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A real village at San Antonio, with links to North Bayshore

Original post made on May 30, 2014

Mountain View's current plans for the San Antonio area, as represented by the Phase 2 proposal for San Antonio Center and the current version of the San Antonio Precise Plan, miss the opportunity to create a multi-use urban village centered around medium-density housing with links to transit and North Bayshore.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 30, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments (17)

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Posted by Jane Smith
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 30, 2014 at 9:40 am

I absolutely believe that housing and work units should be in balance, and that there should be enough affordable housing for the people who make it possible for us to have a life here (from teachers and firefighters, to janitors and shop assistants) but I cannot see how this is to be done, short of building the high-rises that we all find so execrable. I have lived in the Bay Area since 1981. We bought our house in 1983 from a woman who was leaving because (she said) it was too expensive to live here, the place was too crowded, and the traffic was a nightmare. Thirty plus years later the same song is being sung. It's an unfortunate result of economic growth and success.

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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 30, 2014 at 9:46 am

For the past twenty-five (25) years the Mountain View Jobs to Housing ratio has been around two to one (2:1).

Many would like to see it lower. Unfortunately, we are headed much higher.

I think that 2:1 is a workable compromise.

Therefore, I support A real village at San Antonio, with links to North Bayshore.

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Posted by Max Hauser
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

If (as people are saying) developer Merlone Geier is experienced at creating shopping malls at freeways, no one should be surprised when even the existing San Antonio Center redevelopment design left us with buildings with "their backs to" the main streets of ECR and San Antonio, or that the developer has made little provision in Phase 2 plans to integrate with existing bus and train connections.

But isn't that what we have city planners and Council for, to require that new developments adapt to MV realities, not the other way around??

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Posted by resident
a resident of The Crossings
on May 30, 2014 at 12:39 pm

There already is bike share at the San Antonio Caltrain station. Why is there no bike share at North Bayshore (and points in between)?

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Posted by Not full speed
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Because the Bike Share program is only a pilot program at this point. Expansion will be evaluated after this trial/pilot period is over.

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Posted by resident
a resident of The Crossings
on May 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Not sure what a bike share "pilot program" is supposed to teach us, other than that sparse stations = low ridership. I never ever see anyone riding these around Mountain View, even though everyone keeps talking about traffic and parking problems around town.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2014 at 2:57 pm

This whole area needs to centered around mixed use, office, retail and housing built to support a large non car centered network. Nothing remotly village in San Antonio and not everyone will work in North Bayshore.

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Posted by dc
a resident of North Whisman
on May 30, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Bike share is at San Antonio Center, right next to the Walmart.

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Posted by LASD Observer
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2014 at 4:24 pm

There are ALREADY 600 K-8 students living in the 1/4 square mile of LASD on both sides of San Antonio combined. The city doesn't think that the projects presently planned will yield much increase, but they have somewhat underestimated already. If you change to develop mostly residential, surely there will be many more children attending LASD schools from this area.

It's not a bad idea though. I would just like to see housing go in north of Bayshore. There seems to be little reason to have it be a high-rise only office complex. Even Manhattan has apartments.

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Posted by SB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on May 31, 2014 at 6:57 am

Great ideas in this opinion piece. Shows that with smart & balanced planning, we can do so much better than the patchwork of incompatible projects currently proposed.

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Posted by Jo
a resident of The Crossings
on May 31, 2014 at 8:46 am

This article offers good ideas for easing the transit mess and making Mountain View a more balanced city with public transit, jobs, homes and parks as part of the model city vision. How likely is it that the city will reconsider any plans already in place, specially for the San Antonio area?

The massive hotel, movie and office complex planned will bring a bit of San Francisco and New York to our city, since the decision makers are convinced that the fancy Place-Maker consultant knows more about the right way to develop our community since we don't value our own history as the birthplace of Silicon Valley or the people who live and work here already, because it does not make it a 'place' like NY or SF where the developer and Placemaker bring us terrible ideas from. They know nothing about our lives here and they don't care, and our city planners listen to them anyway.

The author of this article is opening up possibilities for reconsidering these plans. It is an real opportunity to define our city, it's downtown and commercial and residential balance, it's traffic flows, it's resident's wishes, and a set of major developments in the San Anotonio - Mayfield public transit corridor, and integrating them as part of the solution with the nearby North Bayshore development and traffic crisis too. Let us all support this reconsideration and hope that the city planners listen to the residents and locals over the Sf/Ny developers and consultants.

Mountain View San Antonio area is a place already. It does not need a placemaker. It is the birthplace of a globally known and respected Silicon Valley. Let us preserve and build on that heritage. This is the only place on the planet with a computer history museum. Can we be a high-tech and hi-touch city with walking/biking options and parks right within walking distance to the public transport and homes too.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2014 at 8:47 am

It would nice to develop properties in a orderly manner but seeing how piecemeal development occurred in the last 60 years.

Phase 2 is only a small part of entire area, phase 1 being the housing part, phase 2 is the office part. So many other properties can be used for housing with limited retail.

Part of village is having center, even the idea of a urban village needs a center.

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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 31, 2014 at 10:59 am

"Garrett" must be some app generated auto blog. Build, build, 60 years aga, build, concrete...

Good point Jo from the crossings. It's certain that there will be a vote on the "place". Do residents really want many thousands of car trips fighting their way to the "place". Of course the traffic will cut through residential neighborhoods etc.
Time to put a cap on the out of control developments..we found paradise and now it's being paved over.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2014 at 11:48 am

Paradise has already been lost, replaced by cement and ugly buildings. Very little landscaping, nothing really to say we will miss paradise. Well maybe buying tires and a Whopper.

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Posted by Amelia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Not sure if I would consider what was replaced at San Antonio as paradise. It was a giant parking lot for an existing Safeway and an old chain store. If it had been a park, then yes, I would consider it paradise lost.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Mountain View in its day was a wonderful place, part of the Valley of the Hearts Delight, where the wonders of the Blossom Festival in Saratoga where a wonderful sight of color.

People came here to look and buy our wonderful products of the earth, fruit, veggies, wine, and etc. Good land produced good food, the valley had good water to grow all the good things. It was Paradise.

I have a old photo in my phone that show the colors of the blossoms near Saratoga, truly amazed at what Paradise was. It wasn't a Sears store being knocked down but the wonderful fruit trees, the lost of those wonder farming families who names dot streets from Palo Alto to Campbell

Your backyard, your front yard, those parking lots, those extra lanes of roads were some of the best farmland in the world. To me it is already paved over, built upon, and ruined.

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Posted by Open to Phase 2
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 31, 2014 at 8:21 pm

I am in favor of a movie theater, retail, and the public plaza especially if they close it off to car traffic at all times. I live within a mile and would walk or bike there with my family. I am also open to a hotel. Mountain View needs better quality hotels and this is an attractive place for it. Hotels as well as regional retail diversify the City's revenue stream. When the development boon slows down and development fees dry up, the sales tax and hotel occupancy tax will help Mountain View continue to pay for police, library, parks, streets.

I do also support building more housing in place of the office space that is planned for Phase 2. Too bad this groundswell of support for "balance" did not happen last year when the plans were being firmed up.

I believe that the developer, Merlone Geier, agreed to participate in MV's Traffic Management Authority along with Google, Intuit, Samsung etc. so hopefully there will be more coordinated transit connectivity to North Bayshore, transit, and downtown. Would be great to see specifics of their commitments.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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