February 28, 2019

Mountain View: Council Considers Plans for North Bayshore


It’s been a little more than a year since Mountain View leaders took action to approve a visionary plan that showed other cities in the Bay Area how to plan for jobs AND housing, and how to do so while focusing on a complete community with parks and open space, transit options, and other amenities. Now the City is considering how the North Bayshore Precise Plan  will actually be implemented.

On February 26th, the City Council considered two Bonus Floor Area Ratio requalification requests from the two landowners of North Bayshore’s Gateway Area– SyWest and Google. After nearly four hours of discussion – including presentations from the two applicants, comments from the public, and questions from the council – the council voted to give SyWest and Google two weeks to agree to mediation. If both parties do not agree to mediation in this time period, the City will begin to prepare its own Gateway Master Plan. SyWest has already rejected mediation and the there is a high likelihood that the City will take control of the process.

SV@Home expressed the importance of housing and affordable housing to the vision of the North Bayshore Plan endorsed by Council in 2017.  While we supported staff’s recommendation to give mediation a chance, we need to continue to have a laser focus on achieving the housing goals of the Precise Plan. We also urged the council to consider moving forward with other components of the Precise Plan in the meantime, particularly Google’s proposal for the Shorebird neighborhood, which would allow construction of new housing to advance along with the promised environmental, transit, and community benefits. (Read our op-ed with Greenbelt Alliance for the Mercury News here.)

Public comment during the meeting overwhelmingly supported the development of more housing and the vision of complete neighborhoods that incorporates new residential buildings, office and educational space, transit improvements, biking and walking paths, and investments in the environmental well-being of the shoreline ecosystem. Among the organizations represented were several SV@Home partners, including Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and Greenbelt Alliance.

Google’s proposal garnered particular attention, as current Bayshore residents, environmental groups, union builders, and more shared their appreciation for the company’s community outreach and responsiveness to feedback in constructing a proposal that was responsive to the communities dire need for housing that is affordable to a broad range of incomes.

SV@Home remains committed to supporting the North Bayshore Precise Plan’s ambitious and urgently needed housing goals. We look forward to continued collaboration with Mountain View City Council, local community partners, and landowners in bringing to fruition a North Bayshore with housing options for people of all incomes and abilities.