Town Square

Big transformation underway for San Antonio area

Original post made on Feb 11, 2013

Clearly, the recession is over in the local housing sector. New development could bring more than 1,300 new homes to the San Antonio Road and El Camino Real area of Mountain View, so many that a new school may be needed to accommodate the new population.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, February 11, 2013, 10:03 PM


Posted by Michele, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 12, 2013 at 10:47 am

San Antonio Road is already mostly at a standstill - what will happen with all this additional housing? Also, when Mountain View did all that work on San Antonio, they could have added bike lanes at that time and did not do so - why not? It seems like the obvious time to do it. I feel sorry for the people who move into these new apartments expecting services that they will not be getting.

I attended one of the planning meetings and it seemed very apparent to me that everything was already a done deal so there was no use in trying to come to any more.

Posted by moi, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2013 at 10:54 am

>> "Council members John McAlister and Jac Siegel were opposed, citing concerns about traffic. . . ." <<

May good karma points shower upon John McAlister and Jac Siegel.

Posted by Cur Mudgeon, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 12, 2013 at 11:01 am

If Palo Alto has been criticized for bowing to developer interests and densifying our neighborhoods, what now for Mountain View? The north end of Mountain View has historically been dense with multi family housing. This will be even more so. Soon the area will be unlivable.
Check out the new housing next to Toyota of Palo Alto on Middlefield.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 12, 2013 at 11:22 am

The new residents will be fine as long as they have broadband.

Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

I know what's next...San Antonio will undergo an expensive "traffic study" for a year or so, then the results will show that they need only one lane each way, bike lanes that are as wide as a car lane, more traffic lights, and a center divide with lots of deep root trees!
Let's see if Mtn. View is as dumb as PA! #Still bitter about Charleston Rd!

Posted by citize, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 12, 2013 at 11:57 am

Development right next to public transportation. Just what we wanted, right? You can't stop natural growth, people! It's a city! Some have a fantasy that this Palo Alto the country side. Yeah maybe 60 years ago before you arrived here.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Sooner or later, big projects like these create "needs" from the surrounding "ecosystems", other referred to as "externalities". In this case, a school will likely be needed, which easily could run anywhere from 30M to 50M dollars—which the taxpayers, not the developers, will end up having to pay for.

The tax base will necessarily be increased, but only by about $100,000 for every $10M in capital investment—or $1M in new taxes for every $100M of construction investment. Schools require a lot of staffing—money which will not come from the developers, or the residents of these new complexes. That money will come from the general population—and not one penny of it will be acknowledged by the property developers.

It's past time for the State to require all large developments to make an effort to identify all externalities for new projects—such as schools, road improvements, new public safety requirements (such as fire stations and staffing), and so on. It's also time for the Developers to have to pony up for some of these costs—rather than expecting the system to pass these costs off to the taxpayers.

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm

What about school accommodation for the influx of school-age children? How would it affect the Mountain View/Los Altos school boundaries that directly impact property value in the immediate area?

Posted by Monstrosity, a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Looks monstrous, what with huge tall buildings looming in your face. El Camino and San Antonio are already overloaded with traffic. Seems like it is going to be an exponential version of Town and Country when it is finished. This area grows less desirable to live in by the day. I am looking forward to retirement so I can leave.

Posted by Not an issue, a resident of Community Center
on Feb 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Michelle-- when is San Antonio at a standstill? All the time? Some of the time? Sounds like another palo alto traffic exaggeration. Plus I believe it was palo alto that did the work on San Antonio road.
As citizen says this is a development near transportation. Plus itnis near 4 grocery stores , shops restaurants, wal mart, target etc. . Sounds like it falls in the famous palo alto " walk able neighborhood " definition. Too bad palo alto has never allowed real stores in the city ( I know jj&f needed to be protected'h. Anyway this is none of palo altos business, this Iain mountain view. Learn to live with it.

Posted by Shame on MV City Council, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm

San Antonio is already a parking lot several times of day.

Just looked through the "Visioning" materials. There is no useful community vision--only the rough outline of a general plan coupled with a lot of idyllic photos from other cities. MV City Council is putting their high density housing where the school impacts will slam Los Altos and the traffic impacts will slam Palo Alto. MV gets retail revenue. North MV residents should be furious. North MV and neighboring cities are being used by MV city government as a revenue generator for the rest of MV and a dumping ground for impacts of development. Shame on MV City Council.

Posted by Not an issue, a resident of Community Center
on Feb 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Bravo to the MV city council for having the vision to approve this development. So glad they do not have the closed mindset of the Palo Alto council and so glad that the MV council does not let the "too much traffic" zealots hold back a great development.
And I also applaud the MV city Council for not consulting PA on this matter. None of Palo Alto's business--period--end of story.
Oh and BTW, while traffic may move slowly on San Antonio at times, it is certainly not a "parking lot"--- haven't the people in Palo Alto realize that their "sky is falling, traffic is gridlocked on all of our streets all the time" whining is seen for what it is. They have cried wolf one time too many

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm

This is why regional government would make sense.

Mountain View is making all these decisions which will affect Palo Alto traffic and Los Altos Schools.

Presumably Palo Alto and Los Altos have to deal with it.

San Antonio is often a traffic nightmare, particularly pick up time from the school beside Toyota. San Antonio shopping center is already getting tax dollars from Palo Altans and Los Altans, and we will be the ones in our cars sitting in traffic trying to do our shopping errands because there is no decent shopping in Palo Alto.

Has Mountain View really looked into the housing market to see if people really are going to want to live in rabbit hutches around this center? What are the draws, not Palo Alto schools and Googlites want to live in San Francisco, so we are being lead to believe.

I wonder if this will be an expensive mistake of mega proportions.

Posted by Michele, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm

While I do live in Palo Alto, I shop in Mountain View a lot, so it is my business. If I can't drive there it makes shopping much less desirable which I'm sure is not what Mountain View wants. I hate these generalizations by city. I go all over the Bay Area for work and pleasure, and each city has its plusses and minuses, believe me.

Posted by Not an issue, a resident of Community Center
on Feb 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Michelle -- I was referring to the fact that it was not city of palo altos business what MV does. But you bring up a good point--- too bad there is no decent shopping in PA, that we all have to go to MV. And what goes around comes around-- palo alto has been telling its neighbors for years to deal with their decisions.

Posted by Po' Boy, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Only the ultra-rich in PA shop here. Most of us shop in Mtn View or elsewhere. It may not be convenient, but it is about to become less so. Will it still be economically feasible when all this construction has to be paid for?

And by the way, since they removed so much parking in order to erect all these huge building, where will shoppers park? Where will employees park? I am assuming resident parking will be provided.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Yup, I see only ultra-rich people in the Palo Alto Goodwill store.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2013 at 9:09 am

I like the projects that are planned, they are going to add much needed housing, giving young people a more urban feel, the stores like Milk Pail are going to add customers. While a office building can grow 2 to 3 floors, in some places we are looking 6 floors.

Google wants to build a new campus, the city wants to cap the amount of cars, this is good, but we better building nearby housing with local shuttles to and from Google. We aren't going to do this we car centered parking lots, single family homes or garden style apartments.

Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 13, 2013 at 9:51 am

Check the comments on this same story in the Mt. View Voice at
Web Link

Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 13, 2013 at 10:21 am

> "this is a development near transportation"

But how many people who live near public transportation take it? How many in The Crossings take the train? How many people in the condos & apartments by the California Ave. station take the train? How many people in Arbor Real (former Rickey's site) take the bus?

I have not seen any data from existing developments, yet governments and developers continue to tell us that building housing near transportation will not result in any new traffic.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2013 at 11:25 am

The VTA light rail line could be extended into the San Antonio area. Shuttles and bus lines could be planned as area get rebuilt out.

Each surrounding city has their own projects going on, yes what happens in each city could affect the next city. Case in point, the Stanford Hospital expansion, Facebook, Moffett Towers, 49ers Stadium or the new Samsung Campus.

As each projects get completed, their intended uses are met, mostly like that means more people, more people needing services, ways to work, or a unit. Services are retail businesses, service businesses, professional services or other.

Growth can be so many other things that could impact one person or a group of people.

Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm

11-storey hotel? - wow. Imagine the traffic, taxiis...

I am wondering about traffic on El Camino Real and San Antonio any studies to project what it will be like??

Sounds like they will need more schools, pronto...

I doubt the light rail makes any sense - would cost a fortune and take forever to extend it to San Antonio.
It cost a lot and does not have much ridership to date.

How many people get on the Caltrain at San Antonio Rd?? - I thought it stops there infrequently, so is not very useful or used by those in the local area.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Extend the VTA system to San Antonio area, lets see a big office projects is planned for Middlefield Rd and 237, 2 story buildings are being built and Samsung is expanding its R&D into Mountain View. Makes sense to build housing near transit which goes to major office buildings, 2 Cal Train stations. Just think about all the other stops along the line.

Schools, yes planning for a school needs to be address and followed up on, the LASD must take the lead, the city of Mountain View must assist in the planning but that decision to plan, acquire land thur either lease, purchase or by arrangement to house a school.

Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm

This area is starting to look like San Jose's Santana Row. It's an interesting idea, but in Palo Alto there are not the big road and proximity to the freeway there is San Jose ... as usual. Wonder what the parking situation is going to be when this is all done, because it will be a desirable place to be probably bringing in more high-density housing and whatnot ... hope they get this right.