December 10, 2020

Policy Rundown – December 10, 2020


Sunnyvale Kicks Off Moffett Park Community Meetings and Study Sessions

On November 30th, the City of Sunnyvale held its first joint community meeting and Council study session on the Moffett Park Specific Plan. This first meeting focused on the much anticipated Sea Level Rise report, commissioned by the city to address the environmental mitigations necessary for Moffett Park to adapt to climate change. Key ideas in the report included potential nature-based solutions to mitigate sea level rise. The most important piece for the future of Moffett Park, however, was the clarity that mitigation is possible and that the area can not only continue to be the economic driver of Sunnyvale, but also is an opportunity for mixed-use development including significant amounts of housing and affordable housing.

SV@Home is currently working with a coalition of housing, environmental, and community groups to build support for a housing-rich, mixed-use Moffett Park. The opportunity in Moffett is enormous. Two of the biggest challenges that we face in the Bay Area — housing affordability and climate change –are inextricably linked. If we want to meet our climate goals, we need to create more housing at all income levels, and if we want to meet our housing goals we need to properly mitigate for the climate impacts we cannot prevent. The Moffett Park Specific Plan process is presenting the city with an opportunity to jointly address both of these interwoven challenges.

That is why it is critical that the City of Sunnyvale prioritize significant housing development, at a range of income levels– including significant deed-restricted affordable housing– as part of a holistic, bold plan for the Moffett Park Specific Plan area and do so with an eye towards creating a more equitable Sunnyvale that also mitigates climate impacts on our most vulnerable neighbors.

Sunnyvale will host a series of community meetings on important topics related to Moffett, including on Land Use, Housing, Transportation, and the Economy, which are scheduled for early 2021.[spacer height=”20px”]

Middlefield Park presents Mountain View with a major housing opportunity

Last week, Google hosted its first series of community engagement discussions for its proposed mixed-use Middlefield Park development in Mountain View’s East Whisman Specific Plan area. The proposal would redevelop the area that surrounds the Middlefield VTA light rail station from its existing solely office and surface parking uses into an active community space with new parks, retail, housing, and jobs, all connected to transit. Importantly, the proposal includes up to 1,850 new homes, of which 20% will be affordable. This is directly in line with the City of Mountain View’s innovative Jobs-Housing linkage program for East Whisman, which is designed to connect new housing development to job growth in the area. This is a potentially exciting model for other cities to consider as they pursue similar planning processes to ensure that housing, with a significant percentage affordable to lower- and moderate-income households, actually get built in major redevelopment areas.

SV@Home is looking forward to continuing to participate in the community engagement around Middlefield Park, which will pick back up again in early 2021. Mountain View anticipates holding study sessions for the City Council and Environmental Planning Commission in early 2021 as well. We are strongly supportive of Middlefield Park’s housing rich vision and will be pushing to ensure that the housing and housing affordability remains at the center of the proposal going forward.[spacer height=”20px”]

Sunnyvale Launches Mobilehome MOU Process

On Tuesday, the Sunnyvale City Council approved the scope of work for the Mobilehome Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) process that will unfold over the next six months. Originally prioritized by the Council as part of its newly adopted 2020 Housing Strategy, the process is designed to create an MOU between the city and Sunnyvale’s mobilehome park owners that will protect Sunnyvale mobilehome residents from high rent increases and potentially provide additional protections. While many mobilehome residents have called on the city to adopt a mobilehome rent stabilization ordinance to provide further protections from excessive rent increases, this MOU process will be given six months to find a negotiated resolution to the challenges facing low and fixed-income renters. If no resolution is found during this timeframe, the city has said it would then pursue formal rent stabilization actions.

SV@Home will closely follow this process, which will include a series of closed-door negotiations involving the city, mobilehome park owners, and mobilehome residents as well as a number of public reports on its progress. We are hopeful that this process will yield significant new protections for mobilehome residents that will allow them to remain in their homes and avoid displacement. If no resolution can be reached through the MOU process, however, we support the city pursuing a rent stabilization ordinance to help vulnerable mobilehome renters stay housed.