December 6, 2018

Mountain View: City Council envisions housing in Terra Bella neighborhood


On November 13th, the Mountain View City Council held a study session on preliminary visions for the redevelopment of the Terra Bella neighborhood in the northern section of the city. Currently, the Terra Bella neighborhood consists mainly of low density light industrial and office uses but abuts several single family home neighborhoods. The Council’s discussion focused on a draft Visioning and Guiding Principles Plan, which lays out potential scenarios for the area’s redevelopment based on several community outreach meetings. This kind of visioning exercise is often a precursor to a city preparing a more detailed precise plan for a given area.

SV@Home and a number of housers attended the study session to speak in favor of prioritizing significant housing development throughout Terra Bella. The area’s proximity to the highway, job centers, and the North Bayshore neighborhood make it an excellent opportunity for developing a diversity of housing options for people of different incomes and abilities. As with other areas that have come under consideration for redevelopment in Mountain View, including North Bayshore and East Whisman, the replacement of some commercial and light industrial space with residential development would allow for increased density without displacing existing communities or businesses.

While the Council was not in complete agreement on the vision for a redeveloped Terra Bella, a majority of Councilmembers supported a housing-rich alternative proposed by Mountain View’s Environmental Planning Commission, which envisioned up to 2,500 new homes and the preservation of some of the area’s characteristic light industrial space.

Because the Terra Bella process is only at a Visioning stage, any future actions to proceed with a precise plan process or further study will have to be decided by the Council at its next prioritization setting process, which will be in early 2019. In the meantime, SV@Home will continue to support opportunities for high levels of new housing and affordable housing in Mountain View.