June 26, 2017

Join Us in Mountain View on June 27 to Advocate for Housing in North Bayshore


Mountain View’s North Bayshore (NBS) neighborhood is home to Genomics, Google, Intuit, LinkedIn, and Microsoft, and soon, if all goes well, nearly 10,000 housing units.  Areas of Mountain View are undergoing a renaissance, morphing from single-use suburban job centers to more walkable, mixed-use, and exciting urban areas where people can live, work, and play. If done well, this transformation will be most evident in one of the City’s largest job clusters.

Tomorrow, the City Council will host a study session to discuss land use and transportation issues related to future residential uses in NBS. A policy issue of significant concern to SV@Home and our allies is the proposal to employ a “residential phasing policy” that would only allow between 1,500 to 3,000 units to be built in NBS. City staff is proposing a process where the Council would have an opportunity to approve phasing for additional homes at a later time without any specificity on a timeline to arrive at Council’s goal of 9,850 new homes. We worry that such ambiguity will function as an essential cap on the number of homes to be built in North Bayshore – something that was highlighted last week in an article that reported significant reductions to the planned housing in NBS.

As background, the City Council originally adopted a Precise Plan (Plan) for NBS in November of 2014. Three months later, in February of 2015, the Council directed staff to amend the Plan to accommodate include up to 9,850 new homes of varying levels of affordability.

In May 2017, the City of Mountain View released its Draft Affordable Housing Administrative Guidelines (Guidelines) – a set of proposed policies to guide residential development in NBS. The guidelines, which are expected to be adopted this summer, use Floor Area Ratio (FAR) bonuses to incent affordable and moderate-income rental and ownership homes in the Planning Area. Other key policy considerations addressed in the Guidelines include levels and length of affordability, mix of bedroom types, percentage of units required.

SV@Home has long supported residential uses in NBS and we continue to push for reducing the barriers for new homes within the Planning Area. Additionally, we believe that:

  • The City should follow through with its commitment to incorporate 9,850 new homes in NBS;
  • At least 20 percent of the homes developed should be affordable to those earning less than 80 percent of the area median income;
  • Homes deemed affordable should only be accessible to those households earning incomes within the specified threshold (e.g. incomes of 51 to 80 percent for low-income units); and
  • The City should develop and implement a plan to achieve the total goal of 9,850 new homes in NSB.

Take action to support housing in North Bayshore by sending an email today to the Mayor and Councilmembers, requesting that they follow through with their commitment to 9,850 new homes in NBS with at least 20 percent set aside as affordable to households earning less than 80% of Area Median Income.

Mayor Ken Rosenberg, Ken.Rosenberg@mountainview.gov

Vice Mayor Lenny Siegel, Lenny.Siegel@mountainview.gov

Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga, margaret.abe-koga@mountainview.gov

Councilmember Christopher Clark, Chris.Clark@mountainview.gov

Councilmember Lisa Matchiak, lisa.matichak@mountainview.gov

Councilmember Jon McAlister, John.McAlister@mountainview.gov

Councilmember Patricia Showalter, Pat.Showalter@mountainview.gov

Photo: Ali Eminov via Flickr