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.
From HAC information:
At our January meeting, we hosted a panel of experts who gave us a little teaser about topics that the Coalition should focus on this year. Randy Tsuda outlined what one local government, Mountain View, is doing to make up for the loss of redevelopment through their commercial linkage fee and rental impact fee. Jeff Oberdorfer of First Community Housing gave us a sense for how the affordable housing industry is reacting to this new funding world and Michael Lane from the NonProfit Housing Association talked about what is going on at the State level. At the time, we promised to dive deeper into each of these topics and at our March 8th meeting, we will do just that.
Libby Seifel, of Seifel Consulting, will share her insight on the future of housing and community development in California since the elimination of Redevelopment and on new funding strategies being explored for affordable housing. Libby is one of the go-to experts on housing and redevelopment. Her firm has consulted on a number of significant projects including Hunter's Point Shipyard, Mission Bay Redevelopment, and the Transbay Transit Center District Neighborhood, which collectively will include over 5,000 affordable housing units.
The meeting will take place on Friday, March 8th, 11am at the Santa Clara Central Park Library, (2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara).
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.
Last night (July 3) during a study session Council took a straw vote and decided 4-3 to not plan for housing in the North Bayshore neighborhood.
Council Chambers was quite full with about 40 or so people there to support housing in North Bayshore and about 10 against. (Those are complete eyeball estimates, that could be wrong!) Most of those who were there to speak in favor of housing in North Bayshore were Mountain View residents. Most of those who were opposed to housing were not from Mountain View. The common message among supporters who spoke was please leave housing in North Bayshore on the table as an option. It is a complicated idea that needs further exploration and the Precise Plan is the place to do that. Please don't remove that option now.
After hearing over about an hour of public comments, Council had a brief discussion of this and other topics. While a formal vote cannot be taken during a study session, Council did decide to take a straw vote in the matter so that city planning staff can prepare a final version of the General Plan that reflects their wishes, which will be ready for Council to approve at their July 10th meeting. Mayor Kasperzak asked for a show of hands on whether or not housing should be left in the General Plan as an issue to explore further. Three said yes, while four said no. This means that next week the final draft General Plan that Council will presumably approve will not include housing in North Bayshore. Wah.
Mayor Mike Kasperzak
Vice Mayor John Inks
Councilmember Tom Means
Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga
Councilmember Ronit Bryant
Councilmember Laura Macias
Councilmember Jac Siegel
Thanks to the many who came out last night and wrote Council ahead of time. Your comments were eloquent and thoughtful. While this particular decision didn't go as MVCSP had wanted, but overall we have a really wonderful General Plan that we had a hand in crafting and should be proud of. This one, very interesting issue popped up toward the very end of the process and has sucked a lot of attention away from the whole document, which is very strong. It has lots of great policies that will set MV on a good course for the future. Let's keep that in mind and celebrate it!
Tonight, tonight, there's only you tonight (and the members of the Environmental Planning Commission)
Come to City Hall tonight, June 27th at 7pm to make comments on the General Plan at the Environmental Planning Commission meeting. This is the last time the EPC will discuss the document before sending it off to Council. The question of whether or not there will be housing allowed in North Bayshore still hangs in the balance. Use the MVCSP General Plan Action Guide found below for tonight and for the Council meetings on July 3rd and 10th.
General Plan Issues and Action Guide
North Bayshore Housing
Originally, retail, housing, and office were considered for North Bayshore sopersons could live close to where they work while supporting expanded retail services.
North Bayshore was envisioned as a mixed-use boulevard with frequent transit serviceconnecting to downtown, retail on the ground floor, and apartments and office above.
Allowing housing would give people an option to live close to their jobs, supportexpanded retail services, and justify frequent, all-day transit service between Downtownand North Bayshore. However, City Council recently removed housing from the mix dueto concerns that housing would impact wildlife and exacerbate transportation problems.
The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) recently stated that allowing housingwould have no additional impact on wildlife compared to existing development (pg82,
B6-4), and additional policies in the General Plan call for concentrating newdevelopment along Shoreline Boulevard which would restore previously built-upon landto wildlife.
1. Ask Council to restore housing to the North Bayshore area in the General Plan.
2. Consider asking that additional study on housing’s impact on wildlife beconducted in the North Bayshore Precise Plan, but we should not be eliminatinga major solution to our traffic and emissions challenges this early to the process
3. Consider asking that the impacts for a range of housing units be studied in theNorth Bayshore Precise Plan, since additional units may have a positive impacton emissions and traffic.
Flexible Mixed Use
Council recently added a draft policy that would allow greater intensities along ElCamino Real at “key locations” coupled with “significant community benefits.” Thesecriteria would be defined through the zoning, not in the General Plan, but they areexcellent mechanisms to locate growth near transit, jobs, and services. Additionally, it’s
an opportunity for the city to leverage development interest to get new civic amenities
and create great places.
1. Support the proposed policy
2. Ask that it be expanded to other change areas in addition to El Camino Real
3. Remind Councilmembers that the criteria of “significant community benefits” and“key locations” will be defined during the zoning process.
Most of the transportation policies are solidified and unlikely to change prior toadoption of the General Plan. Major studies of new transit service are likely to beundertaken in later, more focused planning efforts. However, there are opportunities toadd some language to existing policies to strengthen outcomes.
1. Ask that additional language be added to Draft General Plan bicycling policies todefine the city’s ambition as a “leader in bicycling.” Language supporting this
vision could include “development of innovative infrastructure conducive to a low-
stress bicycle transportation network comfortable for all ages and abilities.
2. Support the city’s continued work on the pedestrian master plan and
interventions that make the city more walkable.
Avenues of Action
Attend the Council and/or EPC public hearings on the Draft General Plan andspeak to the above issues during the public comment period.
Write a letter to EPC members prior to their 6/27 meeting addressing theseissues
Write a letter to City Council Members prior to their 6/3 Study Session on theDraft General Plan
Public Hearing Dates
June 27: Environmental Planning Commission meeting– 7PM @ City Hall
July 3: City Council Study Session– 5PM @ City Hall Only time for onemeeting? This is the most important one to speak at.
July 10: City Council Final Meeting– 6:30PM @ City Hall
Councilmember Contact Information
Mayor Mike Kasperzak: firstname.lastname@example.orgVice Mayor John Inks: email@example.comCouncilmember Margaret Abe Koga: firstname.lastname@example.orgCouncilmember Ronit Bryant: email@example.com
Councilmember Laura Macias: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Jac Siegel: email@example.comCouncilmember Tom Means: firstname.lastname@example.org
EPC Member Contact Information
Chair Todd Fernandez: email@example.comVice Chair Lisa Matichak: firstname.lastname@example.orgCommissioner Eric Anderson: email@example.comCommissioner John McAlister: firstname.lastname@example.orgCommissioner Kathy Trontell: email@example.comCommissioner Chris Clark: firstname.lastname@example.orgCommissioner Rachel Grossman: email@example.com
What does this mean exactly?
At an EIR scoping session, nobody is saying yes or no to a proposal. The purpose of the meeting is just to say what should be studied in the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR). If you have thoughts on what project impacts should be studied in the EIR, you should go to the meeting and share them. Do not, however, attend to say that you like or dislike the content of the General Plan. That is not the purpose of tonight’s meeting.
What will MVCSP be saying?
MVCSP hopes to get people to the meeting to talk about how the General Plan EIR ought to study one higher density alternative. One of the things an EIR has to study is the amount of green house gases a project will generate. Typically, an EIR would study an alternative to a project that is lower in density or size because that would result in a smaller environmental impact. Planning for fewer homes in Mountain View probably would result in fewer emissions produced within our city's borders. However, if homes aren't built here, they will have to be built somewhere else - probably further from Mountain View and all of the jobs we have here. This means more people will have to commute into town and create more pollution in the process. This will also result in an increase in traffic, especially during peak commuting hours. We want to an equal amount of jobs and homes, and ideally, we'd like those homes to be close to jobs, transit and other services, so that people can get by without their car is they want to.
The bottom line from MVCSP's perspective is that if we take a bigger picture view, a General Plan that allows for the creation of more home, we would actually help reduce region wide green house gas emissions overall.
Attending tomorrow night's meeting and speaking up in favor of an EIR that looks at a high intensity alternative with more homes around transit.
Wed, Feb 16