On Tuesday, September 2, at 6:30pm, come hear Mountain View City Council candidates answer questions and share their views at a Candidates Forum on Housing and Transportation. Mountain View faces key decisions in the coming years regarding land use and transportation. Housing prices are skyrocketing as companies increase hiring and new housing isn’t keeping up; more people are walking, bicycling, and using transit and seeking improvements. There are nine City Council Candidates running for three seats on the council to make these decisions.
The event is co-sponsored by Friends of Caltrain, Community in Action Team (CAT), Safe Mountain View, Greenbelt Alliance, Great Streets Mountain View and Bicycle Exchange.
The event will be held at Rengstorff Community Center Auditorium, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave, Mountain View. Rengstorff Community Center Auditorium, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave, Mountain View. Please email Wendeec@gmail.com by Monday, September 1st, to reserve a childcare space. There is additional space to park your bike in a side yard. Click here if you need to register to vote?
Want to hear about the candidates views on other issues? There are other candidates’ forums coming up as well, click here for information about additional forums.
North Bayshore Precise Plan – Wednesday, September 3
On Wednesday, September 3, 2014 the Mountain View Environmental Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a study session on the North Bayshore Precise Plan, and Council will review the plan on Tuesday, September 9. The Plan has strong transportation goals to reach 45% nondrivealone mode share, and the city has been moving forward on initiatives to achieve the goal, including a transportation management association, and better connections for transit shuttles and bikes.
BUT – the draft Plan calls for 3.4 million square feet of new office space and no housing. The area is expected to bring in over 15,000 new jobs, and Mountain View is planning for less new housing in the entire city. When more jobs are added than housing, housing prices go up, and longtime residents are forced out. The current City Council has decided against housing in North Bayshore – but would a new council change direction?
Local advocates of sustainable land use and transportation are divided on the question of housing in North Bayshore. Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning supports adding housing in North Bayshore to create a neighborhood, so fewer people will need to drive to work. Sierra Club is concerned about the endangered burrowing owls, and fear that residents will bring cats that will pose even greater hazards than the current population of feral cats. What do you think? Share your thoughts on this blog post.
Update: Sierra Club clarifies that they had additional reasons to oppose housing in North Bayshore, including that the initial proposed development was 1100 housing units, not large enough to support neighborhood services, distance from transit (though there is a regular Caltrain shuttle), and sea level rise (which will also impact workplace uses), and the proximity to amphitheater noise.
Sierra Club strongly supports improved jobs/housing balance in Mountain View, just not in North Bayshore.
Update: At the last MV City Council meeting, Google representative John Igoe said in response to a Council member question that they would be willing to support a 5000 unit development which would have better ability to support neighborhood services.
Will El Camino Real Precise Plan include transportation goals?
On Wednesday, August 28, the Mountain View Environmental Planning Commission reviewed the paln and made some helpful recommendations on Transportation and Housing. Unlike other Mountain View Plans, the El Camino Draft Plan doesn’t have any goals or goal-setting process for transportation. With feedback from Friends of Caltrain and Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning, the commission recommended investigating potential goals. Encouragement to Council will be needed to make this happen!
Thanks to support from Greenbelt Alliance, PIA, and other groups, the EPC also recommended an affordable housing goal (which can help reduce driving, and support the needs of lower-income workers and elders.) Another important Council decision will be prioritizing Community Benefits, such as transportation demand management and affordable housing.
Council will need to hear from folk in Mountain View to ensure strong transportation policies. Pencil these dates: Study Session Sept 29, EPC review of plan and EIR, November 13, Council November 18.