Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning has won the Local Champions Award as part of the Santa Clara County Housing Action Coalition's 20th Anniversary Celebration. The award goes to an organization that has made a positive difference in the community and exemplifies excellence in grassroots organizing. In this connection, you are invited to attend a free reception at Madera Apartments in Mountain View on Thursday June 13th at 5:30 p.m.
At the April 2nd City Council Study Session, they will be discussing the Item 4.2 - 100 Moffett Boulevard Residential Development Project (Item 4.2, see http://laserfiche.mountainview.gov/WebLink/Browse.aspx?startid=35382&&dbid=0 and Calendar for more details. Individual CSP members (not speaking for CSP as a whole, however), might refer to our letter to the City on this project, which you can see below for details we believe Council should consider during their deliberations.
On January 16, the EPC voted unanimously to recommend to Council that two
El Camino Real apartment development proposals they were reviewing, at
1720-1730 and 865-881, be required to provide (VTA bus) EcoPasses for all
residents, for the life of the project. This is a major embellishment of
the standard TDM requirement. They also recommended unanimously that
Council direct Staff to negotiate with the developers to provide BMR units
instead of housing impact fees.
The next Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) Housing Action Coalition (HAC) meeting features a developer discussing how he finances mixed-use developments. Could be very interesting for CSP members, as financing relates to parking, affordable homes, etc.
For more details, see "SVLG/HAC: Coping with Rejection in Development Finance" in the Calendar under December 11th at 11am.
Join us for a special workshop on the link between affordable homes and sustainability at our monthly MVCSP meeting
The members of the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning are very excited to host a panel of special guests at our upcoming meeting to discuss the link between sustainability and housing affordability. Anyone who is interested in learning about how these two dynamic topics interact and complement one another is welcome to join us:
Thursday, June 9
6 - 8:30 p.m.
Vox Design Group's offices, 421 Castro Street, Mountain View
Food will not be served though you are welcome to bring your own snacks or dinner.
This meeting is (as always) free to attend but because we are expecting more guests than usual, we ask that you please register if you would like to come.
Our discussion will be led by the following guests:
Jeff Oberdorfer is the Executive Director of First Community Housing, a non-profit affordable housing developer in San Jose. Jeff Oberdorfer AIA, CDS has pioneered in the arena of "Green," sustainable, multi-family housing for working individuals and families in the greater Bay Area. First Community Housing coordinates all financing, entitlements and award winning design on their mixed use developments. Jeff is a LEED Certified Professional. Jeff will be talking to us about the link between smart growth and affordable housing and why affordable housing developments are often at the cutting edge of green design. Jeff will also show us some examples of the stellar projects that First Communities Housing has developed here in the Silicon Valley.
Mike Kasperzak is currently serving as the Vice Mayor of the CIty of Mountain View. In his three terms on the City Council, Mike has championed the creation of more affordable homes in Mountain View. Mike was a leading proponent of the City's Below Market Rate housing program, the Housing Impact Fee, and the efficiency studio apartment project at San Antonio Place. In addition to talking about local affordable housing issues, Mike will draw upon his role with the League of California Cities to share insight on the regional and state trends affecting affordable housing creation.
Advocates for Affordable Housing and
the League of Women Voters
We'll also be joined by some of the members of the Advocates for Affordable Housing and the League of Women Voters. These long-time resident activists have a deep knowledge of the history and current conditions of affordable housing advocacy in Mountain View.
We hope to see you next Thursday!
People who were watching item 5.1 (San Antonio Center redevelopment and associated matters) on the Mountain View City Council agenda last night got a special treat listening to our most eloquent MVCSP speakers, of whom we can all be very proud.
That said, exactly what will or won't come out of this is unknown. There was certainly movement toward better design, and things like "wide sidewalks" stand a chance. While Council did not completely support some of the EPC/ZA recommendations, MVCSP's hard work definitely paid off!
For those of you who weren't there, had to leave early, or for some reason were puzzled by the whole thing (that was a joke--this is the closest I've ever seen a Council meeting come to deteriorating into straight farce), here's how the process situation looked to me from the middle of Council Chambers:
1. First and foremost, NOTHING having to do with San Antonio Center was voted on last night, after the developer (Merlone Geier) self-destructed and almost no one on Council felt that there was any clarity on what they would be voting on.
2. My impression was that the entire agenda item was continued to date uncertain. Others' impressions may differ, but everyone agrees that next week, May 3, doesn't seem like a possible date given the amount of work to be done before this project is ready for public view again. (Two other agenda items were continued to May 3, given the appallingly late hour.) In the interim, Staff was ultimately directed to try to pick up the scattered pieces of the developer's application, taking into account Council's comments.
3. Environmental Impact Report (EIR) (the first item proposed to be voted on, for the entire 56 acres in the Precise Plan): There was a last-minute objection from an attorney for the Carpenters Union, who did not accept the response he'd gotten from City Staff. His list of continuing objections included insufficient mitigations for greenhouse gas emissions, for example. I have no idea what the legal status of this situation is but I doubt we've heard the last of it.
4. Precise Plan: As per above, there were greater and lesser objections to the several EPC additions, which objections I think it is fair to say were largely based on their implications for this developer's proposal for 1/3 of the site.
With no resolution at this point, the PP for the 56 acres is still in limbo.
Clearly Staff will need to find a way to deal with this situation too.
5. ZA Conditions of Approval: You can look at these as pages 118-148 of the online Staff Report for the item. As always, they incorporate conditions determined by the EIR analysis (required mitigations); by various City codes; by comments from the DRC (Design Review Committee--architectural review of the project by outside consulting architects); and by the Zoning Administrator's findings based largely on the Environmental Planning Commission's recommendations. Some of them are high-level and some are low-level, like submission of color samples. This is a complicated project and there were a lot of items. It's impossible to determine from the document when MGP got these (I thought it was supposed to be 10 days after the ZA Hearing, which would be April 17), but apparently a marked-up sheaf of questions and objections was distributed to Council a very short time before the meeting last night, definitely after the official information packet for the item was delivered to them on Friday (?). It appears that it was just this original packet, minus the later unanticipated feedback from the developer, that Council spent a lot of time trying to understand over the weekend. When they (but, it emerged, not all the relevant staff members) received this last-minute temper-tantrum on paper, they said that these were things that should have been worked out with Staff ahead of time, and they had no way of dealing with them from the dais.
6. Three MGP representatives gave an extremely long presentation, mainly a glowing description of the project and (third segment) a run-through (completely inconsistent with standard procedure) of the above-mentioned list.
The last thing mentioned: Rite-Aid is gone, and MGP has moved that building closer to ECR ("This was always the way we wanted to do it.") One less thing to discuss, except that it wasn't up against the sidewalk, just closer.
7. At some point, the developer, seeing that he'd created an impasse, decided to offer to withdraw the objections he'd just spent at least 20 minutes talking about and just ask Council to pass his proposal, with Staff's recommendations intact, then and there. He wanted to work out any problems later by talking to Staff. Council still declined to vote on anything, and finally the Mayor said the item would be continued.
8. Somewhere in there there was public input: MVCSP's presentation, regarding desired changes to the design, with a request for continuation of the project approval process until these could be considered; from Safeway managers and employees, who asked that the project be approved because this would guarantee that the 65,000-square-foot Safeway would be there for everyone to enjoy; from several residents who supported various things the developer was proposing; from VTA, supporting wide sidewalks and transit passes, and several residents supporting bike/ped-friendliness; from one (very good) affordable housing advocate, plus a field rep from the Carpenters Union who said that the Emperor has no clothes, something like this: "The reason the developer wants you to approve his project right now has nothing to do with a need to know that the color samples are OK, which is the reason he gave you. The real reason is that there are affordable housing requirements for rental housing development coming down the pike and he wants to avoid them."
9. A number of Councilmembers supported the inclusion of BMR units on-site in this project, and at this point knew that there is a legally and economically feasible way to get this result. The developer had (earlier) volunteered 3% BMR units, which is about 10. The standard in our currently-unenforceable BMR ordinance is 10%, not 3%, which would get a little farther toward meeting the obvious demand, starting with the needs of San Antonio Center lower-wage workers. (Some communities specify appreciably more than 10%.) Council briefly discussed ways and means, including a Development Agreement; this matter is also pending.