December 13, 2017

NBC Bay Area: Mountain View City Council Signs off on Adding Nearly 10,000 Homes, New Offices in North Bayshore


NBC Bay Area interviewed SV@Home Deputy Director Pilar Lorenzana for their segment about the Mountain View City Council’s decision to approve the North Bayshore precise plan, including 9,850 homes, 20% of which will be affordable. The city council’s decision is a significant victory for affordable housing in Silicon Valley. The 20% affordability requirement will create 1,970 units, more than doubling Mountain View’s supply of subsidized affordable housing, which currently stands at 1,197. It is also a significant victory for SV@Home, which has been advocating for the approval of the North Bayshore plan with strong and realistic affordability requirements at countless city council meetings over the last two years.

See the original story at the NBC Bay Area website.

Mountain View City Council Signs off on Adding Nearly 10,000 Homes, New Offices in North Bayshore

By Anser Hassan

Mountain View city leaders late Tuesday unanimously approved a housing plan that would add nearly 10,000 new homes to the city’s North Bayshore neighborhood.

The new plan has the support of tech behemoths, including Google, which is headquartered in North Bayshore. Looking to expand its footprint in Mountain View, Google wants housing as part of the future development.

Tuesday night’s vote has paved the way for a massive redevelopment, including a campus of offices and roughly 2,000 affordable housing units.

Many community groups say this plan could serve as a blueprint for addressing the Bay Area’s housing crisis.

“It’s a precise plan, and it’s a land use policy change that is unlike almost anything that has ever been done before,” Mountain View Mayor Ken Rosenberg said.

In 2015, Mountain View began to re-examine its land use policy in its North Bayshore neighborhood. The area may be home to some of tech’s global giants, like Google, but there was no mandate for actual housing.

The new project changes that.

“It will be more than, well, about 30 percent more housing in Mountain View,” said Carl Guardino, chief executive of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “So, that’s another reason why it’s getting so much attention.”

The group’s report found that between 2010 and 2015 the region created about 367,000 jobs but added only 57,000 new homes. Guardino said California tax laws actually penalize cities for adding homes.

Pilar Lorenzana, of Silicon Valley at Home, said Tuesday’s vote was critical because it “shows that even our small to mid-size cities know that they have a responsibility and a role in helping our region address our collective housing crisis.”

A broad coalition of private and community groups, even the school district, have advised the city on the plan.

“It’s going to really be critical in offering a more affordable housing choice for people who work not just in Silicon Valley, but the Bay Area,” Lorenzana added.

A lot has to hapen before any ground is broken, however.

Developers will now work with the city and Google to come up with a master plan, which may involve more public hearings.

NBC Bay Area’s Rhea Mahbubani contributed to this report.