The City of Mountain View—home of Google, two Caltrain stations, and the most popular bus route in Silicon Valley—has shown great leadership by addressing the Bay Area’s housing challenge with the adoption of the North Bayshore Precise Plan. This exciting new plan will transform the area’s vast expanse of parking lots into a thriving community with up to 9,850 new homes.
We are thrilled with the City’s decision to address the housing crisis. This decision is a 180-degree turnaround from a 2012 decision to not allow new housing in the very same area. That 2012 decision was made even though Greenbelt Alliance, Google, and the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning argued that a mixed-use neighborhood in North Bayshore would be a model for environmentally-friendly growth.
How things can change in a few short years! Below is a timeline of how seeds that were planted as far back as 2008 have grown, and eventually bloomed:
- In 2008, Mountain View kicked off an update of its general plan—the blueprint for where and how the city will grow over the next generation. Greenbelt Alliance leaped into action, working with community members and local organizations to secure a revised general plan that envisioned nearly 8,000 new homes focused in bustling new “village centers” with varying levels of transit, jobs, homes, and services.
- In 2012, the revised general plan was adopted with one major disappointment: no new housing in the North Bayshore area.
- In November 2014, Mountain View voters elected three new members to the City Council, all of whom ran on a platform of support for sustainable housing development.
- In December 2014, the City Council took two important steps toward creating a more vibrant and affordable city by approving a long-term vision for the El Camino Real corridor and voting to significantly increase funds for new affordable homes.
- In the summer of 2015, the City Council directed city staff to identify additional areas where new infill homes might be appropriate beyond those identified in the general plan.
- In November 2015, the City Council votes to maximize new housing in the North Bayshore area, up to 9,100 new homes.
- In September 2017, after receiving testimony from nearly 50 speakers and a petition with more than 80 signatories in support of the draft plan’s vision for sustainable development, the City Council reaffirmed their commitment to transform the North Bayshore area into a vibrant walkable community with nearly 10,000 new homes.
- On December 13, 2017, the City Council unanimously approved the North Bayshore Precise Plan, with up to 9,850 new homes, 20% of which are affordable to low-income residents.
This is a huge win for all Bay Area residents, our environment, and the economy. Creating thousands of new homes in the heart of Silicon Valley means people can live close to where they work—easing the region’s housing affordability crisis and cutting the brutal commutes on our clogged freeways. It supports the economy by providing new customers for local shops and services. And it means less pressure to build on threatened farmland and wildlife habitat. As one of the largest plans for infill homes in the region, it also serves as a shining example for other communities to follow.
Read more about how we advocated for the North Bayshore Precise Plan here.
Photo: nbhattac via Flickr