Measure D opponents hang tough in cash battle
Original post made
on Oct 25, 2013
With Election Day just around the corner, the nonprofit looking to build a bitterly contested housing development on Maybell Avenue has further widened its fundraising lead over the project's opponents by injecting another $60,000 into its political campaign.
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posted Friday, October 25, 2013, 9:40 AM
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Posted by Vote AGAINST D
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm
Vote AGAINST D is a registered user.
@bobgnote in Mountain View,
The opposition sign said: "Protect our Children".
First of all, Measure D is not for or against senior housing. The City Attorney, working for the City, somehow gets to write the ballot, so that's how she wrote it, to mislead people into not realizing the ordinance was a ZONING ordinance, to upzone a neighborhood by up to 8 times the existing zoning limits for a particular building plan. Senior housing could be built there without this rezoning, with a different rezoning, or a better plan, and neighbors have simply asked that that be done.
When they were not listened to, they felt they had to oppose THAT PLAN -- one reason, because safety should come first, especially where children are concerned. Proponents of the rezoning have done little more than belittle neighbors who live there who know how dangerous it is, rather than educate themselves about the facts and try to push for solutions that would allow a better plan.
AGAINST D is only a rejection of a particularly odious plan. IF AGAINST D WINS, THE NEIGHBORHOOD HAS ALL ALONG PUBLICLY WELCOMED A NEW PLAN TO DEVELOP THE SENIOR HOUSING IN A WAY THAT RESPECTS THE NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER, CHILDREN'S SAFETY, AND (AT LEAST TO SOME REASONABLE APPROXIMATION) EXISTING ZONING, WHICH CAN BE DONE, IN MORE THAN ONE WAY. That is the crux of it. Many of the same people leading AGAINST D were involved in bringing a 92-unit low-income housing complex (with 25 units set aside for seniors) to the same neighborhood through the Terman Working Group.
Regarding children's safety:
The City has steadfastly refused to do traffic safety analysis for the development, even though the City's own policy is of "heightened scrutiny" on school commute routes. That new development puts a major, high-density development between the major two Safe Routes to School to 4 major local schools, for over 3,000 students, almost half on foot and by bike, including Gunn High School. One of those streets, Maybell, is seriously substandard, without room for even a single continuous or full-width sidewalk or bike path on either side. Plus it has a huge amount of traffic for such a narrow street, and peaks come in waves throughout the day. It has in the last few years gone through an expensive safety upgrade, with much citizen participation, so they know it's as safe as it gets. Nevertheless, the stop sign in front of the school has had to be replaced many times from being knocked to the ground by cars. There have been many deaths of bicyclists reported around the Bay Area in recent weeks, many of them schoolchildren - residents who live here can see it is unsafe, and have every right to expect the City, whose first job is safety, to put the safety of children first. They have not done so here.
One of the most well-respected traffic engineers in the state reviewed the traffic analysis for Maybell and found it "inadequate". He said there was no traffic safety analysis done for bicycle and pedestrian safety, and that the proposed project may have a significant impact on traffic circulation and bicycle safety. Hence the sign you saw.
After approving Maybell, the City Council adopted two of that same traffic engineer's projects, including moving away from the outdated traffic model they used at Maybell for the whole City, but they did not apply new traffic data or current standards to review the Maybell situation, even though one of the Councilmembers who came out to witness it admitted "It may be a Safe Route to School, but it's not a safe route to school."
If you think the proposed development will have such insignificant impacts, then why the steadfast refusal to review safety? If AGAINST D wins, it will still be possible to put senior housing there (!), but the City will have to be willing to work with neighbors, ensure it's done in a safe way, and maybe even come up with a different plan to accomplish the same goals.
For example, the current plan is made cheaper to the City/PAHC by PAHC selling off 55% of the property, upzoned for the benefit of a private developer. PAHC makes the profits from the sale of the upzoned land, but not the profits from the sale of the houses, many millions the for-profit developer will make by violating neighborhood zoning. If PAHC simply built fewer, more in-character houses themselves at the same time as building the main building, they could use the greater profits they would get from selling the houses as well as the extra land they would get from fewer of them to solve the impacts the current plan is foisting on the neighborhood. (The complex is 50-feet tall because it's squeezed onto 45% of the property.)
It's a bad plan, and CAN be done better. Please Vote Against D.