Earlier last week, a majority of the Mountain View council expressed support for allowing flexibility regarding ways to meet a 20 percent affordable housing goal during a study session on land use policy issues in the East Whisman Precise Plan Area.

The council has set a vision to build 5,000 new homes and 1.7 to 2.3 million square feet of office space in the 368-acre plan area with a goal of transforming East Whisman into a complete, mixed-income community.

As a next step, staff will study options that reflect this desired flexibility, while maintaining a structure to achieve the 20 percent goal.

The council also expressed support for the concept of a jobs/housing linkage strategy to ensure that office growth does not outstrip housing growth. What such a strategy will entail is still unclear.

In contrast to the North Bayshore Precise Plan approach, a more flexible strategy that would allow office space to begin construction in advance of housing is being considered with additional requirements placed on the office developer to ensure that the housing is ultimately built.

These requirements could include options like land dedication or transfer of development rights.

In our letter to council, we expressed excitement that the City is thinking through the jobs/housing linkage question and considering ways to benefit from greater flexibility. SV@Home believes that a jobs/housing linkage strategy is a critical tool for creating more affordability in the plan area by significantly increasing the number of affordable homes and creating more deeply affordable homes.