking agreement; expressed desire to buy out Milk Pail's land, "the last one of the small corner lots," for redevelopment; and has pressured Milk Pail in other ways. Milk Pail has loyal, widespread community support both in and out of MV, including for low prices -- as you can clearly see, in comments here. How therefore do you compare it the with Mi Pueblo situation??

Posted by Greg Hume
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm

It's past time for a new City Council that has more respect for our wishes.

BTW, Anon's snark about $20/goat cheese reflects a small part of what MP provides... The fruit and veggies are cheap and good, and the mix of people shopping at MP is as ethnically- and age-diverse as you'll find anywhere in MV.

Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm

AC is a registered user.

Did anyone start working on that referendum? I can't drive it, and I can't run for office, but I'm on board.

I would like the see the Precise Plans audited, and I'd like to see a reality check of this break-neck pace we're on.

Posted by Ken
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm

As Tien indicated, I'm also from Sunnyvale, and it's the Milk Pail that brings me to Mountain View. And when I shop there, I often hit other stores like BevMo, Trader Joe's and Target in the area since I'm there, despite the fact that those stores also have locations in Sunnyvale. Seems to me shared parking per the prior agreements makes a great deal of sense and leaves everyone as a winner--including Mountain View.

Posted by Bilyana in Palo Alto
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2014 at 11:15 am

Milk Pail Market is a unique treasure that the City of Mountain View is lucky to have and should make sure to keep and support. If I were on the City Council, I would do anything possible and would go out of my way to find a creative solution to its parking situation. If the City Council is the one approving any new development in the City, they sure have the power to demand something from the developers they approve/support. City Officials, give the Milk Pail Market special treatment because they are a unique and special place unlike any other you have in your town.

Posted by Re: Way to Exploit for Personal Gain
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2014 at 2:22 pm

@"Way to Exploit for Personal Gain" wrote: "I would be miffed if the city told me I couldn't build on my own house until I had to do something like pay for my neighbor to get new siding."

This is exactly what the city does every time a R2 or R3 zoned lot has a new house built upon it. Look it up. So go get some knowledge, and come back with an informed opinion, rather than espousing standard Merlone Geier propaganda.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Milk Pail is providing a great "community service".

Palo Alto would love to have one of these.

Mountain View city should demand the developer
to hornor prior commitments and also provide access
as a part of community service.

Posted by nikonbob
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I guess it's asking to much to hope for common sense here. The public is behind the Milk Pail. The city should find a way to make it work. They can if they want. The question is why don't they want to?

Of course, the first phase of San Antonio is such a gem, we certainly want more of that! A mattress store, two more Starbucks and a jewelry store are certainly adding character to our town.

Mountain View certainly deserves better than this...if only our public servants had the will to deliver!

Posted by Bonnie Malouf
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Mountain View is changing, no doubt about it. It is more than sentimentality that demands the preservation of historically important businesses like the Milk Pail. To convert Mountain View to yet one more place that is overrun with corporate chains without regard for small businesses beloved by the residents is shortsighted. Mountain View is at risk of losing its core , its heart. It is not much to ask to respond to hundreds of citizens, probably representing thousands of citizens who value this small business. The City Council exists to preserve the values of our city in the midst of its growth and expansion. Supporting the Milk Pail would be one way for the Council to demonstrate what its values are.

Posted by Mondrian
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Milk Pale is a nice market (I used to go there a lot before switching to Foothill Produce), but calling it 'unique treasure' is too much. There are some similar markets around, I know at least 3 in 5 mile radius from my home.

Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 9, 2014 at 9:09 pm


Actually, it IS a unique treasure. And Mr. Rasmussen has OWNED that property for 30 years! He's being bullied by this out-of-town developer whose only goal is profit, not the quality of life for MV residents.

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm

The Milk Pail is the last vestige of Soul in this miserable little toxic dump. I'd say "Choose wisely", but you won't.


Posted by taylan
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 10, 2014 at 10:03 am

Milk pail is one of the few genuine stores that brings together a feeling of community in a world that is made up of Safeway's and Starbucks' and alike. I would go on streets and protest if I have to if that's what it takes to save Milk Pail!

Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2014 at 10:29 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

People vote with their feet and pocket books, how do you think Starbucks grew? Wasn't because they just open stores to get people angry. It because people are willing to spend their hard earn money.

This why phase 2 is planned, maybe people are willing to spend to stay the night, or people want better choices then Kohls and Wal Mart. Personally I will not spend a dime on clothing at Ross, but everything else is fine.

Save the Milk Pail.

Posted by Erin
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 10, 2014 at 11:28 am

Milk Pail is one of the only places it is possible to get affordable organic and non-organic produce as a student. It is news to me that I wasn't allowed to park and walk around and I fully intend to keep doing so. It doesn't benefit anyone in this city for MP to close -- in fact, it doesn't even benefit the other businesses in the SA shopping center. Many times the only reason I go into a number of the businesses there, it is because it was worth hauling over to the center *because of the Milk Pail* and I then run in for other little things at Walmart or elsewhere. It is the Milk Pail that gets me in the vicinity in the first place.

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

It seems that almost everyone here recognizes that the Milk Pail is a wonderful local resource that is an integral part of our community. Help me to help you save it by sending a tweet to city council:

@mtnviewcityhall #SaveTheMilkPail

It will also help if you ask everyone that you know to do the same. It takes less than a minute and will let the City Council know how we all feel. Believe it or not, your voice DOES make a difference. Think of it as being in a crowd at a sporting event... One lone voice can be loud, but an entire stadium filled with 50,000 people yelling and screaming can be hear miles away! Make sure that your voice is heard and send our message loud and clear!

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council (Campaign Website)
[email protected]

Posted by mv resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm

How many spaces does Milk Pail need? How much space is this? Why doesn't the developer offer to sell this amount of land next to milk pail at the price per square foot he paid or if not why not (only the developer directly should answer this)? Would Milk Pail be acceptable to this if it was offered or if not why not (only Milk Pail's owner should answer this)? What do people think if the city planning office and cc asked or required in its approval of phase II that such an offer be made.

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 11, 2014 at 8:02 pm

City council/employees & merlone greed are set to wipe out anything that stands in the way of the "grand plan".
Good bye milk pail. Hello office buildings parking garages and more phase 1 junk.

Posted by DC
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 11, 2014 at 8:42 pm

The counsel made up there minds 10 years ago when the approved redevelopment of the area. The lawyers have worked up a plan to take control of the land and are just proceeding as planned. What are people complaining about MP is not being forced to close just relocate. The current store is old, disorganized, dirty and cramp. Are we all helping the owner get top dollar on the land?

Posted by think
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 11, 2014 at 10:35 pm

DC--" What are people complaining about MP is not being forced to close just relocate."

The owner of MP is doing this for many more reasons besides money. The developer wants to maximize profit in that high rent area, so I'm sure he is offering top dollar to the owner (Steve). He is playing hardball, because he knows that if Milk Pail stays, then he's out some serious bucks.

Leaving aside the issue of being in the same location for so many decades and actually liking it there... The emotional stuff....

What is your situation? There are many in Mountain View that purchased their property before the big boom(s). They are paying significantly less tax than their relatively new-to-the-neighborhood neighbors, thanks to prop 13. If they move, their expense load on the property is going to go way up, since they will be taxed on the current assessment. There are many that actually cannot afford the sudden increase in tax (5x, 10x or even more!)

In MP's case, he would be offered a sky-high rent that would incorporate this new tax assessment, the costs of renting property to someone and, of course, a profit margin. Or he could purchase a much higher cost basis. That will be much, much higher than he is paying today. The economics of his market may not survive. Milk Pail has very good produce, cheeses and more at a price far less than the comparable quality of whole foods. Should he take a loss? Or go "high-end" to bring in a new clientele?

Jim Neal makes some great points. He built a business around the agreed-on shared parking model. Unfortunately, it seems he did not count on the cold-hardheartedness (or uncaring) of the current city council. These folks seem to care much more about things that affect them personally. Ronit Bryant has spent so much more time complimenting Pete's (a corporate coffee chain that she seems to adore) than businesses like Milk Pail.

Posted by OLGA
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm

All my friends and family LOVE Milk Pail Market. I know people coming from San Jose and other far away places to shop there. WE don't need another Movie Theater and Mattress store, we need to have wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses for an affordable price close to our home! Please help this business to survive!!!!

Posted by DC
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 12, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Yea prop 13 the Tax saving deal was never meant for business it was for retired people so they can afford to sat in their homes.

Posted by sylphqueen
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 13, 2014 at 7:28 am

Is there a Facebook page for this as well, or a councilor/council address we can write into about this? Also, has anyone started a petition on or anything? How do I sign the petition?

Posted by sylphqueen
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 13, 2014 at 7:51 am

Web Link

Posted by Cat Mikkelsen
a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Two items. First off, yes, provide parking for Milk Pail. Secondly, Milk Pail should look into providing a hybrid of "drive-in" shopping for its customers. An example would be: Register and fill out a form saying what you want to pick up every week. Set up a website that lets you select what you want to add to your standing order (or to change the order.) Then show up and "drive through." I bet that with some process work, Milk Pail could actually do quite well.

Do consider it. It's a great store.

Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Just people.who like to shop at the Milk Pail and yes shared parking is a must. A.vibrant area is also good for the Milk Pail, mattress and jewelry stores are just the beginning. Other retailers might be waiting to see what happens with the SA.

With all the planned housing going up, that is lots of kichens needing cheese.

Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Everybody loves the Milk Pail.

City Council's passivity is hard to understand. They really seem to be intimidated by Merlone Geier.

Do they serve the citizens or not?

Posted by DC
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Everyone has a store they like. But due to track records and legal actions how can Mtn View save one and not another. Gone are the bagel shop soon the old Historical silicon valley lab, no one cared to save Ross or Joann Fabric,. Changing rules and regulations to save one place after actions have been made are grounds for a law suit. PS: MP has no handicap spaces is only a matter of time before they need to close.

Posted by Very long time MV resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm

You must not shop at the Milk Pail. There are 2 Handicap Parking spaces directly in front of the Milk Pail. 2 (out of 5) parking spaces are for the HP.

City Council has stepped in over the years to determine how someone's land is used. I am extremely concerned over the writer who said that they had overheard a city council member speaking to someone from MG regarding "when you take over Milk Pail..." Is there something underlying that is going on here? Do we have shades of Bell, California?

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 13, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Milk Pail is the best thing in Mountain View. The new San Antonio shopping center development thus far is completely useless to me, and the last thing I want to see in San Antonio shopping center is a theater. Milk Pail is actually one of the only reasons I like living in Mtn. View. Not much else is keeping me here - reasonably priced, fresh, good tasting fruits and vegetables are worth more than anyone realizes....

Posted by MV Resident
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Apr 14, 2014 at 2:07 am

Why can't the city council simply waive the requirement for Milk Pail to have 22 parking spaces?

Why can't it, at the same time, require that MG create some public parking spaces? As in, some spaces that are marked 'public' so that anyone can park there, regardless of what they visit? I think this would be like the plan indends it: shared parking for the area. This would also be similar to the parking underneath Kepler's in Menlo park - some spaces are marked as public.

De-facto, this would create a situation that would allow Milk Pail shoppers to park for free at MG. In my opinion, this should really be the starting point for a negotiation. And then perhaps, yeah, maybe Milk Pail is willing to sign a lease for some spaces that are dedicated for their shoppers after 2016?

Of all the shops in the San Antonio area, Milk Pail is by far my favorite. It is a public good, in my opinion, because it makes healthy food affordable to everybody. It would seem crazy to ruin that.

Dear city council, please come to your senses, and let us all have affordable premium cheeses and tasty fruits and vegetables. Thanks!

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Slater
on Apr 14, 2014 at 5:29 pm

I’ve lived in MV all my life and while I don’t shop at the Milk Pail I would like to see it preserved and protected. I see the City Gov’t and a majority on the Council seemingly drooling at the prospect of plowing under Mountain Views past, character, and culture in order to pander to soulless developer/landowners. The City Council represents the electorate of Mountain View that is why we are called upon to vote for them every few years – I seriously doubt any of these developers elected anybody on the city council. For some reason a majority on the city council mistakenly believes that running roughshod over the city’s electorate in favor of developers and their short sighted interests is what they were elected to do as they push plans that are detrimental to the electorate but favorable to developers. There has always been significant pressure to overbuild and overdevelop in Mountain View for the last 40 years and previous councils have resisted these pressures and preserved MV for the most part. If left unaltered, the current plans of this council’s majority will destroy the city, double the population, and leave us in perpetual gridlock. The signs of the impending heart attack are showing on Grant, Shoreline, San Antonio and El Camino Real in the form of traffic jams clogging the major arteries of the city. Yet the city council doubles down on higher and larger developments with little deterrence as to the consequences of their actions and without a reasonable plan of any kind. Their only plan is a pipe dream that people will walk, ride or take public transit everywhere they need to go and stop using their cars. The Milk Pail is just another symptom of this disease in my opinion. Oppose the disease, save MV’s soul.

Posted by Citizen of Mountain View
a resident of Willowgate
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Please, city council, intervene on behalf of the MilkPail. Let the parking be shared. Waive the parking rule. Be creative and innovative. A private land owner is being forced to sell on a technicality, which is not right. Do the right thing, please.

Posted by Lawrence Rosenbaum
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 16, 2014 at 11:54 pm

The behavior exhibited by the developers who covet land that is not theirs is exceeded only by the utter lack of backbone demonstrated by our elected officials. Milk Pail Market is a gem among its increasingly homogeneous neighbors. Easy to see whose hands are being greased here. They own that land fair and square, and shame on the City Council for not being supportive of one of the few truly unique businesses that still remain in the area.

Posted by Jill
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I'm a second-generation MV-tonian who had to move to Sunnyvale to afford to buy a house. I still shop at the Milk Pail for its great, cheap produce and many other hard-to-find products. City council members need to examine their consciences and do the right thing by the Milk Pail owners. Whatever it takes to reach a good solution, they need to make it happen.

Posted by Voter
a resident of Willowgate
on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Dear City Council,

Please accommodate the Milk Pail. It is the right thing to do.

Thank you,


Posted by MLEmerich
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:44 pm

My family has lived in the area for 62 entire life. I can remember shopping there with my Dad when Milk Pail was relatively new.
I know a few things about zoning and use permits and the like.
To allow ANY of this project to have STARTED prior to a GUARANTEE of spaces available for the MILK PAIL that are convenient in inexcusable. All members of the City Council should be embarrassed for letting this situation get to where it is.
To suggest that someone is going to make Millions, maybe Billions off a piece of property over time and not be able to control some of the project to protect a smaller business is horrific and suggests it is not about the community and its values, but completely about kissing the butts of the wealthy project owners for the property tax revenues, be damned what the community desires and needs are.
Steve Rasmussen has run an outstanding business which has helped countless people, provide high quality merchandise at a fair price, and is an ENORMOUS asset to the community. While the acreage of the San Antonio project is going to generate more property tax and sales tax revenue to the community, the whole project has no soul.
Part of a community is the soul of the community, and without the soul of the community, it is just another strip mall....failing to protect Steve and MILK PAIL, as I said before, is Unconscionable and soul killing to the City of Mountain View.
I truly appreciate that Mt. View has become a nice place to go out at night, has great restaurants and Castro Street is destination. It, too, has gotten pretty upscale, but is a far cry from the disaster it was when I was a young adult, so good on MV for having done that.
FIX THIS before you kill it. Force the greedy developers to provide cheap or free parking for MILK PAIL as a condition of approving the next project phase...a rather easy thing to do if you, as a city counsel have any brains, willingness to do the right thing, or sense of COMMUNITY!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

"Everybody loves the Milk Pail.
City Council's passivity is hard to understand. They really seem to be intimidated by Merlone Geier.
Do they serve the citizens or not?"

The council majority aren't the brightest bunch. Kap seems pretty full of himself and only needed 18% of the vote to get reflected.
The strategy is to satisfy the big out of town developers and pretty much tell the residents to get lost.
Affordable housing gets torn down and rezoned for dense upscale apartments.
Long established local businesses are told to move on.
Enjoy your movie theater and parking garage after the 2 plus years of construction, all descending on San Antonio.

Posted by Ballot Measure
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2014 at 11:13 am


".... pretty much tell the residents to get lost."

Well, according to this article, City Council is very eager to listen to its residents. In fact it will be considering on 4/22/14 a November ballot measure .......... to raise its own pay by 100%.

Web Link

Details of the proposal here:

Web Link

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Says it all:

"At a Feb. 18 committee meeting, Councilman Mike Kasperzak said he believed there was ample support to raise the salary to $1,250 per month.
"I think we've been a good, effective government," he said. "For the most part, voters around here think council members are doing a good job (and) $1,250 a month is not going to break the bank."

Posted by elizabeth
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm

As a long time shopper at The Milk Pail, and one who can only find one saving grace for Phase I (some pretty tiles), I'm disgusted that the City Council is too spineless to wield their substantial power to protect the interests of TMP and the City's residents. As pointed out they can clearly require acceptable parking arrangements be made available for TMP in
order to approve Phase II.

If you'd like to see folks in neighboring communities shop in Mtn. View don't bail on the valued institutions that draw us to you.

The Milk Pail is one of only a few establishments that attract me to your town.

It's a treasure! Don't let some souless developer deprive the town of something that means so much to so many!

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 20, 2014 at 8:48 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

For those that want to help save the Milk Pail, please send a tweet to the City Council. It only takes a minute and lets them know how you feel:

@mtnviewcityhall #SaveTheMilkPail

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link (Campaign Website)
[email protected]

Posted by Lincoln Bourne
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm

The milk pail is unique -- I've been shopping there for more than twenty years, starting back when I lived in Mountain View. Even now that I'm in San Jose I stop by whenever I'm nearby. I hope the city makes an effort to save the place.

Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Here we go again with the overpass crowd coming over the tracks to claim the are in the same neighborhood..Until of course you have your little annual neighborhood party. Suddenly you're another neighborhood.

Go ahead and continue believing anyone who doesn't agree with your opinions is on the payroll of someone you dont like, city council members you don't like or hired by someone you don't like. It's your choice to be paranoid and dismissive. All the time and effort put into regurgitating the same posts could be put into finding a new location for the market.

I understand you like the place. You've made that clear. But the histrionics erode your position. All these folks who claim to shop there all the time yet go off the deep end if you claim that there is ever anything with a blemish there.

Embrace it for what it is. A place to get less-than-perfect produce at a nice discount on occasion. A place where you can be sure someone will cut in line in front of you at least every other trip. A place to pay attention because people love running in front of cars or just sitting sitting sitting sitting there at a diagonal half bocking lanes to try to get into those 2 or 3 spots on the other side of the walls from the registers.

At the very least to deny there is a lot of sadder, blemished looking produce there is silly. We can all see it with our own eyes. But some folks become hysterical when you point this out, even without making a judgement-- simply by making a statement-- sometimes there is old produce.

I've even taken pictures of it, simply for the fact that some people fly off the handle and claim I'm lying. Heck I could --and maybe should make a blog ...Instagram or Tumblr? "Old produce at Milk Pail"

Really everyone acts like those "not my son he was a good boy" mothers we see on TV after a big news gang incident.

You folks need to realize something. You achieve nothing other than appearing childish when you insta-post "oh a developer shill" or "ignore it they are probably a MG employee" etc etc

Also shows you are arrogant and dismissive of others' opinions. Really--why should someone on the fence take your view if immediately any opinion other than your own is attacked as being wrong a fake post? Are you saying no one is as smart as you? Or simply that no one else's opinion matters?

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 21, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Sparty -- Have you read any of my extensive posts on this subject? I have gone into great detail explaining the history of this situation, but I am glad to do it again. In 1989, the Council put into place a San Antonio Precise Plan that REQUIRES shared parking among all the owners with property in the San Antonio Center. Above all, this is about fairness! I do not think it is fair to change the rules after the fact.

As far as your comments about the quality of the merchandise to be found there, you are welcome to your opinion and no one is forcing you to shop there. However, thousands of us do shop there and we love the quality of the products that we buy. I have never seen a single store, including some large chain markets, that do not have spoiled/bad produce on occasion.

Lastly, Steve owns his property free and clear and it is not that easy to 'just go buy another one'. Especially with real estate prices skyrocketing as they are now! And even if he did, what would keep the Council of whatever city he decided to relocate to from changing the rules so that he would have to move again?

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council (Campaign Website)
[email protected]

Posted by Ltj
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2014 at 4:37 am

People should bring this up at the next public meeting with the mayor! Ask him why he can't bring the two sides into a room and tell them to work something out! From the city website: The next "Coffee with Chris" will be on Saturday, April 26, 2014, 1-2pm, upstairs at the Red Rock, 201 Castro Street.

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

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@LTJ -- I have been asking this repeatedly at Council Meetings. The 1989 Shared Parking Agreement is codified in the current San Antonio Precise Plan. I do not know why one developer is being allowed to flagrantly disregard this.

The city wants to punish people for driving "Congestion Fees" but then turns around and says they can't do anything to resolve a simple parking problem.

I wonder when Caltrain is going to start charging its riders congestion fees because they get full to "Cattle Car Capacity" during rush hour? There have been days that I have had to stand up on Caltrain all the way from San Francisco to Mountain View. Maybe if Caltrain started charging "Congestion Fees" they could get people out of their trains.....

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council (Campaign Website)
[email protected]

Posted by Rich Brown
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm

I first bought cheese from Steve in the 70's and have enjoyed the Milk Pail ever sense. I think the idea of this unique, heirloom business leaving Mountain View is deplorable! Do we need more "plastic" mall stores? The Milk Pail is now the ONLY reason I go to that area of Mountain View!

Posted by SB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on May 29, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Mark your calendars, the City Council -maybe hoping for minimal publicity?- seems poised to make a fateful decision on July 1st.

Posted by rolo
a resident of North Whisman
on May 29, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Good ole' Mountain View has lost it's shimmer , lost it's shine...

Posted by @ Jim Neal
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

Yes, we know you are a candidate. Is that the reason that you keep writing the same thing? Is that the reason you are actually for shared parking? It is certainly what it sounds like.

Posted by Vivian
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Sunnyvale managed to save Olson's Produce Stand on El Camino including several short term parking spots right at their back door. In additiona, they have a number of on street parking spots right in front of their building. Seems to me that Mt. View should be able to help the two parties work out some solution.

Posted by Melissa Houle
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2014 at 1:11 am

Before I moved to Sunnyvale last year, I often shopped for produce at the Milk Pail. I loved it's slight funkiness, its personality and friendliness and loved how long it had been there. The City should grow a backbone and insist on shared parking as a condition for Merlone Grier to proceed with their plans. If Los Altos can do it, so can Mountain View. The Milk Pail was there first. I hate seeing unique businesses being squeezed out of the way by big, fancy new developments, which is what the San Antonio center has become. So stand up and do the right thing by The Milk Pail, Mountain View!

Posted by VW
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 7, 2014 at 4:21 am

Mountain View, please step up and help an Milk Pail continue to serve the city's residents. It is a landmark that shouldn't be forced out of its location.

Posted by Bolton
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 15, 2014 at 7:20 pm

I think the City of Mountain View lost their souls many years ago...but this another example that they still haven't found it!!!!

Posted by Ineke
a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2014 at 10:27 am

Where is Google in all this? Surely they have the power in Mountain View to take care of this matter, so that people can park anywhere they need to in the complex. Google, please fight for the Milk Pail.
from a Palo Alto resident

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