Last night, in a 5-2 vote, the Mountain View City Council approved a proposal to redevelop a prime downtown spot, the former Minton’s Lumber Yard, with 203 apartments. Thanks to the ongoing advocacy efforts of the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning, Greenbelt Alliance, and the Sierra Club of Loma Prieta, the development will include seven new, affordable apartments.
This was a major victory. The developer had removed the below-market-rate housing after a California appellate court found that cities can no longer enforce below-market-rate ordinances. After hearing public demands for more affordable homes, the Council and developer reconsidered, and included the new affordable homes. When these new apartments are built, the residents will have easy access to Caltrain.
Greenbelt Alliance campaign organizer Ellie Casson wrote in an email to supporters:
Not only did [the Council] feel that this was the right project for this location, but also their comments revealed that they are ready to take on some really exciting, progressive planning projects. Ideas like parking permits and unbundled parking were mentioned last night; one councilmember talked about the need to genuinely invest in transit, and all of those who voted for the project seemed to see the link between an increase in homes and an increase in services (like a grocery store downtown).
A big thank you to the all the Councilmembers who voted for the project, including Mayor Ronit Bryant, and Councilmembers Margaret Abe-Koga, Tom Means, John Inks, and Mike Kasperzak. And thanks to all the residents who spoke in favor of homes for all in places that make sense for better living.